I made the mistake of watching and reading the news last weekend. I try to avoid it because it’s entirely depressing. Sure, the Syria, ISIS or ISIL, whatever that is, and domestic issues are terrible and troubling. But that’s not what gets me. It’s the constant barrage of shit that doesn’t matter. The promotion of time-wasting activities that do nothing good for society or its inhabitants. The prolonged delay of the maturation of our species from a rampant and wasteful adolescence to an enlightened populous that I am now convinced I will not see in my own lifetime.
We trust the shrinking number of supposedly free yet curiously well-funded news outlets to be the barometer of our society. Humans, by their very nature, are biased. And we always will be. And until we’ve become smart enough to develop a safe and unbiased artificial intelligence, humans will skew the readings of society’s barometer in a manner that benefits a particular person or a certain group. We have been conditioned not to ask questions and to blindly accept what we read and hear from those frighteningly powerful entities. Those who rise up and question authority are socially ridiculed and financially ruined.
Let’s begin with what is perhaps the single largest sexist atrocity against females — The Miss America pageant. We parade scantily clad women who have what we have been conditioned to see as attractive features and perfect bodies across a stage, completely ignoring intelligence and anything else that matters. Meanwhile, at home, the other 99% of the female population watches this spectacle on television. Most of that majority actually embraces and appreciates the contest and its lack of morals. A smaller percentage becomes depressed and rejected, realizing she can never aspire to the physical attributes of what the rest of the world considers “beautiful.” Personally, beauty or lack thereof should be considered a form of discrimination. Beauty is obviously more subjective than someone’s gender or the color of her skin, but I am sure we could come up with some sort of consensus. How liberating would that be for the other 99% of women worldwide?
Next, let’s take a look at Jeebus, or Yeebus, or whatever Kanye Omari West is calling himself today. The fact that an angry musician, if you can even call him a musician, who raps songs titled “Niggas in Paris” and yells at people in wheelchairs is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 21 million albums more than 60 million digital downloads and earned over 20 Grammy Awards, is disturbing. Where is the musical value in these songs? As a matter of fact, the rhymes are monotone and devoid of emotion, and the words are barely cognizant. None of that matters, because the national media and the recording industry’s association constantly lauds Mr. West with coverage and awards. And the consuming public has made him extremely wealthy. This is the new breed of hero we have engineered in our misguided society. This is what children aspire to become. Most will never make it.
USA Today reports that the Blue Angels were scheduled to fly over Baltimore. The Blue Angels is the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron. Basically, six pilots fly six fighter jets in formation and do all kinds of aerial acrobatics to appease thousands of spectators who revel in the demonstration of military might. Although there are relatively few incidents, the practice is ridiculously dangerous. Twenty-six Blue Angels pilots have been killed in air show or training accidents. If that wasn’t wasteful enough, let’s consider the amount of time involved in planning these shows, money spent on modifying non-combat aircraft, salaries of support staff, benefits, marketing and advertising, transportation costs, and fuel costs that are expended that don’t do one damn thing in the defense of this great nation. I thought our government had finally come to its senses in 2013 when sequestration quashed these performances. But Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in his infinite wisdom, regards these shows as important for non-draft recruitment of underprivileged teenagers, so a “lite” version of the show was re-instituted in 2014.
Finally, as if a weekly schedule of 14 to 16 NFL football games weren’t enough, men who tend to avoid their wives and families on Sundays can now continue to do so during the rest of the week as they manage a fantasy football world. Fantasy football is an interactive online competition in which users compete against each other as general managers of virtual football teams built from the imaginary drafting of real players. Time that could be spent cooking, cleaning, learning, improving the house, parenting, bonding with children, or volunteering in the community is now unavailable because Joe is very busy playing with his imaginary friends.
What the fuck is happening here, my fellow Americans? I haven’t even broached the subject of the jobless losers who have the spare time to participate in reality television, not to mention the millions of women who follow those shows, and I am certainly hoping I don’t have to. How have we become such a placated, zombie-esque, lazy society over the past fifty years? And what can we do to fix this idiocracy?