Sometimes it’s hard to be cynical about cynicism. There’s just so much lately to be cynical about. Not that people are any worse than before; only that now we see them in action day and night on any number of our small and large screens. There’s no way to escape them.
Think of the world like Shakespeare did — a stage full of players. Lately, virtually every public player is right out of central casting. Just like in film and television, there is this central pool of potential public performers from which the powers that be choose and cast. The greatest directors will always tell you: Good casting is 90% of a good play.
Need someone to speak for the science community…? No problem. We’ve got a cross section of distinguished gray-haired and/or eccentric wild-eyed folks in white coats who can play the part. Either on the screen or maybe even as a presidential czar. Want a popular quarterback…? The preferred look here has always been young, handsome, glib and if possible even accurate.
CEO…? Detroit likes them silver-maned in three-piece suits. Silicon Valley casts the twentysomethings in bluejeans. Computer whiz…? Both Hollywood and Washington usually give the parts to those best at flying fingers over sizzling keypads, matched to intense gazes into the numbers exploding across the monitors. We also like them to sound like they really know what all those polysyllabic words mean
Politicians…? Now these parts are usually filled by attractive folks who can read the teleprompter with gusto, wear tieless bluejeans with aplomb, and have a sealed lock on every skeleton in their closet. Pundits…? These Johnny-come-latelys to the national stage come in all shapes and sizes; the only real requirement is they can talk and interrupt faster than anyone else in the studio.
Got it now….? Cue the cast. Curtain up.
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