Ever watch a cartoon when the little character dashes off a cliff but remains in the air…? A classic bit which always has the same punchline. He suddenly looks down, realizes he’s in mid-air, and plummets.
There’s a lesson in the joke. We take certain things in life for granted. When suddenly they’re not there anymore, trauma. Say like today’s report by the US Census Bureau. For the first time in our history there were less White births recorded than non-White. America has reached the expected tipping point when it begins to become an increasingly multi-ethnic culture.
The consequences of this will be mixed. Minorities, college professors, bleeding-heart-liberals, and gays will approve. White evangelicals, gun-toting Rednecks, Skinheads, and Sarah Palin will gag. The halls of Congress, radio call-in programs, and Twitter will light up.
But leaving that blaze behind, I’m thinking here of some other and simpler examples of life without what we take for granted. Smaller moments which nevertheless will have real consequences. Imagine with me an America in which:
* There are no TV commercials >> When do we get a bathroom break?
* There are no campaign ads >> Who do we have to hate?
* There are no show business award ceremonies >> How can we live without celebrities?
* There are no more research teams studying coffee >> What can we panic about?
* There are no more UFO sightings >> What secret government conspiracies are left?
* The Chicago Cubs win the World Series >> What noble existential suffering can I still count on?
Just like that crazy cartoon character without anything beneath him to count on, earthlings like me dread the day. But then “dreading” is what earthlings are good at. I plan to plummet with dignity…!
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