November 2016 And Other Popular Obscenities

I might as well just admit it up front…! I find today’s world of relentless hype and hustle downright obscene. Maybe you’ve noticed too. Hollywood marquees promising us films that are always ‘brilliant,’ ‘epic,’ ‘legendary.’ Washington always promising us jobs, joy, endless prosperity. Silicon Valley forever promising us the next-greatest-thing we absolutely must have in our lives.

OK, none of this nonsense is exactly new. However, we lately we’ve come upon a new bit of nattering nonsense. So very very seriously debating who will run for president in 2016. We haven’t yet survived 2012, but now the gotta-keep-finding-a-new-headline pundits on television are fixating on the likes of Hillary, Biden, Perry, even the Big Dog himself. The madness of it all is downright obscene.

Einstein always liked to advise pundits, be they politicians or physicists: “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Seems to me he was talking about Clarity. Instead, today’s talking- heads on the news channels are far more interested in Captivating. What and who can we talk about that will captivate our audiences and therefore our ratings. Pretty much what ‘West Wing’ writer Aaron Sorkin is addressing in his angry new TV series ‘Newsroom.’

Making a career out of predicting the future is nothing new. The Delphic Oracle in ancient Greece, the firebrand prophets in ancient Israel, and self-anointed seers like the Mayans, Nostradamus and Pat Robertson are among the perennials. Take your choice.

But come on, folks, no one knows the future. It’s not something you own, you simply survive as best you can. Not only is it obscene to exploit people’s fears about it, it’s more than a little outrageous for anyone to presume they or their latest headliner will even live to see that future!

Much better that you and I and our syndicated profiteering soothsayers focus on living the best today we can. In doing that, we’ll be doing more for our future than anything else at hand.

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