The headline has an almost arrogant ring to it, as if life owed us something. In case you haven’t noticed — it doesn’t!
Still, that hasn’t cooled Americans’ passion for the good life. To enjoy the fruits of our so-called exceptionalism, to be all we can be. Novelist Micheal Crichton captured the national mood when he wrote: “In other centuries, human beings wanted to be saved or improved or freed or educated. But in our century they want to be entertained.”
What better time of the year to witness this than the Fall when Hollywood, television and Broadway parade out their newest wares for the hungering public. New shows…new stars…new twists and turns …new sex and violence…and always always new gimmicks to dazzle our exhausted psyches at the end of another day of bad jobs, bad bosses and bad news.
The water-cooler conversations at work and the rows of gossip magazines at the checkout are pathetic reminders that most Americans can tell you more about the last episode of ‘Homeland’ and ‘American Idol’ than they can about the last time Congress passed legislation that affects their income. And this despite dozens of news channels and newspaper at their fingertips.
What’s going on here?
Crichton is right. As far as most Americans are concerned, we’ve already been saved! improved! freed! and educated! Now it’s time to sit back and let the world be my oyster of entertainment. Please, no more police actions abroad, no marches at home, no public meetings to protest. That’s for the college kids. From here on, just jail the bad guys and entertain me!
Footnote: Even the inmates at Guantanamo Bay have stopped asking for copies of the ‘Koran,’ and instead prefer ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ Why am I not surprised? And they’re not even Americans!
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