As the nation sits for hours, nightly numbed by political ideologies that offer no choice, products to buy that offer no purpose, and feeble entertainment for the modestly moronic offering no value, we vegetate. We cannot make decisions about the governing of this country if spoon-fed garble by paid advertisers posing as moderators. In order to be a part of the world one needs to be in it and not idly watching it slip by.
Most young people have no idea where Yemen or Bahrain are. They have no idea where or even what the Indian Ocean is, where New Zealand is, or what a fault line is. Words created for abbreviated text messages, a peculiar recombinant hybrid of vernacular terms emanating from memes, are winding up in an urban dictionary and finding their way into job descriptions from corporate hiring agencies. We are now living in a world entirely comprised of typos. To a writer, it is unnerving to say the least. More to the point, I’m not sure I can say that I can read and write English anymore.
Our political system has turned into a popularity contest played out on television like a lotto drawing. Fear and loathing are everywhere you look, to the right and to the left. Animal Planet gets its viewing audience and ratings predominantly by airing 24 hours of the atrocities perpetrated on innocent animals by ignorant humans. Housewives with mammoth wealth and nothing to do keep viewers enthralled with their outrageous lifestyles and picayune problems. America greedily gobbles it up like consumer cookie monsters. My Dad, rest his soul, would be chagrined by this pathetic pall suffocating the ability of free association. As it was then, much is forever lost in the television translation process.
Rather than sitting on the sidelines observing the world as viewed by corporations, perhaps taking some of my father’s suggestions would assist in getting America moving and thinking, which would create a stronger economy and nation. Reading something that stretches the mind could not only teach some additional vocabulary words but broaden our thought patterns. When my son was five, instead of Dr. Suess I read him Macbeth. Not exactly kindergarten curriculum I know, but it spawned an avid reader with a strong imagination and a wide vocabulary, so that by the age of nine he was into Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. The pictures and ideas in his little head pushed him to go on to film school.