When Serious Debate is Trivialized for Media Ratings
I’ve heard it and heard it this week; “Gonna be bigger than the superbowl in viewers.” A match looking ‘for a TKO [technical knock out as in boxing].’ An endless loop playing on teevee channels re put downs by former presidential debaters, as though the put down is some high art form. It isnt. It’s the lowest form of non-discourse we have.
It’s like “Sonny Liston” match. It’s going to be a ‘slam-sucker punch night.’ You might as well say, Which “gladior will take the ears and tongue of the other?”
Really, this is what is has come to? I see the pictures of men, women and children gathered at the lynching scaffold, laughing and gee-jawing for the camera, whilst the naked body of a black man swings in the wind.
I see the piles of bison skulls five stories high on the plains of the USA, where drunken screaming raving men with long rifles shot hundreds of thousands of bison to death from windows of the trains the men traveled… leaving the dead animals to rot in the sun. I see the men who misnamed themselves ‘hunters,’ standing by the piles of dead bison bodies, jack-grinning into the camera so proud of themselves for shooting down the mythic beings, like ‘fish in a barrel.’
I see the comandante listening to violin music played for him whilst he eats a sumptuous meal, at the same time one thousand naked children, women, old people, less than a quarter mile away are being gassed to death. The violinist and the cook are the comandante’s prisoners who will live one more day for giving ‘their talents’ to serve the endless maw of the comandante.
I see the coliseum and the mobs that come to jeer and laugh and screech at death dealing, wanting it, hoping for it, to feed some subhuman longing lodged in their own throats.
I see the sick of any war grinning over having mutilated and de-trousered dead ‘enemies’ exposing their genitalia, whooping over this denigration of the dead.
I see the desk [with brass lamp and leather chair,] with the jawbone of a human being upon it.
I see the grinning man with big crooked teeth, sitting in a pickup truck who is speaking and laughing into the video camera about baseball and girls, whilst behind his truck are the mangled, black-blood bodies of prisoners he has just dragged to their deaths.
I see the school of Theology in Denver, who for years displayed in its lobby, a copy of the bible, bound with the skin of a dead Native American.
I see the black fillings in the back molars of women and men screaming hatred at the young African American students walking into school the first day of integration after centuries of segregation.
I see the handing out of ax handles to do harm to those integrating the schools. I see the photos of the men laughing over the remains of a body beaten so, it looks like a sack of laundry.
I see the beheaded Chinese men whose heads were hung on a clothesline by their long hair braids, and I see the people photographing the slaughter, being proud of themselves for demeaning human beings at a level so low that even Satan wept.
And I wonder for our nation, our country, what sorrow we yet can bear to know ‘the least of the least of us all’ is being called forward, being lured forward, if only we will demean others, pummel another, assault another… as though we are not and have never been and will never be again, someone wiser in ways, noble, able, and wanting decency and progress for all.
Dont feignt away now; Remember the noble is not some statue of a man with sword waved from a horse in a park somewhere. It is a person who would speak decency in this time. To weigh, to assess, to ask, inquire, and to then resolutely decide for oneself where to stand –that is NOT rooted in offal.