We live in an interesting time, a time where imaginary images, pixels of light that dance on the screen but for a moment accompanied by surround sound have actually replaced the real thing. Marshal was right: the medium today is absolutely the message. Our images are simply hollow, empty icons that stand in for a vacuous reality that only exists in our minds and hearts. These images conjure up warm feelings for an often fabled past America and regrettably do nothing to inform our behavior in the present America. But that’s OK because these images and sounds make us feel better in the moment.
For the better part of a decade, we have had our souls choked and throttled with fear, with threat, with terror. We have had our damaged psyches comforted with the images of faith and patriotism. This constant back and forth has shaped a nation now addicted to and made ineffectual by anger.
Our words and our icons have become devoid of meaning in the present, disconnected from any reality lived here and now. Adequate are merely the good feelings the words and the nostalgic images bring us. Needless and discarded is the disciplined reality these now empty containers of once precious value we only pretend to cherish demanded of previous, principled generations who framed their contributions through character, hard work, deep thought, public discourse, and actually living the fullness of their values.
God forbid that our values actually demand anything of significance of us, require we conduct ourselves in a principled way. Living what we claim to value would be much more difficult than just screaming ludicrous soundbites at town hall meetings, keeping our kids out of school when the President speaks to them, toting AK47s in public.
The author of the quotation below should also have included in his list “governors who flirt with secession.”
… for people whose Christianity has nothing to do with the bible; whose compassion has nothing to do with those less fortunate; whose fight for “life” has nothing to do with the already living, breathing and walking whatsoever. No, for these people, it is the map of the country they defend, not the actual country. It is the flag they defend, not the Constitution. It is pointless, costly wars that they defend, but not the soldiers who return from them.
I think it is clear that people who continue to defend and protect those involved in torture, kidnappings, and indefinite detention should be called out for what they are on a regular basis: collaborators. They need to be labeled openly and shamed often.”