Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Are You Watching This?

"Are you watching this?" she asked, catching me in a television-induced daze.

The grumbling man was on the screen spouting his latest gimmick in hopes of firing up his base, visions of Frankenstein dancing thru the heads of some, others oblivious to naught but rapturous cheers rising to the heavens.

I stared in numb disbelief. I stared frankly in mild disgust, mainly at the media who seem to so revel in it: in the cheering throngs, in the sharp jabs, in the pounded fists -- the media who yearn for a sound byte or a controversy to draw in the gawking millions.

It's so sad what the mainstream media have become: slick swindlers manufacturing a story where there is none, scrambling to revive a business model that requires thoughtless eyeballs even in the absence of anything to look at.

So I sat there staring in numb thoughtless disbelief, gawking just as she came in and asked again, "Are you really watching this?"

I was the only one in the waiting room. And she knows I don't have a TV. She doesn't either, and this one drives her crazy all day long, even though it's around the corner from her desk. But I was the only one in the room.

I popped out of my gawker-gaze. "Um, no of course not," I said, blinking.

She reached up and turned it off.

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