A People’s Future of the United States

A common complaint amongst the socially aware is that the masses are distracted from what really matters by fluff entertainment and prurient gossip. Television ratings and click-counts notwithstanding, I wonder how many people who are actually interested in the extramarital affairs of celebrities even care about issues critical to the well-being of society.

I think that all that shit’s nothing more than something to keep the mindless happy. Meanwhile the activist gets all worked up because he or she thinks we’re being dumbed down.

But no matter how politically aware you think you are, you’re attention is still diverted away from something you’re missing by something else you think is being missed. That is, if you’re not already too distracted by the obsession that relevancy doesn’t get the play that tits and sports do.

Buried beneath the pictures of what someone wore to the beach – and internet polls to determine whether they look fat or beautiful – are greater distractions disguised as important news. Sometimes they even induce panic, or today’s equivalent: On-line petitions.

So before we get all worked up about how much harder the political parties are going to have to hustle to outspend each other, maybe we should be wondering why it even matters, when we’ve been spending trillions to kill people, billions on the campaigns to rally support for it, and all this before that judicial travesty was handed down upon this bedrock of exceptional democracy. Or is there something else I’m missing?

Howard Zinn
’22 to Twenty Ten


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