Ten years ago the last set of testicles in this country were burnt up and shot out of a cannon over Woody Creek, Colorado. Since then it’s been treason to criticize anything wrapped up in the flag. It used to be the duty of patriots to question the way things are run around here especially after Nixon and that whole bloody lie in Vietnam. We used to have men like Dr. Thompson who spoke truth to power on both sides of the lie. But the liars have infiltrated the papers and the newscasts and come out in the open without any fear of accountability. To the contrary, they’ve been embraced by a population so desperate for order that they’re willing to accept one lie or another wholesale.
The liars have won. They own the microphones and the cameras. They own the transmitters and the trucks. We live under the rule of the lie where truth is treason. And so long as we have our intravenous digital media to entertain us while learning who’s responsible for everything we hate and fear, we will continue to take holy communion and eat of the body of the lie. For the lie is immortal and saves us from darkness.
The lie is in the headline, behind the clickbait news designed to make you feel something. You’re dying inside, so you’re desperate to feel anything if it gives you the illusion of life. Click, monkeys. Click. The shills have something to sell you. Sometimes they sell you what they don’t own. They’ll sell you people, their lives and their horrors. Sometimes they sell you Taco Bell. They have the same going rate these days.
As the master once said, “As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.”
Those of us who are shocked and appalled by Brian Williams stand shoulder to shoulder with those would want to see him burned at the stake for his crimes, not because he lied, but because he was caught and drew the penalty. To this generation of sleaze, Williams heinous crime was that he chose to admit it. He showed his soft nobility and took the hook to the gut for his profession.
Meanwhile, the SPJ Code of Ethics is treated like a wadded up jerk-rag in the corner of the Fox News masturbatorium. Shitheads like Bill O’Reilly scream louder and threaten people for questioning the obvious lies they tell on a daily basis while the general public continue to make 1:1 comparisons between a journalist held to a high ethical standard and a drooling millionaire carny barker for the circus of the political right.
We must be critical, yet understanding — accept that there are bastards who must be destroyed and bastards who can be saved. We cannot annihilate or shame every offender alive unless we agree to accept the idea that to disagree means Death. We won’t say it, but the urge to remove human beings from society for their offenses is universal. We don’t want to hear wrong-thinkers. We want to execute the infidels. We want to live in a world where we can celebrate their silence but don’t have to slit their necks ourselves to earn it. This is not a war of air superiority. This is a house-to-house, room-to-room search for humanity. One life at a time to rescue ourselves or we can carpet bomb ourselves into submission to the next great civilization.
But Dr. Thompson is dead. And there is no one weird enough to take up the charge, no populist journalist worth his dust. If there were, he’d be buried a thousand feet under the Nevada desert or imprisoned in a palace of gold and fed evidence of relevance by his captors.
So it is up to us. We have to stop treating innocent people like dancing viral monkeys. We have to stop condemning the whole person over a single idea, unless that idea embodies the person or that person can impose that idea over a whole people. We have to pick our targets and we have to aim for the brain.
There is a right America and a wrong America, but you cannot let the billionaires and their millionaire virus monkeys instruct you which is which.