Climate change

Two items hit the news today. One caused much titillation. The other will attract little attention. But they reflect on each other.

Americans woke up on 9/12 to the revelation that a porn video was ‘liked’ – and quickly unliked – on Ted Cruz’s Twitter account.  Cruz dismissed the event as the fat fingered fumblings of a functionary. “It appears that someone inadvertently hit the like button. When we discovered the post, which was I guess an hour or two later, we pulled it down.”

Missing in Ted’s excuse was any suggestion that streaming porn was a no-no – just the ‘liking’ of it. A grave omission by this supposed man-of-God, who has campaigned against sex toys. Also unexplained was what an underling was doing on Ted’s account in the middle of the night? Is his social media operation round the clock?

The second piece of news was a survey that revealed only 26% of Americans could name all three branches of government. And  37% couldn’t name one of the five rights guaranteed by the 1st amendment.

Taken together these two stories make a mockery of Thomas Jefferson’s ideal America. A country where a well-educated and critical citizenry were informed by a robust press. And the church’s influence was limited to spiritual affairs.

Americans are uneducated, and the press reports civic life as a reality TV show. Two major storms in two weeks are treated as an epic movie/sports event. Good pictures and a shitload of statistics. Looting stories and endless analysis of the quality of Trump’s reaction. And Joel Osteen failing at his one job.

But the story not told is how the severity of these hurricanes  – along with devastating forest fires and increasing temperatures – are symptoms of a global emergency. Any urgency to tackle what the Pentagon says is the primary future cause of global instability is lost in pictures of downed power lines and video of well-coiffed reporters oohing over roofs lying in neighbors’ lawns. A classic case of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

It’s a perfect storm. People, who are eager to be diverted, are catered to by a media that is eager to make money by being diversionary. And a sanctimonious Senator caught with his hand down his pants is a perfect sequel to a pussy-grabbing President.

 

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