I was in a fast food joint. My enjoyment of non-food, meal-type, calorie portions (I refuse to call it food) was hampered by the many televisions. Who is the pathetic hypertensive adolescent that decided I couldn’t survive a Whopper without telescreens television’s flashing neon palpitations? Are they afraid I’ll realize I’m eating something that no sane person should consume? Don’t they know that I’m aware that fast food is shit and (occasionally) eat it anyway? I wish they would turn off the TV because I’m not a six year old. I can sit still long enough to eat my fries without an electronic pacifier. It was on mute. I tried to ignore it but failed to block it out.
The manufactured revelation du jour was Congress harrumphing about gas prices. This is an annual dog and pony show hosted by people who deliberately fail to understand economics in order to influence voters who want free cake.
My only interest in this useless enterprise is the scheduling. It’s a few months ahead of it’s usual time slot. (This non-event historically happens simultaneously with the discovery that southern Californian vegetation is flammable and wildfire prone. This year it’s coinciding with the annual discovery that the Mississippi floods in springtime with a little overlap about tornadoes unexpectedly manifesting in tornado alley. Why so soon?)
I’ve been assured that the drivel on the screen was news but I know news and this was not it. This was a video game display overlapping rehearsed reality show theatrics. Soon the screen had two dour looking fellows in boxes, one on the left and one on the right. They didn’t have excellent hair like congressmen so I presumed they were hired economists dragged out of their gimp boxes? Or maybe they were technocrats with titles like “President’s Czar Of Unelected Guys With Job Titles Derived From 19th Century Pre-Communist Russian Government”?
Meanwhile, floating above, between, and larger than these two terribly important individuals was a bolder brighter view of a pretty blond with pretty hair making pretty expressions intended to convey that she was concerned about this important thing they were discussing. Presumably she is an intelligent and incisive journalist with all sorts of gravitas. For all I know she is a genius. Except she looked to me like a porn star pretending to care about commodities pricing. There has never before in the history of mankind been a society so sophisticated that it has commodities markets and so crude that it would broadcast the image of a porn star emoting about it. All this because it now costs extra to fuel a Subaru?
Meanwhile a stream of text swept across the bottom of the screen with frantic announcements about some sort of flag burning protest. Or maybe it was an anti-flag burning protest? Or were they anit-anti-flag burners? I presumed it was in a foreign land; some place where screaming masses of unemployable youths riot because the alternative is a good hard look at their miserable impoverished future and their self imposed conditioning which will perpetuate it. Then I wondered if it was domestic; meaning the youths are probably just rioting because they’re in one of the richest societies on earth and protesting is a temporary amusing alternative to getting a job.
I never caught the details. Apparently the flag thing was important enough to be vomited forth in twitter sized nuggets but not important enough for the pretty blond to read it to us. (Presumably she reads “news” stories for the benefit of those who are functionally illiterate and acts out her emotional response for those of us who are full fledged zombies?)
Then I finished my burger and walked out the door while muttering something about arranging deck chairs. I soon forgot the pretty blond and her “concerned act” because I’ve got bigger issues. The chicken pen has a weak spot and I heard raccoons in the yard last night. Now that’s news of actual relevance.