When I was ten years old my best friend, Allie, and I would wake up early on Sunday mornings to watch FMTV on Channel 12. It was a local show featuring music videos from artists like David Byrne and Blondie. Then Channel 12 sold the name to a company in New York for something like $5,000 and changed the show to Teletunes. We still watched religiously, and didn’t think much of it at the time, but looking back, I’d bet that was the birth of Mtv. They just dropped the F and ran with it.
In the beginning, Mtv was great. They had cooler, older VJs (now we were eleven) who played video after video, and it was a brand-new platform for teenage angst, but let’s be honest— reality tv is all their fault. They started it with “this is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a house…” And now it has spread like an std all the way to the White House. Turning on the television or computer is starting to make me sick. There is a military-style-killing video show on TBS with commentators using low golf tones to remark on killing people in alleyways. And Facebook is the new toilet; today’s posts are the equivalent of writing on the bathroom wall back in the day. I’m just glad to be older now, so that any evidence of my formative years cannot be found in the social media archives.
Have you noticed how old we can sound simply by putting ‘the’ in front of modern words and phrases? Go ahead and try it next time you’re around a youngster— it drives them nuckin futs! Say, “I watched it on the YouTube,” or “Are you on the Instagram?” I do love me some dad humor. And I can’t help but wonder if all these images are helping our imaginations run wild, or if the opposite is happening. We are so inundated with information that we have become desensitized. How else could we still go out to lunch while our fellow human beings are held in cages at the border? And why isn’t anyone talking about the fact that we will be fenced in as much as others will be kept out by Trump’s wall? If he continues to run amok like the monster the GOP created and cannot control that he is, then I don’t want to be on this side. I’m disgusted by The Hunger Games mirror image of our society; elites sipping champagne cocktails while other souls are only trying to survive. I much prefer the credo ‘Live simply that others may simply live.’
And I’ve all but given up on our old-school representatives, republican and democrat alike, who look like they’ve been up all night counting lobbyists in sheep’s clothing. Perhaps they can’t sleep because their consciences keep reminding them of all the ways they won’t stand up to corporate greed and work for the betterment of us, the American people. As a middle-aged GenXer, I am glad to see some younger freshman representatives tearing it up on The Real World: Washington, DC. This is the first time I’ve been able to relate to, or even imagine, my representatives actually living a life outside of their wall-to-wall-carpeted lair. I cannot believe we allowed our air traffic control operators to go without pay for even a day, but Mitch McConnell still went home to his gold slippers and tiny fish on crackers. The very first thing that should happen if the government shuts down, is a freeze of all executive and congressional salaries. And, when they do go back to work, they should enjoy the exact same benefits as we do; no more corporate kickbacks and revolving door policy decisions.
If corporations are going to enjoy the same rights as citizens, then they must pay their taxes like the rest of us. And all of those tax monies can go towards our infrastructure, i.e., the water coming out of our taps, the potholes in our roads, the teachers trying to teach our children the importance of being educated enough to win big on Win Ben Stein’s Money.