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|Thursday, 29 December 2011 06:00|
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A few weeks ago, Seth McFarlane (creator of such irreverent cartoon series as Family Guy and American Dad) posted to Facebook and commented "I wonder what President the corporations are going to buy us next year."
As Doomsday Year 2012 approaches, I must admit I'm asking myself the same question. The current line-up of jerks being paraded in front of us as potential candidates is simply appalling. So is the sight of their clownish antics as they mindlessly spew radical rhetoric aimed at garnering the loyalty of various hard-core constituents. Though admittedly it has a certain amount of entertainment value... like locking a cadre of schoolyard bullies in a fenced playground and forcing them to fight it out. All they want is life beyond the Thunderdome.
Of course the latest spate of political survey polls are essentially meaningless. It's a popular adage that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Statistics get used as a leveraging tool whereby assorted pundits manipulate the facts so TV news networks can sell their preferred candidate. It's easy to manipulate statistics if you ignore the actual numbers. For instance, we all assume that 2 + 2 always equals four; but there is an old mathematics joke formula that goes like this:
2 + 2 = 5 (for sufficiently large values of 2)
Which is CORRECT... provided one of the twos is a larger number than two, and NOT a two. This sort of fuzzy math can fudge any number-based scenario, creating illusionary results. And our media dearly loves the art of illusion.
Not that we seem too upset by it. Just keep pumping us full of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, and apparently we'll put up with anything. Take a peek at those nutrition labels... there is now some form of sugar in everything we eat. EVERYTHING.
The recent trend of denouncing high fructose corn syrup (i.e. chemically concocted poison) in favor of naturally occurring sugar products seems absurd when one understands how awful too much sugar can be, for the human body, IN ANY FORM, be it pure refined sugar straight-off-the-cane or some hideous addictive enzymatically-mutated mish-mash brewed from ground corn byproducts (see also: high fructose corn syrup).
Bad news, folks: we dwell in a society that created a multi-billion dollar industry out of selling sugar water with bubbles in it. Remember the so-called "Cola Wars" of the 1980's? In which countless millions of dollars were spent in a cutthroat media advertising showdown between two of the great soda giants? Of which Michael Jackson's flaming scalp was the most famous casualty? I don't recall who supposedly won, but I am absolutely certain it was the human race as a whole that was the biggest loser in that fracas. A quarter century later, soaring childhood obesity rates and a corresponding rise in juvenile diabetes proves my point.
In a society where billions of dollars are invested on new ways to create poisonous artificial sugar-substitutes from chemically-manipulated corn starch in order to shave a few cents-per-pound off food production costs, why haven't we come up with a cheap means of energy production that doesn't involve ruining our environment or generating some hideous toxic or radioactive byproduct we can't safely dispose of?
I suppose we're too busy downloading cute apps to our smart phones, drugged into a hyperglycemic sugar-stupor. When our media gives us such fine intellectual programming as Hoarders: Buried Alive and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, bombarding us with Reality TV marathons on the E! Network, who has time to care? We've got tons of more productive ways to occupy our time, like clawing blindly at the buttons on our TV remotes and screaming WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY EYES, YOU KARDASHIAN FIENDS?