Thursday, January 18, 2007

American Idolatry


It's January, and you know what that means. I mean, besides the next season of American Idol. That's right. The president will give his annual "state of the union" address to both houses of Congress, even though everyone already knows what the state of our union is...

However, for the first time in his administration, we will see a Democrat sitting behind the president, and not only that...someone worth looking at to begin with. That's right...in the looks department, Cheney and Bush can't compete with Nancy Pelosi!

Watching the first two shows of "American Idol", I can't help but wonder if some of those contestants are delusional or do they not have any pride of self at all that allows them to embarrass themselves on television with claims of being great singers, even though they just got over a cold or their throats are dry or it's a case of bad nerves. Excuses! But is that any different from our own president, who has made excuse after excuse about why Iraq has not been the kind of "flower-throwing, chocolate-giving, shock and awe, razzle dazzle, mission accomplished" type of success that he and fellow Kool-Aid drinkers in his administration and the corporate media have claimed it would be. What is the nature of such delusions? Why do we tolerate it so? Sure, it gets plenty of laughs on a show like "American Idol", but in the real world, people are dying, lives are disrupted, and money is being spent on delusions that could be better used elsewhere.

I hate to break it to you, my fellow American citizens, but what we have in our president as evidenced by his recent address to the American people, is someone who is living beyond reality and that's dangerous. We all know how he was an alcoholic until age 40 when his wife gave him the ultimatum "It's the booze or me". Too bad he chose Laura and went cold turkey. Had he chose the booze, our world probably would have been a lot better off in the very capable hands of a President Al Gore or President John McCain these past 6 years. But, he did what he did and we are all to suffer for it...as his delusions about what constitutes victory, his ignorance about history of guerrilla warfare (empire states can never win in the long run over a guerrilla army fighting for its freedom), and his inability to process the truth.

Ah, but what is truth? I love the line from the film "Dead Poet's Society": "Truth like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold." What is truth? Can all the propaganda in the world turn something into "the truth"? Well...from historical examples we have the communists in the Soviet Union that believed with all their hearts that their centrally planned economy was working and able to compete with free market capitalism. They ignored the facts from the provinces that people weren't really working too hard, that store shelves were constantly empty, that people waited in long lines to buy rationed products...they ignored truth in favor of the communist lie. Gorbachev realized that the lie didn't serve the national interest and tried to rectify their system, but it was too little too late. What he did in allowing truth and new freedoms under glastnost and perestroika was to unleash an unstoppable tidal wave that ended in the fall of the Iron curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Empire by 1991.

Another example...the Nazi Germans saw the D-Day invasion being launched and decided to let Hitler sleep in rather than tell him the truth, which would only launch him into a tirade. So, I ask again...what good is truth if we don't hold our leaders to it? Why would we even continue to follow such a leader who is incapable of handling the truth and basing sound policy on such truth? Why be delusional?

But maybe that's what appeals to us about "American Idol". We love our delusions and the fame it brings us. We care more about the access to fame and potential fortune, that it doesn't matter if we can't sing or act or find weapons of mass destruction. We are all distracted by our ego's desire for an imaginary outcome that has little bearing in reality. That's not good news, folks. A society cannot survive for long on delusions of grandeur. Our army isn't seeing a surge in recruits. They are now looking for recruits in Mexico to fight our war as some soldiers are now in their 3rd, 4th, or even 5th tours of duty in Iraq. We owe it to ourselves and our future well being to wake up to reality. A reality that our president is already off in la-la land and probably needs to be strait-jacketed. We should learn from history. After all, Osama Bin Laden's big dream is to see the demise of the USA similar to the demise of the USSR. If that happens, he will claim a huge victory in that militant and fundamentalist Islam is "mightier than the communistic and capitalistic empires." That spells out a scary future for our entire planet.

But folks, don't let me keep you from your "American Idol"! Sweet dreams...

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