Monday, July 5, 2010

Family Feud

Did you hear about that survey taken among random Americans, the result of which was that only 74% of us can identify just which country we broke away from to gain our independence? 26 out of 100 Americans thought we wrote Dear John letters in Spanish, or Chinese, or I don't know what-all else. The uninformed and misinformed segment of the populace grows exponentially every day, or everyday, as they would say.

I'm all out of sorts over this because, with the midterm, gubernatorial and congressional elections just four months away, Silly Season has already begun. Watch out for misleading statements, doctored photographs, and bogus claims of self-righteousness and blame. And that's just for starters.

The other night, someone was passing around on Facebook a photoshopped picture that purported to portray the president (enough ''p's'' already!!) and his wife holding their left hands to their chests while saluting the flag or saying the Pledge of Allegiance or singing the national anthem. The president and his wife, a couple of people who are studded with degrees like a ham with cloves, to steal a phrase from Max Shulman, are quite intelligent people, and the chances are, they know how to salute the flag. But for someone sitting around who sees this sort of claptrap online, it's a chance to put them down, make them seem like they aren't real bright..or insufficiently patriotic.

Truth to tell, I have cracked on the brainpower of Geo. W. Bush many a time, and this very blog used to carry a picture of 43 holding a phone upside down while trying to talk into it. That photo may very well have been 'shopped, and so I dropped it. I'm here to say that GWB is not the dumbest person ever to sit in the White House, and that he is a well-educated man, being a Yale graduate and possessor of a Harvard MBA. He lacked a lot, but to call him stupid is wrong. Not as wrong as calling Obama stupid, but wrong, nonetheless.

I just had to weigh in with my 2¢ worth on all this the other night, in the overbearing, pedantic manner that I employ when others wage foolish polemic wars. Every night on the news, we see oil gushing into a major body of water because of sloppy work done by some people in the oil business, and it is threatening not only that major body of water, but the marine life therein, the economic viability of the people ashore and in the Gulf, and so much more.

And here we sit, passing around goofy pictures, spray painting over campaign signs, many of us not knowing the literal first thing about American History, and we seem more concerned with tarring the image of the politicians we dislike while lionizing those we admire, and still the tarballs wash up on the beach, and there's no painting over how damned sad that is.

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