The Doors of the Loony Bin

I guess my burnout started in mid-2010; it’s only grown worse in 2011 and I’ve run out of excuses.  It seems like every day there are so many targets that I run out of arrows, or even the time or the will to shoot them.

Most depressing is that if you read the archives of this blog, (while you’ll find a few factual errors such as Murdoch’s citizenship), you’ll find that I’ve been on target most of the time, even though in some cases it’s taken the rest of the world a bit of time to catch up to people like my readers and myself.  Why is this depressing?  Well, I can only call it by the phrase someone else coined not so long ago: that giant sucking sound.  Everything, it seems, is going down the drain — including reality.

The reality gap started in earnest during the Reagan years.  After having spent 4 years in high school playing hippie, one day a few years into the college-age time of life I woke up to the proclamation (which I believe was in Time magazine or something like that) that my generation was “the most conservative ever seen.”  “Huh?” I asked.  I’m still asking the same question.

Yes there were goofs around then, but they were confined to UHF channels.  Sometime in the 1970’s I remember one guy whose show, (the old-time equivalent of the modern-day cable-access or USTREAM type show) consisted of a half hour of him screaming at his evil liberal guests.  No matter what they said, he’d scream at them.  No matter that he was making no sense, he was miked at least 4 times louder than anyone else and shouting on top of it.  He was all you could hear.  That’s a basic rule of the propagandist: shout louder than anyone else, even if no one can understand you.  The louder you shout, the truther you are.  To hell with facts.

He died of a heart attack, and his Republican-coiffed wife took over the show and faded into oblivion.  Actually, having started out in oblivion, there wasn’t far for her to go.

Those were the days.  The goofs were restricted to the outer fringes.  When did they become mainstream?  Again, during the Reagan years.

The Reagan years gave birth to Fox News, which is the core of the lunatic fringe (no longer really fringe) right now.  Yes, they are on dangerous ground with the current controversies, but the fact is, I’m willing to wager that most of the U.S. public was on to them all along.  But it did us no good.  Fox was allowed to bend reality until it snapped, then create their own, and they are still being allowed to do so.

Worse, they have a fairly large, hard-core brainwashed contingent of fans (some of my Facebook friends among them), who view every criticism as an evil liberal conspiracy — likely including the recent revelations of illegal cell-phone hacking or whatever it is.  Actually, being hard-core Fox maniacs, they are barely aware that there is any controversy at all.  But what they know of it?  THAT EVIL LAMESTREAM MEDIA!!!!  Yep, that’s what’s to blame!  Just like OBAMA IS THE ONE WHO CREATED THE DEBT CEILING CRISIS.

Bullshit times ten, but this is the shit Fox News is feeding its audience. And its audience has quite a taste for shit.  Stop to consider that these are the same people who have probably chosen to believe — because that’s all they’ve been told — that Sarah Palin’s “The Undefeated” movie hasn’t been defeated.  Yep.  I’ll bet at least one of the minions has even been heard to say that the movie has been a resounding success, so much so that it defeated Harry Potter (oh yeah?  You mean Voldemort won?), when in fact it’s almost gone straight to DVD.  This is the kind of upside-down reality we’ve been dealing with, and when you meet someone who has swallowed the shit tea, you cannot change their mind any more than you can rescue their taste buds.

There is very little chance that Fox News will disappear as a result of all of the controversies — how can you suffer from something you deny exists? — but I do sit and fantasize about what might happen if that came to pass.  Where would these people get their fix (you can’t call it news) then?

Unfortunately, plenty of places — and they won’t have to search long and hard.  Again, thank Reagan.  He was the one who opened the door of the mass-media loony bin, after all.  And look at the mess we have now.

As for me, as I said, there is too much mess to deal with: too many alternate universes to waft about in, too much shattered reality to sweep up.  I’ll be around, but I will no longer make promises to be more active.  I’m just in permanent overload.