Fruitcake – Pinky Salazar
Why do the Democrats seem to cave on every issue ? Why do the Republicans appear to be loonies ? Why does the president seem to refuse to use his office to push a more reasonable agenda ? Why does our society seem to be coming apart at the seams ? Questions that abound these days.
Lets rewind the clock 50 or 60 years or so. When media technology was big, bulky, vacuum tubed and very expensive. When there were only three major networks and about a dozen major newspapers. Video was filmed and audio recorded on large bulky equipment. Except for Japanese radios, not much was portable. And the political party apparatus called all the shots.
No satellites, so on the spot reporting of any kind was limited to those events that were nearly of biblical proportions.
Politics was very tightly controlled. One could not run for dog catcher, let alone a senate or congressional seat with out the backing and approval of the party. Which ever one you were part of. And any information about candidates was only what the party wanted people to know.
Doesn’t sound very democratic, does it? But remember this same apparatus gave us Harry Truman and LBJ and JFK and Dwight Eisenhower and FDR and Hoover. Not to mention Mike Mansfield and Everett Dirkson and San Rayburn and William Fulbright and Frank Church and many, many others. Statesmen and public servants. And the media only broadcast what the parties and the news departments thought appropriate and important. After all the news departments were the the biggest departments and the most expensive parts the networks.
It’s no real coincidence that as the technology improved and the ability of giving on the spot reports of what ever was going on – that the political scene also began to change as well. When reporters could come up to a representative or councilman and get their response to what ever happened as well as any other person involved, this control began to diminish. The party apparatus began to give way since it became increasingly more difficult to keep people – what they said and what they did – under control.
Now fast forward to the present. With satellite cable, smart cell phones, internet and video and audio capture and transmission nobody can remain completely anonymous anymore. The man on the street no longer needs a reporter to interview him, he can interview himself. Public figures are so public now that everyone can know anything they want about them.
We – us right here reading this and other diaries and blogs – have become both the story and the audience at the same time.
So if Wall Street resembles a Las Vegas casino where everyone has had far too much to drink. And the republican primary resembles people drafted from an insane asylum. Or the democrats look like they are afraid of their own shadows or the president acts powerless to do anything. This has a lot to do with it.
There really is nobody that is in charge. The political apparatus that we use to have – no longer has much, if any, say anymore because it no longer controls the message and therefore the people within.
This is not to blame technology or the media. That would be like blaming a sidewalk for the ice. Like they say in the hood, it is what it is.
Our problem therefor as I see it is our lack of maturity and self control as a culture to effectively and responsibly make use of what we now have. If it looks like a complete free for all politically and economically and socially, it’s because it is. The controls have not been taken away, they simply have evaporated because they became moot.
How does one control an economy that can be manipulated electronically from anywhere in the world ?
How can you control a politician that can record anything or have anything recorded that they wish or anyone else wishes and have it put on display for the whole world to see ?
Our culture is becoming or has become increasingly dysfunctional because for everyone yelling stop, there is someone yelling go just as loudly and vise-a-verse-a. Like a playground of children after school lets out with no supervision. To each small group the group makes sense but taken as a whole, looks chaotic. We may learn how use it appropriately at some point.