The celebrity trolls who currently reign on commercial television, who bill themselves as liberal or conservative, read from the same corporate script. They spin the same court gossip. They ignore what the corporate state wants ignored. They champion what the corporate state wants championed. They do not challenge or acknowledge the structures of corporate power. Their role is to funnel viewer energy back into our dead political system—to make us believe that Democrats or Republicans are not corporate pawns. The cable shows, whose hyperbolic hosts work to make us afraid self-identified liberals or self-identified conservatives, are part of a rigged political system, one in which it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, General Electric or ExxonMobil. These corporations, in return for the fear-based propaganda, pay the lavish salaries of celebrity news people, usually in the millions of dollars. They make their shows profitable. And when there is war these news personalities assume their “patriotic” roles as cheerleaders, as Chris Matthews—who makes an estimated $5 million a year—did, along with the other MSNBC and Fox hosts.
Chris Hedges, excerpt from “The Day That TV News Died” published at Truthdig, March 24, 2013
I’m depressed, again, today. All it took was one look at the morning news, watched mostly for the local weather forecast, and I was done for the day. Then I made the mistake of opening my email and receiving my second dose of ugly reality, and I was right back on the ledge I managed to talk myself down from yesterday.
This is the cycle of my life today, as it has been for much of the last ten years or more. Probably much more if I really think about it, but I find that really thinking about the stinking pile of filth we’ve allowed our world to become in the name of “freedom” and “democracy” to be dangerously demoralizing, so I try not to do it very often.
I’ve come very close to pulling the plug on this site, as well as most of my online activities at least once a month for the last year. Hell, I can’t even bring myself to write anymore because the only things in my head worth writing about leave me so angry I fear for my sanity, or so depressed I fear for my life. Yes, that bad.
I’ve pretty much lost all hope of enough people ever coming together solid enough in their resolve and in large enough numbers to ever straighten out the country I live in. We’d come closer to tearing each other apart over trivial disagreements than we would ever even think about rising up against the tyrants on Wall Street and their puppets in D.C..
How is it possible that so many people are going through life with their heads in the sand, blind to the suffering and injustice meted out daily by those who put short-term profits aver human and other forms of life every time the question should arise? I feel like I am literally surrounded by mindless idiots or drugged zombies. I see injustice and I want to scream in the faces of everyone I meet, “Why don’t you protest this? Why do you sit quietly by and accept such gross injustice?” but it would do no good.
Television is the opiate of the masses, just as religion once was, and still is, for many among us. Opiates are powerful drugs that can do much good, but far greater harm when abused. Opiates are addictive, and give us a false sense of well being; they make us complacent, and that is precisely what television, and to a wider extent, all mainstream, corporate owned news outlets today want us to be.
If I could offer you only one piece of advice, I would beg you to kill your television… or at least limit it’s use if you have the will power left to fight the monkey residing on your back.