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18 October 2008

A Word to the Not So Wise

Ordinarily I’m an easygoing kind of fellow who, through most of his life (excepted are those long-ago months in which I was trying to keep a bunch of Nazis from pulling my plug), has played pretty much by the live-and-let-live principle. Acrimony of any description moves me out of my serenity zone, so I do my best to avoid it. Yet if somebody pushes my hot button long and hard enough, he’s sure to get heat.

I’m approaching one of those situations, and to keep my spleen from venting all over the place I’ll use this blog entry to valve off some of the steam. Bear with me, please.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really sick and tired of booting up my computer in the morning and being immediately confronted by the vacuous face of the latest movie starlet to chortle over her pregnancy, derived from a really cool visit several months ago to the Malibu home of rakish Peter McStudd, famed director/producer of such Academy Award film classics as Lusts and Busts in Buffalo, and I’ll Give You Just Three Hours to Take Your Hands Off Me. I stare at the screen for a moment in a kind of angry confusion. Then I ask myself: “Do those idiots think I really give a good damn?”

Here I am, after a restless sleep sired by tax hikes; stock market crashes; an evaporation of my life’s savings; the dissolution of the world’s banking industry; political campaigns in which neither side tells the truth or admits to any wrong; news media that have become propaganda organs for pressure groups; an impending terrorist-driven Armageddon; city, county, state, and national governments reeking from corruption and moral and criminal irresponsibility; and they think I will be entertained, heartened, by salacious reports of Hollywood tramps and their latest debaucheries?

It’s as if the suits at two of my three main internet service providers, actually believing that 99% of their customers are drooling teenage sex addicts, have instructed their web managers to find the dirtiest stuff they can run without getting the stockholders mad. “And if you can’t find anything that day, make it up and lead off with it, with stock pix, to be sure our users know that we’re where it’s at, that there ain’t nobody cooler than we are. We’re coo-o-o-o-o-ol! See?”

I understand their need to appeal to young audiences as the wave of their present and future income dollar. I understand their consequent fixation on gossip and fluff — material doted on by the teenage masses and the middle-aging throngs who have never grown up. I understand their need to compete; they are business people, and they must keep their eyes on how their rivals are splashing around in the cash flow.

But what I don’t understand is how they can so easily forget me and the hundred gazillion other grownup breadwinners who need their services for serious purposes and don’t want their noses rubbed in the daily dirt.

It’s axiomatic that no human being on earth is without some fault, some level of rottenness. In recognition of that melancholy fact, the various civilizations that benchmark the span of world history have each adopted rules of public conduct meant to restrain or contain the wretched excess lurking in hoi polloi. It’s no news that each civilization has eventually failed, thanks to the insidious spread of fatal self-indulgence and greed, and it’s certainly no news that our present-day “civilization” is on the cusp of a similar collapse. What else but calamitous failure can be expected from a decaying culture that lionizes cheats and liars and dopehead fornicators and felons?

Lest anyone accuse me of being fossilized in the ancient culture of 50 years ago, I’ve remained fully awake and have watched directly — and with no little alarm — the erosion of the folkways and mores and rules of decent conduct in the United States, the Isles, and Continental Europe to a state where they make Caligula’s Rome look like a junior high school Halloween party. Moreover, I have always readily acknowledged that with each new generation comes change, new points of view, different attitudes, so no one can accurately label me as an immutably Victorian Goody-Two-Shoes.

But those who want labels can label me as One Ticked-off Dude.

Why? I’ll tell you why:

If the booboisie wants to roll in the gutter mud, that’s its privilege. But to those people who run internet service providers, I say, Do whatever you must to spare me the slop-over. Set up special links to chat rooms and forums where those who hunger for the latest on Tillie Toothsome’s venereal problems, or Thad Schmuck’s yearning to bed his agent’s wife, or Congressman Eely’s romance with an Old House Office Building janitor can feed their supercilious voyeurism to the point of glut. Meanwhile, stop, you hear me? Just plain-old, damn-old stop throwing that revolting crap in my face while I’m having my morning coffee and maneuvering my way into my workday.

* * *

Update on The Ace:

A note to those who have expressed interest in my new historical novel: I’ve signed a contract with Blackstone Audio Books, the renowned pace-setter in the electronically recorded literature industry, and once a professional actor has been engaged to read the story, The Ace will go into production and the audio tapes will be ready for international distribution early next year.

Ironic, eh? I’m nearly stone deaf, myself.

Jack

Copyright © 2008 by Jack D. Hunter.  All rights reserved.  No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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