Friday, February 12, 2010


I'm sitting here in my apartment watching Charlie Rose interview the head of the Chamber of Commerce. I haven't bothered to remember the man's name. Suffice it to say he's male, white and old with the classic sidepart and expensive suit. Charlie and he then agreed on something that really crystallizes for me the massive problem we have in this country concerning the dialogue that is had by our politicians and media.

They were discussing the recession, how it's been the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. They then said that although things are still bad, we have managed to "avert disaster".

That's when I stopped working on my computer and looked up. Did they just say that? Of course they did.

In their minds, "we" averted disaster.

But just who is the "we" they speak of? Because last time I checked the numbers, there are somewhere between 40 and 50 million Americans living under or around the poverty line. Fifty million people who are malnourished, living in near-squalor and without any hope of finding a decent job that pays a living wage. And by living wage I mean living like HUMAN BEINGS, not animals.

But to this character from the illustrious Chamber and our Charlie, those people clearly do not count. They are the "insignificants", as Noam Chomsky has facetiously branded them. There is nothing facetious, however, in the way our supposedly "liberal" media talks about the economic crisis.

Next time you turn on the mainstream media, whether it be the networks or the cable news channels, keep an eye out for any talk of the real poor in this country when economists sit around a glass table discussing "the issues". You won't hear about them. Ten percent unemployment, they say? Not quite. Years ago, someone decided to stop including the people who've given up seeking employment when arriving at the percentages. If we were to actually INCLUDE the "insignificants", the abjectly destitute, NON-educated people with no connection to wealth or assets of any kind, that number would be substantially higher.

As long as we all stay in denial about the masses of people who live somewhere else, know someone else and are represented by nobody we want to hear from, their numbers will continue to increase.

The American society has become a giant fake movie set. Turn left instead of right, go through the wrong door, make the wrong move and suddenly you find yourself somewhere that tells you all the pretty dialogue and glamour really was just a facade and that the real story doesn't go quite the way they're selling it.

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