We Didn’t Know
If, like us, you don’t watch much television and, therefore, effectively shield yourself from the indignities of all the marketing/messaging/propaganda used to sell products and “lifestyles,” when you come face-to-face with the fire-breathing beast, your ignorance of Basic Ideas might take your breath away.
It did ours. We were forced from our hermetically sealed cave not long ago in search of a small piece of hardware for an art project. While wandering through the Avenues of Commerce, we “watched” a little TV during a short wait for expert assistance. Seldom have we felt so stupid.
Like, we didn’t know that the surest way to earn a woman’s adoration, devotion, and abiding love – the kind of love that can be communicated with one radiant smile – is to present her with a sparkly pebble.
We didn’t know that the most comprehensive health crisis – pandemic levels, it seems — facing American males is erectile dysfunction. We also didn’t know that sitting in separate his-and-hers bathtubs is a strong indication that “the moment is right.”
We didn’t know that donning a military uniform and having the humanity leached from your soul makes every man and woman who does so a hero. We also didn’t know that roaring fighter jets buzzing NFL stadiums are indicators of patriotism.
We didn’t know that an automobile company is able to sell cars to a certain demographic seeking “aggression in its most elegant form.” (Fighter jets being one of its impure forms.)
We didn’t know that it was still possible to market disease-causing, health-destroying comestibles as “fun food.”
We didn’t know that Exxon/Mobil takes care of our collective energy needs because it cares about human beings and the planet. We also didn’t know this about Chevron and BP, who are, it seems, Community Partners of the highest order, “conscientiousness in its most elegant form” you could say.
We didn’t know that certain drugs proven to impair cognition and function and to cause car accidents when users drink them (quite legally) are actually an important part of a complete life – so long as they are enjoyed “responsibly.” That is to say: “Manage your impairment expertly.” We didn’t know that getting drunk is considered a respectable American activity.
We didn’t know that banks still believe that their customers are unaware that all they are to the bank is a potential revenue stream.
We didn’t know that there’s always a justification for killing unarmed black men.