Media-fed fodder keeps us from making informed decisions
I needn’t go into the awful details of mad cow disease (spongiform encephalopathy) here. The vague and gory details are common knowledge. Common knowledge – that glue that keeps a well-informed democracy alive.
On Jan. 14, I was informed by experts, by way of local media, that my little mountain county was dibbied up a heapin’ helpin’ of that special Washington cow that apparently smuggled his mad cow goods across the border from Canada.
I was not informed by these experts which three of the very few restaurants in this area grilled up and served this angry bovine. There was nothing left to recall. We ate it. Now apparently, it is not in my best interest and that of the well-informed(?) populace to know if they or I might have munched a spongiform cheeseburger.
I am not selling the idea of vegetarianism, though I should. I am talking about democracy. How can we democratically make well-informed decisions if we’re not given the information about which we’re to be so democratic?
The experts? They say that’s it, end of story, carry on. And we should? “What company did this?” I say.
“You shouldn’t know, and you won’t.” they say.
This kind of nonreasoning is what passed the Patriot Act. Perhaps it could be said the theft of the White House by Georgie-boy employed such insane nonreasoning, as well. The Supreme Court handoff under the guise of an “election” still remains shrouded in mystery. Details vague. Democracy by a confused, baffled, lied to, “need-to-know” public is not choice-making. It’s bamboozling.
Like a steaming encephalosteak with fries, our decisions are made in some grubby, greasy backroom by people we can neither see, nor trust, and served to us ready-made. Those with a little more vigilance may bark up some trees, but we find nothing. Protecting corporate secrets, and all. Patents, libel, blah, blah. Or – national security. Impenetrable walls keeping us from knowing what we need to know in order to function as a well-informed democracy. It can barely be considered democratic at all.
I guess all I can do is sit back, support America by eating beef, vote for Arnold or George or Dick or martial law or whatever (they’ll let me know), and wait for my brain to turn into a sponge while sponging up the CNN approved-for-public-decision-making fodder.
Clay Taylor is a resident of Nevada City.
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