Mavericks, Mobs and the Cameras That Love Them

By allowing the seething minority of hate-filled sociopaths to vent their anti-Obama fury via constantly televised exposure, the media itself is poised for a plummet not unlike the tumbling economy and the people's collective distrust in its now comically corrupt government.

Violent, froth-flecked outbursts are the media's latest fetish and---true to form--the spewers themselves love a lens the way a seal loves a tossed fish. What other entities can simultaneously condemn and exploit the basest, most self-destructive of human instincts (aside from John McCain himself) other than the news/entertainment outlets which have a decidedly low-brow corporate slant on information dissemination? The fomenting of anti-intellectualism and barely controlled hatred in a cornered and confused demographic is no different than shouting "Fire!" in a home for unrepentant pyromaniacs. McCain and Palin's fear mongering and xenophobic shit-stirring is the stuff of beer hall putsches and the cameras are trained on them steadier than the ones mounted on tripods at the rear of a Portland bookshop on C-Span. It's no different than TMZ waiting to catch Britney shaving some part of herself or Paris texting her parole officer. But much worse than such shallow reportage about pop culture clods, the news media is purposefully setting up a political Armageddon in the form of the cultural showdown between Obama and his Hopers and McCain and his Haters. Potentially sky high drama, sky high ratings and sky high casualties.

And the hysterical hecklers themselves? Since politics has about he same credibility as a Jerry Springer installment, the yahoos, bigots and trogs who yell "Off with his head!" and "Kill him!" and then immediately take umbrage at the idea that civilized Americans would condemn their behavior just love the attention. It gives them a visceral high as spiked as when they huff WD-40 from their favorite brown paper bag. It provides the illusion that they matter, even if it only for a moment, leaving their mark on the world before they vanish into the ether not by helping humanity or contributing to society, but by linking arms with the same mentality that chains a man to the bumper of a truck and drags him through the streets to his death.

And yet, there seems to be a quiet, collective resistance to all the bleating, all the raree. It is as patient as the Democratic nominee himself during the debates, cool and collected while observing Mac launch his sputtering attacks, each salvo falling to the floor with a hollow thud. It's the smart tactic and potentially shows how Obama will govern even the ungovernable mob being stoked by the Republican ticket and the media itself: by reeling out enough rope for the lynchers to hang themselves.

It's appointment viewing!