Isn’t that the chorus of our binge watching lives now? I’m not going to start bashing you for binge-watching Breaking Bad on Netflix now. I’m guilty as anyone else when it comes to the entertainment glut we’ve conditioned ourselves to. I do remember a simpler time when I watched maybe a half hour or hour of cartoons in the afternoon after school and three or four hours of cartoons on Saturday morning but he rest of my waking and unstructured time was dedicated to playing in the dirt, climbing trees, and pretending to save the universe from evil.
When I was younger I watched TV and movies to stoke my imagination. I most often built on what I saw in my mind and that fueled my play. These days I watch House of Cards (damn Kevin Spacey!) and Designated Survivor to distract me from the real world. When I want a more effective escape I watch sci-fi and fantasy or Vikings.
The drama playing out in America today is too intense, too real, and in some ways even too unbelievable. I was a Never Trump person. I didn’t like Donald J. in his ten second appearance in Home Alone 2. I didn’t care to ever watch The Apprentice. It was the antithesis of what I believe good entertainment to be. And it portrays the most crass of human behaviors and desires. But I digress…
When I was active with this blog before I professed to be a political independent. Technically that’s not true, though at heart I still am. I’m not a Democrat and hate Trump; I hate Trump and became a Democrat. Though as this tax bill travesty plays out I’m becoming more and more staunch in my allegiance. While I abhor the two-party system, the reality of wanting to make a difference has cornered me into picking a side. In the end I just couldn’t associate myself with the GOP. I realize at the national level there’s probably not much difference between a democratic Congressperson and a republican one.
The difference for me is that at the local level—I can speak first hand in rural Appalachia anyway—that ordinary, everyday people who identify as democrats tend to be less radical and irrational than their rightwing counterparts. In all honesty I prefer the company of people, who like me for so long, just travel down the middle of the road and don’t hug the ragged edges.
What troubles me the most at this juncture in human history is that it’s hard to know what to believe. It’s hard to know what’s real and what’s reality TV. I can believe Donald Trump and his confederates would loot the country for their own gain. That’s not hard to believe. What I find concerning is that I have trouble trusting even his most vehement opponents. Are they truly outraged that justice and mercy are being suspended in an orgy of greed or do they just want to run the orgy themselves?