We have now had 3,300 Americans killed in Iraq.
This is a gross under-estimate of the real casualty count, given that modern medicine brings so many wounded back home, disabled for life.
Dozens more are dieing in the cradle of civilization each day. (Sometimes hundreds.) To call the gap between reality and our leaders’ claims Orwellian is to abuse a fictional cliche. We’re now talking about an Andropov-in-Afghanistan gap. (That’s old Yuri Andropov himself to the left.) We’re heading for Tokyo Rose territory.
So what leads our media coverage this morning? The weather. No, really, it’s raining. And windy. And cold. And flights are being canceled. And water is rising over Long Island seawalls, like it did the last time it rained like this. Think that story is overdone? OK, MSNBC.com is featuring a piece on spouses who cheat.
This is long past ridiculous. Polls show that despite all the media happy talk, most of us feel the country is on the "wrong track," and have felt that way for some time.
The real political spectrum, the actual views held by actual Americans,
has swung far to the left in the last year. It might be because of
things like this, a chart showing who owns America. Nearly one-third of
America’s assets are held by 1% of us, 57% are held by the top 5% of
us, and 69% are held by the top 10% of us.
This is a Gilded Age wealth
distribution. When a nation is short on capital, this can actually make
sense — those with means supply the investment needed for growth. Ours
is not a capital short nation. A feudal distribution of income in a complex society which trumpets social mobility is a recipe for disaster.
And a disaster is just what we have.
The problem is, of course, that this doesn’t have anything to do with what should be our real problem, The War Against Oil. Neither does Al Qaeda (except as a casus belli), neither does the US Attorney scandal. These are distractions, really. They’re alligators. They are not the swamp.
But the U.S. media, which claims to be free (but is in fact highly corporatized) insists on going on-and-on about Don Imus, and other irrelevancies, as though they were meaningful — as though they were in fact the only reality.
Gil Scott-Heron’s song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," a piece that predated rap by nearly a decade, is now, finally, the God’s Honest Truth. Big changes are coming, and they are not being covered.
No, big changes aren’t coming. They’re here.