Saturday, October 04, 2008

An Effect of Television

The impression that we see them and they don’t see us. So the legislators can say they were deceived by the Bush administration about Iraq, even though the public informed them, loudly and unequivocally. The impression they are sealed in a glass bubble, a virtual world different from ours. The perpetual irony of television, watching over the shoulder of the heroine as she enters the dark alley where danger awaits, deaf to our screams, somehow has carried over onto the public’s relation to politics, faintly, irrationally, so that now Congress can claim they did not understand the Bush bailout, although it was explained in all the daily papers and on the internet and by their constituents when they called and emailed; they had to deliberately avoid having any hearings, to avoid inviting economists, to avoid letting even members of the financial industry give opinions on the Congressional record, inside the reality tv scenario where it cannot but become part of the story, part of what they can be held accountable for knowing. They exist in the isolated pseudoworld of a television show which penetrates our living rooms while not being penetrated in return – a television show unaware of us, except to display occasionally a self-consciousness of being watched from another plane of existence.

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