My American Dream

I saw on the news the other morning a story about two young men in Texas. I was writing as I listened to it, so I didn’t look up to see the story at first, but I always like to see video from Texas so I took a break and watched.

The two young men had seen a woman in a car, and she mouthed the words “Help Me”. They thought something looked suspicious so they called 911 and kept the car in sight until the police could arrive. The woman had been kidnapped at gunpoint, and was rescued by the police. The driver of the car she was in is in custody.

I thought it was a nice story of two responsible teenagers, and some beautiful footage of Texas, then they showed the two friends, and you could tell they were quite good friends by their body language. One was white, the other black. In rural Texas. Stuff your stereotypes about Texans, wankers of America.

I was driving down to the shore later, and passed through Lakewood, New Jersey. A quiet little town along route 9, medium income from the looks of it. I stopped for gas, civilians are not allowed to pump gas in New Jersey so the station owner, a friendly Pakistani gentleman filled the tank. As I drove on I noticed that there was a very large Hasidim presence. It was Rosh Hashana, and there were cute kids in their black suits and hats, due to the holiday they were everywhere. There were other people around to, Whites, Hispanics, Blacks going in and out of the little strip malls, a huge synagog across the corner from a Catholic hospital. Everyone just getting on with life.

I know there are plenty of wankers out there, there are plenty who think hate is funny, spreading their hate with joy. There is hate in every corner of  the world, a great deal of uninformed prejudice. Miserable people who can only share their misery, who spew hatred without thought, but are the first to take offense at anything. I think of the words of Aunt Em in the Wizard of Oz when it comes to them, “Almira Gulch, for twenty-three years I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now…well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!”

The rest of us are just getting on with life.

National Public Radio posts stories on Facebook, with a link back to their website. It’s typically the case that the comments on the Facebook posts are by people who didn’t click the link and read the article, they’ve made up the article for themselves from the headline. On the National Public Radio site, while there is a standard deviation, most comments are intelligent and thoughtful, and conversations result in one or both parties learning something new. I tend to look at the differences the same article can generate as directly related to the media in which they are seen. The Facebook crowd by and large can’t handle more than a headline, those that can handle reading the entire story speak on the National Public Radio site.

Those wankers who can only handle the headline, and not always understand it, are not the majority. They are the loudest. They stand out because they’re wankers. It’s the only thing even remotely interesting about them.

The rest of us are much more boring. People getting along with each other just doesn’t sell papers. So the news media presents this view of America as a bunch of wankers. Being isolated as they are from society, I’m sure the media types really believe that it is a representative sample of America. And the wankers watching are reaffirmed that it is they who are normal. Thus, Honey Boo Boo.

There will always be racism, it is human to be wary of differences. This is an evolutionary trait, sickly and deformed infants were killed, and their genes went with them. Today they get a cable series. But the enlightened human learns that they don’t need to kill the tribe next door because they wear funny hats. Morgan Freeman has said, “The best way to end racism is to stop talking about it”. Not talking about it doesn’t end racism, but it does end racists.

I think we’re doing a lot better than the media lets on. The wankers will see what they want to see, instead of what is really happening, so why talk about them? This dream is coming true.


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