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B. Jeffrey Madoff Headshot

Mind Rape

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"I haven't been feeling well for a while." The doctor's office had a faint smell of rubbing alcohol and Lysol. "I get headaches, am easily agitated, feel frightened and aggressive. I have spasms of energy, then experience an overwhelming sense of dread and get exhausted."

The doctor pulled out the thermometer. "You don't have a fever."

"Why did you take my temperature that way?"

"It saves time -- you can't answer questions with a thermometer in your mouth." He pulled off his latex gloves with a loud snap. "A lot of people have been complaining about the same symptoms. When did you first notice those feelings?"

"A sense of dread came over me a couple weeks before Thanksgiving."

"The holidays are often a difficult time for people."

"It's not that, I actually enjoy the holidays."

"Think about what else was going on then, what else might have triggered it." He said with a wink, "I'll betcha can come up with it."

The headache pains came back. "You betcha" echoed in my head like a chant. "Palin's book was released." I blurted. "She was everywhere: television, newspapers, radio and on-line. I couldn't avoid her. The media was penetrating my skull. Fox News showed huge crowds lined up to buy her book, Going Rogue."

The only thing going rogue was the truth. The crowd footage shown with the report was from a 2008 McCain Palin political rally, not people lining up to buy her book. Fox called it "a production error." This was just a little more than a week after Sean Hannity of Fox News showed large crowds allegedly protesting health care reform, which were actually crowds from a rally that took place last summer. Hannity apologized for "an inadvertent mistake". Aren't all mistakes inadvertent? That is like a hit and run driver who apologizes if they get caught."

The doctor nodded knowingly, "Then what happened."

"Thanksgiving. Will Palin invite Levi to dinner? Will Jon and Kate be together for the holidays? Who cares? That kind of stuff used to be limited to supermarket tabloids and entertainment shows -- now it's on the news. You can't avoid it. It's everywhere, like it is something we need to know."

Tiger Woods, a young hyper-talented, hyper-pampered, hyper-money making athlete makes more than a hole in one. His affairs are popping up like quicksand traps in his previously hyper manicured and managed image. One of his mistresses is upset because she is not only the other woman, she is another woman, becoming a face in the crowd faster than she can cash in on her own fame, like the one who said "he is very well endowed," like the one who is a porn star, you get the idea.

Woods is not a politician, financier or someone who is violating the public trust -- he is a professional golfer. The trust he has violated is that of his wife, Nike who invested millions to create the pristine image he just destroyed and the public who bought into that fantasy. No wonder celebrities go crazy, the bright lights turn to kryptonite, ultimately weakening them in the eyes of the media that built them up in the first place.

I paced the room, feeling both angry and defiant, "As one celebrity tries to maintain their privacy, Tareq and Michaele Salahi are desperately trying to become celebrities by crashing a White House party. The media helps them achieve their goal by endlessly discussing the story."

The doctor put down his clipboard. "You're suffering from "M.R."

"What's M.R.?"

"Mind Rape," he continued, "It's the unwanted penetration into your consciousness by aggressive and relentless means. The media has gotten very good at it. It was initially used as a technique to break down prisoners of war. Advertising modified the techniques by adding pretty pictures, music and constant repetition. Politicians and the media have adopted those ideas, which is why news stories now have graphic titles and theme music. All this toxic and useless information weakens your immune system making you susceptible to the next wave of whatever is being hyped."

"What about health care or the war in Iraq or Afghanistan or the economy or unemployment or education or --"

"Those require way too much work. You actually need to be well informed to have a viable opinion on those issues. How often does the average person get to feel superior to someone like Tiger Woods? Or part of a popular movement that requires no critical thought? Those opportunities are hard to pass up."

Maybe the Salahi's will crash a Palin book signing, if they can get past the huge crowds of women who had an affair with Tiger Woods.