As the day of 6/6/6 ended, people around the globe breathed a sigh of relief when Beelzebub did not manifest himself on earth. There were anxious moments, however, when a nervous nation watched the "Today" show and saw a guest dressed in black whining about widows and orphans. Fortunately, she wasn't the devil. Just a wannabe.
Poor Matt Lauer, again trying to interview a celebrity who's having a nervous breakdown before our eyes. Again belittled by his subject, though not for being "glib" this time, but "testy."
Like most of the sane world, I've been trying hard to think about how to deal with the latest self-promotional book-selling rant from the Radical Right's fair damsel. The difficulty with this challenge isn't what you think - it's not figuring what to say (after all, the same response occurred to all humanity), rather it's trying to actually grasp the concept that this individual comes from the same life force as the rest of us. Though I'm not quite convinced of that yet (my own belief is that she's an offshoot of the peanut family), I do understand that most evidence does point to homo sapiens.
So, I gave it a lot of thought. Well, okay, not a lot, but a lot compared to how much air space the peanut deserves. Four seconds to crack the shell, two seconds to get rid of that papery skin, a second to confirm that it's a peanut inside, and two more to throw everything away. Nine seconds.
What I came up with was: the problem isn't the peanut, it's putting the peanut on television.
Yes, okay, we know why she gets on the air. Because supposedly she makes "good television." Though this is "good television" like "Temptation Island" was good television. If the FCC wants to fine networks $250,000 for bad taste, this is as fine a place to start. Putting someone on television just because you know they'll say something ghoulish is hardly exercising adult judgment. That's third grade territory: goading Billy to stick a worm up his nose. If it's not okay to show a boob on television, certainly this should qualify.
People across America are aghast at her words. Fair enough, but save at least some of that indignation for those who knew she'd say them and gave her a microphone to do so. They know better; they know what they're doing. If they did it inside a crowded theater, they'd be arrested.
She's trying to sell books. She'll say anything that pops out of one of her orifices. They're trying to start a public riot by yelling, "Fire!" for a lark.
It's one thing to put arsonists on in order to expose them to public scrutiny. It's another spread the kerosene yourself, hand them a match, and after the inferno explodes, say, as did Mr. Lauer, "Always fun to have you here."
Not giving such people a platform isn't censorship. No one has the constitutional right to appear on television. That's why God created program directors. And brains. And hearts and souls.
We've reached a point where television thinks that two sides of every issue are the same. Maybe they think they're being fair; mainly they like creating controversy. But if a renowned expert is discussing the ramifications of the world spinning on its axis, you don't have to bring in someone claiming the world is actually flat. It diminishes the issue. It diminishes us all.
Not everything is a debate. What the peanut said isn't a debate. In all honesty, if someone said to you, "In 15 seconds, 80 million prairie dogs will fall from the sky in paratrooper gear to battle tuna for control of the undersea world"...would you debate them?? What would you ask? "How could the commando marmots shoot under water?"
This isn't a debate. This is the sort of thing so ghastly that even unthoughtful people get it. Some things just inherently make humanity cringe.
That's what's so reprehensible when people who should know better pander. People who know better have it in them to do better. They're supposed to aspire to more. That's what grows society.
Yes, people will always feel the need to argue with something that makes their head hurt. However, all the next times when the peanut says something about eating babies and drinking the blood of Mexicans, with her eyes spinning wildly and a little bit of spittle drooling down her shell, there's always the likelihood that people will realize that if she has no one to argue with, she'll be forced to sit there alone with only her own toxic thoughts eating away at her until she corrodes.
In that same meantime, perhaps networks will also recognize that you are what you eat. And just because you stick a microphone in front of whatever you found in the gutter, doesn't mean it has anything to say.