THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Myth Understood

Americans like their approximations of reality.

We have Las Vegas, which forsook its original cultural identity for amusement park approximations of Paris, New York and ancient Egypt; gigantic malls which are commercially driven approximations of the town square; Fox News, which purports to be a fair and balanced news organization but which is in reality a virtual turkey baster filled with Roger Ailes' hate spunk.

And Zeus knows Americans love their myths, from skinny Jewish guys who walk on water to B movie actors who become doddering but avuncular presidents. Our nation may not manufacture much in the way of useful, highly demanded goods anymore but it can certainly spin the greed of straw men into myths of fool's gold (I just had a mixed metaphor stroke. Get me my medication. What? You're counting the fact that I failed English as a pre-existing condition? Forget it, then.).

And it's looking more and more like we have an approximation of a hopeful presidency. Of course, it doesn't help anyone with a desire to improve and/or change the rickety status quo to be under 24 hour assault from right wing gremlins. When the Reps lost -- and lost big -- their trauma was such that their moral facade cracked and their bitter hearts burst, revealing the berserkers within. Rage overrode the last vestiges of civility and the vanquished quasi-conservatives went to DefCon 5.

Still, one good thing the Republicans have accomplished, albeit accidentally, is the lifting of the veil from the big, ugly machine of American democracy. The heck with making sausage. This is what you call ugly.

Because even the sainted Obama and his liberal justice league couldn't hide the realization that the government is but another approximation. A facade. A myth spun by corporate PR people. And the sickening truth is: that's how it's been for some time.

The bilious bickering that passes for discourse lately is grand guignol, a theatrical presentation, a flimsy high tech dumb show which doesn't begin to describe the state of our disunion. And to watch our latest creation, the embodiment of renewed hope in the form of our youthful, wise, articulate, able, facile president and his canny team be revealed as only the latest in a revolving cast of characters who approximate public servants, is nothing less than devastating to this hopeful citizen. Or the answer as to why Law and Order has stayed on the air for so long.

If we only approximate Democracy, if we only exist from myth to myth, then the truth of how we need to live as Americans, as well as the fulfillment of our destiny as human beings, will remain a concept as elusive as the betterment of a nation racked by decades of greed and division seems to be.

And that would be a mythtake.