Mai 30 2012
I have been targeted recently with quite a few emails allegedly from Joe Biden or Michelle Obama, hustling me to donate “as little as five dollars” to the President’s re-election campaign fund and in return my name will be entered into a sweepstakes drawing of a lucky winner who will then “get to eat dinner with the first family” or lap up some other crumb to thrill the little people. I figure they’ll count the spoons before I get out of the White House, so why invite trouble?
I confess that the whole business of buying into a raffle for a moment with the rich and powerful to wow my friends is too distasteful even for me. I am pretty sure that he and Michelle would not depart far enough from the scripted topics to hear me out on banking reform, for example, and I know that neither of them wants to meet me just because I’m me.
I got another email this morning… “For a limited time: $5 off Obama T-shirts”. I could never make this up. I even remember a time when campaign materials were distributed free… but that was a simpler time.
Now, as unsavory as are the flashing blue-light special on T-shirts and the lottery drawing for invitations to sup from the genuine presidential dinner service, on Friday night I detected the (as yet) rock bottom banal exploitation of presidential names. The names so far are of U.S. presidents, but stay tuned, I sense that no nation’s revered statesman is going to remain immune… not even those (perhaps, especially not those) who are no longer here to defend their integrity or express their unwillingness to be exploited for hackneyed sensationalism.
My son and I went to the movies on Friday night to watch the Avengers save the world from ET bad guys, little expecting to discover a greater (and all too real) irritation of terrestrial origin. One of the trailers for an upcoming blockbuster hit was for a film of such vile and base appeal that it challenges even my vile and base sensitivities: Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter ! I nearly went into convulsions, and I think I was a little too loud. Luckily for the sake of the others in the theater, I quickly descended into full-tilt apoplectic seizure that lasted until Scarlett Johansson appeared.
It seems to me that there are some things that one just shouldn’t need to say… as if there were a natural and universally shared notion of lines that should not be crossed.
But I guess it is not so. Vulgarity is simply boundless… and grows.
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