“When someone tells you something defies description, you can be pretty sure he’s going to have a go at it anyway.”
Clyde B. Aster
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” So proclaims the older man standing in front of the controls of an odd contrivance displaying buttons, pull chains, spinning wheels, and various lights, gauges, and a small chimney. We are lost in the television world where much of our wisdom derives from. Our basic intelligence in this digital world is based on beliefs, and mores usually originates from older, seemingly significant gentlemen performing, metaphorically, the same tasks as the true Wizard of Oz.
This is offered as a harsh realization to have to swallow but, nevertheless, true. Yes there are many free thinkers in the world today, but not many original thinkers. Too much of the knowledge in the world comes from another’s opinion on what is right or wrong. Much of what is thought, believed, or reckoned comes from the crawl on cable news channels. We spend numerous hours mulling over the cacophony of images, sights, sounds, and faces we find in the news media and rarely take the evidence before us for what it is truly worth. A recent case in the media of a woman on trial for allegedly killing her child is a first rate example. It consumed the television for weeks. Television programs that had nothing to do with the case were interrupted to report on the latest happenings. Social networks were inundated with “sign this petition” or “Write your Congressman” links, I am sure the White House is still receiving requests for the President to intervene and send the monster to the executioner.
What is not seen is the transcript of the trial, and it should not be. We live in a land that guarantees us certain rights and those rights were not given with exceptions. They were given because the government at the time was acting in an illegal and immoral manner. Do we do the same because our quest for blood is stronger than the simple human decency our Constitution is in conflict with our desire to circumvent those privileges we would fight against the loss of? There were jurors that made that decision. People chosen from the poll of that women’s “Peers” who heard the testimony, listened to the lawyers, and came to a decision based on the instructions of the court and not somebody screaming through a bullhorn, or spouting legalese on CNN because they teach law at some college and they are lucky enough to be a consultant. Selfsame consultant should know that the ensuing falderal associated with the trial is the business of the trial and not the commerce of a ratings hungry news corporation.
Not that there is much to be done with this phenomenon. We are a bloodthirsty species. We revel in the bloodletting. How else can one explain the overwhelming need for all the violence in the world but to display it for the masses? We elect leaders that cannot get the job done, yet mask it in rhetoric and grandiloquence in order to give their constituencies that which they seek from their leaders…a good line of crap. We live in a country that was founded on great words written by our founding fathers that have little if any meaning in the world today, and undoubtedly had less when written. Who actually believes the “All men are created equal” myth? The man that wrote it was a slave owner, and the definition of a man at the time called for a man to be wealthy, white, and owner of land. All others, especially people of color, were considered three fifths of a man. How many are still considered that? What about our children? How many rights do they really have? Where is the rhetoric blaring out of the television about finding who really killed that child?
Using the miracle that is the World Wide Web cannot answer the question of the finding of the killer. Google and Yahoo, and Wikipedia have nothing about the search for justice where it comes to this child. What they have is reports on the cost of the trial. What they have is the offer Hustler magazine has given to the mother for nude pictures. What they have is a complete and total disregard for the principle of justice where it comes to Caylee Anthony. What they have is a wealth of Bumptious Bombastic’s that refuse to report or speak on anything that is not going to advance their own agendas.
The truth is that even in the face of the seemingly abhorrent lack of caring in the reporting of this case is the actuality that people really do care. There is compassion in America that calls for justice in this case. Unfortunately it is shrouded in the call for execution. We are a country of diversity and that diversity lends itself to a denial of compassion in the face of that selfsame consideration. We live in a world that has judges elected and law enforcement so jaded by the horror they see that there is a universal drive to issue the most rigorous of sentences to for that which we find appalling. Is justice about the killing of the criminal? It is if you listen to the crawl, if you listen to the “consultants,” if you listen to those who think the social media is the panacea for all of society’s wrongs.
Let’s go back to the older gentleman behind the curtain. The evidence of the reality of his position proved a revelation to the characters in the film. He was not the “All wise and wonderful OZ” he was a snake oil salesman who found himself in a pickle when one of his cons failed to work out as planned. He discovered himself in a strange land and took advantage of the situation. Sound like anyone you know?