Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Love/Hate


Watch CBS News Videos Online

The boy is right -- seems like everyone either loves or hates the president -- no middle ground. But unlike the way people either love or hate coconut, opinions swing wildly. I don't know if that reflects the fact the president is a moving target (unlike the flavor of coconut which remains pretty much the same and as long as you keep it away from my chocolate, I'm not going to pick up a sign and start marching on its hairy head). Or maybe it is more reflective of the fact that not only is the middle class evaporating, so is that wide swath that used to be called the middle ground. And that's not limited to politics.

No one is ever mildly annoyed. They are either jumping for joy or mad enough to rip someone's head off, blustering around like some kind of Tanzanian devil. It's like our whole society has plunged into into a perpetual state of adolescence, wildly mood swinging through events until manic has become the new normal. Too much TV? Too many shoot your way to conflict resolution video games? Have pumped up World Federation of Wrestling Neanderthals winning through prat falls and intimidation become our role models for building community?

Whatever. Drama queens (and kings) are no longer the isolated firecrackers they once were. Attention seeking behavior has become routine and any activity is justified, whether it is eating bugs or scaring the socks off of someone, if it brings you a little fame. Where do you go next when fame and infamous collide?

I would hope people talk about this fourth grader and his question to the president, but they probably won't. He didn't kick him in the shins, throw a tantrum, or threaten Obama in any way. He left that kind of behavior to the grown-ups. He just posed a question, politely asking. He waited for a response. He listened as if he really wanted to know instead of counting the seconds to a zinger comeback.

Good kid. Good question. But not such good T.V.

1 comment:

Lee Ann Spillane: said...

Thank you, Sara, for the thoughtful post. Where do we go next when fame and infamy collide? I hear a poem here and I'm listening.