Wag the Dog’s Scaredy Pants Theme
Posted by politicalpartypooper on February 16, 2010
I watched one of my favorite political satires again last night. Wag the Dog stars Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman, and is about a scandal just before a Presidential election, and how DeNiro schemes with Hoffman to keep that scandal off of the front page by inventing a crisis in Albania. As the movie progresses, the crisis continues to unfold while Americans are inundated with patriotic songs and news flashes about a conflict between Albania and the US.
I love this movie because DeNiro and Hoffman are brilliant together, but I love it even more for its blatant insult to the American sheeple complex. Many have argued that the Tail is government and the dog is the media, but I think it’s pretty obvious that the Dog in this movie is an American public that believes whatever it sees on television. As DeNiro repeatedly says throughout the movie, “I saw it on TV. It must be true.”
I saw it on TV. Hmm.
If you are an American, and you watch Cable News, do you believe everything you see or hear? If Keith Olbermann rants in one of his hour-long special comments about how all TeaBaggers are racist, do you believe him? If Sean Hannity says that President Obama is a communist and has a radical agenda aimed at turning America into USSR-west, do you buy it?
One of the prevalent themes of this movie is that the more fearful a suggestion is, the more readily it is accepted, so long as it was on TV. To say nothing of actual events taking place in our world right now, isn’t it obvious to you that your elected officials, and your talking heads are wagging the dog? They wag us, the people, constantly, with their far left or far right accusations, their twenty-four hour news cycle, and their incessant betrayal of common (or uncommon) journalistic integrity. Today’s truth is nothing more than the loudest voice with the biggest audience , and every network is competing to have that largest audience, and every talking head is competing to be that voice.
Today, that voice is telling us that Democrats are reeling, Republicans are obstructing, Iran is evil, Global Warming is true, Global Warming is a hoax, Wall Street bad, Main Street good, our way of life is threatened by a few thousand terrorists, lobbyists just want to be your friend, Green is good, oil is bad, death panels, government takeovers, Haiti is an apocolypse, South Pacific Islands are sinking, one day there might not be any more winter, America is fat, Beef is causing global warming, America’s economy is about to collapse, record snowfalls are called Snomageddon, hurricanes are hunting us and are getting bigger, glaciers are melting, CO2 is bad, the ocean is polluted beyond repair, there’s no more clean water, we’re running out of oil, coal is evil, nuclear is dangerous, wind is good unless it is a tornado…then it’s bad, smokers are evil people, aliens are controlling us, the Bilderburg Group wants to control the world, dairy is bad, eating grass is good, fish are polluted but we need more protein, and on and on and on it goes.
If you look at that list (and I assure you, I could keep it growing for a long time), everything on there is based on fear. The Media of America, and our elected officials, along with scientists and big business executives are vying for the attention we give to anything that frightens us. The Tail is fear, and we are the dog. “They” are controlling us through our irrational fears.
When did we become such Scaredy-pants?