Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Top 10 Searches for 2008 | The Best Article Every day

As far as I'm concerned, there is no hope for our society. Only one entry on the top 10 searches for 2008 has anything to do with news, current events, or politics- Barack Obama. And that's as much due to his snazzy marketing campaign and branding than anyone being genuinely interested in his policy positions. Here's the list:

  1. Britney Spears
  2. WWE
  3. Barack Obama
  4. Miley Cyrus
  5. Runescape
  6. Jessica Alba
  7. Naruto
  8. Lindsey Lohan
  9. Angelina Jolie
  10. American Idol
Seriously, please take a moment and think about the state of affairs in a country where more people are interested in what's going on with a drugged up, psychotic, redneck single mother that used to have a singing career than anything else. We're not concerned about the thousands of dead Americans in Iraq (4,207 at latest count- for what?), we're not concerned with our war in Afghanistan, we're not concerned with economics, or politics, or art, or justice. We're concerned about celebrities, fake wrestling and what's else is on TV. We're depraved, and a civilization like this is in its last stages. We're fiddling and dancing around while Rome burns. We live in the kind of country where a seasonal Walmart employee would get callously crushed to death beneath the feet of consumer zombies.

But it's not just our common vulnerability to mob psychology that ties the rest of us to last week's tragedy. It is also our common love of stuff. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a starker illustration of our true priorities. Oh, we pay lip service to other things. We say children are a priority, but when did people ever press against the door for Parents' Night at school? We say education is a priority, but when did people ever bang against the windows of the library? We say faith is a priority, but when did people ever surge into a temple of worship as eagerly as they do a temple of commerce?

No, sale prices on iPods, that's our true priority. Jdimytai Damour died because too many of us have bought, heart and soul, into the great lie of American consumerism: acquiring stuff will make you whole. ''You, Happier,'' is how a sign at my local Best Buy puts it. As if owning a Jonas Brothers CD, an Iron Man DVD, a Sony HDTV, will elevate you to a level of joy otherwise impossible to attain. Hey, you may be a total loser, may not have a friend, may not have an education, may not have a job, may not have a clue, but it will all be OK as soon as you get that new Canon digital camera, especially if you get it for 50 percent off.

It would be nice to think -- I will not hold my breath -- that Damour's death would lead at least some of us to finally see that for the obscene lie it is, to realize that seeking wholeness in consumer goods is an act of emptiness, not joy.

You, Happier? No.

Just you, with more stuff.

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