Help! I am drowning in hype.
I don’t know if you realize it, but today we are drowning in “hype” and like the sea its level and toxicity is rising every year.
Hype I should remind you, is the extravagant promotion of mediocre people, products or events that are supposed to be life altering.

Visual and audio pollution is already extremely annoying, but hype is advertising’s super bug. It is exceedingly virulent and so far the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have not come up with any effective vaccine against it.
As a temporary fix, it recommends the wearing of earplugs and gas masks, but there is no guarantee.

Not so long, it was the elections. If Obama (that Negro Muslim not born in America) were elected, we would turn into a Socialist hellhole like Cuba. We would have no choice but pack the car, grab the kids and run for Canada!

With elections thankfully behind us, we now have to cope with Thanksgiving and (ta-tah) BLACK FRIDAY. Hype is trumpeting that it will be smart to spend the night camping outside the store to save a few bucks.

Then Christmas (buy, buy, buy) and (drum roll) the FISCAL CLIFF.
If the Republicans and the Democrats don’t agree on fiscal reforms, America will certainly fall off the surface of the earth.
Then as an after-Christmas bonus, we have the SUPER BOWL (canon salvo). If you don’t buy tickets, you are un-American and deserve to die.

Before that contemporary baloney, we had YK, Year 1000 (Final Judgment Day). Since the end of the world is coming, give all your stuff to the Church to secure a spot in Paradise, or be ready to suffer the torments of HELL.

What about Y2K? Remember that one? In 2000, computers were supposed to go berserk and create panic throughout the civilized world.

Let’s not forget the unrelenting promotion of that insufferable Bieber kid (the new Golden Calf), and the semi-literate bimbo “Spooky Snooki”.

To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I am sending the following Tweet to Hype:
“Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like those as members”.

But hype seldom delivers what it promises. So, starting from now, disregard most of what you hear on radio and television, and to buck the commercial trend, indulge in complimentary, random acts of kindness.



Bible thumpers

I have access to at least a hundred TV channels, and some nights when I cannot sleep, I flip from channel to channel to find something to watch or to anesthetize me.
Invariably I come across the preachers; they are legions and judging by the crowds they minister to, they seem to be doing very well, thank you.

The preachers, (who, I don’t know why are mainly Southerners) endlessly quote the Bible and rhapsodize about Jesus. It always seems that they all knew him personally and are very familiar with his most inner thoughts.
Personally, I was never close to Jesus, but I understand that he was some kind of a do-gooder.

I have always been suspicious of do-gooders and I am not the only one. George Orwell said it better than I could when he wrote “Saints should always be judged guilty, until they are proved innocent”.
Saints make me uncomfortable. They are too… perfect. When I venture to compare myself to a saint, the gap if so frighteningly wide that I get dizzy just thinking about it.

But preachers feel comfortable with saints and have a very good and close relationship with Jesus. It seems that they were schoolmates or something like that. They know all about his life, where he was born, the kind of parents he had, the kind of pranks he used to play on his teachers, and most of all what he did and what he said.

I couldn’t be a preacher, because I have a bad memory and because I am so damn skeptical. Preachers casually mention that Jesus fed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread. Nobody in the audience blinks an eye. But myself, I feel a little dubious…
Preachers have written proof of what they say and two thousand years of history to fall back on. Me, what do I have?  A few copies of National Geographic. What they say and what they show in this magazine is closer to my line of thinking.

I think that it’s great that so many people find salvation listening to preachers, but as I said before, they (being so close to sainthood) make me feel uncomfortable and I quickly switch to “Everybody loves Raymond”, something I can relate to.


PS: I have found that preachers are very good at inducing sleep. So if you occasionally battle insomnia, put away those nasty little pills and tune in instead to those wonderful fellows who are such marvelous hypnotizers and storytellers.


Life in the wilderness

A long time ago, the “coureurs de bois” (runners of the woods) left the relative comfort of their homes and ventured into the wilderness for months at a time. They traveled long distances to buy pelts and trade with the natives.
During that time they were totally cut off from civilization, and amazingly they survived their harsh conditions and even thrived.

Today it is difficult to imagine anybody leaving home without a cell phone in his/her bosom.

In our day and age, the cell phone has become such an indispensable tool that many people cannot face the prospect of being “phoneless”, even for an hour.
They have this absolute need to feel “connected” or otherwise they will most certainly die.

But even when you carry a cell phone you can get cut off from civilization. There are many areas in the US where no phone signal is available and where it is impossible to get a “fonefix”.
This is a serious health problem and I think that the phone company should look into it.

Speaking for the silent majority, I think that Ma Bell should provide emergency stations along the way and allow oversensitive travelers to get a temporary fonefix to avoid dangerous withdrawal conditions.

We are so used to cell phones that it almost unthinkable of being deprived of it; especially teenagers who have an absolute need to fondle the thing regularly and send numerous very important messages to their peers.

When I was young, the worst punishment inflicted upon me was to deprive me of books or forbid me to go the local library.
Today a teenager’s worst punishment is to be denied his cellphone. Never mind the books.
Being phoneless is considered by the teen set to be a fate worse than death and deemed to be “unusual and cruel punishment”. And many parents will agree with this.

Last weekend I spent two days without being “connected” and amazingly I survived this ordeal without incurring any major trauma.
I even enjoyed it.

Even though I couldn’t bathe in the daily glory of my readers’ adulation, I felt a strange sense of peace surrounding me. Just like Adam must have felt in the Garden of Eden.

So even though being phoneless for a few days can be challenging, it is not deadly and with a little determination you can survive it.
Just be sure to carry some booze and a bible, and you’ll be all right.

I guarantee it.


PS: To look at pictures of this event, turn the sound on, click on the “Home” link at the top of the page, and click again on “My photos” located on the right side of the page.