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It’s a commonplace that we live amid a communications revolution. With the Internet and smartphones, a few keystrokes propel a person’s views—however sublime, salacious or ridiculous—reverberating around the globe. Which, if you spend two minutes on Facebook, you know is doomed.
What to do in an epoch of disproportionality, wherein any and every event, no matter how minuscule in the grand scheme, is so politicized as to portend the end of the world (allegedly)? How does one live seated front row in an amped-up age where Nigel Tufnel reigns, for instantaneously everything “goes to 11”?
Well, you go insane right after you go deaf—if, from time to time, you don’t tone down, turn off and tune out the media’s incessant, interminable claptrap.
This week, I did. It felt good. I’ll do it again.
Yeah, I know what happened—not for lack of trying, but because it was inescapable. But I didn’t need to subject myself to the caterwauling class histrionically “interpreting” events for me ad nauseam. Usually, they’re wrong, and they spin it to make themselves look sharp and their political slants seem straight. No thanks. You know what they say on the carnie circuit: “Hey, kid, if the Tilt-a-Whirl makes you dizzy, get off before you puke.”
Sound advice, as is the dictum to never upset a heavily tattooed Tilt-a-Whirl operator wielding a chain for some abstruse reason.
Come now, in parsing the week’s news, did one really need the self-righteous screeds of self-anointed secular “saviors” to divine:
- Sexual harassment and sexual assault are morally and legally wrong—period.
- Murder is a mortal sin and capital crime, and no law enforcement agency has a clue as to the motive behind the largest mass shooting in American history.
- Increasing the supply of health care to meet rising demand will stabilize and reduce its cost.
- The problem is North Korea being hell-bent on obtaining the capacity to launch a nuclear attack on the United States; the problem is not the United States and her allies’ determination to prevent it.
- One cannot cut a good deal with a rogue regime that screams “Death to America!”
- When athletes kneel during the national anthem, whether one is for or against it, everybody’s got a right to bitch. Now what?
As that answer is elusive, I predict they’ll keep bitching about everything under the sun at the top of their lungs which, again, go to 11. As for me, I refuse to go deaf listening to them—that I’d rather do digging The Who’s “Live at Leeds” blaring through my old school headphones.
But of paramount importance in muting the maddened crowd is the distance: one must make time to step back from life’s complex mosaic to grasp at “the big picture.” Only then can we begin to glean an answer to the question, Now what?—and envision the means to achieve a more perfect union of our nation and a more pacific world.
Bluntly, no one ideologically blinded within an insular political world can view—let alone improve—the real world. For true joy, understanding and inspiration remain where Wordsworth found it—real life:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze…
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
With that, to any wags out there who cattily cite the irony that, by writing this piece, I’m joining my voice to the cacophonous chorus cursing the darkness of daily events, I say:
I’m toned down, tuned out, turned off . . . and dancing with the daffodils.
Former U.S. House Republican Policy Committee Chair, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter, is an American Greatness Contributor; and Author of the novel Nain Rouge Blues
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