Tales of the leaders and issues they lead us to notice

Maureen Dowd comments on the father-son saga.

Not that the monarchy works any differently. But what is unforeseen are the kind of media coverage and the generated public attachment.

Mugs, t-shirts, books, dvds, calendar, greeting cards, cartoons, slogans, billboards, and op-ed columns. Bush family is the singularly most desisted in the history. Despite the junior’s thumping victory for the second term.

Who enjoys the mud the most? Ones who love getting dirty. And apparently the political system’s internal contradictions of having an elected president who is so much abhorred publicly (for no direct fault of his, he is being blamed for Iraq war to the unemployment problems at domestic scene) is being mistaken for a victory of the system!

No wonder, the Prez is happy as ever (as the story goes, as jubilant as his Dad). After all, the system that masquerades as democracy and in actual, functions as a governing body of the rich is winning the applauds of the day.

Two events come to mind immediately: media covers on Natalee Holloway and lack of media attention on gas price hike. So long as it affects a rich family, the media as we know have gone far overboard with Holloway (with 297,000 google search finds—this blog makes it one more). The gloss and the luster of it attracts so much attention that for some uncritical thinkers (ah, thanks to Fox, their numbers are multiplying by the minutes) the news becomes legitimate. Similarly, the gloss attached to the freedom-loving presidents who go on vacation and play golf in times of crisis that they create for news value is accepted by many as legitimate democratic exercise of good humor.

Three days back, I noticed the despair largely writ on the face of a fellow passenger who was trying to tell me that we should do something about the price rise of gas. After all, the night before it was 2.36 and now it was 2.61. I could sense his frustrations and I agreed that unless people organizedly protest against the monopolistic rises in price, one will not see the end of it (I have seen the prices exactly more than double within the last two years). And when I got off, I knew neither of us was kidding. But neither of us was being effective either. The issue we were deliberating was being seen as non-issue, not meant for editorial tables of the day. After all Iraq war is interesting, not its aftermaths (one of the excuses for price rises). That was not one of the stories to be written by the columnists or staff writers.

The happy-go-lucky political systems are like the celebs themselves. Walking on the red carpet is so alluring that they must need to overlook the people who put together that carpet for them. And for now, democracy talk allows the golfers-presidents to reign.

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Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

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