Monday, September 26, 2011


I have to confess: I'm a big fan of Fox. Twentieth Century Fox, that is. Three of my all-time favorite TV shows and countless movies come from there. I've been revisiting two of those shows recently, and as before they are terribly addictive. The lead character in The X-Files is named Fox, and the TVs in 24 often show Fox News as background.

Speaking of which... I hate Fox News. I hate it, not so much because it's a mouthpiece for the crazy wing of the right wing of the political “right,” but because it dares to call itself “news” when it clearly isn't. What's obvious to me now is that Fox News is really just entertainment masquerading as news. As entertainment, it's not bad at all: the actors are pretty good at what they do; heck, they routinely fool a huge number of people into thinking they do real news.

The addiction to honest entertainment has helped reduce stress enough so that the nerves around my herniated disc have finally healed. The bizarrely improbable exploits of Fox, Dana, Jack, and Chloe have allowed me to focus on work – which itself improbably assumes a scientifically and technologically advanced future – and helped cast the increasingly scary stories about climate change as something akin to an elaborate X-Files plot, which I can emotionally deal with in the same way.

If I don't think too hard, I can be almost convinced that the world is just hitting a little bump in the road, and all will be back to normal if we can just get business out of government. By the way, I've noticed that people on the right conveniently forget to call business in government by its rightful name: “corruption.” They also easily ignore the fact that businessmen-run-amok are the ultimate villains in 24, which they like for its us-versus-them plots.

While I remain convinced that the unfettered pursuit of personal power is the major contributor to the ills our planet faces, I'm under no illusion that ignorance of reality and understanding of the way the world really works aren't a close second. That's why I've been gradually reopening my eyes, which has included reading two books, “Our Dying Planet” by Peter Sale, and “Introduction to Permaculture” by Bill Mollison, the first dealing with the problem that pushed me toward what my culture considers normal, and the second dealing with one potential solution to that problem.

I'm only a few hours away from concluding the last season of 24, while in the real world I've been replacing critical stuff that's worn out over the years that I tried to get maximum wear out of everything I owned. I'm making progress on my novel, which is a good middle ground between dealing with fiction and reality – by using the fiction as I believe it should be used, as a simulation that illustrates an understanding of how the world works, and a mental exploration of how it might work or should work. I'll soon be “defoxified,” and once more, as Jack Bauer would say, “in the game.”

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes we all need an entertainment break from the dire reality of our times, and if that means hunkering down to watch X Files, so be it.

    BTW, I tried "reading" the Intro to Permaculture. It's more like an encyclopedia than a sit-down-and-read type book. I recommend Charles Eisenstein's "Ascent of Humanity." Well written, witty and I think you'd like it. He's the brother of Dave's childhood friend!