Monday, June 13, 2005

Abu Ghraib: That's Hot!

Every American is born a centaur.

That’s right. Half-human, half-automobile.

And there is no greater pain than the legless agony of being trapped inside your home, without recourse to the horseless carriage that constitutes our national passport, nay, our spiritual identity.

Which is to say, we’ve got the car back.

Suddenly, no errand is too dull, no trip to the market too troublesome. A trip to the moon on gossamer wings, as the song says.

So we celebrated by taking a trip to the Mall.

It’s been my opinion that, between television and the Mall, it’s possible to diagnose our country’s collective illnesses. All you have to do is read between the lines.

I believe that much as the Reagan years were characterized by programs that featured the frisky gamboling of the Rich, the Dubya era will be remembered for entertainment and celebrities that, much like the President, seemed to have been created by people with little or no imagination, or ability to use the English language. Instead, we were left with gutteral utterances which we assumed would do the job until the time came when we required anything more complicated.

Ergo, "I work hard," "You’re Fired!," "Mission Accomplished!," "That’s hot!" and the hundred other stupidities that ravage us on a daily basis.

It’s why television now seems to consist largely of reality shows and parodies of reality shows.

The old saw has it that "You’ll find it all at the Mall" and I, for one, believe it. It’s where the arteries of commerce and the collective unconscious meet.

So when I walked past the Maternity Clothing store with the ad on display which featured an hysterically happy pregnant woman, with a banner above her that read, "Motherhood: That’s Hot!", you’ll understand why I wanted to jump back in the car and go back to hiding in the house.

When the Mall lets you down, there’s no place left to run.


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