Entertainment for the brain-dead

US-Wahl Four years ago I was ecstatic about the end of the Bush presidency. I even went to great length to find a Snaps in a Muslim country (Difficult). Today, I felt nothing.
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Entertainment for the brain-dead

Self-reflection on my lack of interest in the 2012 US election

I remember, four years ago I was ecstatic. I counted the seconds to the end of the Bush presidency. I even went to great lengths to find a Schnaps in a Muslim country (difficult) to cheer the demise of the Bush administration.

Today, I felt nothing.

To be sure, a Romney election might have led to my migration to the moon, but when I woke up this morning and heard the results, I thought: whatever.


As I always had strong opinions with regards to politics, this lack of interest shocked me. Why didn’t I give a damn?

The much-anticipated fall of the messiah might have been one reason. Who could have live up to these expectations?

But as this reality-check was to be anticipated (and honestly, my expectation were more stylistic than realpolitisch to begin with: I’d rather be fucked by someone smart than by the village idiot someone less smart), I fear that my lack of empathy results from the realisation that I lost all hope in the process itself.

That the electoral process has turned into a spectacle is not new. It is no longer about political vision, ideas, and a community’s decision on where the we as a schicksalsgemeinschaft (a community sharing the same fate) is heading.

You do not have to be an expert to know that the process has been degraded to a marketing exercise. The election itself is a provincial beauty pageant between Coke & Pepsi, McDonald’s & Burger King, sponsored by the captains of industry and amplified by mass media.

A Pseudo-event - mere entertainment for the brain-dead.

Again this is nothing new, but the sheer scale of it is terrifying. For a good marketing representation of the cost of this election check out: http://bindersfullofburgers.tumblr.com/

But make no mistake: both, McDonald’s and Burger King remain well-marketed shit, with loads of sugar and salt. The only real winner in this America-Got-Talent-Farce is the electoral machinery, that profited from a 1,6 Billion stimulus package.

At this point, some might expand the argument and lament, “the losers are the people”. But I don’t think that is true.

I have this nagging feeling that this is exactly what people want: being fed more and more shit in shorter intervals. A SPIEGEL ONLINE column summarised this, by exemplifying what a truthful discourse would have looked like:

“Listen people, our schools are no longer in the global top-ten. Every fourth bridge is structurally unsound, even though we spend twice as much per capita on healthcare than Germany, our child-mortality is rising and our elders are dying younger. Millions of New Yorker spent days without electricity because we can’t prepare for a Storm. Our express trains stutter at the speeds of Chinese provincial trains. We have to begin a-new”.

But honestly, who would elect such a buzz killer???

Hence, it no longer appears as a systemic problem, in which the people are the victims of a malign superstructure, but rather that the machinery delivers exactly what the people want: an extended vacation from reality.

And make no mistake my fellow Europeans - we are by no way culturally immune to this development. The French elections have exemplified that faced with the hard realities, ideological delusion is more tempting than reality.

While this raises interesting questions on what political outcome can possibly justify this amount of bullshit, the state of the entire process is horrifying. But, while one could stop here and say it is an elitist conspiracy of capital and mass media, I tend to think that the people get what they deserve.

At this point, I could leave you with a bad feeling. Instead I choose to highlight the positive aspect of this non-event. As it is not a conspiracy, but merely a classical human mess, there is a quick way out of it: Ignore the white noise and focus …

17:37 07.11.2012
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