Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Obama in "The Truman Show"

It’s all a reality show now as the “First Gay President” invites himself to make a graduation speech in the neighborhood where he came of age half a lifetime ago.

“This recession has been more brutal, the job losses steeper, politics seems nastier, Congress is more gridlocked than ever, some folks in the financial sector have been less than model citizens,” Barack Obama tells the class of ’12 at Barnard College.

The words sound realistic, but are we all in the 1998 movie, “The Truman Show,” in which Jim Carrey does not realize his life is not authentic but a 24/7 TV series managed and manipulated by others behind the scenes?

 “We've become bored,” says the Godlike Producer, “with watching actors give us phony emotions. We are tired of pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there's nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts, no cue cards. It isn't always Shakespeare, but it's genuine.”

Genuine, but under the control of forces with ulterior motives.

How much of today’s media world is “real” or just a production of the Obama and Romney campaigns with the contrivance of fake journalism machinery? Are we all watching a giant collaboration to persuade us this stuff is really happening?

Topic A now is gay marriage, which arose from Joe Biden’s Meet the Press “slip,” escalated into the President’s endorsement and ends now (perhaps) with Andrew Sullivan’s ode to Obama.  

Topic B, Wall Street arrogance, is working its way through the machinery, and our belief that it’s happening is a product of the process. After Obama and Romney have done their media dance, will anything have changed?

“The Truman Show” was a movie to challenge perceptions of what we all call reality. So far, “The Obama Show” is proving worthy of it and promises to take us into new territory as Mitt Romney courts the Religious Right with all the pre-tested protestations.

1 comment:

Fuzzy Slippers said...

I love your brain (if not your politics, hee). Interesting analogy and analysis. I remember you posting (long ago) on the way that the media views the "news": as something to be shaped and spoon-fed to the masses (not your words, just my take on that post). I reacted then as I do now, I don't need a filter, I don't need someone to tell me what matters . . .just tell me what's going on.

We don't get that (from either party); instead we get faux "reality" shows with faux people playing faux parts. That shouldn't be acceptable to any of us.