I found out that Reality TV served up a new man of the hour -- Ben Richards. Or maybe his name is George Zimmerman. Or something like that.
I jest. Ben Richards was the main character in the movie, "Running Man." It starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ben Richards, the Running Man. The action was set in 2019, six years from now.
"The Running Man" is also the name of a reality / court TV program in that future world. Once someone is charged with a crime, it becomes a reality show. Ultimately it depends upon the viewers to like or dislike the defendant, and to feel strongly enough to drive ratings and advertising dollars. The show depends upon a certain collusion between corporate and government interest in sedating and milking the masses.
I wasn't able to follow the "George Zimmerman" episodes of "Running Man TV," and I wasn't able to follow the Jodi Arias episodes, or the Casey Anthony episodes. Hell, I even missed out on that great ratings extrava-bonanza, "O.J. Simpson: On Trial for a Century." I heard it was the highest rated "Running Man" episode ever.
But the show makes me wonder who is behind the curtain in the Emerald City. There are six media empires in the U.S., and someone has to be in charge of selecting content. Who selected Jodi Arias to be the "Running Man"? Is it done by a committee that studies demographics? Do they do audience-sampling where they try out different themes? I suppose on any given day there may be hundreds of murder trials underway in the courthouses of America. How did Jodi Arias claw her way to the top of the ratings heap? Who "green-lighted" that episode?
All of that pondering makes me think about Noam Chomsky. Not because of his ground-breaking work in linguistics, but because of his documentary, "Manufacturing Consent." Chomsky believes that there is no more difference between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party than there is between the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets. It's just two teams assembled by our corporate masters to keep us entertained and engaged. While we are otherwise distracted, our masters may rape our economy and country as they wish. The best way to keep us distracted from asking "Who is behind the curtain?" is with TV. Are you on the "George Zimmerman is Innocent" team, or on the "George Zimmerman is Guilty" team? Do you root for the Boston Red Sox?
A final note here. Conservatives call Chomsky a "communist." Liberals prefer to think that he is a "socialist." I suspect that Chomsky himself believes he is the most dangerous "ist" -- a realist.