My one source of entertainment was a television with plenty of college football. I like college football but dislike football color men, explaining to me what I just watched as if I didn't just watch it. One bowl game was raising money for wounded servicemen, which is a noble cause. Not as noble, of course, as the stopping of the wars which are wounding them in the first place. No mention was made of that; this was about football and how much corporate America loves this country, and how rich people really are wonderful.
Citi, Capital One, AT&T, God bless us every one. Each bowl game was filled with its sponsor's advertisements and only channel surfing could save me from brain fatigue. As I surfed the other channels I found that there were game shows offering to give expensive prizes to poor people, or non-rich people. Or I could watch Maury, where teenage daughters were breaking their single mothers' hearts by having sex and doing drugs. Poor people really are screwed up. So I switched to Jerry Springer, and well, poor people really are screwed up, aren't they?
I had read about MTV's "Jersey Shore" stereotyping Italian Americans. I found it doesn't say much about men in general, other than they are narcissistic with self-inflated egos. These guys are people who somehow don't work but have incomes and live the good life at the beach in a nice home. Their sole goal in life is to find as many stupid women as they can to have sex with, because, of course, they were the catch of the day. Women just can't get enough of shallow, self-absorbed, totally non-intellectual men, men who don't own a book or a condom. "Jersey Shore" does for the image of New Jersey what Dudley Do-Right did for the image of Canadians.
It was ironic that Turner Classic Movies was playing "Farenheight 451." Oh so appropriate for a man trapped in an apartment without Internet access, because as I watched the film for probably the twentieth time I realized that we are there. "Isn't that right, Linda?" Big screen, flat panel, high definition televisions on which to watch subliminal social narratives with such a small amount of quality as to put the expenditure of electricity in question. Dog beds, exercise equipment, neck enhancers, and of course your own personal, plastic penis.
My brain started to reel watching commercial after commercial extolling the features of your personal, plastic penis. Why, you can go online and watch TV. Look up restaurants, play video games, or if you tire of all the other features you can call your friends to see what they are doing with their plastic penis. "Isn't that right, Linda?"
"Where you going, little Buddy?"
"I'm going to the potty."
"Do you need help?" Dad asks.
"No," the toddler answers and proceeds to close the door and pull out his own personal, pocket-sized TV. I realize that TV commercials aren't meant to make sense but to make the sale, but you've just got to ask yourself what sort of mind envisions a toddler who feels the need to isolate himself to watch TV. "Don't you agree, Linda?"
When the movie was over I switched to C-Span, a feature provided free of charge by America's cable and satellite industry, God bless corporate America. The guest was a pompous douche from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace taking questions about Yemen. It was important, he explained, that we help Yemen to be a successful country and already the US has doubled its aid package from $70 million. He was skating on new blades until he took a question from someone who had actually lived in Yemen. The caller explained that Yemen has 13,000 villages and water has to be trucked in and the water is running out. The caller explained that the average Yemeni citizen lives on $750 a year.
Well, the douche's pompous faÃ§ade was broken on the hard rocks of reality. The caller had worked in Yemen for two years after the civil war. Gosh, this guy had been on for twenty minutes and forgot to mention the civil war. Kind of like an expert on Iraq that forgets to mention the US invasion. A bitter civil war had been fought between a Muslim Marxist state in the north and a puppet Saudi state in the south, but he forgot to mention that, Linda. He began to back pedal from making Yemen a success to preventing Yemen from failing. He also forgot to mention that the Saudis built a wall along their border to keep the Yemenis out.
Most damning was the admission that Yemen is not an economically viable state. With near zero water resources, declining oil revenue, and only natural gas to plug the gap, they can't generate enough revenue to keep the country afloat much longer. It is a country situated in a stinking desert, the most God-awful stinking desert you have ever seen. It makes Afghanistan look like a garden spot. I'm not going to fix it and you're not going to fix it. It is country whose future depends entirely on foreign aid.
The President says we must go after Al-Qaeda with drone missile attacks even if they are only two miles from an Yemeni military base. You understand that, don't you, Linda?
YEMEN TIMES SANA'A, Dec. 30 -- A Member of the Yemeni parliament Shawqi Al-Qadhi warned the U.S. on Tuesday against sending its troops to Yemen to fight Al-Qaeda, describing such action as "a disaster by all means." The warning comes while some senators argue that "Yemen will be tomorrow's war" for the US.
"If the US insists on sending its troops to Yemen, the whole Yemeni people will turn to the Al-Qaeda," said Al-Qadhi, who represents the opposition party, the JMP.