In the 1969 documentary The Sorrow and The Pity, a young German worker says about Germany prior to World War II: “The worm was in the fruit.” I was thinking about this here and now from a cultural perspective. What is/was the worm in America's sweet plum?
What a great, thought-provoking essay this is! Thank you, Mr. Davis, for the simplicity, truth and clarity with which you have written.
I’d add that the consequences of ‘me first’ inversions by selective/cherry-picking/externalizations are in process as well as content. The fruit is not recognized because the skin is used as the seed and neither are identified in the constant displacements necessary to live a lie.
Eating worms is dreadful waste of the creatures so necessary in the interface between human life and soil in which food is grown.
My husband’s family was Jewish living in Europe and loving much of the culture until three generations were murdered and Europe ethnically cleansed. My family were Klan in the south owning slaves, brutal to all persons of color and afraid of everyone not like them. Our marriage began with Vietnam and the US empire. Our Grandchildren inherit the damage done globally especially by the US. The horror of the Trumpers. Those are the worms. Fortunately our Grandchildren are beautiful, but I worry.
I appreciate the commnent about commercials. Having to sit through 15 minutes/hour listening to businesses hawk their wares was wearying, and made me stop watching TV (besides the lousy vacuous programming). Now I stream what few shows I do watch (generally BBC).
i was never able to submit to the onslaught of crude insulting commercial advertising. Since i was an adolescent, i could not stomach the abuse. i’ve never owned a TV. And i’ve never understood how more people don’t act on the same reaction. They are constantly insulting us!
I “cut the cable” (literally) five years ago! I recommend that liberating act to everyone.
Reading is better for your mind and your soul.
Agreed! Commercials are so insulting but oftentimes other people don’t understand what I mean by that. The blank absorbed yet totally thoughtless look a person gets on their face when a 3 minute stream of commercials comes on, not to mention a whole room of people silently, obediently faced forward, drives me mad. I suggest jumping up in front of their view and firing off some bad amateur stand-up.
Also, this divergence into advertising being incredibly condescending reminds me of this Banksy quote:
“the people who run our cities dont understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit…
the people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff…
any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you , its yours to take, rearrange and re use.Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head…”
“The collective mind of the American population is seduced daily, hourly, into simplistic adrenaline rushes and trivialities. The consciousness of the American population is fragmented as major issues are discussed and reported only to be interrupted by the more important matter of what you need to buy.”
This assertion is nonsense! Nobody is compelling Bill C. Davis or anyone else to watch or listen to the bilge that comes out of mass media. Drop your TV and radio into the dumpster and read books, and have conversations with other people.
“During a debate a Republican candidate said, “We need more welders and less philosophers.” Wild applause from the Republican audience. The idea that these two things are not mutually exclusive never enters the conversation. Be a welder and a philosopher.”
So give the guy (and whoever his opponent is) a copy of any of several Eric Hoffer anthologies and don’t waste your time or attention on such drivel. (Eric Hoffer, for those who don’t know, was a longshoreman and acclaimed philosopher.)
As Shakespeare observed, “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves”.
“Be a welder and a philosopher.” Watch the molten steel flow uphill to the heat. Contemplate attractions and blends. Make the weld look nice and it will be strong. Make the bridge arc look nice and it will be strong.
Back when i was watching TV, with my brother or with friends, i used to piss people off because i would intervene in the commercials with my own commentary / rebuttal, or just call it insulting bullshit. People would get mad at me, but not at the insulting bullshit. And somehow it always seemed relevant for them to say “It’s not mind control, their ads don’t affect me!” As if the trillions of dollars invested in ads were just wasted money that have no impact on our consciousness or on the consumer marketplace.
And thanks for the Banksy quote, it’s a keeper.
The very first step in advertising and political propaganda is to convince the puppet you have no control. Then comes the message.
Eric Hoffer was 48 years old before TV was invented and well into his 60s before the Vietnam War. He didn’t raise 4 children by himself on $12 an hour wages ( 2 jobs ) and in dangerous areas,
where that TV was the cheapest ( and safest ) babysitter a concerned mother could get.
I could go on about how using Mr. Hoffer in this context is not in your comment’s best interest. But hey, as a 12 year old living and working on a farm, The True Believer was handed to me in lieu of watching The Lawrence Welk Show.
I read it from cover to cover 3 times that year and I would do so again instead of watching TV, especially re-runs. But, music appreciation was not something Mr. Hoffer wrote much about, so maybe he liked Lawrence Welk. And, so it goes…
I cut the cable a long time ago too. Now when I’m around people that watch a lot of TV I don’t know what they are talking about. People use it to reference time lines in many ways. To be fair though, the quality and diversity of documentaries has improved content.in an otherwise submissive delivery of content.
Your play on scripture and “America First” is memorable. Compelling piece you have written. Thanks.
We do cribbage!