Oddly enough people reach the pinnacle of society these days being activists, polemicists, digital figures, gurus, tech evangelists, civil rights leaders, First Ladies and talk show hosts. So you have to sympathize with the Occupy People who think that, having tried to do all that, they ought to be somebodies.
Welcome to the world of forced perspective; where Eich can get pilloried for voting the wrong way on Proposition 8 and Kevin Rose can get picketed for being able to buy stuff from the people who are picketing him. It lifts the lid on a strange world. A place where Vladimir Putin, al-Qaeda, and or asteroids from space don't exist except as things that George Bush should have taken care of; it gives a glimpse into a universe where gas drilling is just a bad word and the armed forces a job where crazy people earn a living whenever they're not driving pickup trucks; it provides a peek into a tableau where people actually think food comes from the store and gas comes from the gas pump and money to house everyone in the woods will come from Google's $3 billion in spare change.
Brother can you spare a tera-dime?
And yet for some reason the glimpse is not reassuring. One could just turn the page and dismiss these as scenes from a freak show, except in the characters in this exhibition are on the stage of an industry with the power of life or death over our privacy; except for the vague fear that this is how America wandered into the Obama era in the first place.
One is reminded of Edgar Allan Poe's story of the Hop-Frog where the court jester persuades the King and his court to play a monstrous joke on the crowd and caper among them costumed as orang-utans. And then the jester sets fire to their flammable costumes in revenge for all his pent-up slights. There were tears behind the make-up; ignorance beneath the cool; and not a little madness under the tight-lipped smile.
The relationship between the pied pipers and their following is an interesting one. The players may promise to whisk the crowd on an adventure; but in the end all they can count on is to go along for the ride.
Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.
The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific