What we overlook is how easily the Palin-Johnston team cannot be overlooked. I remember the 1973 PBS ground breaking series on the Lords, the original reality show about an American family. It challenged our views about family life; now media embraces and swallows these turns as rountine, delightful, and entertaining. In fact, the media is now part of the rountine. How did Johnston-Palin get on the US Weekly cover? Do they have the editor’s cell on speed dial? Did their agents suggest the idea? Were marketing meetings held? Did a bidding war ensue? Who decided the wardrobe for the photo shot? Or provided transportation to its location?
If becoming a cover story for a national publication is “reality” for a single Alaskan teenager who re-unites with her boy friend, after fighting over custody of their son, whose grandmother resigned her elected position as a half-term governor to earn millions from book sales and speaking engagements, then clearly we value public soap operas more than private intimacy or personal integrity. Maybe the young Ms. Palin passed a newsstand and the public photos of her former boy friend triggered memories and feelings of hot times. Whatever the cause, the rest of us need to quit acting like these unthinkable media announcements–yes, you are all invited–deserve our conversation and sympathy.
And before the new issue of US hit the newstands, an announcement from the bride-to-be: the wedding’s off!
What does it tell us about ourselves that we simply can’t leave these “now you beat the drum, now you sing, now you sob” lives alone? Has this media-designed and announced reality become the crane’s call from the shadows that links us together? Is this is the new American inner truth, our national tao? If so, the I Ching says about the nature of the expression of this kind of inner truth: perseverance brings misfortune.
Images: Levi, Trig, and Bristol
#61, Inner Truth. above, the Gentle, wind; below, the Joyous, lake.
Used under fair use.
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