Thank God, er--Allah, for the war! If it hadn't been for the Sept. 11th attacks, CNN
might have succumbed to it's own pundit-heavy payroll and folded like a cheap al-Qaida
tent. But thanks to AMERICA?S NEW WARTM and it's
inevitable sequel, AMERICA STRIKES BACKTM, the AOL-Time
Warner behemoth has one again leapt to the forefront of the media stage, albeit with
It's hard to miss the fact that CNN is conducting itself as if it were staging a Wagner
opera. It's newly-acquired leading lady, Paula Zahn, has been plugged in as fetish-bait
for the 18-49 year-old set. Three new musical pieces have been written to tap our senses
of patriotism, sympathy, and outrage (in that order), and each of these pieces plays at
least twice per hour on the Headline News segment. Catchy banners (see above) now
dictate which act of the opera is now in session. And if all that wasn't enough, CNN's
managed to monstrously amplify any perceived threat so as to keep us in constant fear
that a turban-crested Godzilla will stride ashore, sneeze anthrax all the way to
Oklahoma, fry Los Angeles, Portland, Cleveland, and Kalamazoo with his atomic breath, and
then roar "Allah is Great," on his way back into the ocean.
Does anyone out there truly believe that the war itself isn't riveting enough without the
extra drama? Is there really any benefit to have the public in such a panic that people
lose sleep, take up new drug habits (pharmaceutical and other), and fear common cold
signs as if they were going to die from ordinary congestion? Probably not, but CNN could
care less. War means ratings, and ratings mean advertising revenue.
Want drama? Need to feel secure? No problem. CNN has made this a modern opera,
slavishly incorporating the kinder, gentler expressionist painter who tosses out red,
white, and blue abstractions that are designed to make us all feel better and let us know
who the real heroes are. Yet, as one listens closely to the expressionist's words, their
hollow ring demonstrates a mindset that is probably unable to grasp the multitude of
factors necessary to bring the war to a truly victorious end. Let's face it: bombs and
bullets won't do it all; changes in Middle Eastern policy, in conjunction with applied
military force and intelligence agency recruitment and deployment, are needed in order to
prevent future generations of radical Muslims from springing up to take their fathers'
places at the war table. But the show of force and hackneyed nationalist platitudes are
necessary to reassure the ignorant multitudes who can't fathom why anyone else in the
world would hate the U.S. and, in the scheme of CNN's show, those platitudes make for
better dramatic tension.
The whole schebang was really getting on my nerves until I found a better way of dealing
with it all. Drawing on my love for bondage and fetish activities, I decided that it was
far better to treat viewing CNN as am exercise in extreme masochism. Those of you in the
know are already onto the fact that most BDSM games are just that, and that those same
games are mostly mental (with the exception of a few well-placed lashes). Along those
lines, I now treat CNN as being akin to taking 50 or so lashes from a good flogger and
then being anally violated by a gang of six or seven sadistically angry feminist dykes.
It's an endurance challenge of the highest order, and the further I can make it the more
relaxed I will ultimately feel.
And so it is with CNN's ongoing opera. Lashed by bubble-headed bimbos who gleefully
dispatch news of the day's bombings and FBI warnings, anally reamed by clumsy nationalist
cheerleading, and left in a blissful stupor of resignation, I find a whole new experience
in viewing the day's events as brought to me by a media conglomerate that I watch while
wearing my finest stockings and leather.