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Ron Kaye: We're playing a game of national suicide

November 05, 2013

My favorite Halloween-week movie, promoted at a discount by Redbox, was "Daddy, I'm a Zombie," described as a coming-of-age film about an early teen named Dixie who turns into one of those living dead creatures that populate, along with vampires, so much of our culture of mass distraction.

I bring this up because in my own earlier years, social critics often referred to America as a nation of sheep intimidated by McCarthyism into silence and held in bondage by strangling rules of conformity.

Today, we have become a nation of zombies staggering through our lives while the rapacious vampires feed their lust for power and blood money.

The only music we can hear is our own song. We aren't talking to each other. We communicate mostly though social network and text message. There is no public conversation unless it involves Miley Cyrus — an important point since the generation gap has become a chasm that cannot be bridged.

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We've come a long way to getting past our separations by race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, but now we segregate ourselves by insisting we'll only engage those who share our beliefs and values — the like-minded cohort that is so easily manipulated by the cynics and masters of power.

We used to worry about the mind-numbing impact of eight hours a day in front of the boob tube. Now we carry it with us 24/7, infecting our consciousness with digital blips from cyberspace as we live unreal lives in virtual worlds.

We have lost touch with reality and with each other.

It has been building for a long time, from the impeachment of Bill Clinton for sexual misconduct that would get the vast majority of our politicians removed from office if the truth about their indiscretions were known.

We blamed Bush and Cheney for wars that had bipartisan support after 9/11 with hardly a peep from anyone of influence questioning our nation's lockstep march to eternal wars that now are used to justify spying on everyone in the world's mail, email, phone calls and Internet browsing.

What a joke! A government that can't build a website to help us buy healthcare, or figure out that people like Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning or Aaron Alexis are security risks, isn't a threat to play the role of Big Brother as much as a senile old grandfather.

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