RON: This morning I was watching TV and Katie Couric was interviewing this fireman. And she was being, like, all meaningful, and she said “Can you possibly explain what it feels like to be searching through this rubble for your friends?” And I wanted him so bad to say, “I don’t know, Katie, can you possibly explain what it’s like now that your husband’s dead?” But no, he said, “Oh, we’re all doing our best, Katie, you know, we’re out there working with broken hearts.” Broken hearts!
He’s a fireman, you know what I’m saying? He’s a tough customer! And even if his heart was broken, Ms. Oates, he wouldn’t say it! But now here he was on TV and so he says “broken hearts” because he has already agreed in his mind to let himself be scripted by this media machine that wants to con us all into thinking we’re surprised!
I noticed it. I noticed it happened, don’t get me wrong. It was new information. But there’s a difference between not knowing something’s gonna happen, and acting like it’s a surprise. I mean, come on, when you take shit, Ms. Oates, is that a surprise?
No, you don’t l know when exactly you’re gonna have to take a shit, but when you do, you’re not surprised. It’s inevitable: you eat, you shit, I eat, I shit, we eat, we shit, it’s not a surprise. And I know this sounds like I’m being cynical, Ms. Oates, but this is my point, what’s really cynical, it seems to me, is this: take a nation with the most hyperthyroid self-concept in the history of the world; kick everybody’s ass for a hundred and fifty years; help plant a bunch of people on the other side of the world in the middle of a land where nobody likes them, because you feel bad you didn’t do anything about the Holocaust until it was too late, and then piss all over anyone in the Middle East who complains about it; build a pair of ultrafucking tall buildings in the most prominent city in the world, taller than almost fucking anything, and do NOTHING to protect them from the air, in a world of billions of assholes; and then act surprised when something bad happens, like “Oooh, you got chocolate in my peanut butter! You got peanut butter in my chocolate!” And then sell this fake surprise over the airwaves to a bunch of people who are so dead inside they can’t cry until they watch 5,000 people die on TV. That’s fucked up. That’s cynical. Don’t quote me.