Purging Dictators

I wonder: Is it time we emulate Middle Eastern demonstrators and clamor against the tyrants of our souls?  Our autocrats are oddly typical despite their invisibility: They pass themselves off as friends, veritable freedom lovers, bulwarks of law and order; they’re indispensible for the economy and the American way – and yet they sweep us into an imprisoning cultural undercurrent and sap us dry.  We’re their playthings until we see their thievery and declare our freedom.

I see them in three composite characters, the first of whom is Larry, a married man strolling through a shopping mall with the background purr of Muzak.   

Suddenly, he’s brainwashed. He’s hypnotized.  He actually believes the preposterous. An image of a beautiful woman entices him to buy the latest thing in toothpaste and no other. Maybe she will leap off the poster board and strike up a conversation. Yeah, that’s it: a talk, a respectable powwow, a little chitchat … and this gorgeous beauty with a husky voice is all Larry’s. And then there are all those smiling sales people beckoning him to buy the toothpaste because they care: they want him to have those white teeth that will make her come to life … Oh. Well, yes.  We are paid on commission – but never mind. Ignore that tidbit. Our salary does not nullify our altruism. We’re here to serve you and it’s our privilege to get paid for this fabulous job. Now, think of her. And think of the toothpaste … Need we say more?

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