—From EF—

I was bullied pretty consistently all through elementary school and junior high, then by high school kids had other things to think about and so did I. Nowadays that old feeling is creeping back. I was amazed at how hard I cringed at seeing multiple versions of Musk’s smirk all over the web today. I recovered a little when I had the thought that he must have dodged into a photo booth and mugged as fast as he could.

It was bad enough with 45 everywhere you looked, then it piled on with McTurtle and Ted Cruz, and now there’s a beauty pageant’s worth of identical women with identical blonde hairdo’s carefully scrolling over their shoulders. Every goddam blog and news feed has to have a big picture of one of this gang with everything they post, and it gives me the creeps—sends me right back to the days of the lunch line.

The teacher’s back is turned, there’s no referee, and the principal’s just waiting to retire. WTF? WT actual F?

People opposing the sexual exploitation of children condemn “grooming.” I’d add that we’ve also experienced grooming for tribal divisions and violence. It’s been going on for a long time. Now that there are role models it’s out in the open, but it was always simmering on the back burner. Remember when advertising whipped up divisions between those who favored McD and those who ate Burger King? Or Ford and Chevy? I remember being struck by these silly hostile billboards in the Philly subway, so that would put it back into the 90’s. Real seventh-grade gems like “Friends don’t let friends drive Ford.”

Generations have been groomed by ads and hopped up on breakfasts of Pop Tarts and Coke in front of the TV, with supermarket tabloids giving them the inside story. I know, trash journalism is nothing new. When we were doing research on Marie Antoinette I was stunned at their versions of the National Enquirer—talk about pornographic fake news, wow.

I may finally be goaded into cutting way down on screen time. Always look for the silver lining.


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