Lately, I have been overwhelmed by the torrent of current events: the Casey Anthony trial; the United States’ budget crisis debate; daily televised ‘Middle East’ demonstrations, regime changes, etc; media giants hacking into citizens’ cell phones; a Congressman’s Internet indiscretions; the French re-examination of their elevated practice of enticement (seduction) to an art form, to name a few.
I use the word “seduced” advisedly. The French have been turning themselves inside out over their long-standing claim to having perfected the art of seduction – from their foods, to their perfumes, to their champagnes, to their forms of sexual conquest – after their Socialist Party candidate for president was arrested and detained in New York City for an alleged rape.
So what does that have to do with Casey Anthony, U.S. budget woes, phone hacking, etc?
Hear me out. First, there is the lure of 24-hour media: television, radio, Twitter, Cloud, et al. How could I not look, listen? How could I not want more?
How could I not prepare myself, daily, for the ritual of anticipation, getting in place (in front of the computer or television screen), focusing my attention, waiting for the first flirtation with what I know will titillate, excite, stimulate, arouse, satisfy (to some degree)?
And then I succumb.
Here comes the train wreck of information speeding at me, offering unlimited options (like so many lovers), an unlimited supply of temptations (I begin to understand what some men may experience at the brothels), looking slightly askance from the shame of so much to choose from.
If I turned away, turned off the media, stood aside from my fellows in discourse about the world and its events; if I only feed my mind’s eye with the beauty of nature, the words of the poets, the verses in holy script (pick one, any one). If only. Would that make me a lesser member of the human race?
I must confess that, even as I write this, the background noise is tuned to one of those radio talk shows, albeit at a low volume, but still …
Hard as I try, it becomes difficult — near impossible at times — to keep the lure of more information out of my immediate range.
I yearn for seduction yet I have been indecently assaulted, hit over the head by a club and dragged into the cave. The subtleties are missing: to be drawn into the discussion; to have thoughtful debate presented about the country’s finances; to understand that circumstantial evidence cannot usually support a death penalty charge; to leave the peaceful process peacefully; to realize that a charge of rape is never frivolous.
Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Antonia Williams-Gary