RHETA GRIMSLEY JOHNSON: The world’s standing on its head

By Rheta Grimsley Johnson

If Barack Obama is the Devil or the Anti-Christ, wouldn’t we here in North Mississippi be the first to know? After all, my county of Tishomingo includes the highest point in the state, Woodall Mountain, all 807 feet of it, halfway to Heaven.
Celestial news doesn’t have as far to travel.
Long before “social media” – the official term now for bleating blind leading bleating blind – noticed that the Moroccan actor playing Satan in the so-called History Channel’s miniseries “The Bible,” some believers around here already had the scoop. Their preachers told them so.
Why, of course the Devil in the hoodie looks like Obama! He’s dark, he has a nose and eyebrows, and he’s from Morocco, where the main religion is Islam and some speak French! Need more proof? I don’t think so. Connect the dots.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to reform.” Mark Twain said that. Either Mark Twain or Benjamin Franklin said almost everything worth repeating.
I’m well into my early Spring depression laced with cabin fever. I’m beginning to smell conspiracies, too. Why not? Everyone else does. Here’s the conspiracy I can’t help but notice: The stupid are taking over the world by way of the computer.
I have my proof. Haven’t you noticed that everything that happens is fodder for comedy and satire? Nothing is reasonable. And all that unleashed unreasonable goes “viral,” a good name for it.
Hey, maybe Jon Stewart is the Anti-Christ! He’s the only one benefiting from such a ridiculous society.
We no longer have even a few reasonable discussions about problems that actually exist. We are too busy chasing tweets about television, which somebody – not Mark Twain, but John Mason Brown – once called “so much chewing gum for the eyes.”
Except now, the world is on its head. Even television fare looks downright cerebral next to Internet rubbish. Reality shows aren’t real, of course, but at least they have one foot in fact.
The people on reality shows actually exist. They make duck decoys or run pawn shops or hoard things, and at least are not some paranormal occurrence captured unknowingly by a tourist’s camera who displays it on YouTube, where it’s viewed by millions of people who are suddenly and irrevocably convinced that Mother Mary is weeping on a Texas taco.
It’s not that there are more idiots abroad, I like to think, there’s just a much quicker way to spread nonsense.
I’ll soon get over my doldrums. I better. My husband has warned I’m turning choleric. Look it up.
I made it through decades of newspaper reporting without turning cynical and feeling hopeless about the human race, after all. I like to think the Internet age won’t kill all joy in this best of all possible worlds.
But between the Pope’s resignation and Obama as Satan on a miniseries viewed by 13 million people, Chicken Littles are everywhere. The sky is falling 24-7. The choices are to duck, laugh or cry.
RHETA GRIMSLEY JOHNSON is a syndicated columnist. Contact her at Iuka, MS 38852. To find out more about Rheta Grimsley Johnson and her books, visit www.rhetagrimsleyjohnsonbooks.com.