Little Balls

Those who write on restroom walls
roll their shit into little balls.

Those who read these lines of wit
eat those little balls of shit.

It’s so much easier to eat shit when instead of seeing a whole bucket of it in front of you, they are cute little balls, rolled in sugar or nuts.

When I performed Christmas kindness a few days ago, I knew how to do it.   I created little moments in which it was easy for others to connect, to offer a drop of kindness, to feel virtuous and a bit merry.

Can I rest these heavy hams in your cart?  You look like you are running chores for a party!   Small and easy, shallow and simple.

As Pete Schweddy knows, it’s the packaging that makes what you offer special and desirable.    Make it mouth sized and glistening so people just can’t stop putting it in their mouth.

Slip the big lies right down them, one sweet & salty ball at a time.  Do that long enough and you get an electorate that rejects the complex in favour of the tasty balls rolled by television hosts who are trained to make even the most disgusting things easy to swallow.

I was in marketing.   I produced and hosted a live daily television show.  I know how to make those little balls so cute and easy to eat that they just slide down with no thoughts or questions, just enter right into the bloodstream so their message takes its place alongside all the other shit you ate.   Yum!

The message I have been trying to get out for the last thirty years, though, isn’t about ease, simplification, packaging and shit.  Instead, it has been about content, about meaning, about context, about thinking for yourself.   It is about regurgitating all that shit you ate, getting clear so you can go back to powerful human values.

That’s not something people want to hear.  Going on a shit-free diet means that you can’t feed yourself the rationalizations and hopes that get you through.   It means you can’t easily participate at table when everyone else is happily, mindlessly eating what has been put in front of them.

Maybe worst, it means you become a target of the shit, someone who is out to destroy the lovely simplicity of the world, the place where easy and comforting shit soothes and mollifies us.

I tried to roll what I was offering into little balls, easy to digest, complimenting the everyday diet, but I failed.    I just can’t get the roughage, the seeds, the nutrients inside of sweet little packages, can’t pack it into soundbites of simplicity that are easy to swallow.

Audiences come to be entertained and comforted, not to be challenged and educated.   They want what they already know, so if you feed them what they expect, laced with a bit of whatever poison you are pushing today, well, they leave happy and convinced.

Play to their tastes, to their desires and yearnings, to the illusions & dreams that they hold and what you offer will go down a treat.

I can’t do that.   I just can’t.

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