television as an agent of moloch

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Television as an Agent of Moloch

Where do these pictures we see on TV of beautiful wide-eyed starving children come from? How is it there are resources to give grants and provide transportation and lodging to photographers to take these pictures but we can’t feed the children? What’s been trampled out of us that we glide from these infomercial pleas for help straight into American Idol without blinking an eye? This is all the information needed to trigger world-changing action, starting at the grassroots level of one, but nothing changes.

Call it Moloch. A shapeless, nameless force that throughout time has been devouring the nobility of the human spirit/soul/heart and is close to completing the task. Some years ago I teased Moloch into taking shape in a novel called Tire Grabbers, but it made no more impact on the world of Drone Zombies than the pictures of starving human children do. Drone Zombies are the children of Moloch.

This is not meant to be a poem, Shard or essay. This is an act of defiance, a naming of Moloch, because long after the last human has vanished and Moloch reigns over its kingdom of Drone Zombies, it will be branded by the knowledge that it has been seen and named, and that what has seen and named it is now a phantom as invisible as Moloch once was, and this haunting knowledge is what will devour Moloch, from the inside out. Ah, sweet revenge!

***

Two months after I finished Tire Grabbers, as if Moloch was striking back, my iliac arterial system exploded, and I came “this close” to cashing in my chips. Since then I send money every month to two of the millions of starving children in the world–a boy in India and a girl in Indonesia. They write me letters in alphabets I don’t understand, accompanied by awkward translations in English, and I write them back and tell them that in America they’re on national television, right before American Idol.

In his last letter, the boy in India, little Bhaskar, said, “May Krishna rain blessings down on your head!”

And I, old fool that I am, found myself crying.

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