Tell Me How You’ll Get (Back) to Sesame Street

Big BirdYou used to be a happy kid. You watched Big Bird and ate Happy Meals and played with your neighbor kids and visited your grandma and thought both Cowboys and Indians were cool.
 
“Sunny day, sweepin’ the clouds away,” you sang.
 
Then you changed the channel.
 
You found Sean Hannity.
 
You mistook what he told you for happiness.
 
“Kill Big Bird!” he told you. “Down with Pocahantas!”
 
“Kill all the Muslims!”
 
“Ban all the Mexicans and the brown people and the Jews!”
 
“Stop wasting money feeding old people who can’t drive! Sick people are a drain on society!”
 
You now think that’s the light, but your days are no longer sunny.
 
“Clean air and clean water are for liberal pussies,” you tell yourself as you sink your decaying teeth into your antibiotic-and-hormone-filled burger, the main course of your Never-Happy Meal.
 
“Poor kids shouldn’t get a free lunch on my dime!” you say as Trump spends $3 million of your money on another weekend trip to his exclusive Palm Beach golf club.
 
Who are you, even, anymore?
 
You don’t want to learn facts about the world.
 
You don’t want to get to where the air is sweet.
 
You think Mexican PEOPLE are pollution but nuclear waste and busted oil pipelines are clean.
 
Once you win this great victory over brown people and the media and art and science and trees, where do you go from there?
 
Will you go back to watching Big Bird, learning about the magic of the world and enjoying the blue sky, or will you watch Big Brownshirt, waiting for instructions on the next people to hate, the next people to kill?
 
When will you realize that you’re being played? That the memes and ideas you think are so clever are nothing but recycled propaganda from billionaire oligarchs who are using you and who do not even like you? 
 
THEY are the ones who benefit from pollution, not you. THEY are the ones who benefit from starving old people and taking away health care, not you. THEY are the ones who benefit from distracting you with sideshows about Muslims and Mexicans, not you.
 
(Do you think they really believe Muslims are evil? If so, why does Trump have so many properties in the Middle East? Is he not scared a Muslim is gonna blow up his hotel in Saudi Arabia? Does he “extreme vet” every brown person who walks by? If he’s truly enraged by guest-working Mexicans, why does he employ so many of them?)
 
These people are playing you, and everyone else sees it but you.
 
The worst part is, by the time you realize that none of this vile programming serves you, that the “victory” it sells is hollow, you will have given them so much power you may not be able to get it back. You’ll have killed Big Bird along with what’s left of the free press. You’ll have built a walled-in police state backed by massive domestic surveillance and extreme propaganda. Your kids and grandkids will not be able to trust any of the information their feeble level of literacy barely enables them to read while they drink from their sippy cups of Flint water. You won’t even be able to go to a national park and enjoy the sunny day.
 
At that point, you can forget all about sweepin’ the clouds away.
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