[From my pre-weblog, 22 March 1984]
’m watching satellite news twenty-four hours a day now, god knows why. Sleeping fitfully with that goddamn eye on the world glaring at me, bringing me live coverage of trials, congressional debates, and relentlessly updated news. I woke up the other day in the middle of the Senate vote on school prayer, a bad idea whose time has long since gone.
What extraordinary things people say they believe on TV! I see a woman who claims that it is impossible to force someone to engage in oral sex, a man who claims that no woman in this country is afraid to report a rape, another man who says there is nothing wrong in appointing people to important positions in the government in return for cash. I see millions of people supporting a president who has brought us defeat and disgrace in the Middle East, increased pollution throughout the nation, increased poverty, hunger, acid rain, unemployment, debt—fucking hell with it.
I stood for three-quarters of an hour the other day in a cheese line and watched prosperous middle-class women claim food intended for the starving (“Hey, our tax-dollars paid for this, right? We have a right to it…”). Nobody cares. It’s all propaganda, that’s all. Newspapers claim that a vast array of goods are going forth—cheese and butter and cornmeal and all kinds of good stuff—but when you get there all there is is powdered milk.
Peace talks collapse in Switzerland, Libya bombs Sudan, and a kidnapper is murdered before my eyes. Reagan defends Meese. Soviet and U.S. ships collide at sea, Iraq gasses Iran, and a kidnapper is murdered before my eyes. New Bedford protests (not the rape, but the conviction of the rapists), Jerry Falwell threatens, and a kidnapper is murdered before my eyes. Every fucking hour a kidnapper is murdered in front of me, and I don’t know if I even wanted to see it once.