If there is one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s this: things are never exactly as they seem. It’s like the carnival midway setting up outside my office in preparation for the annual street fair. If you walk down the middle of Main Street, all is colorful and bright and inviting, especially for young people. But from the sidewalk, on the backside of the vendor trucks and food wagons and carnival games, things don’t look so marvelous; so festive; so alluring. There are hoses hooked up to any available water source, and cables running here and there before being hooked up to generators hidden from view. There is a constant, low frequency roar or growl coming from all of the electrical equipment set up along the street.
The scene somehow reminds me of the theater. From the seats, everything is fun and fair and mostly seamless as the actors and actresses emote loudly, deliver their lines and perform their choreography. But, oh, backstage is a totally different story.
Ropes for pulling curtains; scenes and backdrops to change when necessary; stage managers frantically searching for the next line to feed to that young actor practically paralyzed with stage fright.
Well, I guess they do say that the whole world is a stage, after all. We all play our parts. And, I don’t really have a problem with knowing the front of the booths and games and food wagons along the midway conceal a not-so-pretty workspace behind. I’m not really concerned with what’s happening backstage when I’m enjoying a musical or play or comedic performance at the theater. I know how much it takes to put together a production with hopes that it comes out, not just acceptable, but spectacular.
No, goings-on behind curtains don’t bother me when it comes to the entertainment world. However, the world we live in and the political realm we are part of is another matter.
We live our lives thinking everything is fine. After all, we’re told the economy is great and that our elected officials have nothing but our best interests at heart.
“It’s for the people back home; the good folks who elected me.” We’ve all heard that lie before. How about this one: “We have to make these changes today in order to ensure a better future. It might hurt, but I assure you this is just a temporary speed bump along the road to …” (fill in the blank).
I think we are all better off to accept the fact that there are people “behind the curtain” who may or may not have the best interests of you, me or our nation as their focus. We should accept, also, that those folks who are making the plans and moves behind the curtain are — for lack of a better word — puppets. They are merely marionettes that, whether they know it or not, are being played by master puppeteers who are interested only in their own best interests.
The puppeteers decide, for instance, where a war might break out in order to advance their own agenda. They decide what is covered, on a national or international stage, by the media. They choose where resources are spent or where shortages occur. They choose, in one way or another, who gets fed and who gets clean water and which banks fail and which economies suffer. And they do it all from somewhere out of sight, hidden from even the folks behind the curtain.
Out in front of the curtain are the players; the ones who tell us everything is going to be fine; that they have our best interests at heart; that they are on our side. Sadly, many of them believe they are telling the truth. They know no better. They are unaware that they are being played by the folks behind the curtain who are, in turn, being manipulated by the unseen puppeteers.
But then, what do I know? I ask you to please realize that I am not just being cynical. I’m really not. I am just making an observation.