In order to state the obvious we must first be able to see the obvious. This is a difficult task because the obvious is very good at hiding in plain sight. It exists not in a camouflaged way but in a normalized way. In the United States a lot of people have become very rich by riding the excitement of violence and presenting it to the viewing public as entertainment. The entertainment industry, particularly Hollywood and network television, long ago sacrificed originality and creativity for the time-tested formula of delivering bullets into human flesh. It’s a blueprint that became the gift that keeps on giving for movie makers and actors but its success has a dark side. On Oct. 2nd a man named Stephen Paddock acted out in reality what he had been conditioned over a lifetime to be acceptable entertainment fantasy. Paddock like the rest of us had been subjected to a constant barrage of human carnage on both the big and little screen so producers, directors, actors and sponsors could sell tickets or advertised products. Car chases, gunfights and human bloodshed never seems to get old and actual, thoughtful productions of public entertainment are few and far between because the profits just aren’t there. And we shouldn’t fall prey to the redeeming social value argument that predictably displays good winning over evil. The crowds are drawn to witness the action not the lessons of the aftermath. There’s been a lot bandied about in recent years regarding the indoctrination of populations in Muslim countries to attack others in western civilizations. But they don’t hold a candle to American movie makers and television producers. One system prays to a religious god while the other bows to the god of the almighty dollar. It doesn’t stop there. Media organizations like Fox News and CNN will cash in on this big time. The endless procession of talking heads will sell a lot of toothpaste and spaghetti sauce. Theories will abound and the experts will strut their hour upon the stage. Of course the obvious will be totally overlooked as usual because no one can see it. The obvious cannot be seen because no one wants to see it. If we want to understand why our society is falling apart then we need to stop looking at someone else’s house for a culprit. We need to take a long, hard look at ourselves.