A lot is being made of Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry's belief that Social Security may be a Ponzi scheme -- meaning that whatever money now goes into the system from working individuals won't pay for their retirement. Instead, it only goes to those already retired -- or near it.
Ponzi schemes are typically associated with certain practices of disreputable business executives who take in money from new investors of a particular enterprise only to use that money to pay existing (or departing) investors -- not for any legitimate business growth.
Traditional Ponzi schemers are criminals. (See Bernie Madoff). So linking those in charge of Social Security to such criminal business executives can be challenging -- unless Perry is ready to prosecute once getting into the highest office in the land.
But that's not all TV news and entertainment providers have me thinking about. There's ice cream and dessert to consider. (Hey, it's the weekend as I write this).
"Saturday Night Live" did a sketch in 1998 with a character played by Alec Baldwin - -named Pete Schweddy -- appearing on a public radio program to talk about his delicious dessert, aptly named Schweddy Balls. It took only 13 years for Ben & Jerry's to offer "Sweddy Balls" as a new ice cream flavor.
What do these two topics of TV conversation have in common? Absolutely nothing.
But I'm guessing there should be something in common -- given the crazy divergent topics one gets at any given time in the TV world. Of course, it's a world of much broader entertainment, news and sports content than anyone could imagine at the turn of the millennium -- before 9/11 - when we were still thinking about a girl named Lewinsky, and the Boston Red Sox were still looking to shed the curse of Babe Ruth.
Now, of course, we have so much more to think about -- pulling us in many directions --like the stock market's wild reverberations in losing billions of dollars one day and then gaining it all back the next. Meanwhile, we can talk about respectful media coverage for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, as well as a respectful welcoming of Ashton Kutcher into "Two and a Half Men."
A bigger mass of popular cultural topics exists to grieve over, gnaw at, and worry about. At the turn of the millennium, we were already overloaded with information -- desensitizing us. Now multiply that by a lot. We seemingly don't have a moment to take a breath and think about news events, big and small.