All Sizzle

For years I’ve used the expression, “all sizzle and no steak,” to describe a variety of situations. When my university decided to spend tens of millions of dollars on a new logo rather than develop new programs that could attract more and better students was one instance emphasizing the superficial rather than developing something with some depth and substance. Most advertising, most politicians, most television and radio programming, most news coverage in a variety of media, and most corporate educational efforts (standards, texts, curricular products, etc.) can be characterized as superficial with little or so real substance.

The combined effects of such superficiality from so many different contexts are frightening. Students show up for classes and expect to get “A’s” without doing anything substantial. And, they certainly don’t expect to have to think very deeply. Politicians can speak nonsense and voters will be enthralled with how smart and decisive they are. Disregarding the increases in fake news, the mainstream media “stars” dance around, crack jokes, and smile while “reporting” on awful events. And, they just don’t seem to be able to ask a good question, think in-depth about anything, or discriminate between junk and substance. They think neutrality and balance is good, which only leads to confusion and nonsensical reporting. They are caricatures of themselves. And, the people who listen or watch the news become increasingly incapable of thinking deeply about the events and people who affect their lives. It’s the Zombie Apocalypse. Everyone, except of the few who resist are becoming zombies — incapable of thinking deeply or clearly, incapable of making informed decisions, controlled by the wealthy elite (who are just zombies with money and power who “eat” the brains of the populace with virtual mouths of the media, advertising, and so forth).

But, we can get our brains back.
We can take our lives back.
We must do it,
Before it’s too late.
The time bombs are ticking.
We must wake up from
Our zombie stupor
And change the world.

About Jeff Bloom

I’m a Researcher with and am on the Advisory Board of the International Bateson Institute and am a professor emeritus with the Department of Teaching & Learning, College of Education, Northern Arizona University.

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