Thursday, September 26, 2002

When Democracy Includes Everyone, Only Simplistic Reason Prevails

American politics will perhaps never achieve the degree of honesty our founding fathers envisioned, because their vision wisely did not embrace democracy as we know it. While it's currently fashionable to disregard anything a dead white male has said, a mulatto female and living white president have provided convincing evidence today.

Bush/Israel/Big Oil, Inc. sent out the brown one to tell us that the genocidal war against the brown ones in Iraq will begin soon. This "evidence" of course comes from the mysterious prisoners at Guantanomo Bay, whose identities are kept from us for "national security" reasons. It's completely vague evidence involving training in Iraq in the use of chemical weapons, which Israel can have - along with nukes - but are prohibited for any Muslim nation (even though there have been "problems" in US-Israel relations in the past).

Considering that this is BushInc's - what - FOURTH? attempt to convince the world that Iraq is "evil," it has no credence to an alert observer. However, to the average distracted, semi-literate voter this is cause for war. In theory, having your peers get together and decide "as one big happy family" what should be done is an emotionally fulfilling plan. If we all make the decision, we'll get it right, and there won't be much dissent - everyone will be "represented." However, the truth is that since the dawn of language, it's been trivial for leaders to manipulate the average person.

Think about this. Joe American isn't a "bad" person or a "good" person, but an average person. He works fourty hours a week, fifty with commuting time included. He trusts his newspapers and teevee. With family, shopping, home repair, children and entertainment to look after, Joe's a pretty distracted guy. He's not going to think critically about everything he reads, but will make a conclusion based on how it hits him at the moment. This is where Joe is susceptible. Like a good hacker, a government knows the first step in any attack is to set up fake data that can later be referenced in order to compromise the system. Think of it is a mental trojan horse, or a virus: they literally upload a binary logic into his brain.

First it's "good" and "evil."

Next comes the ol' Cold War canard, about how America is "free' and "democractic" and this is therefore better than any other system on earth and therefore they all hate us. It's not related to bin Laden's comments that his jihad against the JCSA originates in combat with Israel, who has repeatedly shown a disregard for Arab life. Instead, he's "evil." And now so is Saddam. Chemical weapons = bad, our side = good. Saddam = genocidal monster, Israel = holy land. Troops = peacemakers, muajideen = "terrorists." Israel firing 1,000 lb explosive missiles into Palestinian homes is somehow not terrorism, nor is what happened at Hiroshima, nor is what happened at Dresden.

What a simple world.

Joe "Voter" American thus feels empowered when the decision is presented to him in such a simple way. "Well, who wouldn't want to get rid of these horrible people?" he thinks. "I'm with the good guys! Let's go get the bad guys!" he says - thus social control is instantly implanted and effected at the same time. While right now this may be okay to most, who rationalize that Saddam Hussein is another dictator we can afford to lose, the consequences for the future are overwhelming. First-strike doctrine. UN rapid response protocols. The New World Order will involve crushing any dissidents before we're informed, because of the decisions "we" make now.

The discerning reader can now see why I, and many more thinkers and writers of late, have begun to speak up about democracy in the media age, referring to it by an older appellation: tyranny. When we strip away the pretense, and the social justification, and the corporate-governmental-theocratic manipulation, democracy means "the mob rules" and does the bidding of its masters, who are pursuing only profit. The only thing "wrong" with this is what doesn't get done as a result. No collective action is taken to make civilization more intelligent, to protect and nurture the environment, or to plan for a sustainable long-term future.

The dead white males that are currently fashionable to disregard, from humanistic media run by Christians and Jews to college campuses populated by leftist and Christian "right"ist professors, had a solution for this. When they spoke of democracy, they didn't mean that everyone could vote. They meant that only men of a certain age who were powerful enough to be familiar with the workings of power should vote. These were those who had been required to survive and endure in a business environment, and who had seen the root process behind it. They are not as easily fooled as someone too young, someone who has not forged their way in society yet, or someone with a built-in compassion overabundance as a result of biological programming for child care. They were hardened and could make difficult decisions independent of "bad' and "good" programming.

So think today, when they trot out a symbol - a "successful" black female enfranchised empowered voter - to tell you that it's time to kill the brown man in Iraq. It's not. Israel thinks this is about Israel, Big Oil thinks this is about oil, and the average voter thinks this is about democracy versus evil, but the truth is that the war in Iraq like all other human interactions is about power. And if we continue to play into their hands, we're going to hand this power to a cartel so powerful that we'll never hear anything but their "truth" thorugh our media again. Consider your support carefully. And consider turning off your teevee and shutting down the instant popularity contest we call "democracy."

Before it's impossible to make that change.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Media Popularity Is A Matter of Spin Toward the Uplifting, Vapid and Controlling

Postmodern humor: I think that's what to call what is popular in the media today. Basically, it's a contexting game. You mention enough pop culture things and then twist their context to be an inversion of their basic function, and it's "funny." It goes something like this:

McDonalds's Restaurants today announced that it would begin eliminating bodily waste as part of its new program to enhance the image of its bathrooms. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates had no immediate comment, but Steve Ballmer informed us officiously, "They could have used MSDRAW.EXE." The restaurant chain also plans to offer night courses. While evolution would be taught, creationism would be preserved as a "valid theory important to many people," and degrees would be given in the fields of Not Hurting Feelings, Not Groping in Public and Discrete Vomiting. George W. Bush tossed the first handgrenade at Iraqi workers in the kitchen and proclaimed, "A new world order which will not tolerate evil will preserve its first strike capability to reduce threats from those who do not agree." The former cast of Friends were in attendance and clapped loudly, with Jennifer Anniston handing out topless papparazzi photos of herself with her resume, phone number and blog address printed on each. Elsewhere former president Jimminy Carter proclaimed the value of a work relationship with Cuba's Fidel Castro, who recently beat Venus Williams in mixed doubles tennis. Winona Ryder, arrested as part of the Buffalo, NY cell of al-Qaeda, proclaimed her innocence with a public protest involving nudity, an electric eel, and a recording of Martin Luther King, Jr. boffing Eleanor Rooseveldt while Herbert Hoover and Ariel Sharon watch wearing matching dressers. In other news, Adolf Hitler was spotted on Miami Beach trading diamonds for plutonium which he promised was "for medical use only." Speaking of, Nevada today legalized small amounts of uranium, plutonium and strontium-90 for "personal use" by those not already identified as al-Qaeda sleeper cells.

You could easily write a script to generate this kind of weird shit, but in the meantime, this type of thinking rules the media. It's easy to create. It reinforces the need for more media. It can be done infinitely without worrying about a loss of content impetus. Sort of like the soft drink of post-web material. I blame THE ONION in part, SOUTH PARK in part, but generally, a convergence of media itself on the instant, the distracted, and the vague. Postmodernism left the hallowed halls of academia years ago and has trickled into public life, and when you filter vapid TV + the chaotic social self-worship of the internet + the increasingly fragmentary, absolutist view of the world through american politics and culture, you get this mess. "A dog's breakfast" as they used to say at the old country store, before Mr. T came in with Gov Ventura and fed the lot of them what was left of John Holmes.