Equal Time For Idiots: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence in Constructing Matrix and Those Magical Republicans Turning Darkness into Light
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Ten: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence
Repetition Makes It Possible to Control – Campaign of “Obvious Truths” in Constructing Matrix
The Campaign to Create the Matrix Through “Obvious Truths” – Repetition Makes It Possible to Control
This is the second of three parts detailing the history of the Republican Party’s incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactors, the corporations and the “Filthy Rich,” through totally concocted untruths.
It continues the exposition of this incredible phenomenon of decades-long and increasing intentional misrepresentations used by one party representing a tiny segment of the electorate to weave a fabric of falsity over the eyes of the American public. Similar to a kind of hypnotic trance, it is a widely accepted but unreal and mostly opposite mental state acting like a filter to reality, blocking out the truth and substituting a fantasy quilt woven of verbal constructions.
The “Obvious Truths”
These constructions–the “obvious truths”–are designed to please the ear, rationalize the urges, and comfort the ego, so that they will become acceptable substitutes for reason and honest perception in a population which has also been intentionally burdened, stressed, and busied through policies intended to keep them submissive and fearful.
The Perpetrators and Their Motive of Fear
This coordination of policy and mantra is a strategic effort, emanating essentially from a sliver of the population, as a terrified reaction initially to a rapid series of popular developments and mass movements with global reach, with the apparent power and possibility of overthrowing a multigenerational structure of power, wealth, privilege, and dominance.
The Fall of “Obvious Truths”
The acceptability of this substitute narrative was shaken only in recent years as it collided dramatically with the system that it had spawned, exposing its roots in the minds of a class and its utter lack of foundation in reality. The story of this lengthy and comprehensive intentional deception, its dramatic collision, and the gradual awakening of the population to the real forces behind the events of their lives and times, revealed in the shock of the disruption, continues.
In Part One—Chapters Eight and Nine, I talked about the fifty-year Republican campaign to convince the media and the American people of certain truisms that had nothing to do with the truth, in fact were almost one-hundred percent of the time the opposite of the truth. It’s pretty amazing what they were able to do.
It’s quite a story what a campaign it was, involving such things as getting people poorer and poorer, requiring them to work longer hours and so on so that they would have less time to think about things. It included other elements such as the way in which people’s minds were either stressed or made busy, and also the way they wore down the American people’s resolve to fight back against injustice
Repetition Makes It Possible to Control.
The Republican untruth, no matter how contradicted by observable reality, was endlessly repeated in the exact same way, by each and every Republican. Always and everywhere when reason would be called on instead the hypnotic truism would be brought out. Pounded home in this manner, the “obvious truth” would eventually take root, sadly, without fail, for lack of anything else countering it able to be remembered.
Democratic Efforts on Deaf Ears
The Democrats, meanwhile, were of course on the opposite side of this seamless coordination of Republican effort. Since their motives were not to enslave, their instinct was to respond, for their part, with reason and explanations that step by step delineated the causes of things. However all those words could not be remembered or take root in the minds of the befuddled masses, surrounded by such a barrage of an organized, disciplined ongoing assault of “talking points” against them.
Policy Was Added to Words to Bring into Unconscious Complicity the New Mental Territories Invaded.
This mesmerism was combined with carefully crafted and timed Republican policies which succeeded beyond all expectation in eroding leisure (i.e., pondering) time, financial power, physical strength, sleep and pleasure time.
Together they created increasing worry and stress time, overwhelmed and busy moments, and mindless paperwork time. It brought in confusional realities and mental “supports.” This precarious mental state left people defenseless against the major thrust of verbal repetition, comprised of simplistic, simple-minded, irrational, then increasingly irrational, but perfectly concocted verbal phrasings that elicited the precise proportions of fear, apprehension, uncertainty, feelings of paternal comfort and of being approved of, unimpeachable direction, comprehensive reinforcement and support, pleasing reward, and congratulation so as to manage, direct, and control the populace.
That’s all I’m going to say now, but, if you didn’t read the previous two chapters or hear the first audio, that will give you a little jumpstart on this. Part Two picks up from the end of Part One, and continues now.
Erosion of Reason
A Herman’s Hermit of Economics
But at the same time, like McCain said, “I don’t know too much about economics.” So he kind of spilled the beans there. Some of the truth actually came out.
So how did that happen? This idea of a special interest, and it being equal for both? It’s basically a smear campaign against Democrats who were trying to do things for Americans. And Americans were being told something different. By who? Well on the TV, on the news media.
So who talks on the news media. Well, it’s the supposed journalists, the pundits, and so on. And they’ve been saying that for decades now, I’ve heard them… “special interest” … that the Democrats have their special interests. So therefore how does anybody know the truth? And you’ve heard it, I’m sure. They say, ”Well, the Democrats and Republicans are the same; there isn’t any difference between those parties.”
How is it that working to benefit people and working to benefit corporations are the same?
Now, how did that happen? How did it happen that Democrats who were trying to do things for the average American, for Americans in general, how did it become that they were the same as the Republicans, basically who were doing things for a handful of people in one corporation or a handful of people in the other corporation…or on behalf of some industry…all at the expense of the American people? And I’ll get to that last part later.
Answer: Start with an unthinking media.
There’s something really wrong when you have a media that doesn’t have the ability to reason enough to point out the irrationality of these concocted untruths. For they are broadcast endlessly, repetitively, over and over again, by one after another of Republicans, whenever they get on TV, whenever they get on the radio. Then they are repeated by their lackeys in the media, like Rush Limbaugh or whatever. I wonder how many of you out there are actually thinking: “Yea, that’s what that is…yeah, unions, environment…those are special interests.”
Then paint everyone with the same brush.
I pointed out that Democrats have taken money, much smaller amounts than Republicans, from this or that corporation. But every time there’s a scandal, every time some of this practice leaks out, that is not what we hear.
There was a huge example of this in recent times with the Abramoff scandal. Abramoff was a lobbyist funneling huge amounts of cash into Congress for favors. It was largely Republicans that were involved. Only one of the top eight recipients was a Democrat; the rest were Republicans.
Cover up the culpable.
But was that detail important to the media? No, no, they couldn’t have it sound that way, like we have one particularly despicable political party. It might upset people. So Abramoff gave to both parties we were told–technically true, but deceptive, certainly not informative.
Cobble people’s ability to discriminate, think, act.
And as I discuss later, without clarity on events and in particular who’s at fault, when the waters are muddied and any talk of specific people responsible is covered in social niceties and generalities with relevant details only in the fine print, well people are hamstrung in their ability to do anything to right any wrongs.
You’d Have to Be Abraham-Lincoln Noble
Back to the scandal, so we have one Democrat out of the eight politicians who made off with the most loot. One Democrat and seven Republicans in the top bunch. Do you see that picture? I doubt the percentage of ordinary folks cheating on taxes is that small.
Can we not discriminate differences? Is that too much hard work?
So can’t we make a comparison as to who a better party is, what group is more trustworthy based upon 12 % of the most corrupt being Democrats and almost 90% being Republicans? Does that not sound like the one party made out like bandits and this other guy, a Democrat, was in the room at the time?
“Free computers time!”
I mean, Jesus, if I see a truck fall over in the street and it’s got all these goodies, and they come rolling out…I don’t know, maybe it’s typewriters…. I told you I was old. Let me change that, maybe it’s computers or something. Everyone around me is taking some, taking free computers, and I’m thinking, “Hey, it’s free computers time!”
I mean, c’mon. How noble do you have to be to resist almost nine out of ten people around you? You gotta be pretty damn noble. I’m talking Abraham Lincoln noble, right?
Dumb and Dumber
So anyway, can we have a little rational thought, or comparison?
Treating people like they’re dumber
Or do we just, as media, cavalierly toss out clichéd thoughtless truisms as if the masses don’t matter….as if they are not real and thoughtful deciders in our collective drama but merely pawns to be placated or riff-raff to be kept down. If we find something wrong with one party why must we paint both parties with the same brush? Isn’t that what is done?
Is it any wonder then there is apathy? Any wonder there is confusion and self-sabotage among so many?
Doesn’t the media have any way of discerning any differences? …and that’s what I was setting up at the beginning, wasn’t I?
The dummies in front of us
There’s been an erosion of rationality, and it’s not just of regular Americans. It’s also of those Americans who are in front of us on TV, soothing us with comfortable truisms, which I think many of them half believe.
And by the way who arranges for the televising of these pundits and the news shows and programming like that? Geez, isn’t it like really, really big corporations and rich people who own them…General Electric, Rupert Murdoch, and folks like that?
This new app for creating the news.
The result is a situation where it is doubtful there is much reason involved in what is told. Hardly any common sense or thought into it, it is as if the scripts are cobbled together by computers from random cliches that are currently about and, of course, the always handy “obvious truths.” In the example of bribes paid to politicians, and the Abramoff one is typical, isn’t the media’s take on it slanted? No doubt they would want to derail public anger toward the masters of the troughs they feed at.
So lacking in the most minimal analysis, the insinuation that goes out is that the Democrats, well, they get a little bit of money from a corporation and much more from the American people but that little bit is going to corrupt them equally as much as the tenfold amounts that the Republicans take in.
This also in disregard of the fact that the far bigger “bosses,” if we can call it that, of Democrats is the ordinary folks, often, as in the issue-oriented organizations as mentioned in Part One–those “special” Americans seeking to be heard through unions and groups whose concerns are education, the environment, the elderly, public health, liberty, justice, civil rights, consumer protection, world peace, integrity of government, media accountability, the welfare of the helpless and the poor, and so on.
Democrat “special” interests
The special interest followed by the “small” group benefited by it:
- workers – only people who work
- education – only people who think
- environment – only people who breathe, drink, eat…who don’t want to die
- elderly – only people who get older
- public health – only people who get sick
- consumer protection – only people who buy anything
- liberty – only people who want to decide things for themselves
- justice – only people who would not like to spend their lives in jail for no reason and with no recourse
- free speech and free press – only people who have anything to say to others at any time
- civil rights – only people who are not part of any group whatsoever and also do not have a conscience
- world peace – only people who do not want their families, themselves, to die and who don’t have a conscience
- integrity of government – only people who would like things to go well and to avoid unnecessary misery
- truth in the media – only people who would like to avoid living in confusion
- media accountability – only people who want truth in the media, who would like to avoid living in confusion
- social security – only people who want to avoid being beaten to death by poverty
- welfare of the helpless – only people who know for sure they are never going to have bad luck and who don’t have a conscience
- welfare of the poor – only people who know they will never, ever lack money and who don’t have a conscience
[Hint: Consider the ones who actually fit this category to find the ones who would be a Republican “boss,” would never favor Democrats, and would want to confuse you on all the above. This is a point that will elaborated even further as we continue.]
- “bosses” that have occurred to you, from here down
Media mollifying us that Republicans would actually bite the hand that feeds them.
On the flip side, whereas the media insinuates that Democrats are enslaved by the relatively meager amounts of corporate money directed to them, for the Republicans, who are receiving the tenfold amounts and are virtually exclusively funded by corporations…their entire paycheck paid by the rich folks…the media implies that these folks, miraculously defying human nature, are actually going to go out there and day after day point out the corruption in America that is ever the product of this bloated elite, their sole benefactors.
“To…catapult the propaganda” – G.W. Bush: Talking Points and Chanted Misinformation
Talking Points = “Obvious Truths”: “To…catapult the propaganda” – G.W. Bush
“To..catapult the propaganda” – G.W. Bush.
C’mon, c’mon, a little bit of rationality, folks! But however inconsistent with common sense these insinuations and outright assertions from the media, when you have something that’s repeated over and over again, mantram-like…man! Especially if you’re in a confused state, or a stressed state…it’s gonna be the only thing you can think of when you’re coming up with opinions.
These untruths are so firmly woven into the fabric of the Matrix–you’ll see there are others you’ll recognize–that when hearing them you’ll probably say, “Oh, yeah, that’s true.”
That’s what they’ve accomplished. And these nonsensicals are so perfectly knitted into the blanket of that matrix that they’re both mesmerizing and invisible, therefore unchallenged, even by the pundits. They are even, by rational argument, unchallenge-able.
Talking Points = “Obvious Truths”
Now, what do I mean by that…”unchallenge-able”? Republicans at a point in my lifetime included in their coordinated daily attacks on clarity a kind of chanting in coordinated fashion. By that I mean they were repeating the same, as they call them now, talking points.
“You got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the [un’]truth to sink in” – G.W. Bush.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but remember, if you did tune in for any of Bush’s debates, when he was running for president either time. He’d be asked a question.
And he’d never give an answer to the question. It would be used like a jumping off point to say what he really wanted to say. It had the intended effect of distracting the viewers from any clear thought on the issue or subject.
It also freed up that time to be used, once viewers were led off track, for the seeding of those now assailable minds. Specifically, Bush was able to use the time allotted for answering questions instead to pound home the talking points Rich-publicans were trying to turn into some new (untrue) “obvious truths” (of course also to reinforce the old ones).
Palin: I’m not going to let the media set me up to answering your questions, I’m going to brainwash you instead!
Oh by the way we had a really good example of that with the Republican vice-presidential candidate last time. I don’t know how many of you have seen it, but Sarah Palin, in the vice-presidential debate, she was so… incredible…in a way…in her brazenness. She’s up there alongside Biden who’s answering questions. And at her turn, she’s saying (paraphrasing) “I’m not going to let you media folk set me up here, so I’m going to talk to the people directly.”
And that’s how it went the whole hour, hour and a half, whatever it was. Whatever the question was, she’d totally ignore it and recite a monologue instead. Well, basically she’s repeating again and again her favorite, most lucrative mantra, her most delicious untruths.
Attacks on our reason…i.e., Republicans to public – “You’re a dumb shit, I’m not going to answer your questions!”
But what if you really wanted to know something? She wouldn’t answer you. So it was also like a one-way conversation.
Here we have politicians, who are always telling us what the truth is, but who will not answer our questions so that we can add our own thinking to the matter. We are prevented from coming to our own conclusions, so also making our own decisions.
Well that’s really an attack on our reason, isn’t it? I mean we can’t ask questions, but you can just tell us what the truth is? And that’s basically what was going on.
So it is sort of like a coordinated chanting. It doesn’t matter what the issue or topic is, from the gop side you just keep hearing the same phrases about it—phrases intended to replace reason.
It doesn’t either matter which Republican is talking or what TV show they are on, they are repeating the same phrases. Like Sarah Palin, they are using any question, as in a television interview, as a launch point into a rehearsed nicely knit together, truth-sounding, package of untruths. You see this one Republican saying something here, say, then there’s another Republican over there, and if you compare you notice she or he is repeating basically the same thing almost in the exact same words.
And there’s a certain power in something that’s said over and over again in the exact same words. We know this. We’ve seen that power conspicuously in recent times. We can hear Hitler, in Nazi Germany, repeating the same thing over and over again…and using this rhetorical device in targeting Jews, getting people all riled up and such. On recordings from this era we hear their…”Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!” There’s a certain kind of comfort in not having to think, all you have to do is chant. And you can rely on these chants because everybody’s saying them, so they have the power, of like, wow, they must be true, because, well, everybody’s saying them, everybody around you. Well that’s a sad state of affairs.
This is your brain. Now, this is your brain on deception…
So what does this do, this omnipresent repetition of phrases in response to questions? This chanting of untruths instead of having rational discourse, when people are hearing this year after year and even decade after decade, what does it do?
Well, it adds to the smokescreen of confusion and misinformation that was effectively castrating and making Americans easily manipulated to whatever end the Republicans wanted. I mean after all you’re not getting reasoned answers, you’re just getting slogans, and that leaves you confused, especially if it’s combined with a lot of misinformation which challenges the facts on everything, when everything is turned backward and they’re lying about everything.
I’m sure you haven’t forgotten how flagrant that intentional deception was over Bush’s eight years. And isn’t that gonna make you confused? I remember a time when the facts were not so much in dispute so there wasn’t such a huge divide between the Democrats and the Republicans about what the issues were. What was debated could then be what you do about those commonly acknowledged problems.
Equal Time For Idiots: For “Fair” Reporting, Mix Equal Parts Truth and Lies…. (It’ll be fun seeing if the public can figure it out!)
Paralysis of Action Because of Misinformation:
Giving stupidity a chance…the only thing about which we’re compassionate these days.
Denial of a Problem…Yea, That’s Gonna Solve It.
So this confusion over the issues has birthed an increasing polarization of opinions over the years about what the issues are. You see, we’re being told by some Republicans that there’s no global warming going on. Nooo. Wow. They are saying that issue, and for that matter virtually every environmental issue, does not exist! Certainly we’d all like to believe that, so even at their own peril adherents will be found for this obvious denial.
A Convenient “Truth.”
And who do they have to back up that refusal to look at the problem? Well keep in mind, first, it is virtually one hundred percent of the reputable scientists studying global warming that are in agreement on the dire reality of it, regardless of the “inconvenience” of that view. Meanwhile, to oppose that position, from the Right they get, say, someone who’s got a degree from a Bible Institute and he says, “Aaaah, there’s no global warming.” And his opinion is equal to that of all those scientists, in the world?
Would You Really Think It’s Debatable If…?
So this misinformation I’m talking about is put out there. And you don’t have the media telling you, “Well these are 100 scientists saying this, all writing statements, and studying these issues. And on the other side of this issue, we have this person who’s studying theology and he got his information from the Bible. And the Bible says there’s no global warming.” Now, if they were to put it to you that way, would you really think there was a debate? Would you really think that it’s like “Ah, maybe there is global warming, maybe there isn’t?” Naw, I don’t think you would. But that’s not the way it’s presented.
Equal Time For Idiots
At a certain point in my life I saw how the media changed its way of presenting topics. They would say they are just providing “equal time” (or that they are “fair and balanced”?), but this was not about candidates at all.
Recipe For “Accurate” Reporting – Start by mixing equal amounts of truth and lies…. (It’ll be fun seeing if the public can figure it out!)
They claim that their position on reporting is rooted in the equal time restrictions we have for elections. This appears to be a convenient rationalization for a more insidious intent.
What they began doing is, ok, let’s say that the Democrats basically thought the sky looked blue. But there were some Republicans that were in the camp of the yellow sky movement, the pink sky movement, whatever. And what reason do those Republicans give for saying that? Well maybe it’s because the Bible says it or something. (An aside: that might be the reason they’d give, but typically their real reason would be that an industry that is supporting them is spewing something into the atmosphere making the sky more and more yellow or pink.)
Giving Stupidity a Chance…the only thing about which we’re compassionate these days.
Now, what do the journalists do here? Well, they figure there’s two opinions on this thing. Honest to God, that’s what happened.
And this method of reporting was actually debated when it started to happen. There were more seasoned journalists who were pointing out, “Hey, this is not giving equal time! We don’t give equal time to an idiotic argument just because it challenges, just because it is the opposite of the truth.”
Erosion of Action
Doubting the Obvious, You’re Paralyzed
But if you do follow this Recipe for the Advancement of Idiot Persons (RAIP), and you have the journalists thinking that’s what they’re supposed to do, or maybe they are being told to do that, or maybe they’re being paid to do that, or maybe they’re getting benefits to do that, or maybe they’re being liked if they do that… by you know who, by people up above them… and people above them happen to want to be liked by people above them and people above them want to be liked by people above them… and people at the top are, y’know, the filthy rich. So… confusion.
So what happens? When you’ve got this kind of smoke screen and this misinformation, it’s debilitating. I mean I felt it.
And what does it do? It makes you doubt the truth about obvious things. And if you doubt the truth about obvious things, then are you gonna take any action? No! You’re powerless, you’re gonna stand still and you’re gonna go, “What am I supposed to do?” It’s kind of like a castration.
Surrounded by Untruth, You’re Easily Swayed
Powerless against the tides
Also, you’re easily manipulated. You’re standing there. Now if you’re just standing there not knowing what to do, and somebody starts pushing you in a particular direction, you’ve got no reason not to go in that direction. Basically that’s putting it in physical terms, but if you don’t have any ideas about what the truth is, you can be told anything. Well, that’s been pretty dangerous in the past.
We’ve had many, many people killed…whether it’s in Nazi Germany or Cambodia or whatever. They were easily manipulated, and they were not fighting back. And they were confused about the truth. That’s what Hitler did.
Why wouldn’t you want a Brooklyn Bridge?
So that you’re easily manipulated to whatever end the Republicans want. And, we’ll get more into what they want, if you haven’t already figured it out. You’re also easily persuaded into firmly believing any untruth the Republicans would contrive. When at any turn they will see an advantage or benefit worth pursuing that requires a change of public opinion, then Americans would be more easily convinced.
Those Magical Republicans Turning Darkness into Light
I’ve even got an example of this from Nixon…I said it’s been going on for fifty years. Nixon was horrid even compared to the Republicans at the time. It’s only when he’s compared to Bush and the even more larcenous Republicans currently that he is seen to have any positive qualities.
The example, however, pertains to the establishment of HMOs–Health Maintenance Organizations–as a solution to the health care problem. He is the one who brought the profit motive into health care, jumping onto the HMO bandwagon after learning through Ehrlichman from Kaiser Permanente’s CEO, Edgar Kaiser, that “All the incentives are toward less medical care, because…the less care [we] give them, the more money [we] make…and the incentives run the right way.” Explained this way Nixon was sold on the idea; we hear him saying on the recording tape, “Not bad” and “Well, that appeals to me.”
Nice trick, Dick!
So, is that the way Nixon presented it to the American public–”I’ve got this great way that will insure you will suffer more when you’re sick so that my filthy rich friends can wallow deeper in dough”? Hardly.
A few days later Nixon rolled out his health care “solution.” In his speech he stressed how this managed care would expand medical care and coverage and be a tremendous boon to the overall health and longevity of Americans.
Giving a helping hand…to your assailants.
And Nixon’s minions in his Republican party and the media took it from there: They turned his deception into talking points and ultimately into “obvious truths.” The American public believed this truism that managed care would lower overall costs. They missed the part that they would not benefit from lowered costs, that lowered costs meant profits that would go into unseen hands, who would then go even further in denying medical care and increasing overall suffering and tragedy so that they could gather even more booty.
From today’s perspective of accelerating medical costs and such widespread denial of coverage and benefits as to require massive corrective legislation, we can see just how well Nixon’s plan to lower the cost of health care and expand coverage worked out for us.
So we see how one Republican molded the American mind to make it complicit in its own abuse, to cause average folks to participate in the very assaults on them.
I will return to this example of Nixon and what actually happened with him later on, because there’s more to be said about it.
Repetition makes it possible to control.
I just want to finish the thoughts about how this process works, this confusion, making people more manipulated, keeping them stressed and so on so that they will be more receptive. And as I was pointing out, when the Republicans need a change of public opinion or want people to believe a particular thing, the Big Lie is employed; in its repetition it makes it possible to control.
Any one remember the wmd’s in Iraq? Ok. So the persistence in selling an invasion into Iraq was so effective…that persistence of repeating the same thing by all the Republicans was an unqualified success due to its masterful coordination. Republicans are known for this cohesion of action.
Having the sole aim of making money keeps a party focused.
By contrast, the joke that goes around is the statement by an opponent, “I don’t belong to any organized party, I belong to the Democratic Party.” There is this feeling among those up against Republicans because of the radical individualism, the radical differences of opinion that Democrats have.
Whereas Republicans can keep it simple and be that much more persuasive. There can be no disagreement or confusion about an aim so singular, so clear—to benefit themselves and the people that are paying to get them elected. That keeps them pretty consistent and gives them a lot of solidarity.
Getting a kick out of those rascally Republicans
Good examples of this acting in lock-step abound in the last few years. How many times have we seen Republicans in perfect array going up against Obama, Pelosi, Reid, the Democrats? Those rascally conservatives were so pleased with themselves. They couldn’t be more proud when not a single one of their hundreds in the House voted for either the Democratic stimulus or budget in Obama’s first year.
“Wtf! Are you in grade school?”
They were so proud of that: they “stared down” Obama (What the f… are they in grade school?). We had Arlen Specter, only lately become a Democrat, who voted in the Senate for the stimulus plan along with the lone two Republican senators–two women, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine.
Now that I think about it…they’re being so cohesive and so disciplined…you just got to wonder if some of them tried to take ol’ Arlen Specter out to the woodshed and that’s why he ran to the Democrats.
The Fall of “Obvious Truths”
How do they get Republicans to be so disciplined? Well, one of the things is, they’ve all got the same aim.
Whereas if you’re a Democrat, you’re going to have all kinds of concerns; the party allows you to have them. Some Dems might be more interested in health care, and some might be thinking education is the answer….
But with Republicans it’s all the same—corporations, you must help the corporations out… “I’ll help you help your big corporation and you’ll help me help my big corporation, and we’ll all continue to get reelected and get plenty of money.”
Republicans in plain sight hidden
So that’s a good way of viewing their differences. But most folks would hardly know that, because Republicans are very effective in avoiding any talk about anything that might give them away. I mean none of the Republicans want to be showed up for what they are really in office for.
But it’s no longer crazy talk.
Of course, this abject distinction between the major parties has become most pronounced over the course of the last fifty years. What I’m saying now doesn’t sound as crazy as when I learned it, when I saw it happening and first spoke of it. I saw this increasing corruption of Republicans to the point of it becoming overt and blatant in the last ten, twenty years…the fall of “obvious truths.”
So this viewpoint that Republicans are an owned and paid for subsidiary of corporate behemoths is a more frequently expressed perspective…especially since Bush’s ignoble slide and abject economic and diplomatic failure. Around the end of Bush’s “regime” Republicans had declined twenty percent in numbers, and there was talk of them becoming extinct. They had been showed to be who they are. Finally people were starting to realize that, yeah, yeah, you can be lied to…there was a decline of “obvious truths” corresponding to the light that was dawning and the naked Republicans that could be seen scurrying for the doors.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eleven: Reality Transplant, The Media
Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine: Creating an American Life
The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Two – an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema
Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Two,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eleven: Reality Transplant, The Media
Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine: Creating an American Life
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Creating an American Mind: The Fifty-Year Campaign to Gain Wealth and Advantage Through Totally Concocted Untruths … Why Americans Are Confused, Passionless, Dumb
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight:
Creating an American Mind
Creating an American Mind – The Fifty-Year Campaign to Gain Wealth and Advantage Through Totally Concocted Untruths
“Obvious Truths” — The History of the Republican’s Fifty-Year Campaign to Gain Wealth for Their Benefactors Through Totally Concocted Untruths
This series—“Obvious Truths”—delineates the history of the American Republican’s incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive–seemingly coordinated–nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “Filthy Rich,” through totally concocted untruths. These falsehoods were introduced carefully, slowly, and therefore invisibly, over time, one-by-one with persistent, relentless repetition replacing reason or rational persuasion; along with a coordinated campaign whose goal was the creation of an American Mind eroded of rationality and confused and made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications seamlessly portrayed as truths.
These “obvious truths” were employed together with an exact and strategic use of misinformation precisely targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends. These were combined with their campaign to physically and financially weaken the American public through the simultaneous, and equally slow, meticulous, and perfectly coordinated introduction of policies, which though not invisible were cleverly packaged and perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step and year-by-year connections of these policies with their cumulative, increasingly successful results.
The intended goal was the castration of the power of all Americans except for the “filthy rich” and the Republican leadership, their lackeyed public faces. Coincident with this goal what was sought were the lessening of Americans’ power to act constructively to alleviate even their clearly felt and increasing suffering; the slow but comprehensive elimination of rational thought and ability to reason in the American Mind; and the creation of an American consciousness clouded and afog in confusion and thus forgetful of its past as a point of comparison.
What was desired was an American personality splintered and disintegrated and desperate for something however irrational to cling to. Along with such a fractured and weakened psyche, the campaign sought the dismantling of any solidarity of Americans on any large scale. They reasoned this disunity of purpose would be the natural consequence of the average person’s confused state and its inability to discern obvious aspects of reality which, otherwise and in times prior to the campaign, would have been obvious organizing principles giving rise to passionate resistance.
In the past, passionate engagement in action to change one’s circumstances could occur because of the former unconfused clarity in witnessing big events and pervasive, blatant, and universal patterns of change and making the obvious and easy correct interpretations. This clarity created conviction in one’s beliefs, rooted in first-hand observation. And in the past these convictions were reinforced virtually universally by the great majority of Americans, who also witnessed the obvious same things and made the apparent and doubtless interpretations that cried out from them.
In contrast to the former American personality, this campaign by an American, and increasingly global, elite worked to create an apathetic, neutered American easily manipulated to the ends of wealthy overseers.
Our Fifty-Year Invisible “Family” and Cracks in the Dome of Unreality – Creating an American Mind
Creating an American Mind – Our Invisible “Family” and, Finally, the Cracks in the Dome of Unreality
Our Invisible “Family”
This reveals the fifty-year invisible family and community that surrounded all Americans and affected every aspect of their lives, including, and intentionally, the basic components of one’s personality, and the erosion of reason, Soul, and independent thought or action.
I explain how only because of increasingly cocky and greedy acts and extreme over-reaching “in broad daylight,” before the entire world, did this malevolent surround become visible. These brutish and thievish over-reaches displayed an incredible disregard for, disrespect of, indeed, an actual literal inability of the “Filthy Rich” and their Republican puppets to SEE American People, who were the recipients of these attacks.
Together these reveals—displayed unintentionally however blatantly and unknowingly by the Republicans and the “Filthy Rich”… and before the entire world—disclosed to the masses of Americans some “cracks,” “stains,” or textures in the “dome” of unreality they’d existed in, which had made them blind to Reality itself, and had kept them in a near zombie-like dream reality.
As this awakening continued, some began remembering events, the memories of which had been “bleached” out of awareness until just then, and then with remembering they realized how they’d been trained like animals their entire lives for the uses, whatever they’d be, of the “Filthy Rich,” and been trained then to forget that.
It is clear that the “filthy rich” had an absolute certainty of their success because of their unmitigated power. What is also evident is the absolute inability of the “Filthy Rich”…which was the shocking thing they’d carelessly let out and therefore displayed to the World…the absolute inability of the Republicans and the “Filthy Rich” to actually notice—let alone view or act towards—Americans as any thing even living or having sentient ability, let alone as humans, people, or individuals.
And as for the term “fellow Americans” often employed by Rich-publican politicos in addressing the masses, if that thought even crossed your mind for a second as being anything but a device, you are not fully appreciating just how literally I mean for my words to be taken. You may very well, in fact, be deeply dreaming and have missed the crack in the dream state that had shone the light in the eyes of a sufficiently large segment of the world population as to cause them to come out of trance and begin to untie their formerly invisible bonds, so that they could try looking around, which led to the realization of the reality that had been blocked from view, and the beginnings of investigations into the real truths of their existence, and to this series of expositions, among others, delineating the actual, formerly invisible profile of the actual actors in Americans’ lives and their processes of control, as well as the things in their lives that were determined for them by the “Filthies,” though ordinary folks thought they had been making decisions for themselves.
And the last aspects of this series delineates the real factors in our lives and the outlines of the real intentions for us these puppet masters have had, and have even now in mind.
The Power of Money to Persuade…When You Happen to Be Poor – Creating an American Mind and Personality
We Were More Likely to Question Authority When We Lived in Prosperous Times – Creating an American Mind and Personality
“The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths’” discusses the history of the American Republicans’ incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive, seemingly coordinated nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “filthy rich” through totally concocted untruths.
Changing the World?
This started when I was reading over another post I had made. The title was relevant, and it triggered this whole thing. The title was “On Cultural Change, Consciousness, and Music.” And I described it as so: “The perfect confluence of context, moment, and person makes history…Obama’s astonishing rise to the Presidency, for example. But the perfect alignment of a nation’s or world’s deep mood, the moment, and a musician or artist can change the world forever. For example, The Beatles.”
Times Weren’t Always Like This
After reading that, I imagined someone else viewing it, and I considered how chances are it would be someone younger than me-—for I am old enough. That is part of what this is about. I am old enough to have seen some things and I remember some things that people growing up in this day and age would have no conception of. Those more recently coming of age are used to a particular American setting somewhat different than the one I knew. Growing up in a particular context, naturally they would think that is the way things are and how they have to be; they could not know any differently.
“Obvious Truths” Is About How I Saw Things Change
I was born in 1950, so I am aware of other ways that America has been. This part of the book, on “Obvious Truths,” is a lot about how I saw things change. Specifically, I look at the changes in the way we view ourselves, our lives, and authority; I have yet to hear anyone else mention these kinds of changes.
But, Really, Change the World We Did
Getting back to that younger person reading that description, I imagined this other person seeing what I wrote about the Beatles and all that, about changing the world…changing the world! In the harsh light of their cold-hearted reality and the comfortable assuredness of their beliefs, I figured they would consider me naive, if not more. How could that person understand? But, really, change the world we did.
Music’s Power to Persuade
Addressing that younger person, I started writing, “If the title’s claim sounds silly or trite to you then you are operating out of a social prejudice we carry from childhood, particularly around status. And you haven’t stopped to evaluate and compare.” Now, I know that sounds kind of harsh, but it comes together you’ll see.
For one thing, leaders and politicians, even great ones, can only alter the course of events slowly and meticulously. Sweeping changes cannot happen by fiat as they depend on the people’s passionate involvement, which you cannot create. In the case of a dictatorship-—for example, Hitler’s Germany, or Kim “Big Little Man’s” North Korea of the present-—that passion might be faked, probably it would need to be faked. Still, even in a free society, politicians can only use words; and no matter how stirring those words, they can reach only so deep inside. It is with great difficulty that political leaders try to move the soul of a nation; most of that mood is untouchable to them.
Meanwhile music, in particular, more potently than any other art form, has the capacity to alter consciousness. I will explain that later; it is an area I have done a lot of study in. It is a part of my profession.
Anyway, music affects your feelings and so it affects your consciousness. So its effects will really stay with you more than words will. Music is a more powerful thing, and it has been used consciously to try to sway the spirits of humans ever since the times of shamans.
But music is a much more powerful thing when the perfect combination of mood, context, and music come together. If you think music is not so powerful then explain why music is required at virtually any social gathering…particularly, when there is involved any attempt to persuade the feelings of the attendees. Have you ever noticed that? What is truly shocking is how music can even be more powerful than vast piles of money put against it.
I said, can be. In talking about music’s power to persuade I am reminded of political rallies and such.
The Persuasive Power of Money … When You Happen to Be Poor
On the other side from the power of leaders’ words of inspiration, which is limited, of music’s more effective persuasions, and the potency of passion and heartfelt feeling naturally arising in people, consider the power of money. Money in the hands of the “filthy rich” is used in a variety of ways and obviously has tremendous persuasive powers of its own.
And here is what I am getting at: Money, as arrayed against music, passion, and social movements is especially more powerful in a situation where the people have been put in financial jeopardy because of the prosperity of the rich. As an aside, I remember a time in America’s past when people were more prosperous and confident about their abilities to manage their lives. I do not believe it is a coincidence that in those days money wielded by the wealthy had less power to persuade and people were less easily bought than today. It was said that people then were wont to question authority more than they were likely to bow down to it. I will get back to this later.
Anyway, these are the things I was thinking about when this started.
Related Post: Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy…
“Obvious Truths” – The True Sounding Untruths – in the Creation of the American Mind
The True Sounding Untruths: Precise and Strategic Use of “Obvious Truths” in the Creation of the American Mind
The True Sounding Untruths. (Hell! It’s Obvious the Earth is Flat!)
Then I started thinking about that: the “filthy rich,” specifically, the power of the “filthy rich” and their money. I began to consider it more deeply. Remember this is called the rise and fall of “obvious truths.” I was drawn to looking into those commonly accepted truisms-—truth-sounding but not true; let us call them “obvious truths.” Not true but sounding true: Think of how correct it must have sounded at one time to hear that the Earth is flat. So, an “obvious truth” is something unthinkingly accepted as true but is not actually true when thought about or looked into. I considered some of these errant habits of thinking and looked at where and why they arose and why they would take hold and have power despite having no foundation in reality.
Doing so, I came up with this description of “obvious truths” and the context birthing them:
These untruthy truisms arise out of the American Republicans’ disciplined, relentless, persistent, cohesive fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “filthy rich” through totally concocted untruths, which are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time….
Just accept my word for it for now; I will explain….
These untruths are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time, one by one, with persistent, relentless repetition replacing reason or rational persuasion, as part of a coordinated comprehensive campaign whose goal is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused and made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications of the Republicans seamlessly portrayed as truths.
Precise and Strategic Use of “Obvious Truths” in the Creation of the American Mind
I know this is sounding pretty wild. But, you’ll see. Hang in there and see if I can support it. As I was explaining,
The Republicans’ goal, to be precisely and inexorably attained, is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused. And this mind is to be shepherded by the exact and strategic use of misinformation specifically targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends. This seeding of minds is to work dialectically with their campaign to physically and financially weaken the American public with the simultaneous and equally slow and meticulous and precisely timed introduction of policies….
I said, I can support this….
This introduction of policies, which though not invisible are cleverly packaged, is to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative increasingly successful results.
Now, again, bear with me….
Their Intended Results
These results are the castration of the American…of Americans in general–except for the “filthy rich” and the Republican leadership which are their lackey public faces. So, the intent of this long campaign, employing “obvious truths” as munitions, is the crippling of Americans’ power in particular to resist even the inexorable increase in the clearly felt suffering heaped upon them as these years went by.
I’ll give you a hint, alright? I remember living in a time that was not so economically depressed. I watched it slowly get worse, and worse, and worse; and I saw people suffering more, and more, and more, ok? But I did not hear people complaining more, and more, and more. That’s a hint.
Ok, so what we have is Americans’ power monkey wrenched through policies directed at them and sustained by “obvious truths” pushed by Republicans whose purpose is to diminish people, to reduce their power, and ultimately to bring them down financially while raising the wealthies higher.
Recipe for The Matrix: Misinformation, Repetition, Impoverishment
Recipe for The Matrix: Reduce Financial Resources, Add Copious Amounts Misinformation, Repeat (Endlessly)
Weaving the Matrix
Getting back to the truisms themselves, remember, as I said, these totally concocted untruths are designed to be surreptitiously introduced-—carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly over time-—one-by-one. They are to be planted through persistent relentless repetition, not by rational persuasion, and are intended to replace reason and independent thought.
They are meant to do their work within an invisible matrix as part of a coordinated campaign whose purpose is the construction of an American mind lacking in its ability to reason and confused. Lastly, this mind is to be made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications seamlessly portrayed as truths through the exact and strategic use of misinformation precisely targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends.
Alright? I said bear with me, I’ll be able to give you some examples of this…or I’ll make a fool out of myself, that’ll be your choice…
These specific objectives are also to be brought to fruition through a massively funded, all inclusive, and strategically targeted campaign to financially weaken the American public through incremental changes in national fiscal policy as well as-—note this-—in national culture. National policy changes are to be achieved through the simultaneous and equally slow meticulous and precisely timed introduction of policy initiatives. Though these national initiatives could not be invisible, they are to be cleverly packaged as well as sneakily introduced and are to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative, increasingly successful results.
Ok? I’ll get into the policies, soon. But I am starting with a conclusive statement, and it might seem over the top. You may think it too bold, but I think I can back it up.
Again, those sought for results include the emasculation of the average American through sabotage of her or his powers to act in an effective way in any and all aspects of their lives. To be achieved at the same time is the fortification of the power and wealth of the filthy rich puppeteers and their lackey public faces in the Republican Party.
Instrumental in strengthening the wealthy class of insidious directors is the weakening of the remainder of the population’s abilities. And in particular and ultimately the intention is to cobble the ordinary person’s power to get out from under or to alleviate for very long the inexorable increase in their clearly felt suffering as the years go by. For this suffering and the helplessness about it is crucial to the directors’ success.
Bear with me…
The Creation of Confusion, The Stifling of Conviction and Thus Passion: Making America’s Matrix
Making the Matrix in America: The Creation of Confusion, The Stifling of Conviction and Thus Passion
The Creation of Confusion, The Stifling of Conviction and Thus Passion
Now, the key to all this being brought about is the creation of an American consciousness clouded in fog and confusion and thus forgetful of its past as a point of comparison. In this way splintered…we’re talking about the American mind…splintered, and disintegrated it is desperate for something however irrational to cling to.
Along with or coincident with the orchestration of the American mind was the dismantling of any solidarity of Americans on any large scale. This follows, because of the confused state that the average American would normally have and its inability—the person’s inability or the American mind’s inability—to discern obvious aspects of reality and distortions of it (lies) which in times prior would have provided obvious organizing standards around which would be passionate resistance. This is what could and would happen in times previous to the Republicans’ campaign.
For example, I went through a time where people would go into the streets and there were people who complained. Recently we’ve talked about Bush…there’s a book out about how Bush actually created a dictatorship during his eight years.
It’s amazing to me that we all knew that, the corruption was so rampant it was like on a daily basis we were hearing things that in a former time—the Sixties, the Fifties, anytime—would have caused Bush to be tossed out on his ear. This time, somehow, it’s like there was nobody in the streets. People went about their lives as if ignoring what was going on … Ok, so there I’m giving you a taste, alright? anyway…
So, I said that in a previous time there would have been passionate, a passionate response. Now I say it’s passionate because of the former unconfused minds’ clarity in witnessing big events and pervasive, blatant universal patterns of change and making the obvious and easy correct interpretations. So what I’m saying is clarity of thought creates sureness of action and sureness of one’s feelings, whereas confused minds lends itself to apathy or misguided self-destructive acts. In just a bit I’ll get into how these minds get confused and I think you’ll begin to see some of those things inside of yourself because I think we’re all feeling some of it.
Anyway, so this clarity, of seeing these things happening, created conviction in one’s belief which was rooted in first-hand observation. I have in other parts shared some of my first-hand observations of events, especially those happening in my formative years. The conviction of my thinking is rooted in such events.
At the time, I also experienced much confirmation and affirmation of my views on these events. So, in general, in times previous to the one we’re in, this clarity and conviction born of first-hand observation was reinforced virtually universally by the great majority of Americans around them who also witnessed the obvious same things and made the apparent and doubtless interpretations that cried out from them.
An example, ok. America once had a president who was much despised, though he was actually not as bad as Bush. But the American people were unfettered in their feelings about this president’s actions, and their refusal to put up with his despicable acts caused Nixon to resign.
So, first off, we have former American minds capable of seeing obvious wrongness, injustice, illegality, untruth, deception, or worse. In our example, this might be the the suffering and/or death of innocent young men or the unspeakable horror being inflicted on the bystanding innocents in the conflict they are engaged in.
Once with clarity seeing, then about it gathering with great conviction—undoubting and unconfused conviction—and passion in large numbers and in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right these obvious wrongs, or their like.
It all starts with clearly identifiable rallying points in obvious view of the great masses of Americans, however.
Too many people are unaware or forget that there was a great union movement in America, there was a great antiwar movement in the country… ok? You don’t see much of that action these days. So, this is what I’m getting to, there’s been a change.
So when these great masses of American were clearly in solidarity about things they saw were obviously wrong they effected change. Think about it. Go back to the Depression. People knew they were poor and they put Roosevelt in power. Ok? They did something about it.
Anyway, so in times past you might have this clarity of what’s wrong and of your own suffering around it. You are not confused about blatant happenings in the reality around you. And the people around you, they see it as well. And they confirm it in you. Then you’re pretty sure what the heck’s going on. I mean it’s hard to deny your own reality. But it’s even harder to deny it when other people see it too, and they’re experiencing the same thing. [Footnote 1]
The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny…Any Wonder Why Americans Are So Confused, or Dumb?
Wonder why Americans Are So Confused, or Dumb?
The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny…
We have former American minds capable of seeing obvious wrongness, injustice, illegality, untruth, deception, or worse: Once with clarity seeing, then about it gathering with great conviction—undoubting and unconfused conviction—and passion in large numbers and in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right these obvious wrongs, or their like. The examples I gave were the union, antiwar, suffragette, and civil rights movements; we could add the Revolutionary War itself and the abolitionist movement. And I mentioned how people rose up for a New Deal and elected Roosevelt during the Great Depression and how Nixon was hounded out of office, yet Bush the Dubya’s crimes—far worse, including “dictatorship”—were not enough even to bring people out into the streets.
It all starts with clearly identifiable rallying points in obvious view of the great masses of Americans, however. In times past you might have this clarity of what’s wrong and of your own suffering around it. You are not confused about blatant happenings in the reality around you. And the people around you, they see it as well. And they confirm it in you. Then you’re pretty sure what the heck’s going on. I mean it’s hard to deny your own reality. But it’s even harder to deny it when other people see it too, and they’re experiencing the same thing.
The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny
But what if the media is saying that it ain’t happening? Does that said familiar? At all? It ain’t happening? How about an economic collapse that began years before anybody publicly mentioned it. I remember at the time it was being called a “goldilocks” economy. Yep, not happening. Right now I’m not going to say a lot about this as it will appear in a big way beginning with Chapter Seventeen.
So anyway, in former times, though, people came together in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right obvious wrongs, or the like. They had clearly identifiable rallying points visible to the great masses of Americans. These things were talked about in the newspapers, on TV, there was no denying what was obvious.
Now, with solidarity of purpose… and this is the important part…solidarity of purpose, with Americans united, feeling the same way, wanting change, their feelings were powerful and so significantly altered major events.
You even see that recently. We have a Democrat, Obama, elected to the presidency of the United States. But, look what it took: eight long years of Bush! Wow.
So anyway, solidarity of purpose gives ordinary people combined strength equal or greater to that of the “filthy rich.” The “filthy rich” are the would-be puppet-masters, the deciders and initiators of the events that have been witnessed so widely, including by the masses. These egregious acts, happenings, or developments brought the masses together in singleness of purpose to decry the source of the wrongs. Crucially, they needed to know the perpetrators of unhappy happenings; it needed to be clearly pointed out who were those responsible for the wrongs universally observed and condemned.
These things known, the result could be the massive gathering of intentions, a movement, perhaps a great social movement, united in purpose, against the observed wrong, seeking justice on the perpetrators and some sort of social or cultural change that might possibly or would definitely prevent future events of the same or similar sort of wrongness.
Now, these things did happen in America, folks. Not long ago in historical time but before our day in America food used to come out from corporations and got people sick or dead. So Americans created a Food and Drug Administration to remedy that. People created a government entity to represent them as a counterweight against the power of the corporations.
Why did this happen? It was because people were pissed, and it was because it was obvious what was going on.
But when things aren’t obvious and you have massive lies being told and you have comprehensive, pervasive media exposure to those lies—those untruths in direct conflict with people’s own observations—people can get confused. Confused, people’s power gets dissipated.
So I’ve kind of told you part of it, haven’t I? I just felt I was giving you too much and without any grounding.
Now let’s take a look at how the minute daily elements of our American way of life were orchestrated for ends not our own.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine: Creating an American Life
Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Seven: Cultural Rebirth, Aborted
1. On how people are made confused, intentionally, so they can be used for the profits of others, at EXTREME, dire cost to themselves.
This is a fantastic video. I encourage everyone to wait for it to get past the cigarette stuff at the beginning. That is only used to make a much bigger, more profound point a little further in..
This is actually about climate change…and what they are doing to confuse people about it, which will end up killing billions at least, if not all life on this planet, imo. (is that important enough for ya?)
The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema
Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part One,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link below for and audio audio player.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine: Creating an American Life
Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Seven: Cultural Rebirth, Aborted
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The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard: What the Current Cultural-Political Regression Has to Do With the Struggles of Generations
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Five: The King Who Won’t Die and the Abortion of Cultural Rebirth … What the Current Cultural-Political Regression Has to Do With the Struggles of Generations
Generation Gap (60s-70s), Culture War (80s-90s), Class War (00s-10s) … The Song Remains the Same
Since the Nineties: America Getting Free and America in Chains
America Getting Free, Breaking Out
What do these events have in common? The popularity of Democrats since the Nineties, with Obama’s favorability ratings high despite US entanglement in several wars; the astounding progress in race relations exemplified by ever increasing numbers of African-Americans elected and appointed to the highest posts in US government since the Nineties, highlighted by the election of the first ever black President in the most lopsided victory in decades;
…the wild success of the Occupy Wall Street and Wisconsin union movements; massive demonstrations around the U.S., attended by hundreds of thousands at times, in favor of liberal Democratic causes and opposing Republicans and showing people carrying signs displaying the peace symbol; outpourings of peaceful pro-freedom and democracy protesters throughout the Middle East and North Africa; the reborn popularity of the “peace sign”–two fingers extended in a V-like shape, for those who don’t know—including saying “peace” while extending it as a greeting (most often these days, when leaving);
…renewed interest in the book, Catcher in the Rye; the nostalgia for Sixties and Seventies cultural accouterments as exemplified by the TV show, That 70s Show ; the resurgence of fashion items like bell-bottoms and, on women, clunky high-heel shoes; the movies “Pleasantville” and “The Truman Show”; the popularity in the Nineties of shows like Ally McBeal and The X Files;
…one-time Sixties activist Bill Clinton’s sixty-some percent approval rating throughout almost the entirety of the White House Sex Scandal alongside the pundits’ complete and total befuddlement as to the causes for it; the strong presidential run by a woman, also with roots solidly in Sixties activism, Hillary Clinton, in the 2008 Presidential race…significantly only beat out, and barely, by an African-American;
…the passage of medical use of marijuana laws in a number of states and poised for passage legalization of marijuana initiatives (I may be wrong, but I believe that the voters ruled that marijuana’s medical use would be allowed, or would continue, in every instance where this issue was on the ballot!); the return to ballad-style, Dylan-esque music embracing and expressing social, philosophical, and extremely intimate personal views and experiences….
We’ve also seen, in California, the passage of Proposition 10—the ballot measure that imposes a fifty-cents tax on cigarettes to fund programs for young children…which ballot measure, significantly enough, was begun by Sixties-Generation representative Rob Reiner—formerly Meathead from All in the Family! The passage of single payer health insurance in Vermont… I could go on.
America in Chains, Breaking Down
On the other side of this we have seen, in the last two decades, several “Republican revolutions” taking the opposite side on women’s issues, union and worker’s rights, environmental policy, health care and education, budget and economic issues benefiting the poor and middle class, and all other “liberal” causes;
…the rise of a media-supported Tea Party movement, heavily funded by wealthy and corporate interests, espousing wildly reactionary and regressive measures like eliminating Social Security and Medicare, gutting environmental policies to give corporations a free hand in despoiling the environment, anti-union measures, deep budget cuts in social programs, and the showing in this movement of demonstrators hoisting signs with racist images and slogans and gleefully applauding the acting out of a slave auction depicting an African-American president, Obama, and his supporters in Congress and his administration as bloodied slaves in chains;
…the popularity of a news network promoting, in blatant and mostly dishonest form, reactionary issues and figures; the resurgence in the careers of Pat Buchanan, right wing propagandist out of the Nixon administration turned talk show pundit, and Newt Gingrich, reactionary culture warrior during the early Nineties; extreme pro-gun positions and actions, including openly carrying weapons to political rallies and events and proposing the allowance of children to bring guns to schools; thuggish attacks on left-leaning activists and demonstrators; the murder of physicians on the pro-choice side of the abortion/ women’s rights issue; and attacks and threats against progressive politicians and legislators, including the nearly successful assassination attempt on Democratic Congresswoman, Gabriel Giffords…. I could go on.
Most folks would see nothing connecting these issues on either side. What I believe we are seeing is a resurgence of the underground “culture war” that has been going on in the US since the 1960s between the Sixties Generation—those whose adolescent and young adulthood, formative years were influenced by the events of the Sixties—and the World War Two Generation—those whose equivalent times of life were forged in the Forties, during and around the time of World War Two.
Generation Gap and Counterculture
The huge ravine separating the views of these two generations was most apparent when those of the Sixties Generation were in their youth, engaged in the process of discovering and exploring their values and therefore expressing them blatantly and with all the indiscretion, lack of subtlety, confrontation, and rebelliousness that characterizes the inexperienced. Thus, terms like generation gap and counterculture were bandied about, analyzed, and fervently discussed. The differences were “on the table,” in full view; and because the views and values of the youth were so “counter” or opposite to those of the WWII Generation, much debate and analysis was spawned in the media to try to explain–for the most part to the WWII Generation–how this could be so.
But these terms of generation gap and counterculture, which highlighted the great disparity of views, would fade mostly into disuse. This was because, later, the Sixties Generation would learn to keep their private views and values more hidden, for practical reasons having to do with making a living, advancing in their careers, being able to raise their children, and so on; but this did not mean their values had changed. They were biding their time, waiting—sometimes hopeless that it would ever arrive–for a reversing of the pendulum and a return in society to the ideals and visions of a better world that had so inspired them in their earlier years.
For the most part, these Sixties adherents did not know about the psychohistorical tendencies I will be describing here—as for example in the evolution of child-caring and the triumphant phase of generations. For most it was just an awareness that something so strong and so right could not simply have completely vanished from the Earth, that with time comes change, and therefore there had to be a time, again, when the mood of the country would swing in the direction they felt to be healthiest and more ideal. For some of these people their hopes were based on the simple rules of gambling: Eventually, at some time or other, with the passage of time, the dice just had to roll their number, if just out of pure chance or randomness.
Others had a slightly more reasoned view buttressing their hope for a return to idealism. These folks were those of the Sixties Generation who had applied themselves to implementing the values they learned in the Sixties in the jobs and careers they held, in whatever small or not-so-small way that they were allowed by their older generation superiors, bosses, managers, or supervisors. Never knowing that they had allies among their generation that were doing the same kind of thing in their separate fields, they followed through, the best they could, on simple conviction, born of experience, of the rightness of the more idealistic ways.
Lastly, there were those of the Sixties Generation who identified themselves completely with their youthful idealism. In putting themselves “out front” this way in their values and beliefs they found others who were doing the same. They would together become the “New Age” movement, actively engaged in bringing about the better world their generation had envisioned in the Sixties and early Seventies. They would wonder, as decades passed, why it took so long for the rest of society to catch on to what they felt was an inviting and appealing evolution—one both necessary and therefore inevitable as well.
But these last, the New Agers, would be marginalized and scapegoated by the mainstream of society—a mainstream whose outlines, of course, were determined and inscribed by the mainstream media, which was, in turn, controlled by the wealthy elite of the World War Two Generation (more about this to come). Examples included Jerry Brown labeled “Captain Moonbeam,” the family dynamics in the TV show Family Ties, the burnt-out hippie depiction of cabdriver, Jim, in the Taxi television series, and thousands of other instances where those holding New Age views were labeled “flakes.”
Attack of the Body-Snatchers: The WWII Generation created an 80s generation of “Mini-me’s”
An Aborted Changing of the Guard – Attack of the Body-Snatchers
Another reason these terms depicting cultural division, viz., generation gap and counterculture, went into disuse was due to the mobilization of the World War Two Generation—after their initial phase of somnolent confusion over the events that were emerging in the Sixties which left them paralyzed and watching, growing in irritation and anger—into a comprehensive counterattack against the Sixties Generation, using all the Nixonian-like tactics in their arsenal…understandably, since Nixon was of that generation and his tactics were typical of the defensive style of his contemporaries.
Lassoing the Universities
In the early Seventies, the World War Two Generation used their power and wealth, being themselves in the Triumphant Phase of their lives, to put pressure on colleges and universities, nationwide, to discontinue the programs, courses, and the professors that they felt were responsible for the youth’s rebellion. Their targets for destruction included such noteworthy “dangers” as liberal arts programs in general, and especially “highly revolutionary” philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, and humanistic psychology courses. A transformation of colleges and universities into “career mills”—whose primary function was to prepare the young for practical and skill-oriented jobs and professions—was called for…or else! Or else these World War Two alumni would discontinue their contributions to these educational institutions. The “bottom line” being threatened in this way, no university administration, to my knowledge, withstood their demands for very long, if at all.
Cloning Themselves … WWII Generation Creating an 80s Generation of “Mini-me’s”
The youth produced by these institutions would hereafter be dissuaded from thinking for themselves and from “questioning authority”—as the previous generation had been encouraged to do—so part of the lapse in the terms of division between the generations—counterculture and generation gap—had to do with the fact that the wave of youth that followed the Sixties Generation would be molded, in their college years, into distant replicas of World War Two Generation members. They would be termed the “Me Generation,” since selfishness, greed, money-as-god, and upward mobility were characteristics of the WWII Generation that they were able to instill in their youthful clones.
Thus, we saw the rise of Young Republicans on campus in the late Seventies, the return of ROTC to campuses, and the seeding of fertile young minds with the values that would later be verbalized—in the movie “Wall Street”—in the mantram “Greed is good!” At the height of this phase, periodicals were declaring how similar the “youth of today”—meaning those of the late Seventies and Eighties—were to their parents, how close they were to their parents in the beliefs and values they held, and how the generation gap had inexplicably closed. Such was the success of the WWII Generation in cloning themselves in producing Eighties youth.
In sum, beginning in the early Seventies institutions of higher learning turned away from their idealistic goals of “bringing out” from the students their inner truths and wisdom (the original meaning of the term educate), which is the avowed role of liberal arts programs, and instead turned hard, to the right, onto a path of churning out engineers, MBAs, hard scientists (even in the field of psychology, where humanistic psychology was shunned), medical professionals, lawyers, and the like. My liberal arts, semi–ivy-league college—founded, by half, by Benjamin Franklin—turned from the idealistic studies that typified Franklin and those of his time and swung from being a bastion of energetic inquiry into all controversial realms—political and spiritual and societal—a virtual “Plato’s Academy” of inquiry, into being a career mill centered around a “pre-med” program.
Harnessing the Media
Similarly, these frightened and wealthy WWII “conspirators” (however unconscious their alliance) would use their leverage to ensure that books and the media—TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers—would expound their views predominantly, would present events through the particular psychological lenses and filters with which they were familiar, and would eschew viewpoints, and even coverage of events, that would in any way strengthen the stance of the, by this time, scapegoated Sixties Generation. The media declared, with much fanfare, in the early Seventies that a “conservative backlash” was occurring; and they published books documenting this event. Meanwhile they ignored the polls and the events—specifically the ongoing and growing antiwar and other counterculture “demonstrations”—that would show the lie to this idea, and they rejected and refused publication of the kind of books and articles, still being effusively churned out—that would support the counterculture movement. Controlling the media in this way and saying it long and loud enough, the “big lie” of the “conservative backlash” began to be accepted as truth. And even many in the counterculture and among the youth began to believe it.
Interestingly, those on the extreme right did not forget that the great divide in views was still with us. In the Nineties, Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich said a “culture war” was going on. More recently we see WWII and Fifties style Tea Partiers going up against huge rallies of Sixties style pro-union demonstrators and massive recall efforts.
So those on the right decry such massive outpourings against them, but they are correct that it is a “culture war.” Obviously they can see that the world has changed from the Fifties-style “Pleasantville” that they had imagined and wanted it to be.
The King Wouldn’t Die: World War Two Generation Clung to Power, Abomination and Stagnation Filled the Land
The King Won’t Die, An Abomination Grew in the Land
An Aborted Changing of the Guard
Culture War — The King Must Die
But the World War Two Generation could not maintain control forever. For one thing, people die. And being older than the Sixties Generation, eventually their numbers had to dwindle. Their numbers dwindling, they had to be replaced by those younger–some of whom were of the Sixties Generation and were now in what psychohistorians call the triumphant phase of life–that is, the time of life when a generation is in its “prime,” when it is most influential, when it takes over the reins of society, when it gets behind the wheel of the cultural bus.
From this perspective, we can view a remarkable film, “Pleasantville,” released in the late Nineties at the peak of the Sixties Generation’s triumphant phase, and see that it is a metaphorical review of history from the early Fifties up to that time–one which shows the Sixties Generation, in the end, finally realizing their vision of a more colorful, alive, open-to-new-experience and to change, growthful, changeful, passionate, unregimented, truthful, sensual, feeling and emotionful, and less determined, ritualized, and preordained existence. More about this later.
The Generational Changing of the Guard
First let me point out that this change in power, evident by this movie and the other recent cultural items I’ve mentioned, is a change as old as our species. Every generation, at some point, leaves or is removed from their seats of power when they are at or near the end of their arc of effectiveness and prowess by a younger generation that is coming into or—as in the unusual case of the Sixties Generation for the reasons unique to this time to be mentioned below—is fully in the prime of its life.
Myths, fairy tales, stories, historical tales, and legends the world over depict this change of power. The myth that is most transparent in its depiction of this change is the one in which a monarch, despot, or ogre controls and rules the land, keeping the people miserable with oppressive and selfish decrees and policies. A young prince emerges and, after a period of trial (in the case of the Sixties Generation, an unusually long period of trial) in which the prince proves himself worthy, he takes up the cause of the people and overthrows the old king and takes his place. Thus the saying “The king is dead. Long live the (new) king.”
The triumphant phase of the Sixties Generation had been delayed, however, longer than any other generation in history because of the advances in modern medical science, which has served to keep the World War Two Generation alive and kicking longer than any previous generation. The average life expectancy in the last sixty years (since the time when the World War Two Generation were in their youth or young adulthood) has increased remarkably. Hence the Sixties Generation has had to wait longer than the World War Two Generation to get a chance behind the wheel of society. It is strange and ironic that at a time when the speed of cultural change is greatest because of an ever increasing speed of technological change, at a time when the elder generation’s worldview becomes obsolete sooner and faster than ever before, at such a time when it would seem the younger generation’s view would attain relevancy and effectiveness faster and sooner than at any previous time, at such a time we have the reverse occurring, that is, the younger generation’s ascendancy is delayed and the older one’s stranglehold on power is extended.
But this rapid change and increasing rate of obsolescence may just have something to do with the WWII Generation’s desire to hang on and their vehement struggle against change. For, as mentioned before, there is a gap—greater than ever before—between the views of the younger and those of the older. This gap is wrought of the different technological worlds and the corresponding sociocultural worlds that each experienced. It is widened by different, more advanced on the one side, child-caring of children as well as by different drugs used and the contrasting world views they would elicit—as explained previously, in Chapter Three.
So the WWII Generation might be said to be more threatened than any previous one by the generation to succeed them, because the ascendancy of the next generation would appear to overturn and oftentimes reverse so much of what they believe, value, worked and sacrificed for.
Because of the unprecedented technological change and corresponding change in material culture, catalyzing in ways too numerous to mention a myriad of sociocultural and psychological changes in their successors, there is less overlap than ever before between the worldviews of the generation handing over power and the generation coming into power. It follows that it would seem to the generation in power, even as they approach the end of their mortality, that less of what they are and were will live on after them than has ever been the case in the history of generational succession.
This being so, this generational succession represents a previously unheard of personal invalidation and undermining of the self-esteem of those of the World War Two Generation and a corresponding unprecedented attack on the usual delusions of immortality (themselves living on in some fashion in their successors) that older generations are allowed in exchange for their relinquishing power.
Generational Changing of the Guard, Aborted
At any rate and whatever may be the reason, the fact remains that the World War Two Generation has used their longevity for all their worth to block the ascendancy of their successors. They used their longevity to amass wealth and power–wealth greater than any previous generation before and, because of their actions, likely to come.
For example, their actions have led to a situation, currently, wherein they were taken care of in their old age by a Social Security and Medicare system funded by the work of the Baby-Boomers, aka Sixties Generation, at the same time that predictions abound that that same Social Security and Medicare system will be depleted when it is the Baby-Boomers time to belly-up to the bar. One might also note the WWII Generation’s environmental and ecological decisions making it that no generation after them will enjoy anywhere near the benefits—health and quality of life among them—of clean environment, abundance of natural resources, and ecological balance that they enjoyed. Finally, their decisions regarding arms buildup and proliferation may deny life itself to the generations following them. Other unprecedented ogre-like—greedy, selfish, and uncaring-of-succeeding-generations—actions can be numbered against this generation.
So the World War Two Generation used their unprecedented wealth and power to wage a war against the generation who would be taking over from them, keeping them and their values under attack and away from the centers of power and influence in society as long as they possibly could.
Examples. This is meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive. See also “Balance the Budget on the Back of Billionaires” at the bottom of Chapter 27: Life Vs. Matrix
World War Two Generation
Stephen J Bechtel, Jr., born 1925
Richard Vos, born 1926
Fred Koch, born 1900, died 1967, co-founder of John Birch Society, living on through Fifties Generation sons, David H and Charles C., below
Pawlenty donor goes to Bachmann: Billionaire media mogul Stanley Hubbard, a longtime friend and donor of the Minnesota governor, told POLITICO on Tuesday that he’s now backing the Minnesota congresswoman.
Conservative Fifties Generation Followers, Fawning Fallow Fascist Generation
David H. Koch, born 1940
Yuppie Freak WWII Gen Clones. Examples:
Desperate Last Stands in the Generation Wars: Clinton, Abortion, War, Voting, Wealthifying, Health Care, Tea Party, OWS
King Won’t Die – Generational Changing of the Guard, Aborted
Last Stands in the Generation Wars: Sex, Abortion, Neo-Con 9-11, Election Stealing, Corporate Personhood, Tea Party, OWS
So the World War Two Generation used their unprecedented wealth and power to wage a war against the generation who would be taking over from them, keeping them and their values under attack and away from the centers of power and influence in society as long as they possibly could.
Desperate Stand: The Battle of the Bill (Clinton)
It is enlightening to consider in the Nineties the persistent attacks on Bill Clinton (similarly, on Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, continuing)—the first Sixties Generation U.S. president—ever since he took office. The Monica Lewinsky scandal is a typical example of the extent to which the World War Two Generation so effectively controlled the views and values expressed and subtly expounded in the media ever since it took conscious control of the society’s “collective consciousness” in this way in the early Seventies. By this I mean that in the entire time of the scandal, it was assumed that sex is bad, or at least that sex outside of marriage is bad. It was assumed that Hillary must be horribly pained and angered by the revelation of her husband’s affair(s).
Make Love, Not War
It is as if the slogan “Make Love, Not War” was never a generational outcry. I don’t believe you will ever find in the history books paid for/ published by World War Two Generation owned publishing houses mention of the fact that slogan was ever used. Indeed, with all the talk by pundits, analysts, and commentators on literally hundreds of TV shows during the entire time of the Lewinsky scandal and impeachment drama, that slogan, “Make Love, Not War,” was practically never mentioned. I am aware of only one time–when I heard it slipped in unnoticed by a participant in the middle of a talkin’-all-at-once brouhaha on the TV show “Politically Incorrect,” whereupon it was totally ignored. Even more astonishing, those same pundits discussed, ad nauseum, this scandal and all the myriad ramifications of it yet never, to my knowledge, made note of Clinton’s generational status and the views, exemplified by “Make Love, Not War,” which our generation espoused. It has simply been assumed that all of the Sixties Generation “grew out” of that kind of “nonsense” and had adopted the views of the WWII Generation..again, polls on values and viewpoints be damned.
Most telling of all in the attacks on Clinton’s behavior is the assumption that such a stance on open marriage and uninhibited sexuality is a product of uncontrolled lewdness and the sexual license exhibited primarily by the young, which naturally everyone grows out of in order to adopt the constrained and secretive sexual views of the old. The sexual revolution’s parallel growth in the Sixties with expanding civil rights, women’s rights, and individual liberty is completely ignored. Its roots in an idealism about final and complete gender equality is totally vanquished as if it were never so.
In fact, I doubt you, the reader, know of this. Yet hordes of Sixties youth shared with each other, conspiratorial like, the Sixties novel, The Harrad Experiment by Robert H. Rimmer, that portrayed—in poetic and highly intelligent fashion—an evolution to a radical equality between the genders, to an elimination of neurotic suffering around sexuality as, for example, in painful jealousy, to an ending of sexual violence as in spouse abuse, and a final and complete solution to a gender war existing for all time with incalculable casualties and near infinity of suffering on both sides. It was a story about non-monogamy and open relationships…”free love.”
Neither did the pundits point out that Bill Clinton is of a generation who made a book on “open marriage” a bestseller. The clinch on the media by that older generation has been so complete as to have, apparently, completely dismissed or erased from the minds of the pundits the facts that those ideas and books ever existed. Another thing erased from history since the Seventies: the “sexual revolution.” Remember that? When was the last time you heard that talked about? All of the energy that had surrounded these controversial ideas has, because of media manipulation and repression of these views, been channeled into and reduced to a fight over a woman’s right to choose, i.e., the abortion issue, and more recently to fights over union rights and budget cuts.
Incidentally, it is no coincidence that the issue of abortion has taken on such importance for so many in the electorate, for it is the last remaining battle of the “culture war” directly continuing from the Sixties. Prior to the Sixties, women’s bodies could not be considered their own, in many ways; a prominent way was the illegality of abortion, which made outcasts and corpses out of untold numbers of women. It was reversed by Roe v. Wade in the Sixties. But the battle never went away and is the major front in a Gender War that has been going on for millennia.
And your position on the abortion issue is the closest thing to a military uniform indicating on which side of the culture war you have enlisted. Specifically, I am saying that there are few of the Sixties Generation who would not classify themselves as “pro-choice.” Meanwhile, the anti-abortionists are found to be comprised primarily of those of the WWII Generation, their Eighties Generation clones, and the Eisenhower-Presley-McCarthy—and now we might add “Pleasantville”—Fifties Generation. (For a definition and explanation of Fifties Generation see the previous chapter, “Chapter Four: Concocted Worlds“)
World War Two Generation just doesn’t get it…never has, and never will
Of course, I am saying that the War on Clinton was, in its essence, an unacknowledged but desperate battle in the Culture War that has been going on since the Sixties–despite these attacks not being framed or talked about this way–between the World War Two and the Sixties Generations. The World War Two Generation, especially after the elections of November 1998, has learned that it is way off in some of its assumptions, that their analysis of what has been happening in this country is woefully miscalculated. They are like the deluded schizophrenic who has believed passionately in the world he has himself created coming up against some of the hard, harsh, and indisputable facts of existence which undermine his world. The World-War-Two-Generation–minded—whatever the individual’s age—have been fighting back, since the Nineties, with all the firepower they can muster against realizing the harsh realities around them of their waning ideals. They have been in total and absolute denial of the direction of the American, indeed the world, consciousness; and they have been flinging all their wealth into the mix to try to repress the emerging truths.
When I first published on this topic in 1998 I wrote, “But we shouldn’t be surprised if we see some of those in their ranks–wealthy and facing their inevitable demise—merely increasing the ferocity of their war waging…humiliating themselves and seeming ever more pitiful in the minds of the majority of observers, who increasingly, as time continues to decimate their WWII ranks, are younger than they and thus do not share their delusions.”
I’m sorry to say I was more correct than I could ever have dreamed as we have faced, since the change of the millennium, neo-con wars built on lies and confused tea-baggers railing against their own interests.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Six: Culture War Allegory
Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Four: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds
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Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds: Fifties, Gen X, and Millennials and Drug Effects – Speed, Ecstacy
Culture War, Class War Chapter Four: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds
Dawn of the Dead: Yuppies, “Me” Generation, Reagan, Matrix Manifesting, and Drug Effects – Speed
Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds. America’s Values Were Reversed
Drugs and Generations
Drug Effects—Cocaine, Speed
Drugs in the amphetamine class are stimulants. This includes cocaine, methamphetamine, “meth,” “crystal,” crack cocaine, “crack,” speed, amphetamine, uppers, “whites,” and so on. They repress Pain extraordinarily well.
Building castles in the sky
They are euphoriants and cause one to have the feeling that one’s mental capacities are expanded. One feels that one can envision projects and outcomes precisely. So one expends oneself in organizing and preparing for great achievements, which rarely are embarked on.
Free from fear, reckless, overconfident, risk-taking
Since these drugs repress Pain, creating an amped state of mind more than normally able to fend off unwanted emotional material, they repress the normally present residue of fear, with its attendant caution in the face of activities outside of one’s comfort zone requiring forethought and anticipation. One does not feel constrained by normal fears or apprehensions, so one throws oneself into new activities with reckless abandon. One feels overly confident in one’s abilities and engages in all kinds of risk-taking—financially, sexually, interpersonally, legally. These activities have one embarking on dubious schemes which rarely pan out.
A land of light and darkness
Despite these negatives the corollary of this mental activity is that one’s ability to think and see more clearly on some issues is enhanced, just because one’s fears can pollute one’s perception and apprehension of things.
It is enlightening to remember that Sigmund Freud, among other notables in history, experimented with cocaine. At one point, Freud was heartily endorsing its use to his colleagues; he was waxing expansively about its benefits for mental life and clarity of consciousness. Of course, he changed his position on this later. No doubt his use led him to see its face of darkness as well.
Glimpses of clarity
Nonetheless, concerning the positive aspects of cocaine, it can be mentally enhancing partly because of its repression of fear. For fears, as mentioned, are both of the helpful-cautionary as well as the oppressive types. Being released from the oppressiveness of fears, being freed of the constraints of “fearful thinking,” can result in seeing one’s reality more clearly. Feeling fearless can lead one to acknowledging truths and realities normally defended against—thus being therapeutic even, getting a glimpse of reality outside of one’s fears.
Being freed from normal caution, however, can lead one into reckless activities with consequences far beyond one’s ability to handle in either a normal, or drugged, state. It is no coincidence that these drugs have seen heavy usage by wartime participants—notable are their use by fighter pilots and by Vietnam warriors.
A land of empathy and insensitivity
Lastly, since these stimulants repress feelings, they can lead to insensitivity toward others. But since they can repress fear which blocks truer perception of and appreciation of others they can lead, paradoxically, to feelings of love toward others and a feeling of finally really seeing others and appreciating them for who they are, not simply in the way one has cast them (“pigeon-holed” them) to fit into one’s scripts, agendas, ego projects, or desires.
The Eighties saw an epidemic of use of cocaine. This was commonly attributed to Yuppies, which is the popular term for the Young Upwardly-mobile Professional character of this era and is contrasted with the idealistic, activist, and anti–Vietnam-War Yippies (Youth International Party, whose founder and most famous member was Abbie Hoffman).
Yuppies came in at the same time as Ronald Reagan into the White House and, indeed, exemplified much of what Reagan stood for. They were seen as greedy, over-achieving, materialistic, narcissistic, and societally and environmentally insensitive careerists.
“Love is all you need” turned into “Money is good!”
They were portrayed in film; one in particular that sought to delineate the attitudes of this character type was “Wall Street,” in which Charlie Sheen plays the role of the Yuppie, mentored by the Fifties Generation character, Gekko, played by Michael Douglas. Together they give a portrayal of complete self-centeredness and insensitivity to the ways their Machiavellian strategies harm others or the environment. They are driven solely by a value that “Money Is Good!”—a slogan completely the opposite of the previous generation — the Sixties Generation — whose attitudes were expressed in lyrics like “I don’t care too much for money; money can’t buy me love” and “Love is all you need”; who bought and lived by books with titles such as How to Live on Nothing, The Greening of America, and Back to Eden; and whose most famous slogan was “Tune in, Turn on, Drop out” (or it was sometimes said, “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out”—I’m not sure anyone in the generation knew which was the “proper” way to say it).
In any case, another term used for the Yuppie Generation was The “Me” Generation. Thus it was that from the late Sixties, early Seventies (the height of Vietnam-Era Youth’s influence on society and culture) to the late Seventies and most of the Eighties—within a period of a mere decade—the prevailing, media-amplified cultural values of our society swung, pendulum-like, a hundred-and-eighty degrees from where they had been.
The Big Lie About Yuppies Being Hippies: Matrix Manifesting, Class Warfare Against Sixties Activism
History of the Movement: The Continued Slandering of a Generation, So an Activist One Would Never Again Arise
Matrix manifest and The Big Lie
This change had a great deal to do with the efforts of the World-War-Two Generation—in total horror at the way their sons and daughters seemed to be reversing the values they had lived, and fought, for—to “take back” society. The WWII Generation did this by putting pressure, as well-to-do alumni, on universities and colleges across America to turn their curricula away from liberal arts and toward job-oriented curricula, and by using their positions of power in the media to influence the flow and content of the information to be fed to the mainstream public. For example, in the early Seventies, the WWII Generation’s money and power directed the press to declare that a “conservative backlash” was occurring in America, when in fact the opposite was occurring.
But eventually their “Big Lie” tactics won out so that people began to believe and then to create what they had been repeatedly told…the opposite view having, as part of the strategy, been censored in the media. [Footnote 1]
Thus, the Yuppies were the creation of the WWII Generation in their attempt to reverse the course of society that their own daughters and sons, as “Sixties Youth,” had put it on.
Scapegoating an Entire Generation
Coinciding with and supporting the strategy just described, and because the World-War-Two Generation during the Eighties were still in their Triumphant Phase—a psychohistorical term meaning they were at the stage of their life in late adulthood in which they had pretty much gained control of the reins of society—they furthered their cause by managing to plant a fantasy in the collective consciousness of American culture concerning the origins of Yuppies which persists to this day.
In obvious denial (again, their predominant defensive posture) of the fact that they had helped to “create” the Yuppies and so of the similarities between their own values and those of the Yuppies, as exemplified by the similarities between the (World-War-Two-era) Reagan-Bush political agenda and that of the Yuppies—who indeed helped elect Reagan and Bush—yet aware of the criticism that their very own values, taken to the Yuppie extremes, was generating in the independent press as well as the negative publicity there about the cocaine use of the Yuppies, the World-War-Two Generation saw an opportunity not only to defeat but also to “get back” at their opponents, the Sixties Generation, by ridiculing them.
In the predominant World-War-Two Generation fashion of scapegoating (the accompaniment of denial), which they had been directing from the outset at the Sixties Generation (who had of course incurred the wrath of the WWII Generation by opposing and confronting them on the Vietnam War in sometimes harsh and hostile ways), the Yuppies, with their cocaine use, were portrayed in the WWII-Generation-paid-for media as former Sixties hippies who had simply grown older but—consistent with their alleged “narcissism”—were still selfish, only now, materially so, thus the appellation, The “Me” Generation.
So the Vietnam-era or Sixties Generation began being denigrated in the press with the accusation, “The ‘Me’ Generation,” and Sixties values were also denigrated—the scapegoating of the Sixties Generation continuing—despite the fact that it was a different age group in society, the younger Yuppies, who were actually the ones triggering the attack.
The hypocrisy of the charge becomes even more blatant when considering that the values of the Sixties Generation included such selfless acts as risking, sometimes incurring, violence and personal harm, jail time, and a lower standard of living for the sake of their idealistic beliefs in peace, environmental restoration and preservation, and selfless communitarian living, among others—none of which have any overlap with Yuppie careerism, consumerism, materialism, and individualistic greedy selfishness.
Despite the success in our society’s collective consciousness of the fantasy of Yuppies being former hippies—once it had been planted in the popular culture by the WWII Generation sitting comfortably in front of American society’s steering wheel—the truth is that these Yuppies were predominantly the generation that shadowed the Sixties generation, arising as youth in the aftermath of the Sixties cultural revolution.
Yuppies, Created by a Desperate WWII Generation, Had Fifties Generation Parents Marinated in War Fears
History of the Movement: The Truth and Lies About Yuppies and Their Fifties Generation Parents
Yuppies—Products of the WWII Generation’s Todo List
Their values become understandable, then, in that they were in secondary schools and universities during the Seventies when the “Conservative backlash” Big Lie was being promulgated. For as I’ve mentioned at that time universities were cutting back funding from courses in liberal arts, philosophy, psychology, literature, politics and government, and the like and were turning themselves into career-factories dedicated to producing compliant business persons, engineers, physicians, and scientists who were not being educated to think for themselves but how to achieve and make money in a culture the World-War-Two Generation was comfortable with.
Yuppies—Children of Fifties Generation Parents
The values of the Yuppies are understandable, furthermore, in that they were the sons and daughters of a generation between the World-War-Two and Baby-Boomer Generations, who are rarely talked about. It is often said that the World War Two Generation was followed by Boomers and that Generation X were the children of Boomers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The generation that followed the WWII Generation and the actual parents of Gen Xers were born 1925 t0 1945 and came to adulthood during the somnolent Fifties. So we might call this overlooked generation the Fifties Generation, or the Eisenhower-McCarthy Generation, or the Elvis Generation, or the Happy Days Generation…a more cumbersome but more accurate term for them would be the War-Born Generation. They have been called the Silent Generation, and this does say something about them.
They’ve been invisible but running things from behind the screen, since they took over conservatism and greed from the WWII Generation and upped the ante. They have been accurately represented by the Gekko character in the movie Wall Street, played by the Fifties Generation Michael Douglas (born 1944) whose protege, correctly enough, was played the by the yuppie-Generation Xer, Charlie Sheen (born 1965). [Footnote 2]
Not So “Happy Days”: The War-Born Generation—Fifties, Eisenhower Generation
The media tends to focus on the big trends and to ignore or miss the lesser ones. The way our recent history was portrayed, you would think that just because there was a huge number of babies born in the decade and a half after World-War-Two’s end—the much discussed Baby-Boomer Generation—that there were no babies born during the War…almost as if every man in America was overseas fighting or that, when home on leave or whatever, they simply would not or could not conceive!
Marinated in the Womb of War Fears
However, of course these ridiculous notions are not true, so there is a pre-Baby-boomer Generation who happened to be born during or shortly before WWII, i.e., between about 1925 and 1945. And the Yuppies were predominantly the sons and daughters of this—let us call it—Fifties Generation. Marinated in the womb with Great Depression and war fears and born around the time of the war, the Yuppies’ parents then had their formative adolescence and young adulthood during the Fifties.
Abandoned, overlooked, fearful, resentful, rooted in conservatism
So their beliefs are rooted in the cultural soil of Fifties conservatism, the Cold War, Elvis Presley, McCarthyism, Eisenhower, traditional religion, belief in the economic primacy of capitalism and the evil of communism, and the early “schmaltzy” rock and roll (e.g., “Teen Angel,” “Leader of the Pack,” etc.).
Their roots reaching deep into war fears–hot and cold, many would feel jealous and angry about the freedoms and openness of the generation immediately after them. They would, as well, heartily resent all the attention being showered on the much larger cohort of Baby-Boomers.
Yuppies, Fifties Nostalgia, Materialism
And it is the worldview of this Fifties Generation that was passed on to their children, the Yuppies. It is no coincidence that when these Gen X Yuppies were teens and young adults (mid-Seventies through the Eighties) we saw also a lengthy period of Fifties nostalgia alongside the caricaturizing and ridiculing of Sixties lifestyles, values, and beliefs. It is easy to see that the materialism the Fifties Generation members were nurtured in after World War II, as a reaction to the fear and uncertainties their parents had because of the Depression, the war, and The Bomb would be replicated in their children.
Only the fear and uncertainty their children would try to amass wealth against was the tumult, anomie, violence, and confusion of the decade of the Sixties, the era the Yuppies would experience swirling around their roots and upsetting the stability of their nurturant years.
Manic Irrationality, Voodoo Economics, Booming Debt and Mean-Spiritedness: The Eighties Began with Reagan Rising and Lennon Dying
Manic Irrationality, Voodoo Economics
The Eighties Began, Ominously, with Reagan’s Election and John Lennon’s Assassination
The Eighties began, significantly enough, with the death of John Lennon and the election of Ronald Reagan. Concurrent with the epidemic of cocaine use was a manic economy, massive military expenditures, and a tripling-plus of the National Debt. It is relevant to note that the huge increase in the National Debt was caused by a tax cut for the rich, which of course benefited those of the World-War-Two Generation who either inherited or earned, with a lifetime behind them, their wealth, as well as those upwardly mobile, materialistic Yuppies. The rationale for the tax cut—which was characterized by some commentators as “Robin Hood in reverse,” because it also coincided with cutbacks in social programs—was a “voodoo economics” (George H.W. Bush’s term) with a “trickle-down” theory of investment and economic growth.
That Voodoo That They Do So Well
This economics is based on a belief that a “dollar,” metaphorically speaking, given to a rich person will be more wisely invested, creating more jobs and wealth for everyone, than will that same “dollar” given to a middle-class or poor person.
This view, however, ignored human psychology, the standard economics of marginal returns, and the common observation that, simply put, for a person with a little or a moderate amount of money, that metaphorical dollar will have more value (because it will represent a much larger increase, percentage-wise, in their financial situation) than it will for a rich person, for whom its value is only marginally related to a rather large “purse,” so to speak.
Trickle-Down Ignores Human Psychology
Therefore, common sense tells us that “dollar” will be more conscientiously and thoughtfully spent or invested, creating more jobs and wealth for all, by the moderate-income person, who of course will attempt to maximize its benefit to him- or herself so that he or she can also rise to the ranks of the wealthy. To the moderate income person that “dollar” represents an opportunity for a rise in economic status; hence it will be invested, sweated over, and monitored intensely. In general, he or she will attempt to squeeze every possible ounce of benefit out of it, very often starting businesses of their own and thereby creating new jobs, opportunity, and wealth in the process. Whereas for the already wealthy person, that “dollar” is only a dollar alongside many others, and is only marginally relevant, reaping only marginal, or minor, returns.
And Of Course It Didn’t Work, Still Didn’t Work, Still Didn’t Work…
Voodoo economics did not work, of course, as indicated by the tripling of the National Debt. Another important indication of the falsity of its premises was the huge expenditures of money, during the Eighties, on luxury items, like yachts, works of art, expensive cars, and so on. Art items and artifacts were being bid through the roof and the prices they were going for were making headlines in newspapers and stimulating commentaries on the tube. Along with this was the overinvestment in spurious business transactions, including “junk bonds,” soon-to-be-left-unrented commercial buildings, and unwanted real estate. Much has been said about how these manic and ill-considered business transactions led to the lengthy recession of the late Eighties and early Nineties. Along with this is the connection with the S&L scandal which was behind the plethora of boondoggles and ill-advised investment.
The Manic Mentality and Mindless Waste
But there are two aspects of it that are especially relevant here for a discussion of drugs and generational cultures. They are the manic quality of the times—the go, go, go, buy, buy, buy mentality of the investing—and the obvious proof it gave to marginal returns theory, i.e., the money, given to the rich, was valued little and was mindlessly blown on trivialities—it was said that the Eighties was a huge party for the rich.
So rather than creating wealth for the wealthy, which would “trickle down” to the less well off, Reaganomics, as it was also called, turned into an unparalleled failure. It was called the largest shift of wealth in America’s history, taking it from the poor and middle class and benefiting the richest, top two percent of Americans.
More than that, it led to a debt that will be adversely affecting the well-being, lifestyles, and financial pictures of several generations to come.
The Hypocrisy and Materialism
Going into such detail about the intricacies and results of the economic policy promulgated by the WWII Generation, in alliance with the Yuppies and their parents, the Fifties Generation, is important because of the hypocrisy it demonstrates in the charge leveled at the Baby-Boomer Generation of being a “Me” generation and of being narcissistic. Again, we see the WWII Generation’s same tendency to denial, projection, and scapegoating.
To continue, however, other elements in the Eighties cultural arena, existing alongside the epidemic of cocaine use, was the aforementioned careerism and materialism among the Yuppies (comprised primarily of the youth in their twenties and early thirties who followed behind the Vietnam-era Generation), whose mantram was to get rich, get powerful, erect and maintain “family islands” which they saw as competitive with the rest of society (quite unlike the communitarianism of the Sixties Generation), and to retire early…social and environmental problems be damned.
The Necessary Mean-Spiritedness – Hating on the Kumbaya
Other standouts of the cultural scenery of the time included a rise of mean-spiritedness, e.g., cutbacks in social programs and charities, which, as it was said, had one effect of emptying the mental hospitals into the streets. It became fashionable to sneer at and blame (often scapegoating) the more unfortunate ones of society—the poor, helpless, mentally ill, children, the powerless–making some time for that alongside of outright snickering and smugness directed at the “hippie-dippie” values and “kumbaya” visions of the generation older than them.
Generation X and Their “Fallow Generation” Parents… No Wonder They’re So Pissed
Was Disconnected from The Sixties
The next generation to wander into the cultural limelight has been termed Generation X. Whereas Yuppies came of age during the Eighties, Generation X came into adulthood in the Eighties and Nineties. As I’ve been saying, Yuppies were the earliest contingent of Gen X.
Predominantly these are not the sons and daughters of the Sixties Generation as the values of the Vietnam-era Generation included marrying late and having children late so that their children are mostly younger than and not among Generation X.
This value concerning marrying or having children later in life tied in with the Sixties folks’ belief in personal freedom, but is more closely related to the hypocrisy they perceived in the marriages of their parents, those of the WWII Generation. They not only perceived their parents’ marriages as being false and loveless, they perceived themselves as being the victims of poor parenting, wherein they felt they were not understood and were not accepted for who they were or supported in what they uniquely wanted to do with their lives.
Furthermore, they saw the social and global context as a negative and highly dangerous one. For one thing, having been children during the “drop and roll” and bomb-shelter, nuclear-shadow era of the Fifties, and having seen the assassination of idealistic values in the deaths of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King during their teens and young adulthood, they had great doubts about the future of the world. Though of course the Sixties Generation is noted for its idealism and for its attempts to fight these perceived dangers and injustices, underneath there has always been for them an uncertainty that success is possible, so that bringing a child into this particular dangerous and unjust social context was seen as possibly not a good thing for the child.
Parented by a Fallow Generation
So it is that Generation Xers are predominantly the sons and daughters of the Fifties Generation as well as those less idealistic of the Vietnam-era Generation that had, more often than not, opted for the traditional route of career, home, and family and thus had started having children many years earlier than their more socially conscious counterparts.
This Fallow Generation , let us call it, would conceive the children who would be called Generation X—who are noted for their apathy and lack of distinctiveness.
But keep in mind that the Fallow Generation is not a true generation in the sense that it is composed of two age groups—the Fifties Generation and those of the Baby-Boomers who opted for a family instead of the social activism, college education, and establishing a career before raising a family decisions of their more heralded peers. .
Hence Generation X’s lack of a unifying cause, value, or characteristic may have to do with their being children of parents from two different age groups and generations.
Drugs and Generations: Generation X Returned to Booze
At any rate, and understandably because they are mostly not children of the idealistic segment of Sixties youth, the drug use of Xers strayed back to the use of alcohol and cigarettes—the drugs used by their Fallow Generation parents, including the smaller number of them who were Boomers and who did not make either the cultural or drug changes of their peers. Alongside this “traditional” drug use, Generation Xers are noted for their pessimism, defeatism, and fascination with death—as, for example, in their selection of black clothes, their tendency to ripped jeans, tattoos, and the insertion of all sorts of pins and studs, as adornments, into virtually all parts of their bodies, and, in the extreme ones among them, a fascination with vampirism.
Generations, Their Drugs, Their Politics: Millennials, Ecstasy, Activism
Generations – Those Boomer Kids, The Millennials …
Drug Use — Ecstasy…
and The Movement — Activism… Again
This drug is very similar chemically to the amphetamines. Ecstasy has an hallucinogenic aspect, which distinguishes it, however. But it more reliably elicits the opening to love for others and the favorable perceptions of others and sense of unity with them as described above as occurring for amphetamines also along with the driveness of speed that is more characteristic of it.
Ecstasy came into use in the late Seventies and in the Eighties; and it has had continued appreciation of its effects through to the present. In fact, it is considered the drug of choice at raves—one of the more recent generational phenomena. The growth in popularity of raves maps near exactly on the increasing appreciation for Ecstasy. It would be hard to view that as coincidental.
So the free love and communalism of the Sixties was superseded by a disco phase in the late Seventies. The disco phase emerged and grew immediately upon the waning of use in the psychedelics, the increasing use of marijuana as a “cocktail,” mixed with alcohol, and the predominant use of cocaine by the Yuppies and Me Generation—the early contingent of Generation X.
Rave on, Millennials!
Raves became an emerging phenomenon following somewhat upon the fading of the disco phase—a decline which occurred in the late Seventies, early Eighties. So raves were a phenomenon coincident with the rising use of Ecstasy and primarily affecting the generations following the Yuppie/ Me Generation, i.e., Generation X and the Millennial Generation.
Baby-Boomer Echo Generation
For some reasons that may be obvious by now and until just recently, little had yet been said in the media about the daughters and sons of the Sixties Generation. This generation is currently in their twenties and thirties, though some are still in college and even junior and high school because of the tendency for some Baby-Boomer parents to postpone having children, often waiting till the very end of a woman’s reproductive years, just before the age of forty.
This generation has been called an “echo” of the Baby-Boomers in that just as the Baby-Boomers represented a significant population increase, conceived in the post-WWII euphoria and stability, these children of Boomers also represent an incoming population wave, due to the numbers of their parents. There was a wave of increased school attendance during the Nineties and post-millennial years. Universities more recently have been attending to their needs.
Just as in every other generation mentioned, this Echo Generation, also called Millennial Generation, shares many of the characteristics and values of their parents.
Similarly, they mirror the drug use of their parents. There was a great to-do in the press during the Nineties about the increase in drug use among the young, particularly in high school. Furthermore, in typical WWII-Generation style, the media and Republicans in Congress attempted, during the Nineties, to scapegoat Sixties-Generation President Bill Clinton on this issue of drug use.
For though during the Nineties the WWII Generation was in the process of leaving the scene, those elderly of them left were conducting a fierce rearguard battle to save what they could of the culture they knew and created. In their desperation, they risked any cost in terms of outlandish scandals, government costs, and loss of social progress and governmental effectiveness. They were helped by a Fifties Generation entering retirement with a lot of wealth who, as I’ve said, were extremely jealous of the attention paid to the larger Boomer generation who came after them.
Nevertheless, the truth of the matter is that the increase in drug use among the young—which significantly enough involves predominantly an increase in the use of marijuana and, as they say: LSD…It’s b-a-a-a-a-ck!—had to do with the fact that the parents of these young people are indeed the people of the Sixties who themselves experimented with these substances.
Lest I be misunderstood, I am in no way saying that parents, in general, actively teach their children to take drugs—whether we are talking about the alcohol and cigarette use of the WWII Generation or marijuana and LSD use of Boomers—yet children are influenced by what their parents do or have done, even if just in the fact that the parents are more tolerant of such usage, having done it themselves. I say this because it could be countered that even the Sixties Generation, as parents, were engaged in the public antidrug campaign. Yet when they did so they were doing it out of a fear for their children’s physical welfare, not from a severe moral perspective that these drugs are the royal road to hell or from such other paranoid attitude, as was most often the case in the parents of the other generations discussed so far. [Footnote 3].
Politics – Activism, Values – Idealism
To return to the point, though not enough has been said or written about this “echo” generation, these are some of what has been noted about them: Beginning in 1992, with the election of Bill Clinton, the youth vote has swung back to going for the Democrats. There has been an increase in activism and idealism among the young in the last two decades, surprisingly this increase was noticed as early as when this generation was in high school and grade school. Polls done on their attitudes as children and adults showed a strong increase in their concern about social and global issues.
In fact, the issues that appeared to concern them the most have to do with racism and the environment. It is no coincidence that in the peak of their influence as young adults, there was an astounding wave of participation in Obama’s campaign, largely by this cohort, that resulted in the first African-American to attain the presidency. [Footnote 2]
This group also has fears that the future may not be very bright or as good as it was in times before them, particularly in terms of a ruined ecology due to environmental assault and/or nuclear disaster, yet they, like their parents, also are more likely to activism and taking up causes in the face of such dire possibilities.
These values of the Echo Generation are understandable, not only in that they reflect those of their parents, but also in that in the most recent decades the Sixties Generation—and indeed it would tend to be the more idealistic of them that would opt for the low pay that teachers currently get—predominates as the teachers and administrators in the primary and secondary schools that taught the Echo Generation.
The same, however, cannot as much be said of the universities, with Millennials attending, for reasons having to do with cutbacks in educational funds, the lingering success of the WWII Generation in turning universities into career factories as opposed to truly educational institutions, and, with the cutbacks in funding, the lack of job openings for Sixties Generation applicants and the resulting continued influence, bolstered by the institution of tenureship, of pre-Sixties professors—those of the Fifties and Fallow Generations, and a few remaining, very old, WWII folks.
Still, the Sixties Generation influence on these youth in college existed because of several contrary trends. The Echo Generation’s numbers swelled university attendance, requiring additional hiring somehow, whatever the funding constraints, and those of the generations preceding the Sixties Generation passed from the universities into retirement, or the beyond.
The candidates for the openings that did come about at the university level not as much those of the Fallow Generation, the Yuppies, or Generation Xers, but were instead members of a Sixties Generation who alone, among the generations mentioned, valued education over money and careerism. They had been waiting a long time, diplomas and experience in hand, for their chance to return to the universities—this time as the instructors and administrators—and eager to change its course back to true education, as it was when they were students in the liberal-minded Sixties.
We see the effects of this in Obama’s election and the phenomenal numbers of demonstrators coming out to fight back union attacks and budget squeezes in Wisconsin and throughout the US. Though these are not attracting media attention these outpourings are continuing unabated. My analysis provides insight into why this is occurring now.
Painting the Faces of Generations: Drugs, Generational Cultures, Politics, and Culture War
Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Different Drugs, Different Worlds
Different Drugs, Different Worlds
This has been a brief overview of salient characteristics of generational cultures of some past and current generations alongside a description of that generation’s predominant drug use. I simultaneously unveiled in some detail what we know about the effects of these particular substances on consciousness and attitudes. Finally, I discussed the behavior and beliefs that can coincide with the use of these drugs, as they affect consciousness in different ways, creating different kinds of consciousnesses, different perspectives, indeed entirely different and distinct ways of perceiving the self and the world.
This discussion of drug use and generational cultures might be complete enough at this point. Any of the many connections not specifically made should be readily apparent and the information being brought together this way is suggestive of much more. What I do not think needs to be spelled out is the obvious: For example, how alcohol and nicotine use could be correlated with a generation that could put a Hitler into power, create a holocaust, and carry out the most destructive war in this planet’s history. It should be obvious how marijuana use could be correlated with the alienation, pessimism, and defeatism of the Beats. It should be abundantly clear how the use of LSD and marijuana among Sixties youth could correlate with a disgust with normal society and culture and thus the creation, from scratch, of a counterculture, with a pacifism in regard to war, with a reemergence of a lived and individual spirituality, with an emphasis on real communication, with an attempt to create real community and relationships, and with much more that has been associated with them. And it should need no explanation how cocaine use could be correlated with a manic economy and irrational, overoptimistic schemes, and failed business ventures.
Painting the Faces of Generations
Lest there be any misunderstanding, I should point out that, except for the WWII Generation whose drugs were legal and easily available, the above is based on generalities and trends of a minority of the people in the generations mentioned. Yet it is that distinctive minority of any generation that paints the face that generation presents to the world. It is the differences in generations and the new ideas and perceptions that make up the intellectual currency of a period and which rise above the familiar scenery to be spotlighted by the media and press.
The “Beats” did not comprise the majority of their generation and not all of them took marijuana or even had the horrifying perception of our normal unreality that is possible on that drug, yet a number of them, larger than any previously in any other generation, did exactly that…and those who did were often compelled to express those perceptions and the accompanying ideas, in literature, poetry, theater, and the like, that would influence the reality constructions of the rest of their generation and would come to characterize the palpable ideas of the era.
So it is as well with the Sixties Generation, the Yuppies, and even Generation Xers and the Millennial Generation. It is the differences between generations that is worthy of discussion. And it is my point that those differences are unusually correlated with the distinctive drug use of that generation and the effects that those drugs have on one’s perceptions of reality—a point that I have not seen explored before.
Drugs and Culture War
Finally, I wish to emphasize that these drug-influenced perceptions create the worldviews of generations out of which they create their generational cultures–the stark differences of which can fuel culture wars.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Five: The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard
Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Three: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Opposing Worlds
1. The events and statistics about this concerted effort are detailed in my book-in-progress titled The Once and Current Generation: Regression, Mysticism, and “My Generation”…stay tuned.
2. I’m not the only one to notice this generation or to see the swings in political leanings from one generation to the next. Kevin Drum, writing in The Political Animal, on January 5th, 2008 called this generation the Eisenhower generation. He places this generation in time between the World War II generation and the “counterculture generation of the sixties.”
He describes the swings from Democrat to Republican—World War II gen, Democrat; Eisenhower gen, Republican; Sixties gen, Democrat; Generation X, Republicans; Gen Y (boomer Echo generation, Millennial Generation), Democrats. And he predicts a political coming of age for Gen Y in that year’s presidential election (2008), which is exactly what happened.
What I add to that is the obvious point that these swings coincide with the parents of each generation of these youth. Specifically, counterculture generation members voted Democratic like their World War II generation parents; Gen X youth went Republican like their Eisenhower generation parents; Gen Y or Echo youth are solidly Democratic in line with their Sixties generation parents.
He describes it as follows:
Democrats and the Youth Vote
Voters, like other consumers, develop brand loyalties early in life. The World War II generation, which came of age during the New Deal and cast its first votes for FDR and Harry Truman, sustained a Democratic majority for decades. Likewise, the Eisenhower generation that entered the workforce during the fifties remains Republican to this day; the counterculture generation of the sixties and seventies remains a Democratic stronghold; and “Gen X,” the famously angst-ridden generation that started voting in the eighties, continues to vote Republican as it enters middle age.
And today’s youth? Surprise! It turns out it’s a Democratic powerhouse. In the early nineties young voters began shifting rapidly toward the Democratic Party and haven’t looked back since, even after a Republican won the White House in 2000. Today, twenty-somethings lean Democratic by 52%-37%, an astonishing advantage of 15 percentage points. It’s a bigger gap than any other generation currently alive, and it’s already showing up in the voting booth. Last year, not only was turnout was up, but young voters cast their ballots for Democratic congressional candidates by 60% to 38%.
All of this might be no more than a temporary blip if it were caused merely by a combination of George W. Bush’s historically dismal disapproval ratings and dissatisfaction over a grinding, unpopular war in Iraq — both of which will eventually come to an end one way or another. But that’s not what the evidence suggests. After all, the Gen Y movement toward the Democratic Party began in the early 90s, long before either Bush or the Iraq war had taken center stage. What’s more, in a recent New York Times/MTV poll of 17-29 year olds, young people were actually more optimistic about the war in Iraq than the rest of the population. It’s true that they don’t like President Bush much, but the war really isn’t the driving factor.
So what is? The most likely, and ironic, answer is a different war: the culture war that was originally stoked by the Christian Right and then taken up as electoral salvation by Republicans starting in the early nineties. Bush’s chief strategist, Karl Rove, famously believed the Christian Right to be the key to victory in 2000 and 2004, and recent Republican leaders from Newt Gingrich to Tom DeLay have embraced it with open arms.
But young people aren’t buying. Quite the contrary. For the most part, they’re turned off by the sex and gender fundamentalism that animates so much of the modern Republican Party’s social agenda. Polls show that most young voters are OK with abortion remaining legal. They have openly gay friends and are far more comfortable with gay marriage than their elders. They think that legalizing marijuana for personal consumption is common sense, not a sign of moral decay and the breakdown of western civilization.
So when Pat Buchanan declares that there’s “a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America” — as he did in prime time at the 1992 Republican convention — or when Jerry Falwell goes on national television and blames “the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians” for bringing on 9/11, young voters cringe. And when the Republican Party embraces their agenda, they go off to vote for Democrats.
Over the past 20 years Democrats have found themselves consistently on the wrong side of conservative campaigns based on social wedge issues like these. But although these campaigns have produced short-term gains for the GOP, they seem to have done so only at the expense of long-term ruin. A generation that’s more secular, more sexually at ease, and more tolerant is increasingly casting its lot with the Democratic Party and is increasingly showing up at the polls to prove it. And unlike changes in the voting patterns of independents or soccer moms or other favorites of the political sociologists, this change is likely to be permanent. If Gen Y acts like previous generations, keeping its political loyalties essentially for life, it means that the past 20 years have produced a time bomb: an enormous reservoir of new Democratic voters who are just beginning to flex their electoral muscles. 2008 will be their coming out party.
Related article: Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution Awakening Millennial Gen….
3. For a look into this reality, check out this video of prototypic millennial, Jeffrey Lewis, performing his inspired “The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane.”
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Five: The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard
Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Three: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Opposing Worlds
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Culture War, Class War: Smoke, Lies, and Revelations – 1950s Through 1970s
Culture War, Class War, Chapter One – 1950s through 1970s: Politics, Truth, and the Furious Market in Enlightenment Lobotomies
“Resistance is Futile” – American Class War Beginnings…The Fifties
I was born just before the collapse of certainty and traditional truths in America during the 1960s. Culture War, Class War is far more than my story, however. I can say I watched the developments that this book unveils and that I was an avid participant in many of its events . But this is America’s story, America’s untold story. I could not have witnessed all the things that are brought out here, nor could anyone. For much of this was hidden, and that is the first point.
But what is also here is much that many people have seen. But much of it is not remembered. It is discouraged from being thought about, because it is a reality inconvenient to those who orchestrate events. This book reminds us of truths we should not forget.
But when brought to mind, these truths lead to obvious conclusions. This book sheds light on these “inconvenient” but obvious realities of America’s past and present. We begin in the past, the 1950s in America.
“Smoke, Lies, and Revelations—
Struggle for Truth During America’s Lying Times,
Part 1: 50s thru early 70s—
Politics, Truth, and the Furious Market in Enlightenment Lobotomies”
For the author’s reading, with elaboration, of this chapter, click on the link to the audio site above or the audio player below. [Footnote 1]
Politics, Truth, and the Furious Market in Enlightenment Lobotomies
For many the Fifties, with the Cold War as the backdrop, was a time of confusion. The traditional bellwethers for morality and behavior had been undermined from several fronts. Honesty and truth had been—since the McCarthy era of the early 50s—shaky, uncertain, and vulnerable. With the rise of the power of huge corporations during this period, and with competition and profit rapidly eroding all values and making truth the servant of the (always hidden) agenda, truth and honesty were the first of life’s pillars to be invaded and occupied. While it was gradual, secretive, and so went largely undetected, some astute observers were not fooled and even tried to warn the nation.
Dark Visions, Dire Warnings
Books were written in the 50s about the changing values influenced or directly the result of the amassing of power in these huge corporations. These exposes increased in number during the early 60s: Organization Man (1956) by William Whyte; David Riesman’s The Lonely Crowd (1950); C. Wright Mill’s trilogy on power—The New Men of Power (1946), White Collar (1951), and The Power Elite (1956), along with his obviously relevant Character and Social Structure (1953). Books like Erich Fromm’s The Sane Society (1955) and Presthus’s The Organizational Society (1963) made arguably more serious criticisms that the psychological map of Americans were being negatively affected in important areas.
Prophetic, prescient presidential address
The most significant warning came from the President of the United States who had presided over this post World War Two rise of corporations. Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his final televised address to the nation before leaving office, warned against the power and influence of the military-industrial complex. [Footnote 2]
Prophetic and prescient, his words—often quoted over the decades since—included “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex….”
“Resistance is futile.”
With Americans caught between opposing evils of confusion and anomy, on one side, and being assimilated by corporate culture (“resistance is futile”), on the other, many suffered through, or clung to traditional ways, especially the elderly, and ignored the assaults on the credibility of these institutions over time.
There was an astounding era of unity and enthusiasm during the Kennedy years, where corporate culture was subsumed under lofty ideals, which included both technological advance—and thus harnessed corporate energy in a positive direction—and social and intercultural advance, as for example with the Peace Corps. Fragmentation and anomy were forgotten as America believed it was involved in higher causes emanating out of the times that seemed powerful enough to propel everyone into the future with all the fragmentation following and somehow working itself out eventually.
The dream is over.
When John F. Kennedy was murdered, arguably by the Mafia but either in collusion or under pressure from powers aligned with that military-industrial complex, of which Eisenhower spoke, the floor fell out from beneath aspiring Americans, leaving them empty, directionless, and therefore vulnerable.
Almost immediately after JFK’s murder, Johnson escalated the war and funding for it. America had its first coup; its first massive cover-up and Big Lie. Over the next forty-six years, with Republicans taking over soon enough and holding onto Executive Power for all but seventeen years, including Johnson’s five years, the tendencies that began in the Fifties involving the gathering of power into fewer and fewer hands, and the use of that power to influence the beliefs, ideals, and even psychology of the masses, increased and became more severe, pervasive, and threatening up to the point of the outright lunacy and obvious deceptions and manipulations that were evident under George W. Bush.
Only at that point, with year after year throwing up scandals, corruptions, misgovernment, several stolen Presidential elections, an unnecessary war, runaway deficits, and most significantly, right from the start, another massive transfer of wealth upward to benefit that small elite and increase their power, were Americans finally beginning to open their eyes to the ways they’d been lied to, used, and robbed by the rich and powerful. It took all that, which played out on the media nightly, year after year, with no recourse even for impeachment because of an ill-timed agreement between the parties about impeachment that had come out of the debacle of the impeachment attempt on Clinton, to create the cracks in the Matrix, or web of Big Lies built up over nearly 50 years. So that finally an authentic man, a man not of the powerful elite, could win the Presidency handily.
The Black Angels music vid: “You in Colour”
No better statement I know of the birth of modern era in 50s-70s
The face of mine enemy, 1984
However, before that last event and over the course of those decades Americans saw essentially the rise of a one-party government, a consolidation of the mass media and its subservience, along with the government’s, to that same small group of people and powers, aligned with the huge corporations and serving their interests for profits and for enrichment of the already filthy rich. With most powers and most institutions, including education and publishing, orchestrated to the ends of a mighty few, there existed a pervasive—however very slick and clever—propaganda and cover-up apparatus constantly at work to fill or bend the minds of Americans along lines not in their interests, but rather those of these hidden powers with their corporate and political fronts. So pervasive and overwhelming was this effort at mind control and misinformation that it mirrored that of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Since it provided no comfort, motivating people through the strategic use of terror and the incitement to hatred, it left that aspect wanting and many people—pushed to desperation and irrationality because of the continual terror and hatred campaigns—ran to traditional religions or clung feverishly to any one of the many alternatives offering easy one-stop full-service truth—whether evangelical, political, ideological, or traditional.
Enlightenment Overthrown: The Purposeful Undermining, by the Wealthy, of Higher Education in America to Prevent Sixties-style Free-Thinking
(No Smarts for YOU!)
In this context at no time was there an opening for the kind of rational or thoughtful, peaceful and considered pursuit of truth, insight, or enlightenment that had characterized the eras that had actually led to the birth of America and its system of democracy, freedoms, and rights. By this I mean that since 1973, there was little room in America for any of the elements that characterized the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Age of Reason or Rationalism, or the Age of Enlightenment—whose adherents and tenets spawned the American experiment.
Can’t have liberal arts, it’s got the word “liberal” in it.
Indeed, I personally observed the downfall of the ideal of education in the liberal arts. A liberal arts college education had been regarded, since the birth of America, as a preeminent basis for further education and for life and career in general for those who would be among the educated and eventually the leaders and decision-makers of society.
Its ideals came directly out of the Enlightenment and Renaissance ideals of a well-rounded, diversely educated, and broadly knowledgeable individual and citizen. It was wisely considered that such broadly knowledgeable and broadly thinking leaders would benefit society in the wisdom, social consciousness, and moral conscience, indeed, selflessness, and social service ideals that would be part of that kind of exposure to diverse views.
But the Vietnam War had seen increasingly larger degrees of complaint, criticism, resistance, and defiance to its pursuit from these liberal arts campuses. I was on campus and was part of it. I also saw how the campuses were purged of the liberal thinkers—professors were fired, departments of philosophy, religious studies, history, and the other liberal arts were cut back, often to be eliminated entirely. It had become clear to the people at the top that they could better manipulate the masses without free thinkers in the way. They did not want smart people noticing, that’s for sure.
We stormed the administration building & found the documents—the letters from wealthy benefactors & alumni.
The Vietnam War protests brought the suppression/repression out in the open. They actually fired professors on my campus, not because they were radical or speaking out against the war, but because they were cutting back departments that had anything to do with the Humanities—even the social sciences, religious studies!!!…anything that involved encouraging students to be independent thinkers or to learn anything different from the elementary and secondary school propaganda we’d been taught before.
We stormed the administration building and found the documents—the letters from wealthy benefactors and alumni insisting on this change or they would stop their funding. This was a concerted effort by the wealthy elite that hit all the liberal arts institutions/universities in America. We demanded the Dean appear on the steps of the Administration building and answer to the charges and respond about the documents, as a condition of us leaving the building. He showed up, sheepishly, and mealy-mouthed his way through his responses to our evidence. He never denied it.
Some students chipped in (what little they could) to pay for some profs to continue teaching the next semester. We couldn’t use any facilities; we sat on the grass, outside. Of course, we could not afford to continue to do this; nor could the profs get by on the $1—$25 voluntary donations!
The result was that the Sixties Generation was the last educated generation. The result was that free-thinking generations would no longer be. They would not be encouraged; they would not be fostered; they would not be tolerated; they would not be allowed.
People like to dismiss efforts such as mine and those of my cohorts at this time as trying to dredge up the battles of the Sixties, to relive or redo the past. This ignores the fact that this battle is has not gone away at all but is simply being ignored…and consciously dismissed. It is as much here as 200,000 people were there in Wisconsin not long ago, though the media ignored and dismissed that in keeping with their insidious obedience. It is as much here as that we are currently surfing the tsunami of a WORLDWIDE OCCUPY movement addressing all the issues of this culture war, class war. Meanwhile the media exaggerates every Tea Party twitch involving handfuls or at the most hundreds of people and broadcasts far and wide every trivial pronouncement coming from their gang of cartoonish figures.
So yes, we are still fighting this culture war. For not only did it never go away, not only has our side not been heard, not only has the other side pounded our positions into rubble; and shouted down, ridiculed, slandered, and misconstrued our points to their own malevolent ends, but… We ain’t won yet!
Enlightenment Lobotomies – White Collar Slavery and the Slaughter of Smart Folks
Filthy Rich, Nobility, Peasants, Slaves
And before the corporations there were the rich of other economies—the filthy rich nobility that kept the peasants as virtual slaves.
The point, I guess, is that we are all taught something quite different about America, from kindergarten on up. So since it is all untrue, I wonder how different it is from the brainwashing and propaganda that we heard that totalitarian societies engage in, especially the Communists in the Soviet Union that were used as examples for most of my life.
But is it corporations that do these things, the enslaving? Let’s say it exactly so we can pinpoint who are really the actors. Is it not the people who own/run the corporations? So, that, in my opinion, makes it what one network (CNN, I think) who did a documentary a couple years ago on the obscenely increased wealth and power of this class (occurring during the Bush Administration) termed “the Filthy Rich.” I think it is high time we started being specific about who is running America into the dirt.
White-Collar Slavery and Rat Racing
At the same time, it was deemed a good idea to train people for corporate niches that were becoming increasingly complex.
So liberal arts ideals were bulldozed away to make room for the career tracks leading directly into positions in management, medicine, law, and many new and highly specialized niches—usually the kind of specialization that would not occur until the postgraduate years, or after graduation directly on the job. I’m talking about such tracks as international finance and the like.
Students were no longer taught the great ideas of the millennia, ideas that had stood the test of time and influenced numerous societies and nations and individuals. Rather, if corporations were seen or heard to be needing, say, people knowledgeable in inter-managerial, mid-corporate, communicative intercourse and response, well entire four year programs were built around that. Add that kind of narrowly focused citizenry with its ephemeral knowledge and you have the kind of population that will do the bidding of the overseers and be happy for their fat paychecks—until their narrow niche of “knowledge” becomes obsolete because of the development of a new way of approaching or handling things, equally as ephemeral, but more efficient or something, and itself to become outmoded eventually.
Slaughtering Smart Folks
They will be happy for their paychecks, not knowing of any higher ideals than greed and accumulation. They will not know of their manipulation, would not know of the historical predecessors to it or the like. They would not have training in original thought but rather in training in decided upon processes and procedures and the jargon accompanying it. So they would become rote learners of narrowly applicable and short-lived “knowledge.” This would remove the educated class as a barrier to any kind of totalitarian efforts.
So we can consider ourselves to be better in America. For totalitarianism—as, for example, under Stalin, Mao, or the Khmer Rouge—is usually accompanied by the slaughter of the educated. In my own lifetime, in Cambodia at least one million were killed wantonly, anyone with education was slated for death.
But in America, we are better because we just seduce folks away from higher aspirations of the soul to the lower base impulses that are satisfied with what money can buy. The corporations buy their talent and their potential for high achievement and all the rewards that come with rich lives of insight and personal growth. In exchange for their moneyed positions they receive an enlightenment lobotomy.
Should people feel dissatisfied—as we psychologists and liberal arts thinkers know they will sooner or later—others of their kind who took the medical or pharmaceutical tracks have conveniently produced the sedatives, palliatives, and opiates to keep them numb. I guess you could say these are the “breathing holes” that Kurt Cobain talked about. They may put you in a jar, but they’ll give you “breathing holes,” and you’ll think you’re happy, he sang. [Footnote 3]
Truth’s Solitary Journey in America v.19.84
American Dictatorship, My Quest, No Nukes Is Good Nukes
1984 Comes to America – Slick, Gradual, and Perfect
So this look into American history notices a decades-long and increasing suppression of truth.
Since Kennedy’s time and because of the Vietnam War protests, I have seen an increasing web of deceit cover this land. I have witnessed things with my own eyes that have been changed when reported to the country and written into history books. I have watched the 1984 of George Orwell creep into America unnoticed—slick and gradual and perfect—as only the best minds, paid handsomely by the people with the wealth, can concoct.
A well-regarded book about Bush’s America published shortly after George W. Bush left office, and tallying the actions and events of the W’s eight years, concludes without equivocation that America had become a dictatorship.
I believe that to be true. But even if it did not rise to that level, whatever it did rise to did not happen overnight and just because of one administration. Bush’s dictatorship was the end result of the slick suppression of truth and manipulation of the masses that had its roots in the 50s, took the helm after killing Kennedy, and went into all-out war stance when confronted by the backlash of the educated in the late 60s and very early 70s.
Truth’s Solitary Journey
As for what follows from here in this narrative: This is the story of one person’s informed take on those times. This is the perspective of one person intimately involved in those times. For, Forrest-Gump-like, I found himself caught up in all the major trends over the last sixty years either through first hand observation or through the fact that as a writer and avid follower of the events of the day—in an era that seemed my whole life to be peppered with national and international surprises and upheavals, some positive; others mostly not—I could not look away.
In particular, it is the story of my quest for truth during those times. Through a coincidence of birth, genetics, and upbringing, and because in general a quest for truth requires too much time involvement and is usually not a higher priority over things like family and community, my quest for truth, foregoing family, wealth, and community ties, was unusual for my times. I found few fellow travelers. In my quest for truth, I could feel, and was quite carried along with, the ebbs and flows of the tides of my times.
I had a life different from most—one which took me to live, to study, and to participate with groups and in places around and around the country for forty years. Many of these groups and places and the activities and thinking of them would be considered exotic or alien to most Americans. And when folks heard about these developments, for the average person it was something that was happening far away from them with people they did not know…and was on top of that reported to them in a way to distort and misinform.
I, For One, Can Tell You Why We Stopped Building Nuclear Plants in This Country…I Helped Make it Happen
So many of the events of my life would not be well known, although some of the things I was involved in had major influences on our country. For example, the cessation of the building of nuclear power plants in the early Eighties. Not many people could tell you why or how that happened. I was one of the people involved in bringing that about. I was not one of the major players up front. But I was involved full-time over a couple year period that led up to the events that stopped nuclear power construction to this day. I can tell you what happened.
What’s instructive is that at least one of the other persons involved once tried to get the story of what happened published. He wasn’t a writer and nobody cared to publish the story. It is one of those stories that you will only hear from our opponents and for most people it will have been chalked up to some confusing, mysterious, and random events. It was not.
No Nukes is Good Nukes
The cessation of nuclear plant construction was something that was desired, worked for, and hoped for by people who knew the dire consequences of nuclear energy and understood the motives of the people behind nuclear energy who had no concept of that, or conscience. Keep in mind this all happened long before Fukushima happened, just as we predicted something like that would.
To put one leg of this narrative on terra firma I can tell you this at this time: Peter DeFazio, Democratic congressman from Oregon, was one of the players. This happened just before he won his seat; and if memory serves me it was one of the reasons that he won. He was one of the people who came in at the conclusion to play a critical role.
He was my neighbor at this time, too, living in the house across the street from me, in Springfield, Oregon. I personally canvassed him at his house on this issue for the organization I was working for which was tackling this problem, Oregon Fair Share . We had a nice talk about the nuclear and other issues. He contributed and was a member of our organization. He is a very, very good man.
I rarely heard of him on TV in the twenty-five plus years since I left Oregon. He is one of the people who would tell you the truth, so obviously he would not be one of those speaking to you on TV. Interestingly, I have seen him on TV a number of times since Obama took office. I don’t consider it to be coincidence in either instance
So Much For Being Comfortably Dumb – How I Woke Up From the American Lie, 15 November 1969
Comfortable Ignorance of Grade-School Propaganda Gone Forever
As for my life and my quest, I can tell you that the pursuit of truth is a solitary journey. But, as I’ve alluded, I have an unusual and particular personal history in childhood that turned me a particular way. I also have a very common set of experiences in growing up that led me to the average American’s thorough belief in the transcendence of America, its superiority as a nation and a form of government, and as the leader of the free world, based on individual rights. I was brought up believing that freedom of the press and the other rights and institutions–such as shared powers in government, a balance of powers–gave our country a foundation to provide like no other the discovery and the reporting of events most closely in alignment with the facts, the actual truth. That is the way I was taught; I had no basis or evidence to believe otherwise.
So Much for Being Comfortably Dumb
However, when I had my first personal experience with a major national lie at the age of nineteen–one that involved an obvious collusion of State Department, Department of Defense, and all the major newspapers in America–I was shaken. When I saw that one day later all the local media followed up by headlining stories that further misinformed and that nowhere was the truth ever reported accurately of what one million people experienced on a day that would go down in history, anyway, but “censored,” I was further changed.
Indeed, I have checked the history books and they tell the story of what I saw with my own eyes inaccurately, following the newspaper reports, which followed the reports from unknown sources in the Department of Defense. Even the idea that anyone would take the Department of Defense’s version of the largest anti-war demonstration in history as the basis for the story of that day is telling.
Then I was to find out that the story of that day and its coverage was bigger in some arenas than it should have been. Howard K. Smith lost his job at ABC over the telling of the truth of that day. People remember him from the PBS channel. Some of us who are older remember that he was one of the major anchors at ABC.
What would cause such a precipitous event as his firing? Well, it had to do with the fact that ABC news was scheduled and fully prepared to do dawn to dusk coverage of Moratorium Day on November 15th, 1969. One million people flooded into Washington, D.C., the largest gathering for an event, save Woodstock, in American history, and for the purpose of stopping a war. Mom, Pop, and the kids and the students came from all fifty states. The buses were lined up and I personally saw buses that came from the West Coast, from Wisconsin, from Washington State, and so on. It was phenomenal. [Footnote 4]
If a Million Appeared in DC, and the Media Didn’t Cover It, Did It Really Happen?
Well, before coverage could begin over at ABC, as it turns out, word came down from “on high,” meaning outside of the news department. People like to say that it doesn’t matter who owns a media outlet, like, say Rupert Murdoch now owns the Wall Street Journal. They say editorial policy is not affected by who owns it.
Well that day whoever controlled and owned ABC decided that their personal interests were going to be hurt by showing a gathering of that many people amassing against the war–one out of every 200 people living in America managed to personally show up, how many more would have come if they could, how many more would be at home watching and would be stirred and influenced by such a sight?
When Woodstock saw such numbers it was talked about in the media and it became history.
But the people who pull the strings in this country pulled the strings at ABC that day and changed what would be reported as history. And it would be a lie.
As for the News Department at ABC having independence: Well, Howard K. Smith, veteran and senior news reporter at the time, was so incensed and so insistent on finding out who and how and why this coverage was changed from dusk to dawn to practically nothing that it led to his dismissal. If he was angry about it, angry enough to get fired over it, can you not imagine that the entire News Department was against the change?
Where’d Wisconsin go?
While this is history not news, it is current news as well…though we can’t call it “headline” news for reasons that have to do with the media. Something disturbingly similar happened more recently regarding media coverage of the Wisconsin pro-union rallies. While the largest rallies in Madison, Wisconsin history were going on–an estimated 100,000 showed up on one day, 200,000 people a week or so after that–hardly anything about them was mentioned in the mainstream media.
Tea Party Patsies
Keep in mind that this same media has covered and continues to promote and “tout” (even) rallies of (often paid) Tea Party proponents attended only by crowds in the HUNDREDS! These folks in the photo below have friends in high places, obviously.
Convenient (For the “Filthy Rich”) “Truth”
So who determined what would be the truth that day. Well, it certainly wasn’t news reporters.
The story is only that it came from “on high.” I guess from that you can discern that ownership made the decision that day; and we have no idea how many other times it has done that. We can only conclude that just the threat of interference will keep the media in line with the interests of ownership.
We Decide, You React.
We can only conclude that when senior people, household names, are fired on the spot, that it sends a message that only grows stronger with the years, especially as ownership will make the decisions behind the scenes as to the kind of reporters it will even have working for them.
Rather Hear from Dan?
By the way, a more recent example of such a thing happening has to do with the dismissal of Dan Rather. You’ve probably heard the ownership’s slant on that story. You should listen to Mister Rather tell the story some time. It’s quite different from the “official” version.
President Al Gore. Sorry, I Was Dreaming About a Democratic America.
Dan Rather’s version, if it had not been undermined, might have led to Al Gore, not George Bush, getting the Presidency in 2000 (even with “filthy rich” and Supreme Court support at that time to begin “installing” our presidents). That’s another thing to think about when you think that we have a free press in this country; or if you should think that any ownership involvement in the news has little or no consequences.
Back to my story, this incident has to do with my understanding of the truth, and of history as it relates to the media and their coverage. For on the days following what should have been one of the major events on American public record, and should have been influential in the course the war would take after that day, my belief in America’s premier role, because of its supposed rights, such as “freedom of the press,” in being the most reliable in getting to the real story and reporting events as close to actuality as humans are capable of was shattered forever. Never again would I look at a story out of the mainstream press, no matter how widely reported and/or held to be fact, without looking for the possible agendas and forces that would affect the veracity of what was being said.
Things Ain’t Bad Enough? This Leads Me to Uncover the Most Horrific, Hidden in Plain Sight, Truth of All Time
So, again, this perspective is rooted in my life experience. It rises up and out of my personal, passionate quest for truth; and it details a good deal of truth’s many aspects–personal, historical, social, cultural, political, especially spiritual, and so much more.
Unfortunately while this quest was and is personally gratifying, it led me to the most disturbing truth of all time, something widely known, something dire, something so big that most people–in keeping with the times of smoke and lies–are fearfully distracting themselves from, even at the cost of their lives and those of their children.
Continue with Culture War Part Two, Matrix Aroused, the Sixties:
How We Became a Nation of Puppets, and the Hidden Puppeteers
Return to Book Preface and Blog Introduction: Culture War Is Class War Disguised.
1. From the Collection of Audio Presentations by SillyMickel Adzema titled: History Unspun—the Smoke, Lies, and Revelations sound bites
2. Eisenhower gave this address only days before his term was to end. The significance of Eisenhower waiting till he was about to leave office to inform the American public just hit me.
We wonder what has happened to Obama since he took the presidency. We wonder what happened to his ideals, his promises, the change he promised. We suspect something dire, for we have watched as Democratic president after Democratic president—especially Clinton, to some extent Carter—changed once they assumed the presidency. Jesse Ventura, speaking on CNN recently, said Obama was no doubt “taken out to the woodshed.” It just never occurred to me till now that those unseen hands might have even been there in 1961, too.
Certainly the forces of the military-industrial complex weren’t as powerful, bloated with power, as they are now. Still, why else would Eisenhower not speak about this until his term was just about over? If he didn’t feel pressured (threatened?) previously, why would he not have been making this an important issue? It was, after all, the summary statement, culminating viewpoint, of his eight years.
Also, if he did feel pressured (threatened?) not to reveal or let some truth be known during his time in office, yet felt it was something of extreme, even dire, importance, might he not have “risked” it at the very end, for the good of the country?…feeling that his conscience needed to relieved as he saw the end of his influence and of his own life in sight (he had gone through several health crises during his term that could have been terminal), that his legacy would be completely blackened, his influence totally skewed in a way he did not wish if he did not “spill the beans” at some point…the end being his last chance to come clean and the only time, perhaps, that he could feel he could go through with it without immediate personal, or some other kind we don’t know of, repercussions? There may be much more to this warning to the nation than had previously been brought out.
3. These are the lyrics to “Sad” by Nirvana:
Rare song by nirvana titled “Sad” or “Verse Chorus Verse.” Also known as “Sappy.”
And if you kill yourself,
You will make him happy
And if you save yourself
Then you will make him happy
He’ll keep you in a jar
And you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll give you breathing holes
Then you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll cover you with grass
And you’ll think you’re happy
You’re really in a laundry room,
You’re really in a laundry room
Conclusion came to you, oh….
And if you cut yourself
You will think you’re happy
He’ll keep you in a jar
Then you’ll make him happy
He’ll give you breathing holes
Then you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll cover you with grass
Then you’ll think you’re happy
You’re really in a laundry room,
You’re really in a laundry room
The clues that came to you, oh….. (x2)
And if you fool yourself
You will make him happy
He’ll keep you in a jar
And you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll give you breathing holes
Then you will seem happy
You’ll wallow in your shit
Then you’ll think you’re happy
You’re really in a laundry room (x3)
Conclusion came to you, oh……
4. While history records only 100,000 to 200,000 attended Moratorium Day in Washington, D.C., Wikipedia reports the preceding month’s nationwide actions and the D.C. event as follows, giving a figure of 500,000 for the November event. I explain in the text why I think even that figure is way low.
The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam was a large demonstrationUnited States involvement in the Vietnam War that took place across the United States on October 15, 1969. The Moratorium developed from Jerome Grossman‘s April 20 1969 call for a general strike if the war had not concluded by October. David Hawk and Sam Brown, who had previously worked on the unsuccessful 1968 presidential campaign of Eugene McCarthy, changed the concept to a less radical moratorium and began to organize the event as the Vietnam Moratorium Committee with David Mixner, Marge Sklenkar, John Gage, and others. against the
By the standards of previous anti-war demonstrations, the event was a clear success, with millions participating throughout the world. Boston was the site of the largest turnout; about 100,000 attended a speech by anti-war Senator George McGovern. Bill Clinton, while a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, organized and participated in the demonstration in England; this later became an issue in his Presidential campaign.
The first nationwide Moratorium was followed a month later, on November 15, 1969, by a second massive Moratorium march on Washington, D.C. which attracted over 500,000 demonstrators against the war, including many performers and activists on stage at a rally across from the White House. Most demonstrators were peaceful; however, late in the day conflict broke out at DuPont Circle, and the police sprayed the crowd with tear gas. Over 40,000 people gathered to parade silently down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, where protestors walked single file all evening, each calling out the name of a dead soldier as he or she reached the sidewalk directly in front of the White House. The people of Washington, D.C. generously opened schools, seminaries, and other places of shelter to the thousands of students and others who converged for this purpose. A daytime march before the White House was lined by uniformed police officers, some flashing peace symbols on the inside of their jackets in a show of support for the crowd.
President Richard Nixon said about the march, “Now, I understand that there has been, and continues to be, opposition to the war in Vietnam on the campuses and also in the nation. As far as this kind of activity is concerned, we expect it, however under no circumstances will I be affected whatever by it.”
Activists at some universities continued to hold monthly “Moratoria” on the 15th of each month.
At the Moratorium, a quarter of a million demonstrators were led by Pete Seeger in singing John Lennon’s new song “Give Peace A Chance.”
Continue with Culture War Part Two, Matrix Aroused, the Sixties: How We Became a Nation of Puppets, and the Hidden Puppeteers
Return to Book Preface and Blog Introduction: Culture War Is Class War Disguised.
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The 1% Stirs Up Culture War to Distract From the Class War They Pursue
Book Preface: Culture War Is Class War
Class War is disguised as Culture War. The 1%—especially the wealthiest of them, who have been termed the Filthy Rich—foment Culture War among the 99% to distract and cover their real economic motives.
Culture War, Class War —this book and accompanying blog, available for free on this site—explores the resulting cultural divide and how it was instigated and kept alive for fifty years in America by certain elite powers and how and why they choose to benefit while tearing families in two and keeping America paralyzed.
Of course, class war has been going on since the beginning of civilization; it is inevitable with hierarchical societies.
But some eras are more harmonious than others. One might think that enlightened principles of democracy, freedom, and human rights—normally associated with Western societies in recent centuries—had made modern times one of them. One would be wrong.
While the rise of unions in the early decades of the Twentieth Century and the post-Depression initiation and expanse of programs to benefit the common good might have made the America of the Forties, Fifties, and to some extent, Sixties, one of them, that trend in America and that era of relative class peace has been totally reversed. Hostilities have resumed since the Sixties—especially beginning in 1970—until currently there is all-out class war that is becoming increasingly bloody and one way or another is taking a toll in lives of the American people.
This book, Culture War, Class War is about how that reversal happened and what has transpired in the last Fifty years to bring us to this crisis. In particular it focuses on the story not told about that; the story the 1% has made sure you would not hear.
This book, with its accompanying blog, looks into why America’s “privileged class”—its “royalty,” “blue bloods”—started a “culture war” against the middle class, working class, the poor…and the educated, artists, and humanists in the early 1970s. We discover how their fear of Sixties activism panicked them into an all-out assault against elements that threatened their wealth and privilege in all institutions of American society—media, education, medicine, government, politics, publication, religion, especially higher education, and so on—and restructured them for their ends.
We see how this culture war class war continues today: blatantly so in the Tea Party movement, the Republican Party, the Wall Street giveaways at the expense of jobs, tax cuts for the “filthy rich” and corporations, budget battles and cuts in government services and entitlement programs, rampant anti-environmentalism, and anti-minority, anti-immigrant laws and attacks.
For example, we see rabid culture war/class war in the abortion debate; attacks on unions in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and many other states; ever shrinking civil and human rights, including the suspension of habeas corpus signed by George W. Bush; runaway imprisonment of minorities and free-thinkers through egregious anti-drug and anti-sex/anti-gender laws; indefinite imprisonment without trial and torture of political prisoners; and much, much more.
We saw it in 2010 with politicians like Congressman Barton who kowtow to corporations shamelessly defending British Petroleum from having to pay for its atrocious oil spill. Culture war, class war was visible to all in the candidacy — Republican of course—for the Arizona Senator’s race running on a platform of doing away with Social Security and Medicare.
We have seen it since 2010 in the all-out attack on the poor and middle class by the wealthy 1%, who succeeded in getting an additional half trillion in tax cuts at the end of 2010 from Obama and have been using that money to take away free speech and democracy by clubbing their critics mute in the public arena of discourse and orchestrating the legislative and electoral processes. And we see the fight back from the grass roots in the form of the Wisconsin union uprising and the worldwide Occupy movement. There has been an Arab Spring and an American Autumn to get or restore those basic human rights and move toward economic justice in societies around the globe.
At this very moment, one of the biggest battles to date in that class war is waging in the U.S. presidential election. The 1%, having gained an unfair advantage to use their vast wealth unrestrainedly to further their ends electorally, have managed to pollute the electoral process so much that one of its most visible members—Mitt Romney—has managed to be one election away from being the most powerful person in the world. Amazingly, almost one half the American people do not see how that would be a Waterloo for the forces of the 99% and is ok with that happening. To make things worse, this comes on the heels of the one percent’s ongoing effort to dial back the ninety-nine percent’s ability to have a say in their governing with fantastical redistricting outlines and by limiting and harassing voter participation throughout the U.S. with draconian registration requirements and purging of voter rolls.
This one-time “cold war” between the 1% and the 99% has heated up fast. Let us start by looking at its beginnings.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter One: Smoke, Lies, and Revelations – 1950s Through 1970s
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Money Madness … Foolin’ the People About Money, Part Four: Increasing Humiliation of Working People, the Rich Get Richer at Our Expense
A Rising Tide Lifts All Yachts … The Rich Are Getting Richer and the Workers Are Getting Humiliated: Money Madness … Foolin’ the People About Money, Part 4
- A rising (economic) tide lifts all boats .
Real Truth – The Rich Get Richer at Our Expense.
Life Has Gotten Harder – Real Truth
So we have this increasing deterioration of our prosperity, of our standard of living, of our joy of life. Life becomes more and more of a struggle, and who benefits? Well we see who benefits. We now have a new super rich class which is above even the very rich. It’s called the filthy rich, as I’ve pointed out.
Real Truth – Our Suffering Has Paid for Even Greater Obscenities by the Wealthy.
And to create this super-rich class where did that money come from? Well, it’s come at the cost of average people like us. And I can tell you this because I lived through it all. I’m old enough to have seen the changes. I was born in 1950. I’ve been there to know, things are much harder than they used to be.
And our rights and our freedoms have changed. Because of their successes in the Culture War/Class War, because of Reagan and Bush, the Patriot Act, the neo-con takeover, and everything, our rights to speak out and to live without harassment have been diluted. Out of all the civilized countries in the world we have the greatest percentage of our people in jails. So what does that say?
Humiliation…Increasing Humiliation of Working People
We have these huge corporations taking over and it’s humiliating to people. I mean in times past we had the small retailer, perhaps this person had a small coin shop, bakery, drugstore and pharmacy, shoe shop, maybe a corner grocery store. Now, there aren’t any small stores like that. And where does that person end up making a living?
Well, he worked in retail so maybe he even ends up working for the same department store hat pushed him out of business. So what does that do to your self-esteem?
There’s example after example of people like that in recent years; it’s something that went into high gear under Bush. There are ever more people who are losing their jobs, well paying jobs, because they’re being sent overseas; and they are sometimes actually forced to train the people who are taking their jobs.
I can say I feel fortunate to have lived many years in an America quite different from what most people in America being younger than me have been growing up with.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Fifteen: Money Mad
Return to Makin’ People Foolish – Foolin’ the People About “Us” (The Rich): Money Madness … Foolin’ the People About Money, Part 3
To Our Amazement, Charlie Brown Connected, Lucy Apologized, a Man Who Said “Yes We Can,” Would: Anything Is Possible … Means Everything Is Possible
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Wonderful Can Happen: With Dumbness at the Top and Media as the New Opiate of the Masses, Still, “Yes, We Can” Proved We Could.
Culture War, Class War, Chapter 23: Something Wonderful Can Happen
There Are Good Reasons Why Our Financial and Environmental Fortunes Careen Wildly About: Dumbness Rises to the Top
Blinded by Their Greed, They Overlook the Obvious: Why Our National Misfortunes Are Greeted with Such Surprise by Authorities and Pundits
Voices Never Heard
What I’ve been trying to say here is, there are perspectives that are relevant and are never heard. And I’m talking about perspectives that are right outside the doors of power ready to talk and be heard; often having been perspectives that had been embraced not long ago, but suddenly, not having any credibility at all…so that our democracy of many voices—now with the filthy rich and their Republican lackeys and their paid-for media in collusion to mine only one avenue of discourse—begins to echo the Soviet Union of old with its one voice, Pravda.
Horrors Far Worse
Back in 2000, I also had written,
I believe our friend speaks eloquently about some of those far greater horrors, and indicates they are there right now on our doorstep. We had a surplus and a will to tackle them a decade ago. Sadly we have wasted the last ten years reversing those environmental policies whose intent it was to help. And we have reversed our financial situation, which could have helped. In addition, we have reversed the restrictions on corporations and other policies that would have helped and at least slowed down this ominous impending doom.
So we are a decade further along in environmental collapse, and it is has increased its acceleration toward us. Meanwhile we have slashed away at our financial and other resources for dealing with it and chopped back the time in which to work. The way I phrased it a decade ago.
Dumbness Rises to the Top
And sure enough, as we all know…and what these people could not even imagine, as that trader put it, well, it is happening. One wonders what these buffoons who could not foresee such things will do in terms of fixing them; having acknowledged their extreme lack of foresight (and we’ve added, their extreme inability to look anywhere farther than their tight knit group of true believers for answers.) This should be something to see.
As for Wall Street and the economy, let’s take another look at how the media has dealt with other perspectives to flesh out my claims above of these perspectives not being far off.
On CNBC, a couple of years before the economic downturn, they used to have as a commentator, Robert Reich, who was President Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury and the mastermind of the great economic turnaround of the Nineties.
But he was talked over, laughed at, and was routinely talked to as if he was a child or suffered sadly from some kind of bleeding heart brain cloud. Well, as his words began to be the ones that should have been listened to, he was no longer to be seen on CNBC. And then afterward we have such a comment like, “Well, nobody could have seen it coming.”
Well how could they, if they were no longer put on the show?
No, apparently there was such an insular crowd on Wall Street, the White House, and, most unfortunate, among the very media whose job it was neither to make news as prognosticators or economic experts, nor was it to be part of a partisan “anti-plunge patrol.” Their lack of even-handedness and their alliance with particular theories created just the kind of apparent reality that the trader bemoaned. No, it wasn’t that nobody was seeing it coming–as you see below, I was seeing it as inevitable from the shared experience of a mere decade or so ago. And I mention one figure who was silenced. So to the mystified trader who knew no one who saw anything but, as one particularly wrong-headed man phrased it, “a goldilocks economy.”
So, blinded by their greed, they missed what the people I knew were all seeing—danger ahead, and the unsustainability of a rally that had risen on so much manipulation, misinformation, and constant drum blows of obviously wrong economic talking points hammered over and over across our airwaves and drowning out every sound of warning or opposition, so that surprise and misinformation informed the trading decisions of the great bull traders.
So many people were hurt by this partisan power play. But that was the way of just about everything during those 8 years of, as one recent writer dubbed it, dictatorship.
If you’re still reading, you will see I have reasons for pointing these things out, providing this background, for it is this context of a kind of dumbness rising to the top which, even now, makes for the strangest of comments on TV talk shows, and the most asinine and foot-shooting policies and stances of the remaining Republicans.
Media Feel-Good Talk Does Not Equal Reality … and Why We’re Helpless to Prevent the Future Fukushimas and Killer Hurricanes.
Media Is the New “Opiate of the Masses,” with Pundits a New Priestly Caste Between Modern Pharoahs and the New Enslaved.
Media Mollifies Masses
All this being said, now, perhaps for you the Message in a Bottle provides, as it did to me, a provocative window into the workings of cause and effect. More than that I hope it sheds light on the huge efforts of deception that are ever needed to advance false partisan ideas which, though proven wrong, will by greed be raised anew and banner-like be carried forth to beat back the voices of common sense in favor of a reality that must be forced to be made to be true only because its rich adherents would wish it to be so.
Media Feel-Good Talk Does Not Equal Reality
Another advantage of having the time capsule is what we can learn about such warnings. Will the media tell you of impending doom, so that we might avert it?
No, they will, for the sake of ratings (profits), be a “feel good” media. They will spin out “comfort truth” — junk food for the mind — insubstantial and inconsequential and hardly soul-satisfying. But it will soothe the stresses brought to listeners through their otherwise participation in the capitalist matrix. As empty of truth as junk food is empty of nutrition it will act as medicine for the troubles of the postmodern soul—enslaved and unfree—but unaware even of that…and unable to even know that. So this media will serve the functions that religion once did for the elite, becoming another opiate of the masses. And the pundits will play the role of the priestly intermediaries between our modern pharoahs—the banksters and the filthy rich—and the masses upon which they feed.
So no, it is not the media’s role to warn us of disaster. Hardly. Indeed, when that disaster is one of the many forthcoming from the actions of those elite they serve, it will be the media’s job to set up the screens of smoke and trivia to distract and entertain away from real concerns. Then they will, as we’ve seen, report afterward on it and bring out the “No one could have foreseen this happening.” Well that is a self-serving lie. I hope that is gleaned from all this if nothing else.
I’ve been detailing on the media complicity, indeed, facility in the Great Recession caused by the tax cutting policies of George W Bush. But since then we have seen Fukushima, the BP oil spill, and Sandy. Could Fukushima have been prevented? Yes. For I can personally tell you, as an anti-nuke activist in the Eighties, how we were warning back then of the immense dangers of nuclear power plants and especially those on earthquake fault lines. Has the media advanced that story line? You know the answer to that.
Has the media since Fukushima kept us informed on developments there so we might prepare for the consequences coming to us from that? I’ll put it this way, I’ve had otherwise knowledgeable people tell me that “It is a good thing Fukushima turned out how it did … it could have been worse.” Worse? Something far worse than Chernobyl—which itself resulted in one million deaths (where’s the media on that fact?)—turned out ok? For this we can thank a media that stopped reporting on developments there when it turned out they could not spin it in any feel-good way. Things got worse, are still getting worse, and they stopped covering it.
Then there’s Sandy. It is being said this has brought climate change and global warming back into the dialogue. But why was it not in already? We have an entire political party in America hell bent on ignoring global warming in their insane pursuit of profits at any and all costs. Has the media been on top of this? Those self-interested climate-denying Republicans—has the media been holding their feet to the fire? Have they even lit a match near their feet? You know the answer again. For prior to Sandy and in four presidential and vice presidential debates there was not even ONE question … from the media, mind you … on the environment … let alone, climate change or Fukushima. Yet there was plenty of interest in setting up the candidates to see who could be the most manly on drilling and fracking our way to ecological hell.
Feel good media? I think so! At odds with reality? You tell me.
In the Past It Has Had Horrific Consequences.
Feel-good talk does not equal reality. If it did there would not have been the Nazis, the Holocaust, a Stalin—five million dead; a Cambodia—millions dead; a Rwanda—dead dead dead; or an AIDS epidemic—uncountable dead and growing.
Yet what I wrote over a decade ago, at the time if it had been shared in any place of power, would no doubt have been challenged by this word: “Paranoid.” This is the common way the public uses denial to avoid harsh realities. Blame the messengers, the dangers go away. I’m sure my planetmate friend’s piece earlier has already been labeled that way: “Paranoid.” “It’s all paranoia on the part of some crazies” is the common attitude.
That is the way we keep out the truth. It is like using a drug to ease the pain of your cancer, but it doesn’t do anything to keep you from dying.
Indeed, the planetmates’ lament, though it be labeled paranoid, is based on the findings of the best scientific minds of our times about the environmental collapses—the outright ecocide that is upon us from so many causes and in ways that are now uncountable in number. Their message is so much more important in that we will likely reach the point of no return long before the masses of humanity are severely suffering from the continued environmental assault. I don’t like to say it, but it needs to be said that some are convinced that it is already too late, that we had a window of opportunity and blew it. I know of groups in the know who are absolutely convinced there is no saving us now and that it is naïve to expect anything but doom.
Troubling it is that, on top all that’s been said about this message and what it has told us about what we lost and how far we are now from where we need to go, not to mention knowing we were betrayed by our government obviously, we now realize without a doubt our media too helped when they could have stopped it all.
Wonderful Can Happen, Part Three — Amazingly, Charlie Brown Connects: Remember … “Yes, We Can” Proved We Could
Shaken Out of Our Mental Maze, We Would Be A-Mazed: Lucy Apologizes, Sisyphus Rests, A Man Who Said “Yes We Can,” Would
Why Know This? Amazingly, Charlie Brown Connects
So, these things we know. They are sobering rationalizations and ones we should not run from.
But lastly and most importantly, these prescient thoughts of long ago help me. I find that these time-capsule writings from my former mind are able to inform me and sharpen my vision of the Now, as the events continue unfolding and rolling relentlessly over and through us and are reflected in high-pixel, high-def, infinite colors clarity on the flat screens all about. This time is felt and witnessed, the story being revealed cinema-like, but with pundits galore expounding 24/7, like loud-mouthed fellow movie-goers.
But then also they become the movie and are interwoven into the times themselves. And their words, with this time capsule before me, are sounding childish, repetitive, forgetful, amnesiacal. Especially this is true as many of the ones speaking now are remembered as being the exact persons commenting then. And their words, little changed, bespeak a zen-like ability to be newly alarmed, being reborn in every minute, but yet totally unchanged and untaught by all the years of witnessing and commentary. So they also have forgotten the way they once saw the world and their life … just as I once did.
If We Knew, Would We Act?
It seems a defense mechanism to forget that we saw all this coming. For to know that is to despair in realizing the impotence, even, of awareness. Who wants to realize that in these matters even a knowledge of the story line, as if having seen the movie once before, is totally useless? Who wants to think that there is a helplessness in affecting the events of our lives and times, that there is a total futility in changing or steering away or around even the tragedies clearly seen beforehand?
For knowing this we feel as detached as actual cinema-goers from the unfolding of the plotline. We feel ourselves to be not actors and hardly even the scriptwriters of our lives, instead merely the witnesses of intensely shocking and stunning events, which we actually expected but hoped we would be wrong about. So wouldn’t we want to block out that awareness of the futility of our actions? Wouldn’t we have to in order to have the heart to keep going at it? To get up and keep trying every day?
Sisyphus Remembering, Would He Continue Pushing?
If we remembered, like Charlie Brown approaching the football, or like Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill… if we remembered, would we continue to act?
No, we have to believe that we will be surprised this time, that indeed Lucy will hold the football and we will complete the kick. It is said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. As true as that is, how ironic then that we realize that those who remember history too clearly are doomed to helplessness in the midst of its unfolding. So it seems we are ineffectual either way.
But There’s More To It
Yet this is not the whole truth. If it were, then the cynicism we felt about “The Audacity of Hope”…remember that book?…well, that cynicism would have proven a correct perception. We would have been bored, again, watching a naïve young idealistic black man—like the many before, differing only in skin color—seeing his efforts, visions, hopes, and heartfelt desires to be helpful and to love away some of the darkness in the world around him vanish like the memory of yesterday’s storm-driven winds. But we, I, was one time wrong in that cynicism.
Lucy Apologizes, Sisyphus Rests.
To the astonishment, truly, of an entire world, Charlie Brown connected with the football, Lucy apologized for her past actions, and one heavy boulder remained steady on the top of a hill and gave a man a much needed rest from his endless labors.
For one incredible and glorious time, the movie we’d seen had a different ending—amazing enough in itself. But also the tragedy in the original did not occur. And as if God had for a time touched this planet, this Reality we call our World, our Life…as if God had just for one time touched, tipped, and turned our events, the awesomely unexpected happened.
A man so unbelievably naïve and unaware as to declare the “audacity of hope” and to call out and stir up the masses, deluding them as we’ve seen so many times before, that “yes, we can,” would.
Shaken Out of Our Mental Maze, We Would Be A-Mazed.
And we’d have to pinch ourselves to believe it to actually be happening even as we witnessed it. That he would actually succeed in doing exactly what he said he would do would not only show us that a man could actually affect the course of events, would show us that a person could not only change things from the way they’d always been (what kind of man can this be?). But that he would do it in a grand and sweeping way would be all the more astonishing. We would be all the more unbelieving that a man who said “yes we can” not only could but he could do it in a way that achieved beyond merely succeeding; never mind that merely succeeding would be doing the impossible.
The Only Thing We Can Be Truly Sure Of … Is We Can Never Be Sure… Which Means That Anything Is Possible… Which Means That Everything Is Possible.
Our Inability to Know Is the Source of a Hope That IS Real: Wonderful Can Happen, Part Four: It’s Just as Likely the Miraculous Will Happen.
Just When We Thought We Knew…
So I am saddened having been awakened from my forgetfulness by this catscan of a mind perfectly preserved in an electronically sealed time capsule… oh, what could have been…. But then I remember, happily, that we are, I am, imperfect prophets and seers. That just when it seems we know, for sure now, how things are, the way the world is, and how the movie will end; that just then when we know, totally convinced we are, that truly things will be as they will be and that it is futile to rail against the inevitable, to hope, even to try; that just then when we have finally accepted “reality for what it is,” accepted “life on its own terms” not ours; that when we’d given up the things of youth, accepted the limitations of life, addressed ourselves, resignedly, to carrying forward on the mundane things of life, to the ordinary activities of everyperson, to the simple responsibilities and expectations of every man, every person, from every time that’s ever been and accepted the unrelenting lack of specialness in either our times or ourselves…that just at that time we would be touched and wakened to see that the most unchanging thing of life is not its utter resistance to change, its utter forgetfulness and repetition, but is the mysterious darkness surrounding the utter clarity of everyday knowingness, is in fact the imperfection of ourselves even as we observe so clearly the assured imperfection of the world.
Anything Is Possible… Which Means That Everything Is Possible
Sounds complicated. What I’m saying I think is important enough to repeat. I’ll say it more simply.
The most unchanging thing of life is not the things we see that never change. They are not the most unchanging thing of life. The most unchanging thing of life is something surrounding the absolute clarity we have about these things, these harsh realities even. When you’ve finally come to accept life, you’ve accepted these unpleasant things, these hard truths, and you think that for sure now you’ve got it, that it was all about learning to accept that…and thereby become the “adult,” the seasoned, assured cynic.
Accepting Life’s Pain. But Because We Are Imperfect…
But rather, the most unchanging and most true thing about life is that no matter how much we think we know how exactly life is, there’s a darkness surrounding that utter everyday clarity that we carry around and share with our neighbors, reinforcing it’s trueness. There’s a darkness surrounding it. And that darkness is in fact the imperfection of our selves. We’re not perfect; we’re not all-knowing. It is in fact the imperfection of ourselves even as we observe so clearly the assured imperfection of the world, you see. I’m being sarcastic there.
What I’m saying is: Knowing that, we know that it is exactly the imperfection that is the most solid thing in life. You see? It’s not the things that they try to make solid. This is the thing that is solid, is gonna be there, always. Nobody has to try to make that happen, there’s always going to be an unknown.
Therefore, since there’s always going to be an unknown there’s always going to be human imperfection. For we may think we know everything, sometimes. But only a fool goes through life very long thinking that. And so, in knowing that, knowing that that’s the most unchanging thing of life, the thing you can really count on, that’s never going to go away…well, we know that it is exactly the imperfection, that lack that’s in a person, that evil, that unmoving wrongness of the world that we have tried so futilely to change, that being in us, is the source of the blessedness of life, which is the fact that our ultimate unknowingness is the only true source of a hope that IS real,
It’s Possible “Something Wonderful Is Going to Happen.”
It is only because we know that we cannot really know, for sure, that then we can know for sure that there’s always got to be hope because we could never know for sure that there wasn’t. So, what a blessing that is. That being wrong, being imperfect means something unbelievable when you think of it: Which is that against all odds, “something wonderful is going to happen.”
Ultimate unknowingness is the only true source of a hope that is real. And you say, how can you say that? You say, that’s not true. Then I ask you, are you perfect? You say, no. Then I say, the only true thing is that you’re not perfect, so that anything you are absolutely sure is wrong has a possibility of being right.
And Anything Is Possible … Means Everything Is Possible.
So, who knows? You might say that we don’t know what’s real. That’s true, of course, so why would we necessarily think things are dire right now? Why, it’s just as possible that something wonderful is going to happen. It’s just as likely that, in spite of ourselves, the miraculous can happen; that magic is real; and that hope, and happiness, and blessedness, and forgiveness, and glorious divine wonders beyond even the envisioning of our ideals are possible.
And all because the only thing that we can be truly sure of—even when we are finally convinced that we should not expect anything special—is that we can never be sure… which means that anything is possible… which means that everything is possible.
Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twenty-Four: Naked Republicans
Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter 22: Horrors Worse Than That
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