It’s Christmas time, now past the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and the day observed as another day of its own in the season as Boxing Day in some places. I hope everyone is having a good time, enjoying the time, and remembering that Christmas doesn’t just switch off and come to a halt sometime in the afternoon on December 25th after gifts have been opened and a Christmas meal.
Let’s carry on here. First, from one of the more absurd recent soap operas dominating the news infotainment, we have the course of events banging around a Christmas release of a feature film movie eventually coming to the absurdity of this:
From the article-
And just like that Americans got punk’d again.
From two of the countless New Yorkers waiting in line to see The Interview:
“We are taking a stand for freedom. We want to show the world that Americans won’t be told what they can and cannot see. If we want to see a movie we’ll go see a movie and make up our own minds….”
“I came to express my very strong support for the free expression of ideas.”
As Chris Rock said it.
I wanted to CHOOSE not to see The Interview.
— Chris Rock (@ozchrisrock) December 18, 2014
Alas when Americans have been conned into believing it is their patriotic duty to see it, they will do just that.
Now sit back and enjoy as “North Korea’s unmatched computer geniuses” hack even more movie studios and “demand” Cutthroat Island 2, John Carter 2, Waterworld 2, the Postman 2, the Lone Ranger 2 and, of course, Police Academy 32 are likewise never released.
Another facepalm moment to wrap up 2014.
So. The last time out, I broke things down into groups:
- the derangement, dishonesty, and delusions gripping the circus of politics and government in Washington
- the madness, smoke and mirrors, and masses of debt and frauds involved in what people have appropriately labeled “the financialization of everything”
- the ongoing happy hype and maintenance of delusions, confusion, and wishful thinking that shoves aside any realistic and rational grasping of the diminishing returns in hydrocarbon energy resources and our continuing gross waste of the stuff
Just before Christmas, as I mentioned in an earlier note, I saw editorial columns served up from regular NYT columnists Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman. Both were presented as commentary about international affairs, about Russia, and the United States, revolving around the trouble in Ukraine.
Both of them were just unbelievably egregious towering stacks of bullshit. It was awful, both columns deep embarrassments, to the people writing them, to the newspaper that actually published them, and to everybody who has been so horrifically misinformed about events of the past year that they had no idea that both pieces were complete nonsense, based fundamentally on a collection of mostly fiction.
Some people just don’t believe it, don’t even seem to register it, when you point them toward stuff like the dozens of things I’ve relayed here, because they think they know… they read all about it in the New York Times. It’s a whole world of fiction sort of consistent within itself, and I mean sort of, because, it really isn’t. But it’s looking like quite a few people never stop and notice that. Same with skimming TV news or radio.
Over the course of Friday, listening to a bit of news on the radio, first on NPR’s Morning Edition, and later on the NPR late afternoon All Things Considered, I found myself hearing a barrage
In the morning, the Morning Edition segments included, consecutively,
That latter segment was especially galling, considering what the situation in Ukraine has actually been, ignored by the main American news organizations.
Things seemed to move on, and then, just a short time later, suddenly we’re into a story about the leader of government in Turkey (apparently there are some issues there)-
-and guess what? At some point in the story about Turkey’s Erdogan, I’m hearing the announcer say “Western commentators like to compare Erdogan to another strongman – Russia’s Vladimir Putin“, which is around the time that I started thinking this was almost becoming some kind of parody. I sat there thinking, good grief, do they not even try to make it subtle?
On Saturday, even the light entertainment fun of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” (maybe a rerun, being the weekend following Christmas) got started and the early portion of the show was all joking around about that whacky Bad Guy Vladimir Putin and his whacky misadventures of invading Ukraine and Crimea and grabbing the place, having a laugh… based entirely on all the notions pumped into the public psyche that have become so pervasive and relentless that’s it all just assumed to be common knowledge.
Coming back to this note to finish up before posting, I found that somebody else noticed the NPR segments on Friday, and that was writer Eric Zuesse, who has been following the Ukraine story, and actually doing it like a real journalist, rather than a conduit for releases of propaganda. I noticed and read a piece online that addresses that very day of shame for NPR, and at least shines a bit of life on what the stuff is.
In fact, Zuesse covers another NPR segment that I didn’t mention. It’s hard to even keep up with it, and, again, the tragedy is that even trying to point it all out as being what it is pretty much seems to run into a kind of blank wall of oblivion. People don’t even show any indication that they see this, and it registers, and they understand.
The tragedy is that there is not nearly enough, nowhere near enough, of this kind of switching on of some light. There are so many people swimming in propaganda that they think is genuine news, it’s so pervasive, and so insidious, that we have a dominant portion of the population here of people that don’t actually know it’s propaganda.
Ever since the drama started kicking off in Kiev, and through everything that followed, here in the United States (and evidently in much of Europe), we were immediately bombarded with all kinds of misleading official statements and “news”. It didn’t seem to take much time at all before things transformed from propaganda into comedic memes, based in the idea that a joke is based on some shared understanding, with casual interjections of joking around, in late night TV shows, or wherever, based on the notion that everybody “knows” about that nasty Russian aggression and conquest of Ukraine and that evil villain Putin. Somehow this started happening, even as the US government was supporting a coup d’etat in a country thousands of miles away, on Russia’s border, helping to install actual literal genuine Nazis in power, the coup government turning on portions of its own population, and all the rest that everybody should know by now.
I can’t help stopping and wondering if 1936 Germany had a lot of nightclub and radio entertainers making Jewish jokes based on a nudge and wink presumption that everybody “knew” that those awful Jews were ruining everything.
A widely shared poisonous fiction is still a poisonous fiction.
Basically, we have the whole R vs. D bipolar sports contest playing out as argung over who is or is not doing a proper job of world domination, so it’s essentially… play the neocon game, or play the neocon game… pick one!
Unfortunately, maybe tragically, the theme that 2014 might be the year propaganda really came of age in America is looking like it’s right on the mark. Aside from the US government evidently trying very hard to start World War III and be the Bad Guys of the event, and while pointing at another country and shouting “see the trouble you’ve caused!”, there seems to be a massive magnitude of disconnect from reality in many areas, in economic matters, in energy.
The combination of madness and gross dishonesty of a lot of people, in politics and government, business, and complete malfunctions of what’s supposed to be a functioning free press have really combined this year to make one hell of a mess with a lot of different issues and topic areas winding themselves up with each other in a large knot.
All the lying and pretense is going to stop, one way or another, and it’s best if that is sooner. I hope that course will feature in 2015, even though doing so will be awfully awkward for some people, and the noises they might be making could be pretty dramatic.
There is one more item to stick in here, kind of a last minute item. (Really, I mean last minute addition, as I’m actually adding this after posting this note online, a revision.)
There was this story, in the Sunday news.
That’s right. The United States and NATO formally end war in Afghanistan, after 13 years of this absurdity in American history. Will anybody even notice this? Will anybody even notice this story, never mind any kind of serious reflection and scrutiny of this with questions like “what was this, anyway?”, about the whole awful misadventure.