It has been a little bit interesting in the past few days to take note of a couple of stories that you can dig into and sort out into something of a set of bigger stories, really. They just point to bigger things that are not new events, new subjects. There’s the story of NBC News head talking head Brian Williams, and more or less coincidental with that, an announcement that Jon Stewart intends to call it a day as host of The Daily Show. The timing of these stories coming along almost coincidentally hauls a heavy load of irony along with it.
There seems to have been plenty of howling about Brian Williams revealing that stories he told about war correspondent experiences in Iraq were, shall we say, embellished somewhat, or what some people might call tall tales, or just lying. There seems to be slightly less attention on the facts of the way that what we have as a news media all joined together in pounding the war drums over a collection of raw lies about Iraq and the supposed imminent threat of Saddam Hussein and Iraq and “weapons of mass destruction” and why we were supposed to be all joined together in jingoistic fervor to send the US military to the other side of the world to invade a country and take over the place.
At the same time, people have been commenting on Jon Stewart leaving The Daily Show, including somebody online saying “where we will go now for the truth?”, because people regard a parody “fake news show” as being a better and more credible source of information and insight and general truth than the “real” news. In Saturday’s news show of Morning Edition on NPR, there was a segment on the Brian Williams soap opera, that, incredibly, featured discussion of some survey from somewhere doing a ranking of “most trusted” people in America.
Williams, apparently, has dropped in his rank there, but what was most astonishing was the discussion of various people who were apparently regarded as “highly trusted”, who were actors and sports people. Ponder that one for a while.
Selling a pile of lies to get people fooled into supporting an invasion of another country thousands of miles away was part of the chores on hand for NBC News, along with their peers, back around 2002-2003, and now it’s selling the “Ukraine Crisis” narrative, including the page heading I quoted in a previous note that tops off all reading about the Ukrainian narrative on the NBC News website, a pretty gross case of “poisoning the well” where journalism is supposed to be in action, not propaganda.
Elsewhere in the barrage of media madness, I’m not the only one who notices (even while I ignore the stuff as much as possible) the bizarre alternate-reality freakshows people call “reality TV”, which is more often than not something not very real at all, and worse, often toxic and twisted, a bizarre display of stupidity and cruelty offered up as entertainment for morons.
Away from the bizarre alternate reality Matrix where people are awake, paying attention, thinking, and honest, John Michael Greer’s most recent online Thursday essay was one place where somebody put part of the current events simply and concisely, as the popular pseudo-news is not-
In Washington DC, Obama’s flunkies are beating the war drums over Ukraine, threatening to send shipments of allegedly “defensive” weapons to join the mercenaries and military advisors we’ve already not-so-covertly got over there. Russian officials have responded to American saber-rattling by stating flatly that a US decision to arm Kiev will be the signal for all-out war. The current Ukrainian regime, installed by a US-sponsored coup and backed by NATO, means to Russia precisely what a hostile Canadian government installed by a Chinese-sponsored coup and backed by the People’s Liberation Army would mean to the United States; if Obama’s trademark cluelessness leads him to ignore that far from minor point and decide that the Russians are bluffing, we could be facing a European war within weeks.
On any given day recently, the news comes up on radio or television, and it’s more “look what those Russians are doing again! see the Russian aggression in Ukraine!“.
Quite a lot about the problems of public confusion and deceptions about the Ukrainian situation is found right here-
I thought it was very interesting, to say the least, to hear one passing item in radio news, mentioning a statement from Pope Francis that included, among other things about ceasing wars and violence happening in the world now, calling the Ukrainian conflict as exactly what it is, a civil war within Ukraine consisting of Ukrainians (the junta regime now in power in Kiev) attacking other Ukrainians (the mostly Russian-Ukrainian people in the east), and nothing like the fictional nonsense narrative being pumped out at us daily about “Russian aggression” and “Russian invasion” and “Ukraine-Russia war”. No doubt that has a bunch of people in the Washington neocon cult going apeshit, seeing this plain bit of truth spoken by the pontiff, risking undoing all the effects of the relentless propaganda directed at American Catholics along with the rest of the population.
The pope isn’t the only one essentially calling “bullshit!” on the Ukrainian horror show, as it’s appearing that Ukrainians themselves stuck living under the new junta regime are getting fed up with the junta ordering men into the Ukrainian army by a draft, to go east and kill other Ukrainians who have the audacity to not willingly be destroyed by the junta.
There might be some hope for the people in Ukraine to get ahold of the horror that took hold of their country, by the average Ukrainian resisting and rebelling against the bunch who took hold of the place around a year ago in a coup d’etat, a putsch/junta that almost immediately began attacking the people in the east resisting the coup. That hasn’t gone well for the junta regime in Kiev and their neo-Nazis, as the people in the east the junta calls “terrorists” for the crime of wanting the elected government they had (which apparently wasn’t so great either, but not trying to destroy them) and wanting to not be killed or driven into exile in Russia to avoid being slaughtered. The people there are literally fighting for their lives and homes, as regular Ukrainians in the rest of the country are drafted into the military to go kill them, and destroy their towns and cities, and it comes as no surprise to find that many Ukrainian men put in these positions are not enthusiastic about being the tools of a Nazi extermination campaign directed against their own countrymen.
(By the way, just in case you’re new to the story of what’s been happening, I am using the term “Nazi” very literally.)
Still, most people here in the US are just not getting the picture in the funhouse-mirror alternate reality that’s presented as news to people.
I was a bit startled to read a note online that indicated somebody who I thought might have understood and known better has evidently been sucked into the diversionary narratives about eastern Europe, distracting and confusing people and misdirecting their attention. This was somebody apparently buying into the whole “Putin is an evil madman, he’s just like Hitler!” storyline that’s pumped out on a daily basis. What’s most astonishing, and just deeply disturbing, is that we’re talking about a really intelligent and well educated human being, a lifelong student of history, both formally and informally, with a degree in political science, somebody who makes an effort to stay abreast of current events, and yet, still caught up in the constant barrage of reality-warp propaganda. This was a pretty horrifying revelation. I thought, if he’s caught up in this, totally sucked into the propaganda barrage of lying and nonsense and thinking it’s credible and valid and right, what hope is there for the average character who just glances at what’s offered up as news as they have a chance, while dealing with everything else in life, and believing it? You know, like, for example, about 12 years ago, thinking “yeah, we gotta go into Iraq and take out that guy So Damned Insane and his weapons of mass destruction ’cause he attacked us on 9-11!“.
It’s hard to avoid thinking more about the recent event of the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz, and the noise around that, and, the thing is, why should it be avoided?
I’ve said this before, just recently (like, what, just days ago). People could be found saying all the right and proper things, like “never again!” and “we must be on guard and vigilant, and beware of fascism arising again, so that this can never happen again!”. People can be amazingly clear from a distance, decades after the events, saying things like “how could this have happened? we must learn from this terrible history!“. So what happens then? Point out what has been happening in eastern Europe in Ukraine, with the horror show involving the rise of real live honest to God actual Nazis, a continuation of Nazism as it took hold in western Ukraine during World War II, present and revived today, right now, and people don’t want to know about it. In one stunning case that I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, one guy online revealed, right around the time of the Auschwitz commemoration, that his mother was an Auschwitz survivor, and, yet, he seems uninterested in the rise of the Nazis in Ukraine and what’s happening there.
I’ve often said that I’m somewhat of a believer in the idea that people have put forth that history doesn’t necessarily repeat, but it rhymes. This is probably an important idea to keep in mind as you consider all of this, and how people can offer proclamations about the history of the Nazi Holocaust, and yet seem to be completely oblivious about a present moment horror story. Some of the people saying things like “never again!” and “we must be vigilant” and so on seem to be operating on some sort of notion that we just need to be on the lookout for a guy with a stupid moustache, people playing recordings of Wagner, men in uniforms goose-stepping and rounding up Jews to put them in prison camps, and, if missing that, hey, we must be all good!
The subject of the intense levels of madness of all sorts revolving around the eastern European country of Ukraine suffers from the problems of people caught in webs of sheer nonsense, a kind of meta-problem, you might call it, that affects many subjects, a topic that has certainly had my attention, along with many others trying to somehow flip on the lights for people caught it this kind of thing. The vast tangled problems of banking and finance and everything people sum up as “the economy”, and the broad subject of energy, are huge and growing, not just because of the problems we have on hand, but all the ways people are confused and have their attention misdirected, making any sensible efforts at tackling the problems even more difficult than they inherently are, because people can’t even get a grip on what the problems actually are. Even worse, they just don’t even understand that they are problems at all.
It all stacks up to be a demonstration of a difficult fact. There is something worse than plain ignorance. It’s getting a pile of warped distortions and deceptions, and from that, coming to a deluded conclusion that you think you see what’s happening. Even worse, people all getting the same collections of nonsense and joining together into some sort of consensus of warped fake “knowledge” then think that anybody pointing at the real and telling them the truth is some sort of confused and deluded nutball, or, complicating things even more, some people think they’re not getting the truth from the people and institutions that should be telling them the truth, and they turn to charlatans like, say, Glenn Beck, as one example.
When the funhouse mirrors start to break, it’s going to be a hell of a shock for a lot of people. But, then, something will be possible.