It has been a while since my last note, with a collection of pretty good reasons.
Part of my regular reading is John Michael Greer’s weekly Thursday The Archdruid Report, and a recent essay there had the simple title that described the week’s subject neatly.
The subject, and title, was The Age of Pretense, and that really does sum up a lot in a single neat and simple phrase. A couple more weeks have come by and brought the following notes from Greer, continuing along the path of this multiple part set of essays spelling out a sequence of general periods, which, as a couple of commenting readers pointed out there in the reader comments after Greer’s last post, bear a bit of resemblance to the “five stages of grief”.
In the commentary following an online article I came across not long ago, there was one passing item that caught my attention, an offhand one-liner that stood out having the resonance of truth, addressing a particular current issue, saying that in the scheme of things as they are, and President Barack Obama’s role, he’s in sales, not product development.
That cracks open a whole complex can of worms, although, I have to say, this isn’t something new. That can has been open and stinking for some time. It has all kinds of ingredients, which is part of the complexity, which also, naturally, then runs into all the problems of people reacting to complexity with some kind of reflex reaction of getting extremely simplistic. That takes us right back to what Greer has been writing about, among many others who also, in their own ways, observe and analyze all the ways people deal with things by, basically, avoiding dealing with them.
Just one recent manifestation of the bizarre reality distortion dog and pony shows of politics and government has been the bizarre and massively distorted episode of the mysterious Trans-Pacific Partnership. The keeps being presented, in the shows for public consumption, as a “free trade agreement”, complete with all the usual noises of the dogmatic sales pitches of the supposed inherent goodness of “free trade”, along with the idea, regarding the congressional rituals going on regarding the TPP, that what Congress is doing is considering votes on a bill for “fast track”.
The idea we keep having sold to us is that this is a simple case of simplicity and efficiency, to have each chamber of Congress simply do “a straight-up vote”, which apparently actually simply means, vote on this with no amendments allowed, no changes, no debate, not even any review, which then takes us straight into one of the major and profoundly ugly elements about the mysterious TPP, which is that, evidently, the whole thing is kept secret, the actual contents and substance kept hidden even from elected representatives in government who are supposed to vote to approve this, with the only knowledge of what devious chicanery is afoot in this monstrosity coming from “leaks”.
This then gets into a whole other running theme of ugliness. That is, anybody who might dare to actually find and reveal what people in power are actually doing are then targets of all kinds of howling attacks, even what might be considered full on persecution, about them supposedly being some evil traitor and spy and general ne’er do well trying to destroy America and freedom and prosperity and, well, all the usual bullshit.
The continuing strange mass epidemic of what I’m calling bipolar political disorder is deeply wound into everything happening (or not happening, as the case may be) in the public realm. The people caught up in all the noisy nonsense and lying of the club R Republicanistas and all their media puppets continue to have a set of complete alternate reality nonsense stuck in their heads, with a bipolar counterpart kind of deluded madness among many people seeing themselves as Liberal and Left and club D loyalists.
I’ve been hammering away about that for quite a long time now, which gets tiresome, but it seems to have changed so little among so many people, or gotten worse. The good news is, at the same time, many people are waking up, and the more the nonsense and propaganda cranks up in intensity to try to maintain the nonsense and confusion, the more people are seeing the absurdities.
This isn’t happening among the people I just mentioned, stuck in the silly games of playing people against each other in a pair of artificial opposing camps. The same nonsense continues in the domain of people stuck in the world of noisy propaganda of the bins labeled Right and Republican and Conservative with the same unreal memes like Obama regarded as the secret Kenyan Muslim socialist Lefty radical, regardless of actual reality, while on “The Other Side” people sticking themselves in the bins labeled Left and Liberal and Democratic similarly avoiding reality, but with their notions including assorted denial and delusions that have many people apparently still insisting on seeing Obama as some kind of hybrid reincarnation of Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy, seemingly oblivious, like their clichéd counterparts, to the actual reality of the recent history involved.
As I sometimes do, I’m writing this entry in bits and pieces, spread over many days (sometimes over as much as a couple of weeks), so occasionally items and comments become a little odd, as I write sections in what, at that moment, is the present moment, and then the text continues that way, spread over some time period. The result of this writing in the present tense might make weird reading, but forgive me and bear with me. It’s hard to keep up sometimes.
It’s hard for a lot of people to keep up, sometimes. That’s part of our problems. Pile on loads of more distractions, and things get missed, diversions bounce people’s attention around even more, and all kinds of simplistic silliness takes the place of conscious observation and thought. One part of that is, of course, the bipolar/binary simplistic game of people allowing themselves to be herded into two neat political groups with each declaring their club The Good Guys and The Other Side as the evil villainous Bad Guys (or, at best, seriously misguided fools).
Current events keep piling on, making things like these notes, as I just said, a bit awkward, and in just the past few days (as I write now, anyway) this continues. Looking at things online, it’s a bombardment of people going nuts about a new Supreme Court case decision on gay marriage, another decision from that court about the massive chunk of law commonly referred to as “Obamacare”, all kinds of chatter about the anachronistic Confederate flag, and on and on and on. Meanwhile, the strange and slightly disturbing saga of the previously mentioned Trans-Pacific Partnership “trade agreement”, and “Fast Track”, rolls on, almost completely obscured in all this noise and chatter.
How about that?
Funny how that works.