Looking back in retrospect a bit, being a fifty-something person more and more cognizant of the fact that I am, well, becoming somewhat of an old guy, can lead you to some realizations about having a larger frame of reference, some perspective that you only get over time. Whether or not this leads to what you might consider wisdom is another matter, of course.
It’s interesting to observe what people might notice or not of changes in things over time, and one aspect of this kind of thing that can seem obvious can also completely escape the notice of people, which is that things can shift and change very slowly, very subtly, so that people can never even notice what has happened.
One thing that crosses my mind is a general idea that, in the past, you could come across some thing or another that might be labeled as something like “news of the strange”, some quirky oddity, assorted trivia, some anomalous weirdness or another. The strange thing to realize is that now, at this moment in 2016, here in the United States of America, it seems more and more as if news of the strange, the odd, the weird, even outright bizarre, is a regular thing, all over, all the time, and the main bulk of the normal news. That, of course, develops an odd situation, which is that when the strange and bizarre becomes more and more regular, some sort of normal, well, then, a lot of people no longer consider the stuff at hand to be weird, or even unusual.
We are now just past the Labor Day holiday here, which is just one item all its own that is probably a good example. It has not completely escaped everyone’s notice that the annual Labor Day holiday here in America is not quite what it was supposed to be, and once was, for a long time. The most common scenario is that it’s a day off for people the holiday was never really intended to serve, while vast numbers of what might be referred to as “the working class” actually find themselves having Labor Day as just another workday in some “service sector” job with dismal pay and generally being treated as some sub-human disposable item (a Human Resource, which is, just that term itself as a bit of lingo, a topic in itself).
As we get into September, the seemingly endless marathon dog and pony show farce of the presidential election campaign goes on and on, with that whole process having become, as I just said, a seemingly endless marathon, a circus that now tends to run almost two years, and arguably even longer, in some ways. I tend to agree with the general view of it I heard from someone recently, which is to regard the whole episode of the current farce of Trump vs. Hillary (with any other options shoved aside) as nothing more than low-grade farce.
Doing as I often do, not doing this as a professional project, I peck away at these notes a little at a time more often than not. The result of that slow dawdling process is that this never quite works as anything like what you might look at as a current news medium to get your daily headline flashes, obviously. What happens a lot is that if I bang out a few words at a time on some item, as I keep returning to spend a few more minutes on the note, I find that things have shifted on me in one way or another, or, a different variation, the pile has grown.
There is not any one specific subject where this is a problem. That, really, has been a running topic of its own for me here. The current, ongoing, just endless farce of the 2016 presidential selection dog and pony show provides an overwhelming onslaught, even if a person is not really trying to pay attention to the whole circus. Obviously, the overwhelming bulk of the noise is all about the continuing drama of the Godzilla vs. Megalon conflict (Trump v Hillary), but a new item has been a burst of chattering noise in which the “mainstream” infotainment theater has seemed to notice candidate Gary Johnson, only because he was interviewed on one of the TV “news” entertainment programs and responded to a question about Aleppo by saying “what is Aleppo?”.
People went nuts.
What is Aleppo?
This is a city in the nation of Syria, and, evidently, the site of an ongoing hellish drama of death, destruction, chaos and misery. How this has come to be, and what actually is happening there, is quite a subject.
There are all kinds of things to be gathered and derived from this episode, and not quite what some of the noisy reaction would have us think.
The main gist of the noise seems to be a general kind of propagating meme that’s essentially going something like “wow, and Gary Johnson thinks he should be President, and he doesn’t even know about Aleppo? FUH!” with all kinds of snorting derision and mockery. Lots of people are evidently happy to enthusiastically pile on and enjoy being part of a electronic communications mob, enjoying being part of the group giggling about… Gary Johnson, what a bumbling ignoramus! Can you believe this goober? His time as a candidate is over, over, I tells ya, and of course, it was a joke all along anyway!
As a quick side note, it is interesting to note some recent noise surrounding candidate Jill Stein, that involved vague online memes circulating, to the effect that Jill Stein, a medical doctor, was said to be some sort of “anti-science” superstitious quack, an “anti-vaxxer”, a supposition based on… well… I’m not quite sure what, exactly. From what I could gather, it stemmed from some much longer bit of talk from Dr. Stein (again… an actual MD) on the broad subject of health and medicine, but any of that sort of thing gets lost amid whatever swirling simplistic memes then spring into public and bounced around.
I’m inserting this short side item to make note of the whole matter of how anyone like Jill Stein or Gary Johnson gets swept into the whole phenomenon of anybody not R or D being swept aside or ignored entirely as “third party candidate” (because “two party system”!), and anyone not R or D is “third party”, regardless of how many third parties there are, and just the term third party (as much as an absurdity as that is, given what I just mentioned) is treated as a code meaning “eccentric weirdoes who think they’re serious”.
The reaction to Gary Johnson’s interview (which will probably be referred to as a terrible “gaffe”, a monumental faux pas) has been all kinds of incredulity about how he could not know about Aleppo, although it seems that he does know something, and just had a moment of not immediately recognizing the name. He immediately caught on to what was at hand, and obviously does have an awareness of the general situation, and he appeared to be much more correctly focused in general about the whole broad topic, which is something severely lacking elsewhere. In short, he seems to have the proper understanding of this in perspective from the point of view of the presidency, as a potential President of the United States of America, and not emperor of the world, complete with this long running absurd notion of “leader of the free world”. We, meaning, in reality, the US government, have no business being all wrapped up in Syria. In all the shocked mocking outrage, the thing being clearly lost completely on people is the very basic question of asking, why does a potential President of the United States need to have all kinds of talking points chatter all loaded up about every place in the world where anything is happening?
Johnson, to his great credit, actually does understand something that should be a central item, and viewed as a prime virtue, which is that it is way past time for the whole neocon cult and their notions of empire to just stop and go away. In this case, in particular, he seems to understand that the matter of Syria is actually important in terms of the US getting involved and causing trouble in the world with the neocon psychosis about “regime change” or total control everywhere.
So, as the silly reactions bounce and echo around about Johnson’s supposed terrible gaffe, it’s interesting to take notice of an article from The Intercept that examines just what other people “know”, or think they do, anyway, about the subject of Aleppo.
The whole subject of the terrible dramas in Syria is one where even if you tried to devote loads of time and attention into seriously following and researching events and circumstances, it might be almost impossible to be sure you really know the truth of everything. It’s an astonishing mess, which is something summarized in a new video online that gives you a good snapshot of the tangled insanity. Watching it, it’s notable for the obvious tangled knots of confusion of the situation, even as the presentation does seem to do a reasonably impressive job of condensing it all out to the simplest form possible and still address the reality, rather than the simplistic entertainment presentations found in TV news and nearly all of what are taken to be the usual news sources.
The person who presented the link to this made the comment that it reminded him a little of the beginning of World War I. This is not really a good direct comparison, but I will not say that he was wrong, as I think understand his meaning, of a broad sense that what became known as The Great War and The War to End All Wars (irony there) exploded into the broad conflict it became via an extremely confusing set of circumstances.
The circus of the election here is really not helping matters when it comes to a randomly sampled American having any understanding of what’s happening. Just one weird element of the whole matter is that what we have is a case where it isn’t all a matter where there is some secret knowledge that’s hidden away that is needed. Much is sort of hidden in plain sight, you might say.
What is in plain sight is that for some years now, the standard relentless chant from Washington has been about “regime change” in Syria, saying “Assad must go!” in all its different variations in phrasing. The actual actions and events stemming from that and all the repercussions is a subject that gets crazy complex. Another clearly known obvious element is that for a long time, Syria and Russia have a had a relationship and would generally be considered “allies”. With armed factions making war in Syria trying to overthrow the Syrian government, with all the tangled confusion about who is who, and who does what, a plainly apparent and extremely dangerous set of circumstances has developed, where the Russian military has entered into the fight, in Syria, at the request of the Syrian government (the emphasis here is important), to attack and wipe out or neutralize those forces trying to overthrow the Syrian government, even while the US government (or some within it, making this even more of a problematic conflicted mess) overtly proclaims “aims” and “goals” being all about regime change and “Assad must go!”, and openly proclaiming support for “moderate opposition” in Syria, even while it’s obvious that some form of Orwellian doublespeak is in play talking about bunches of people who, in a different setting, would clearly be described by Washington as “terrorist groups” who were enemies in the “War on Terror”.
Added in is all the confusion of how Turkey, under the control of Erdogan (with more complexity and trouble there) is involved, while being a NATO member and “friend and ally” of the US government.
Focusing in on one simple basic, what we have, then, is regular noise from Washington about the Syrian and Russian military, especially the Russians, attacking what Washington regards as “our people”, not only the supposed “moderate opposition”, but, evidently, American military people and intelligence agents, in Syria, with warnings issued to the supposedly aggressive and intruding Russia, about attacking American forces and installations inside Syria. That would be, forces inside Syria, from a national government openly declaring not just wishes, but demands for the overthrow of Syria’s government, against the wishes of the Syrian government (obviously), a situation that, in any honest objective view, would obviously be an invading military hostile force, and declaring that Russia would be making war against the United States if they attack any forces inside Syria, at the request of the Syrian government, that are trying to overthrow the Syrian government.
Simply stepping back just slightly and removing any noise and bias about sides and whose side is “us” and what side is “them” should make it completely, ridiculously obvious that this is a terribly bad, extremely dangerous situation, an intensely urgent possibility of starting World War III, which would be likely to be a full out nuclear war, as a result of being a real full out war (not the sort of “conflicts” that have become regarded as “war” in this era of seemingly endless permanent “war”), with the US government neocon faction being absolutely and clearly an aggressive force starting the trouble.
Words fail, especially given the incredibly bizarre situation of most of the American public, fed by the noise we get as “news”, having either no idea what is happening, or, arguably much worse, having completely the wrong idea of what’s happening, and thinking they have the picture.
It’s an obviously bad situation, but good luck finding the obvious presented in basic clear form in the news here, while you often find the simple clear picture, of what is simple, in obscure media that are likely to be dismissed as oddball “conspiracy theory” sources.
Again, we have a collection of circumstances, and actions, and blatantly stated intentions, that are not some hidden secrets only known to intelligence agencies or some elite insiders.
So, we’re back to the main theme of the day- what does get people’s attention?
We’re back to the election circus, for one thing, and it’s astonishing to watch the noise of the Johnson “Aleppo gaffe”, as I suspect it will be known in shorthand, as something that is obviously the end disaster finish of Johnson’s hopes, even as literally every fucking day brings some batch of staggering absurdities from the Godzilla vs. Megalon farce of Trump and Hillary Clinton.