In a bang with the gang
They gotta catch me
if they want me to hang
Cause I'm back on the track
and I'm beatin' the flak
Nobody's gonna get me on another rap
--Back in Black, AC/DC
A half truth is a whole lie
You will see light in the darkness
You will make some sense of this
--Secret Journey, The Police
If you're down he'll pick you up, Doctor Robert
Take a drink from his special cup, Doctor Robert
Doctor Robert, he's a man you must believe,
Helping everyone in need
No one can succeed like
--Doctor Robert, The Beatles
Ranger is delighted to hear President Obama dismisses his phony scandals (though still hailing his phony recovery); perhaps RangerAgainstWar's rhetoric of veil-ripping with the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) is having some effect. A friend lives by the mantra, "What's real, what's important and what works?" Let's try that.
Some friends of RAW have expressed confusion over recent writings. My concern has little to do with the TMZ case, but everything to do with how the press handles us when they forefront such matters, and how we behave once thrown the bone.
What should be disinterested reportage today is full of nuance, and the readers Tweet the untruths and half truths around the world in real time. People are pressed from biased news and biased dialog on either side; with culture and religion conforming our front and back, we live in a cage, and given any opportunity we jump for the joy of a little movement.
TMZ is but one iteration of the phenomenon. The story of abortionist Dr. Gosnell the week I broke my arm a couple of months ago began my simple thoughts; TMZ will be exhausted here, and then Gosnell.
The police and public attorney decided that the TMZ should not have been tried; that is their job and they make these decisions daily. Some reporter sniffed out what he thought would a cause celebre, and after deft publicity it was (though probably not for the original intent.) It was really a rather sad, absurd little tragedy in a life full of such things. Ultimately, the city of Sanford was correct, but the press sure got a lot of copy, and we took the bait.
It is always surprising the ardor these little flame ups arouse, and how quickly they die down with zero net gain. ISTM social networking platforms are being used primarily as a site for public flogging and self-flagellation and ritual purification. The liberal penitents have a hierarchy of those most "hard-done-by", and always champion and exonerate the usual suspects prima facie.
I wonder how they confer their most-favored status? Is their temporal view limited to the founding of the U.S. (+/- 250 years)? The U.K.? The Crucifixtion? I always thought liberals were the freethinkers, but they operate from a predictable playbook. The media and entertainment who twiddle with their emotions dial up an offense du jour to amuse, incense and preoccupy. Social networking allows us to respond passionately and immediately to teapot tempests in lock step with our fellows, thereby gaining validation. Toeing the party line (masquerading as independent thought) is the only requisite.
Charitably, we do this because we are so inundated with the relentless news feed that we haven't the time to ponder the stories, or even consider if they are worthy of our time. Entertainment junkies, we are addicted to our fix, and in order to feel safe and smart we huddle together with those of like mind in Plato's cave, discharging our discomfort in the same way our ancestors did, calling for heads to roll and ostracizing the challengers. The reactions are primitive, and the supposition flies 'round the world on the wings of Tweets. "I read it somewhere" becomes innuendo's rubber stamp.
The group is ever-vigilant for the spoiler, for he introduces the possibility of a cessation of hostilities, and that must not be allowed. Strife makes for a more colorful life. We do our penance and after a certain grieving period (depending on how incessantly the news feeds us the story), we are off to the next great tragedy. We are Chauncy Gardener in the film "Being There", our lives lived by the illumination of the teleprompter and computer lights.
Why the rush to judgement and condemnation in the TMZ case? Why advocate for only one side? If you are concerned about hate crimes, a real one happened earlier this month, but the Atlanta Journal Constitution couldn't be less concerned to bring it to your attention even though it has all of the salacious elements: racial profiling with intent to cause serious bodily harm resulting in murder.
A bright friend helpfully offers that the youths said they attacked the man not because he looked like a cracker, but rather because he "looked gay". I guess since the Supreme Court overturned DOMA, gays are no longer the liberal cause du jour. We were shocked by the Matthew Shephard killing, we dutifully watched "Brokeback Mountain". Gays can openly have same-sex partners in the military. Next.
I don't know if Mr. Chellow looked gay, but it seems he did come from the cracker element of society, and crackers have never been stylish victims. We laugh at the Honey Boo Boos and Welcome to Myrtle Manor because they are white and stupid, and clever white people who are still paying penance project their self-loathing into a tin trailer on the tube, thereby reducing their guilt-induced anxiety.
Who is on the media menu today -- blacks vs. whites (blacks win), Palestinians vs. Israelis (Palestinians win), Middle Eastern revolutionaries (revolutionaries win; rebels, not so much)? Will this week's rheostat be turned to "glad", "mad", "sad" or "disgust"?
Mostly, it seems to be stuck on outrage these days, and otherwise smart people are stuck in an impotent reactivity. What seems disingenuous is to ask how these problems might be solved, because our political correctness requires that we only view half of any story. Why? Perhaps because if we figured things out and solved them, we wouldn't need the talking heads (we would listen to our own.) We wouldn't need the anti-depressants and all the other escapes. But maybe we need our distractions, and these are as good as any.
As they say in the South, "Y'all all bigots," but you got there honestly. Question is, how to unencumber yourself from the architectonics of hate. You gotta say the whole truth, not half, if you want to try, and you gotta figure out if there is even a payoff for waking up. Leaving the safety of the clan is to operate against millennia of instinct.
But please don't cry crocodile tears over TM in the TMZ story and think that you would have it any differently. As long as you hold hatred and bias (even in the name of being pro-black), you're operating in bad faith.
Here's Charles Blow last week, one of the TMZ NYTimes Pied Pipers, telling you how it is (but not mentioning that he's in on the game). His words will make you feel clean for a minute, but he will suck you back into the miasma next week.
his is not the time for evanescent anger, which is America's wont.
This is not the time for a few marches that soon dissipate as we drift back into the fog of faineance - watching fake reality television as our actual realities become ever more grim, gawking at the sexting life of Carlos Danger as our own lives become more dangerous, fawning over royal British babies as our own children are gunned down.
This is yet another moment when America should take stock of where the power structures are leading us, how they play on our fears - fan our fears - to feed their fortunes. ... (Standing Our Ground).
Sounds like some powerful truth, no? Don't worry, you'll soon forget all about it, because that is how the media wants it. The power structure is leading Mr. Blow to his next paycheck.
It's like feeling so happy when you think you have finally reached someone at your internet email service provider to solve your computer woes, but finding you have actually reached some ersatz Indian person named "Rick" who is scamming you into buying a $300 plan to "save" you from the Zeus Trojan virus which he says some shady Nigerians have installed remotely (which he has actually just tried to install remotely himself.)
Blow is one of the cheerleaders -- he'll jerk your head to and fro, and keep you angry about things you have no ability to solve, because he doesn't, either.
Per TMZ and similar stories, either we believe in our rule of law or we don't. Reader "no one" correctly suggested that liberals lack a True North: Civil Rights was a good issue, but now things are not working in society and we are like rats incessantly pressing the bar hoping a goody will come down the chute, but the experiment has ended.
Liberals are doubling down on the tried-and-trues, but a different tack must be taken now if we want to help "poor blacks" and help ourselves to be a thriving society.