RANGER AGAINST WAR: Into the Bray <

Monday, May 15, 2017

Into the Bray


No I'll stand my ground
Won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground
--I Won't Back Down,
Tom Petty

He goes out at night with his big boots on
None of his friends know right from wrong
--Rehumanize Yourself,
The Police

You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain
Though you're thinking that you're leaving there too soon
--Sugar Mountain,
Neil Young 
_____________________

Subtitle: What We Have Lost.


An unsung casualty of the 2016 election season is humor, that great American salve. R.I.P.

In its place, we have gained a robust factory system of bilge and bile production, delivered by rough performers who dance like marionette puppets to a Democratic laugh track.

When did the take-down of American humor happen? Probably, it was not a discrete event, but a slow and inexorable disappearance. One might look to humorist Jon Stewart, for a start.

In a 2009 Time poll, 44% of Americans said Stewart was their most trusted "newsman". Then Stewart admitted his piker status after his chummy interview and later socializing with Paula Broadwell failed to suggest to him her improper relationship with later disgraced General David Petraeus.

In his blind arrogance, Stewart said of his oversight, "I am the worst journalist in the world." Actually, Mr. Stewart is no journalist at all. At his best, he was amusing, and he left the stage last year before things turned ugly for the fake newsters.

And so we now have entertainers-cum-newsmen like Stephen Colbert getting his props for offering dreck that even a site like "Stormfront" would not proffer. Can you imagine him aiming this grotesque twaddle at President Obama or Mrs. Clinton? (Didn't think so.)

Our airwaves are filled with carnival barkers. Like emcees at a Cafe Risque midnight show, they grow increasingly outrageous in an attempt to keep us awake, tuned in and Twitter-fed.

Humor, satire, civility, and even sanity have left the stage. Many of my associates go snow-blind when they simply hear the name "Trump". Fury, anger, disgust ... I am not sure what overtakes them. The voices rise and, predictably comes the response, "I am so TIRED of hearing about Trump!"

And so they are, for they have been blasted from every one of their media outlets with the unfitness of the man and the supposed unreality and illegality of the election results since last year. At the mention of his name they recoil, for they know the drill -- the inevitable onslaught to follow.

Pain is anticipated, so woe be it to the person who attempts any dialog about the new President outside of a Ft. Bragg bunker playing Lili Marlene, for you are now persona non grata amongst your Democratic fellows. Perhaps they think such a person a troublemaker, callow, or naive?

Ire aimed at this President has become a self-licking ice cream cone.This is operant conditioning, and we have been brainwashed, en masse.

Someone who might buy simplistic slogans like "HOPE" and "CHANGE", or "Make America Great Again?" Pshaw! Perish the thought that anyone could be such a rube, eh? That's the domain of folks like, um, factory workers (do they still exist here?)

Yet the Democrats howl on command as the cant grow ever more tragedic, in the face of little or no facts. Meanwhile, in this fetid environment, the insinuations grow ever larger.

When the pattern of media lies was emerging, Lisa thought to take notes. However, it quickly reached pandemic proportions, and keeping track would have been a fool's errand. Bowing out is the only sane move.

However, before leaving, here are three idiosyncratic examples of why:


1.) When a member of peaceful group of Trump supporters was pepper-sprayed in Huntington Beach (CA) late March, the head was, "Riot Breaks Out at Trump Rally". Now, an ingenue might envision a David Duke sort of fervor, and some gentle liberals -- the sort who used to put daisies in National Guard rifle barrels --being bullied for their non-violent witness.

But it was the other way 'round, and the press identified the attacker of the woman at the peaceful gathering as a "counter-protester". But one must have a "protest" in order to have it's opposite, and the celebrants were NOT protesters.

So the press lied, in order to sow confusion in the reader's mind.

How would the press have covered a pepper spray attack upon a jubilant celebration of President Obama's election? Would the press call them, "racist"? Perhaps, "jack-booted Aryan thugs?" Certainly, they would be "protesters", and not "anti-protesters".

In a final filip, as if to justify their slanted coverage, the article's coda mentions that the protester's numbers are legion nationwide, compared to those who support the President. How is this conjecture relevant to the news piece?


2.) In a recent NYT Magazine piece about Facebook's effect upon the electioneven Farhood Manjoo has been forced to sacrifice his reporter's impartiality in service of The Story.

In the piece, Facebook is indicted for the rise of right-wing fanaticism, which is blamed for electing Trump. The election of Trump was the main offense: how Zuck's "news feed" algorithm might have aided conservatives ... that's all.

The story brushed aside the angry democrats who remain so because they are trapped in the bubble of the vanity "news feed".


3.) Michael Moore, erstwhile spokesman for the Little Guy, asks "What Would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Say About Trump?" He posits that he might cry -- which is laughable, were it not so blind. Moore gives us the horsehair shirt his followers want.

But I suggest Rev. King would say, "Let's reach out to our next President. He is our brother."

He would probably form a wonderful relationship with the new President, and appeal to the nation to cease its hatred and riven-ness; to stop the tomfoolery of an "Us vs. Him" mentality. (Mr. Trump has never shown any racial animus.)

He would forefront the plight of the American black which became inadvertently highlighted by violence in President Obama's term. In his own words, he would say let us stop pretending that it was all skittles and beer under Mr. Obama, or that it would have been so under Mrs. Clinton.

She lost the election. Now get on with it. We have work to do.

THAT'S what he'd say.


Democrats --- historical protectors of those who have been trammeled -- have now become the jackals and hyenas doing the trammeling. They are turning us on each other, so we do not ask, "What is really going on here?"

We are allowed neither solidarity nor peace. We have become Sunnis and Shiites (with the occasional Kurd), because that is all the news will allow for us.

Ironically, the Democratic base which has been animated to expulse the daily rot regarding their President is predominately the low- to center middle class, the very people who have been sold down the river by the glutted and disingenuous Democratic Party, a party which has not spoken for them for many years now.

They feel that mutant freaks like Charles Pierce speak for them as they crank up the band of their not very merry pranksters day by day, running their hamster wheel as fast as they can.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous David said...

Eventizing. That's what the media calls it: reporting on politics as though it were a sporting event. Regrettably I think this goes beyond just the left or the Democrats or the comedian "journalists" but they are one face of it. Arguably Trump, the reality show veteran, is the perfect candidate for a reality show government.

Maybe government is a sport. Maybe it is a joke. Whatever it is, we have apparently agreed it is not something to take very seriously.

And then this week: "Why won't they take us seriously?" scream the Democrats as they see people continue to support Trump despite the FBI investigation, as though the Democrats, faithful listeners of late night comedy shows, have always taken politics very seriously indeed.

Lock her up, said one side. Lock him up, responds the other.

I guess we could lock them both up, and the head of the FBI, too.

Monday, May 15, 2017 at 11:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

I love it -- "eventizing". Yes, no long-term view, just the now. And it's always hyper in the hyperreal now. ("Will you be having a side of Abilify, with that?)

Like making something of nothing. Like the shady realtors who "stage" homes to impart an air of livability.

We are like the kids who failed the Marshmallow Test.

Monday, May 15, 2017 at 11:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Fred Gould said...

I listened to Right Wing hate radio on Sirius during the Obama years. Lies, hate and racism, It began before 016.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 1:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Fred,


Hatred is nothing new. What IS new is our refusal to get on with it, to not wallow in the muck of anger and hatred for a duly-elected President.

We might not have liked Obama, or GWB (might have even thought the latter stole the election), but we loved our country more. We got on with it.

As Thomas Friedman (he of the F.U.) said of the Palestinians, until they love their children more than they hate Israelis, there will not be peace.

Hate or peace -- it's our choice. I know which one leads to health and sanity.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 1:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

To my mind one can hate the person while still respecting the office. I don't see why those are contradictory.

What's changing gradually, I think, is -- to go back to my comments on another post about who gets to control the security state -- that opposition has become synonymous with obstruction. There is no sense that political work requires compromise and that our side lost so we must accept we'll have the weaker bargaining position in those compromises until at least the next election: instead, there is, what procedural options can we turn to to grind the government to a standstill and hope the other side takes the blame?

If Fred wants to say the Republicans started it, fine. I think, Lisa, you would agree that had Clinton won in 2016 she would have been greeted with hatred from some quarters too.

But as long as the objection remains "we hate this terrible abuse of power... at least until we're the ones to wield it," then it will not really matter who started it. Anyway, "not fair, he hit me first" is the moral defense of a five year old.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 5:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,


Fred may say whatever he wants, which is why it's so fabulous living in a free country.

But I maintain my position: this anger, this visceral hatred, is something new. There is nothing about Mr. Trump which might evoke it, sans tons of agitation from the media.

Trump did not gain the imprimatur of the G.O.P. Even post-election, the recognition of the fact was given by the cognoscenti grudgingly, inelegantly. About half of the voters felt that a trademarked candidate was the only correct possibility; the other half went off the grid with Trump. I believe the Trump anger is largely displaced from the anger of the first group against the second.

It is the abounding disingenuousness that galls. Scanning the NYT heads today I see, "Trump Still Can't Get Past the Election". Pardon moi? The reason? People are still making fun of him.

Rigorous logic, it is not.

Per, "we hate this terrible abuse of power", I haven't seen it. There was no commensurate reaction to President Obama's many questionable Executive orders. No call for sanctuary cities when the Deporter-in-Chief was doing his thing.

No, what I see is a true sea change in behavior. It is embarrassing and tragic. I would say, "unimaginable", even ten years ago. And I would never have guessed that the Democratic party would be the originators.

Perhaps it is just a function of lives lived bathed in one's ego/news feed. There is no imperative to leave the echo chamber so grafted are we to our devices which tell us about the world (according to the heuristics they follow.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 11:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I'm not sure I can agree. If you're talking about on the left specifically, there was no anger when Obama was deporting or carrying on international wars and agreements by executive order without Congress, then yes, you're right. That's precisely my point. If you really are fixed on this idea that the Democrats are the originators, we'll just agree to disagree on that one, because my bigger point is, in the long run it really isn't going to matter. "Right" and "left" are evidently all too happy to tear each other part while the ruling class watches from on high.

The liberals have been "lucky" insofar as the Trump administration has gifted them a bounty of reasons to justify their anger, but much like Republican Congressmen finally in reach of repealing Obamacare, I think if they taste power again, they will suddenly find any number of reasons to return to what they see as a comforting status quo. It's easier to hate than it is to act.

I'm not sure where this leaves us looking ahead. I fear we are gradually going to sink into a sea of self-absorbed personalized echo chambers crafted for us by our machines. I don't know you get a whole nation out of that. I don't know if there will be a nation left to get out of it.

On the bright side, the left will become exceedingly good at generating 10-million signature electronic petitions and instant boycotts coordinated via Twitter that last until at least the next time they're in a mall. (Although I guess there won't be malls much longer either.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 1:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,


I believe we are in agreement. It just happens to be the Democrats this time, and I feel it acutely because I used to be a proud Democrat. Because it is they who are outdoing their predecessors on the "No" meter, and doing so with a brazen entitlement, it is new for them.

As you suggest, there will be no rolling back once blooded in that game:


"Right" and "left" are evidently all too happy to tear each other part while the ruling class watches from on high.


I do believe the masses are rubes so easily led to fury that it frightens. I mean, for the most part, those "signing" the petitions are the educated people (which does not necessitate intelligence, or wisdom), no?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 4:18:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I am not sure whether you mean that to say you do believe or whether you're missing a "not." Either way, it does seem that "the educated people" (the college graduates, you mean?) are as easily led by the nose as anybody else.

A cynic might say that modern liberal arts degrees are more about indoctrination than they are about critical thinking.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 9:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,


Yes, I DO believe the masses are rubes. Perhaps the "educated" are worse in this department due to their hubris, i.e., they "know" who should have won, and they "know" where to get their news (="ego") feeds. They know how to band together and create a social movement (inasmuch as a flash mob qualifies as one.)

The pity is, their energies are directed towards "no" and destruction versus creation. It is a waste of mind power.

Critical thinking is a hard skill to teach. Memorization is much easier, and you can earn a good grade for it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 12:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Fred Gould said...

Different is you must be careful what you say. I have the air let out of tires twice, received hate mail and packages and yelled at. And yes it is different and I blame Right Wing Hate radio. It actually stated during Reagan.

Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 10:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Fred,


I do not listen to Right Wing Hate radio. As I've stated many times, I haven't got time for the hate.

If that is the model for the new Left, it seems a terrible come-down, no? Surely there are better, more effective ways of arguing one's point.

If, in the midst of the incredible vitriol I read and hear in the liberal MSM media daily, I mayn't say that I think people are rubes for believing "false news" and feeling entitled to their candidate achieving office for fear of being threatened -- if "rubes" is too harsh a word -- then we really should roll up our First Amendment rights now, ISTM.

"Thin-skinned", anyone?

But thank you for your concern. (We have already been threatened for being too liberal ... now it seems we shall expect it from the other side.)

Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 9:00:00 PM GMT-5  

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