If it Weren't So Horrible...
Reading the news and doing some research regarding how things work in the New America, I'm constantly floored by the rich black humour of it all.
I mean, George Bush lecturing Putin, about the dangers of sliding into totalitarianism will someday be the stuff of comedic dramas set in this period.. Bush lectures Putin about the importance of a free press, while his neocon allies have destroyed the independent press in America. While George himself is involved in creating propaganda, disguised as news, and stacking the White House press corps with shills. It would be hilarious, were it not for the terrible reality behind the joke.
My impression of this particular incident is that it was put on, primarily for the benefit of the home audience. George Bush resolutely defending democracy and the free press, to a bunch of Russian would be totalitarians. That proves America is a free democracy and the press is free, and we are the good guys. Don't it?
When I was a young guy in Alabama, I remember having a very simplistic idea about the basic difference between authoritarian communist countries and the capitalist countries. The idea came directly from the Communism verses Democracy class in the 11th grade. However the conclusion was greatly frowned upon by Mrs. Vines, the matronly history teacher who was the perfect bitter, myopic, bovine personality for disseminating the obedience propaganda that made up most of the 'study' material of 11 th grade history.
My theory, in a sentence, was that Communist societies controlled society with police and detention while capitalist societies just starved you out if you say or do what the elite doesn't like.
I was reminded of Mrs. Vines during the press conference with Bush and Putin. A reporter asked Bush if opposition writers were not fired in the United States. And George smiled and said something like, That's the difference, the government doesn't fire them, the editor fires them, or the publisher, or the owner of media outlets fires them. He was grinning his fool face off while saying it.
What he's telling Putin is that corporate totalitarianism with the outward appearance of democracy and a market driven, corporate owned, "free press", is the way of the future.
What he is telling the American people is that "We are right. We are the givers of democracy and enemies of evil." Preaching quite the opposite of what he does in the world.
That, of course, is what the rest of the world sees from America. Bloody tyrants who persistently say the very opposite of what they mean. People for whom peace means the destruction of anyone seen to be in the way of the great neocon plan to control the worlds' economy. People for whom liberty means obedience to the financial and political needs of corporate power.
A few days ago, I had a long telephone conversation with a friend who lives in southwest Texas. He was telling me how the right wing born-agains have taken over all cultural events in the town and any business that does not support them is boycotted by the 'good' people.
An annual Christmas festival that had ran for a number of years was taken over by the local Evangelicals. There was no music except hymns and most of the booths were put up by dour faced Christians handing out "Sinners Will Burn" leaflets, and businesses not selling Christianity along with their products, were boycotted. The very people who put up most of the money for the event were boycotted for not being Christian enough. It was a financial disaster, of course. Which was part of the idea.
My friend says no one will even speak against it because, as my friend said, "They operate like a gang, they target people they don't agree with."
The police and members of city council are part of it and they make life expensive and dangerous for those they consider to be the wrong type. Perfect Brown shirts without the uniforms. Playing exactly the role played by the SA during Hitler's rise to power.
They don't wear uniforms and they don't talk the same racial propaganda, yet, but they play the same intimidating role and the same social enforcement role played by the Brown Shirts, not all that long ago.
In the same conversation, my friend expressed dismay and real resentment regarding the way that Europeans and much of the world now view Americans. He said, "It's a kind of racism, you know."
I know how he feels and yes there is a straight up bias involved. But, understanding the feeling well, I know that the very people my friend is afraid of, in his home town, are the people who now represent Americans to the world. People don't like dumb, arrogant, ignorant nazis. They never have and never will.
The idiocy that Americans seem to revel in, such as the gayness of Sponge Bob, their fanatical hatred of gays, and non Christians, their inability to grasp simple cultural concepts, their fear of everything that isn't them, makes it difficult to see through the mainstream well enough to see the people that don't represent that.
Everything you see in the media that comes from the States, reinforces the stereotype. More liberal thinking Americans are painted with a bad rap but we are stuck with it until enough of us stick our heads above the ground to be seen.
The difficulty is that you can't stick your head up as an individual without getting smacked down in one sense or another. Being in Canada gives the illusion of some protection but it is a very thin protection.
We must put ourselves into the struggle against what is happening or be eaten, in the long run. Simply rolled over and absorbed. Few at a time until America is entirely safe for naked corporate control.
Germans turned out in humongous numbers to express their attitude toward America and the danger it presents to the world. Kept far from the sight of Fearless Leader. Mean while, the US media almost completely ignore what Europe is well aware of. There lies the mental divide between Americans and Europeans.
Europeans and the people of the world outside America, know many things that Americans are not allowed to know. Ignorance refers to a lack of knowledge and information. We are all born in that state but to stay that way, your whole life, requires work.
For my American friends, esteemed colleagues, and loved ones who do not represent this ugly new version of the American identity, you have the sympathy of much of the world but you are very hard to see. Very hard to separate from the background of your fellow citizens.
I believe we must recognize that it is up to us to alter this. It is not fair, but fair is a rare element in the human world. Like truth, fair is not a common thing.
What truth comes from the mouth of George Bush? Next to none. In what way is the application of American power fair to those who bear the burden and live in the rubble of countless broken lives?
The everyday lives, dreams, and ambitions of an entire nation of people shattered and made waste by American corporate greed. Greed directed, financed, and staffed by American corporate employees and literally thousands of Americans working as mercenaries.
There is a real world price to pay for everything we do and for everything we don't do.
Bush is doing surreal stand up with Putin as his straight man and I'm wondering what happened to the rotten tomatoes.