Posts Tagged Beatles

Passion Versus Power, People vs. Corporations, Internet vs. Matrix: Democrats Are Also for Special Interests … After They’ve Convinced You YOU Are One

Creating a (Not So) American Life: Stolen Elections, Crazy-Making Social Processes, and Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies … The Rise of “Obvious Truths” (updated)

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine: Creating an American Life

Power vs. Passion, Money vs. Authenticity – Opposing Ways of Changing America

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Opposing Ways of Changing America – Passion vs. Power, Authenticity vs. Money

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In the last half century, Americans have experienced unprecedented changes hippiesimages (11)in their lives, their lifestyles, in what it means to be alive and a human in America in these times. Rarely have societies experienced this kind of change. What is even more astounding is the way the changes send us shooting dramatically in one way and then in the other direction.

Of course it is amazing that people are able to manage these kinds of change. But we don’t do this easily.

Let us look at the side-to-side careening of American life in that time and where we are today in that.

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Creating an America Worthy of its Name

In introducing “Obvious Truths,” I talked about how politicians and leaders can only do so much and that the effects of their words are often fleeting. I said that social change that’s either reinforced or carried forward, or even initiated, by something like music or something that affects your feelings, can be greater and longer lasting. The powerful feelings that are stirred this way can affect people for their whole lives and even have influence for generations. I mentioned that these emotional influences reach more deeply into people because feelings exist at a deeper level of the brain undergirding words, thought, or even reason.

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Finally, keep in mind that this is titled the rise and fall of “obvious truths.”

Obvious “Truth” – “Money Changes Everything”…. Really? … Only?

So I’m gonna start looking over what has transpired so far. I said at the beginning there was a title, one that pointed to the power and grandeur of these social movements.Occupy Madrid I wrote at the time that if the title’s claim–casting ordinary folks, along with revolutionary art, as the instigators of grand movements…the people of the Sixties and the music of bands like the Beatles, for example—sounds silly or trite to you that you are operating out of social prejudices we all carry from childhood, like most people do, particularly around status.

img_0168-2~s1000x1000And by that I meant we have a tendency to assume that it is money that changes everything and that ordinary folks have little power without it.

For example, we assume that artists and musicians can’t affect anything. They more often arise from non-affluent beginnings; we have the term, starving artist, for example. Their power in society is considered to be as minimal as their finances.

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“Real World” vs. “Flaky”

But this is not true—that is what I’m getting at. For, has the power of people been created with money, solely? Well, I think there’s a tendency to think it is.

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Not long ago, America and I went through such a change arising artistically from the masses. The Beatles affected us in such a great way that we were changed forever and society’s traditional momentum in a direction benefiting its moneyed royalty was stopped and even reversed. Their music and that of those like them changed the world in terms of the way we saw peace. The way we saw love. The way we saw drugs. The way we saw tolerance of other people…the way we looked at other people.

Status and Money, More Than Ever, Determining What Is “Real”

But I’m not going to go too far there, because that’s all coming up, too. I’m roflbot6-1just saying that we do have these preconceptions about status and money that affects what we think is more important or powerful. It affects what we think of as “real” and “real world” versus what is considered silly or superfluous … “flaky” … “kumbaya.”

I was talking earlier about how, these days, it seems like only people with money have power. Everybody knows that and assumes it can only be that way. This is so because many people today have not had the experience of seeing it being different than that.

The Exception That Reveals the Rule

There is one exception and as it happens this exception does reveal the rule.

The Blue Meanies Dissed, Dismissed

For Obama’s rise to the presidency was startling, shocking even, because it imagesnnnwas a unique phenomenon for this time. It was a grand and sweeping phenomenon because people got a chance, for the first time in a long time, to see that ordinary folks getting together could effect massive change…without the power of gobs of money. We can recall how his campaign was largely done over the internet and with small contributions. People could feel again, some for the first time, that they had the power in their passion and numbers to throw off the shackles of the filthy rich. Unbelievable.

Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate – Creating an America That Is Not

Creating an America That Is Not – Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate

Creating an America That Is Not

Obama’s success was astounding, but look what it took! Look at what had to happen before a Democrat, Obama, and the first African-American ever, could win the presidency. It only came about after a long time of national suffering, disgrace, war, loss of life, incompetence, cronyism, scandal, atrocity, erosion of rights, squandering of money, tragedy, and more. Bush was in the presidency for a full eight years; he actually got to steal a second election.

The Blue Meanies – Stolen Election

It is clear that Bush’s first term was not won fairly. Even putting aside the intimidation of black voters in Florida and similar unfair and illegal practices perpetrated by Republicans, we still have the fact that Bush was given the presidency by a decision of the Supreme Court. Our history records how vote counting was stopped before the outcome could be determined; the Supreme Court decided on a winner, Bush; and subsequently the vote tally came out that Gore had actually won the presidency! These are simply the facts, the things not in dispute.

The Rule Itself—Money Changes Everything.

The facts of Bush’s second election are less well known; in fact they are more assiduously covered up. Still, in the vote tally against John Kerry it should not have even been close…but for more obscure reasons.

There is plenty of documented public evidence that the electronic voting machines were fixed, making the outcome fraudulent. The machines were owned by Diebold Corporation, a firm solidly in the Republican camp, the head of which promised the Republicans, before the election, that he was going to get Bush elected. I mean, seriously. Isn’t that pretty much an admission that the voting machines were going to be fixed?

And in fact this is what they discovered to have taken place.

Now, is this not the kind of thing that in the past would have brought people out into the streets? [Footnote 1]

Anyway, it was confirmed, to some extent even prior to the election, that even a person walking by with an iPhone or something similar could hack into these electronic voting machines and change the votes. That is, if they had the correct access information. And the only ones who had that and therefore could decide the vote tally were the Diebold Corporation in league with the Republicans. Is it any wonder Bush “won”?

The Battleground for America

“Only people know just how to change the world.” – J. Lennon

So the two things of relevance in this example are that in previous times this would have brought people out into the streets, would have caused people to rise up in outrage against authority when it was found out.

The Duty, and Failure, of the Press

Which brings out the second relevant point: The public’s power could be stirred only by these facts coming out and becoming widely known. This information did come out; entire popular books were written describing how and that it was done. It came out in the broadcast media as well.

It is unlikely that you know that, however. That can only be because it wasn’t told enough in the media, that it was downplayed in the media, covered up, or the media directed your attention away from it. And that is the problem I’m getting at.

Changing America by Changing its People

But you see there’s another thing that happened. Even with a responsible media you have to have a citizenry that is open to this kind of information and able and willing to process it and draw conclusions from it. That is what I will be addressing now.

Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies

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Creating a (Not So) American Life: Your Mind Made Fertile For the Planting of Lies

Thousands turn out at the State Capitol to rally against Obama policies, huge deficits, bigger government and higher taxes.  Corneliu Constantinescu (CQ) wears tea bags on his hat at the rally on the steps of the Capitol.</p><p> Photo by Doug Beghtel/ The Oregonian

Going back, I was saying we all have these prejudices regarding what is deemed powerful and important. We all have stuff from childhood that makes us shrink before authority, cower before money, status, and power. We all have irrational ideas magnifying the power of our oppressors, telling us to obey, to not question, to go along with that which others would have of us but which is not in our own interest and in fact brings suffering into our lives. And on top of all that, these early imprints and social teachings would have us rationalize our subjugation and deny our felt experience ever fending off inner and outer information, clues threatening to our precious conscious untruths and instilled self-sabotaging beliefs and notions.

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Thinking About There Not Being Enough Time to Think

But you know sometimes you have a chance to kick back and not be caught up in the struggle to survive. You have a chance to reflect on your circumstances, your prejudices, and to re-evaluate matters. jacob-and-the-angelYou have leisure time in which to do more than survive, to actually re-create, re-new yourself, and to grow in wisdom so you are not so blinkered by the blinders of the comfortable ignorance of grade-school propaganda and other early conditionings, prejudices. So society benefits both through your productivity but also through the fact that you have leisure time to become a wiser social actor. You have this leisure time….

Or, do you?

Well, not too long ago we had more leisure time, let’s put it that way. We had more leisure time; we had more time to pause and reflect. So some things might occur to us that were different than what we originally thought…than our preconceived notions; we might actually change our mind about things if we thought about them. I am not saying that was what everybody did all the time or anything like that. I am saying it could happen, and it happened more. So I’m saying that a lot has changed.

Well, you don’t think we have less leisure time? If you are much younger than me, you probably don’t know. But I am old enough to know that I have never seen Americans so busy…so busy and so preoccupied.

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Climbing Down the Ladder of Your Todo List

Backing up, so imagine you or somebody like you is saying, “Ah, naw naw naw, naw, y’know, musicians, ordinary folks, they can’t do anything; they’re not politicians, they’re not powerful, they’re not rich!” Ok?simpsonarrivingfuturetime But this person or you may not have had occasion to actually pause your life…to step back from the twenty-four hour climbing down the ladder of your todo list to success. Y’know?

How long is your todo list by the way? Busy, busy all the time is now required for survival concerns. There was a time in which you might be really motivated…you’d see people that were really striving …trying hard to be a big success or something like that. But it wasn’t required.

Forms Fill Up Free Time…”Fax It Over, I’ll Look At It.”

There is also the increased paper load, the mountains of red tape, which is also filling up the supposed “free time” of the average American. Man! What the hell is with that!?

Now they can blame it on computers; they can say it’s because we have more information and they can store larger amounts of it electronically, and they can put more… aw, c’mon, it’s people deciding that you have to fill things out and that you have to get and give more and more and more and more information, this is a lot of time!

Did you ever buy a house?pile-150x150 You sign that Sisyphian hill of documents? I can only just imagine the day when there was just a deed, signed over. I’m not that old.

So, with exorbitantly more paperwork, there’s less time for thought, less time to think. We’re busy, and we’re nervous. Why? We got a lot of red tape, we got a lot of things to do. We’re under stress…

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Taxes to Twist You With

DSC_0299_20060815And part of that paperwork … probably the worst part, if you’re like me, is due to the complex and contradictory tax codes. Part of the leisure time lost disappears into the black hole around tax forms. Seriously, I am old enough to have seen taxes get more contradictory and complex over the years. In fact the tax codes are rather convoluted abominations twisting themselves to benefit corporate special interest, with little or no rationale even presented to explain why these special interests should be benefited. TwistedGrowth (2)And this sort of corporate special interest input into tax codes has just exploded over the years.

In the previous times, such things as a benefit to any special interest were usually presented to the legislature, and the public, in a particular way to justify them. You can just imagine like, in some kind of bargaining session in Congress, they would say, “Well, if we provide a break here, that’ll result in benefits over in this sector…” Or they might say, “…and it benefits our economy as a whole, which will…” and they might add a few elements into the equation before the inevitable, “it’ll benefit the average American or be a boon to our society as a whole.” And the reaction, we imagine, would be like, “Aw, yeah, yeah…ok.” Then it’s good; it’s approved.

Crazy-Making Social Processes Aid Manipulation

But over time, even this linking to the common good was not necessary, so the tax codes got exceedingly more convoluted and hopelessly contradictory, essentially lacking any reason. We all know that. It’s a dead document, so to speak, which would never, ever, ever be able to be brought back to rational health, so riddled with myriad kinds of cancers which are special interest convolutions of its elements so that it would be impossible to excise them all.

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sarahpalinYou have probably all heard the story. You call up the tax adviser, you have a question about how to fill something out…how to do something. And you’ll ask one person and they’ll tell you one thing; and then you call back and you get a different person and they’ll tell you something entirely different; then if you call again, somebody else will tell you something again … all different. Well, this is crazy-making.

And that crazy-making takes up your time; and it makes you worry more…and, well, it works itself into your time to ponder things, especially important things.

If Both Parties Are Equally Funded by Corporations, Why Have Democrats Always Been Woefully Underfunded? Money Changing Everything – The Planting of Lies

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Creating a (Not So) American Life, Part Four: Both Parties Are Funded by Special Interests, If You Consider People a “Special Interest” for Democrats

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oil-profit-sign-300x300So, the tax code is hopelessly brain dead, and everyone knows it. Any former link to fairness, reasonableness, or coherency has been severed; it has become a coffin into which anything can be thrown and in which any corporate wish can be granted. So the country has now turned completely into the hands of the corporations, ok?

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The Money Changing Everything

And with corporations firmly backing Republicans, the Democrats in every election that I can recall, especially in the presidential elections, always were way underfunded and the GOP overfunded because the Rich-publicans were carrying the wishes of those corporations into the board rooms of Congress along with their huge amounts of money.

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Corporations Invest in America (Government).

185843_507009399313584_153530349_nBut these payoffs were small investments to corporations, relative to the benefits they would get in the changes in government policy which affected them. Republicans were—It was obvious…it was all on public record—were getting huge amounts of money going into their campaign coffers and were way overfunded. One hell of a lot of money was put toward putting and keeping Republicans in office. It was not even a fair fight.

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Democrats Not Wanting to Be Totally Disarmed

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So with no hope then…and this is what I saw happen…Democrats, who were still wanting to work for a better America and therefore better government, were forced into a choice of either continuing to rely only on contributions from the American people…as for example unions, keeping them woefully underfunded, and therefore losing…or to accept what was being offered them also by corporations.

elephant-donkeySo you began to have some Democrats making compromises with their principles and accepting some corporate money. Though even then it remained true that for the most part Democrats are funded by unions and organizations dealing with issues, like education, health care, seniors, jobs, and so on that affect the average American.

Now, this is where I get to one of those Big Lies, one of those concocted untruths that end up everyone just knowing to be true.

Obvious “Truth” – Politicians Are Like the People We Want Others to Think We Are Like (But Aren’t)…Like Who We Pretend to Be

To make this point, I need to back up to that thing related to convoluted tax codes and corporations. I was saying that eventually it was getting to where a huge increase in that problem could be attributed to corporations not even having to justify that the paybacks they wanted were good for America anymore. How did this happen?

Breaking News—Politicians Are Human.

Well, we have the situation mentioned where eventually Democrats were virtually required to accept corporate money or else they had no chance to win election. Naturally then, they had to produce at least a little for their benefactor corporations as well.

People Can Still Be Good, Even if Not Mother-Theresa Good.

It is crucial to keep in mind the fact that Democrats were not getting near as much money from corporations as Republicans, by and large, and they remained largely staying afloat through contributions from unions and from organizations of masses of people pushing issues of overall social benefit. So Democrats were backed for the most part by actual people not corporations; still they had to produce something for the overlords.

Alright, so it happened that Democrats would seek to strengthen their overall hand to accomplish beneficial things for society by tossing occasional bones of tax concessions to their corporate backers. They would go to their gop counterparts and would want something in the tax code, for example. And the Republicans would say, “Well you want that? Well, I’ll give you that, you give me this.” So it could not help but happen that taxes and public policy got more and more convoluted in conforming to these complications and outright contradictions. We saw this increasingly over the second half of the Twentieth Century.

Obvious “Truth” – Both Parties Funded by Special Interests

562717_2351981016478_1173994684_nBut Republicans were always seen, rightfully so, as the ones who were representing various corporations and what were called the special interests–defense, big agriculture, big oil, the Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, and so on.

But then this is what also happened: This huge lie was created, becoming a big part of the Matrix, the Matrix of confusion that was being put out to cover up truth. This lie was impossible to make out, blocked out by an omnipresent media saying all the same thing, in rather like this monotone voice almost like Pravda in the old days of the Soviet Union. I saw this happen too. You no longer had differences of opinion you just had the same thing being said.

Anyway, this Big Lie, firmly woven into the fabric of the Matrix as to be both invisible and therefore unchallengeable even by rational arguments…this lie, and I’m sure you’ve heard it is that: Well, both parties are funded by special interests!

Real Truth: Democrats Funded by a Special Interest—People

Now, of course, you know you’ve got Big Oil and Big Coal, and you’ve got the Pharmaceuticals and the Defense Industry and they’re funding the Republicans, and they would come back and say, “Special interests?! Well you Democrats have them too. What about your unions? You’re being funded by them!”

Well let’s just take the unions for starters, ok? Seriously, the unions as special interests? The unions?

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Real Truth: Republicans Funded by Non-People—Corporations

Ok, let me step back. We got corporations, which are a few people getting rich and it’s not even benefiting people. They’re not even including the people who work at the corporations, because they’re union people, maybe, or else they’re non-union people but they’re certainly not making any money off of what the corporations are getting in laws and benefits from their paid-for Republican representatives.

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Obvious “Truth” – Both Parties Funded by Special Interests: Democrats’ “Special” Interests of Unions, Education, Health, Elderly Only Benefit Those Who Work, Think, Get Sick, and Age

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Creating a (Not So) American Life, Part Five: So, What Is a Special Interest? Republicans Benefit Corporations, Democrats Benefit People, So They’re Equal?

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Obvious “Truth” – Unions Are a “Special” Interest

So, what is a special interest now? Ok, so, is the American public a special interest? Wait, I thought the government was supposed to be for the people. Now if the people are workers, primarily; and at one time there was a lot of them that were union workers, ok? But even if they’re not union workers, aren’t the unions aiming for benefits for their membership that also carries over to the non-union workers? If the unions are able to get medical benefits, for example, which is one big thing that they pushed for, well then it became common for all workers to get medical benefits.

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Is It a “Special” Interest If It Benefits Virtually Everyone?

Ok…that’s a special interest? I thought special interest was something that was against the interests of the American people and it was only going to benefit a certain small segment, a certain handful of people. That’s why it’s called special, isn’t it? But there’s the Republicans saying, “Oh, they’re unions, workers benefits are for unions.” And I just wonder if the unions are just a handful of people, who the hell is making all the stuff in America, who’s building the buildings, who’s…? Geez! I think you got the point.

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For, I’m sure you’ve all heard it, and I’m sure you’ve all accepted it that “unions are special interests.” But I just don’t get it how…well maybe I don’t have a high paying job, or anything like that. But I work…doesn’t everybody?..I’m a working person and unions aren’t against me. I just wish there were more unions, so that whenever I would have a job or something like that I could have one to represent me against the powerful corporate owners.

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Put Out to Cover Up and Confuse

So here, quite clearly, we have one of those obvious “truths” put out to cover up and confuse clear thinking: Unions are a special interest.

Obvious “Truth” – Education Is a “Special” Interest

But what else is a “special interest” for Democrats? Oh, it’s the teacher’s union or stuff like that, or, education.

Oh, great! So, what is that again? So education is for who now? Ok, now that’s a special interest. Mmmm hm. That’s a special interest? Does that mean that there are like only a few people that have kids that need education?

Education Is a “Special” Interest … It Is Only for Those Who Own Brains.

I’m starting to get sick here. I don’t quite get it. I mean I’ m getting confused, you know what I mean. This is what I’m talking about, this is that irrationality: Special interest, education? Aw, c’mon, c’mon, I want to say.

An America Without People Is an America That Doesn’t Need Education.

I mean, c’mon, aw, c’mon, somebody, somebody point out that education is not a special interest. It’s… Jesus! We won’t have an America in the future unless we have kids!

Don’t Need Education… It Doesn’t Matter if Stupid People Make Our Corporate and Governmental Decisions. *sarcasm*

Not to mention how can it be a special interest if were we to give more money to education, we would have better educated people growing up…these people would even benefit the corporations by being better corporate employees. They would, in fact, benefit all of society by making better decisions.

I kind of think we have an idea of what a big difference intelligence makes… what a big difference it is when you have intelligent people running things and when you don’t.

We Kind of Know How That Works (Stupid People Running Things).

For didn’t we have a kind of a little contrast there; didn’t we have a kind of a little experiment in that recently? I believe it had to do with C-student Bush…if you remember some things like Katrina and things like that…or maybe what hits you is something about a huge costly war that…well, it was gotten into on false grounds, illegally, we were lied to…but the whole matter and even the conduct of it, wasn’t it all rather…stupid what happened?

Bush Gets Presidency—Kind of Like He Won the Lottery.

Such things that happened under Bush are incompetencies that never happened before. Never! Not even under Republicans. We got Bush here, taking more time off from the presidency than any president in history…it was kind of like he thought he won the lottery or something. Didn’t even bother to look like he had a job to do. Wasn’t his first press conference something like ten months after he was sworn in?

Obama Gets Presidency—Kind of Like He Got a Job!

Now, contrast that with Harvard Law Review editor Obama. How many press conferences did he have after taking office? How frequently have you seen him on the job? He’s handling some of the biggest problems this country has every had. And people are impressed that he can do it. And there’s so much of it. So, isn’t intelligence kind of a good thing for us all?

Anyway. You get the point. Education a special interest? Seriously now.

Obvious “Truth” – The Sick and the Elderly Are “Special” Interests

How about medical care? Health and life are not for the common good. God, no, we don’t need medical care, that’s a special interest, that’s just for them people who get sick…and I’m starting to get sick here, I mean, y’know, for people who get sick? C’mon!

Health Care Is a Special Interest…. It’s Only for People Who Have Bodies.

And, it’s like, “Oh, no, no, it’s not just for those people who get sick, it’s those people who have to pay medical bills.” Oh, I see, then that must be just for…. Who’s gotta pay medical bills, again? Well none of us have to pay medical bills, it’s all free, right? Nooo, it’s not.

The Elderly Are a Special Interest…. It Only Benefits Those Who Are Affected by Time.

And is it really necessary to point out that seniors and the retired are not a special interest? I suppose if you’re thinking the current group is the last humans ever to reach an advanced age it would limit their numbers some.

So unless we all suddenly stop getting older, help to the elderly and the retired is help to us all; it is not special. Am I not right?

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Obvious “Truth” – Democrats and Republicans Are Equal

So, where do you hear anybody pointing this out? I don’t know but if you’re hearing the same media and TV coverage that I am, you’re hearing that they’re equal. The Democrats and Republicans are equal because they’re equally funded by special interests, and the special interests…. What are these special interests again? Well, sometimes it’s like, “What are those special interests?” “Well, it’s the union, and the education, and it’s the medical care.” Oh, geez, just listen sometimes.

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It’s the Internet Versus the Matrix: Corporations Fund the Elections of both Republicans and Democrats? Then I Must Be a Corporation

Creating a (Not So) American Life, Part 6: Obvious “Truth” – Democrats and Republicans Are Equal? Internet Versus Matrix, and Magical Republicans

I don’t know but if you’re hearing the same media and TV coverage that I am, you’re hearing that they’re equal. The Democrats and Republicans are equal because they’re equally funded by special interests, and the special interests…. “What are those special interests?” “Well, it’s the union, and the education, and it’s the medical care.” Oh, geez, just listen sometimes.

Obvious “Truth” – Corporations Fund the Elections of both Republicans and Democrats.

And by the way, I said this was the rise and fall of Obvious “Truths.” The idea that both parties are funded by huge corporations, what they call large donor contributors, was blatantly revealed as the lie it is during the 2008 presidential election.

Remember, contrasted with Republican McCain’s funding from those real special interests–that related to Big Business and Defense…what Eisenhower termed the military-industrial complex…Democrat Obama ran a campaign in 2008 where the donations were voluntarily capped at an unusually low level. The upper limit was set at $1,000, which meant that his backing would have to come from numerous small contributors not special interests benefiting only a group. And, amazingly, he received a record amount of money to support him. It was said he had all kinds of money more than McCain, even though McCain was backed by corporations.

Then I Must Be a Corporation, Because I Gave to Obama.

Now, how did that happen? Well it could only have happened because the masses of Americans wanted to give, even if it was $5, $10, or whatever…whatever they had. It required that donations come from a huge number more of people than contributed to McCain. I gave. My wife gave…several times. Didn’t you give, too?

For a change, in recent memory, this demonstrated that strength I was talking about before–that strength that’s of so many people feeling the same way, therefore acting in solidarity with each other. Surprisingly this happened despite them not being in face-to-face contact with each other, in general. This was one of the interesting things about this development: that it was largely accomplished just through the power of the internet.

It’s the Internet Versus the Matrix.

So the internet kind of brought folks together in solidarity of purpose the same way maybe a rally or demonstration in the past would have brought people together.

It was significant that most of this happened from the actions of people sitting alone in front of computers, not buoyed up by the effusiveness of a demonstration. It showed an unexpected power of social media.

In the Past, Face-to-Face, like Demonstrations, Were Where People Connected with People Like Them.

Remember, in demonstrations in the past…and I’ve been to them…you would go and you would share your feelings of outrage and hurt, you would be affirmed in the importance of your concerns and be instilled with hope of a change in them, most of all you would have your sense of what was going on expressed out loud. Previous to that, you may have been reading the newspapers, say, and feeling, this is wrong, this is an outrage. This would have motivated you to attend a demonstration, and there you would have found other people who were feeling the same things. So you would be confirmed in your beliefs that it was wrong.

In the Past, Face-to-Face, like Demonstrations, Were Where People Learned and Grew in Understanding.

Nowadays, social media and the internet have provided a similar thing where you can express your concern and rage and find others who feel the same way you do and so confirm your beliefs, and even expand on them with more information. So you can grow in your understanding of events and in your knowledge of what you can do about them.

This function of developing your insight and your effectiveness was provided by the rallies and demonstrations in the pre-electronic eras. The point is that over the election of Obama people connected again; and it was people not loads of military-industrial money that got him elected.

Bush Brought Us All Together…

Well, that’s one thing that Bush gave back to America. He united us. He united us around at least one obvious rallying standard. He made our minds finally clear that…it’s true he’s an idiot! It’s true Republicans can’t handle government. It’s true that they will claim to be fiscally responsible and yet…what happened? Well the largest economic collapse in American history second to the Depression…and it was the largest collapse in the economy of the world. (So, thank you, George W. Bush!… See Footnote 2 as well.)

Obvious “Truth” – Republicans/ Conservatives Are Fiscally Responsible

So this financial “meltdown” is coming from the people who are supposed to know so much about economics. But at the same time, like McCain said, “I don’t know too much about economics.” He don’t know too much about economics! Who does McCain think he is, the Herman’s f-ing Hermits!? Anyway, McCain kind of spilled the beans there. Some of the actual truth came it: About conservatives and fiscal matters…Republicans “don’t know too much” about it.

Coming Up – Watch Black be Made White, White Be Made Black!
Oh, Those Rascally Magical Republicans!

OK, that’s it for Part One of “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’”—Chapters Eight and Nine in this book.

Part Two is available here too—Chapters Ten through Thirteen. And in Part Two I go more into how they were able to get American people—including the media and the pundits and everybody—to accept this obvious unreality which is that both parties are funded by “special interests”; and you probably believe that yourself.

Oh, The Things They Do

But I think if you hear what I have to say, I think I’ll convince you of how amazing it was that they were able to pull that off. I think it will shock you to see how they could get so many people thinking irrationally about something that is so obviously not true. And there’ll be other things like that too.

Watch ‘em Turn Black into White!

There’s a pattern I’ll be talking about where…it’s like black is made white, white made black, where things are turned around. For example Republicans might have a proposal to help with the health care problem, for as they say, and we all know, the costs of health care are high and people are not getting covered. But their proposals end up accomplishing the exact opposite of what they say they will. And they know they will do that even when they propose them.

It is a matter of record that these sorts of swindles have been proposed and pushed by Republicans fully knowledgeable of what they were accomplishing. These things happened; we see they continue to happen. Taking health care again: Obviously we were left a very, very bad health care problem by Republicans. The point is that right from the beginning—you can go back to Nixon on this—they knew what they were doing. They knew how it would turn out, and there’s proof of this. We have their very words…

A Glimpse Ahead

The last thing to be disclosed in this series: the Why. The actual events that led these people to decide on this path toward us all, and moved them to increase and add and elaborate those initial moves to the levels of the most comprehensive totalitarian controls over a people ever attempted, let alone succeeding, as far as we know right now.

Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Ten: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight: Creating an American Mind

Footnotes

1. Helen Caldicott compares our complacency in the face of dire happenings–such as Fukushima–to the parents who respond emotionless when she has to tell them their child has leukemia. She says, “Get mad. Get emotional.” She urges us to take back our governments from these mad perpetrators of the darkest doom imaginable. And, in the least, occupy! She proclaims,

It’s time you took your country back…. Use your bodies like they did in Wisconsin. Do a Tahrir Square here. Take back New York. Take back the Congress. Invade the Congress! Those people belong to you. They are your representatives, and you are their leaders. But you’ve got to have some guts! And stop being so goddamn polite all the time! And don’t need approval. Step up to the plate….

We’ve got to be emotional…. It’s time we used our emotions and become incensed! Otherwise we’re not going to make it.

2. You might want to step back and enjoy the humor in this as I did. This is my little, oh, “thank you note” to George W. Bush.

It is a satirical piece. A supposed admirer-fan-chum of George W. Bush encourages thank-yous for Bush’s “accomplishments,” which, described glowingly by the fan, sound quite the opposite to the listener. The fan has the most admiration for the great caper Bush “pulled off” at the end.

This comedic monologue combines the actual facts of recent history with a simple, unspun speculation of them, coming from the mouth of a fawning admirer who, for that reason, is allowed to elaborate on the shady dealings. So Bush, it is intimated, basks in the glory of having his ideas for illegal dealings praised as clever and awesome, or even cute.

This is political satire that will have you laughing from the total incongruity and irony of the monologue, but it will also leave you more informed and thinking. This is provocative, funny stuff.


And the audio only version of the above:

A Big “Thank You” to George W. Bush,
with Admiration for the Great Bush-Paulson-”Filthy Rich” Caper
by SillyMickel Adzema

About the audio and video above.

[From February 2, 2010] Yesterday the airwaves were abuzz re: the CEO of Goldman Sachs taking $100 million in bonuses and thumbing his nose at Obama in doing so. Other reports this week are confirming the sleight-of-hand and shadiness surrounding the TARP bailout of the banks: Specifically, that TARP money handed out by Paulson was not recorded, let alone accounted for or monitored; and therefore it cannot be traced or even determined whether it went to benefit American corporations, let alone Americans, and not foreign corporations or even private interests or parties.

With these recent developments coming to light, along with the tea-baggers and Republicans continued blaming of Obama for everything from being born, daring to take the oath of office with unpresidential skin pigmentation, to daring to reverse the direction of the country from the cliff that Bush had so clearly left us heading for, it seems it’s time to revisit those days of yore, those nostalgic last glimmerings of a time when we had a government solidly on the side of the people, that is, helping them in keeping them comfortably distracted from the sight of the truckloads of loot being removed from the Treasury to the coffers of the filthy rich and the huge, oftentimes, foreign or international corporations.

Let us return, then, to December, 2009, and President Bush’s last couple months in office, and recalling those halcyon days, render our gratitude anew:

And the text of the “Oh, Thank You..” audio and video:

A Big “Thank You” to George W. Bush,
with Admiration for “The Great Bush-Paulson-’Filthy Rich’ Caper”

C’MON EVERYONE, JOIN IN NOW!: “Why, Thank you, George Bush!”

…………….This is my little, let us say, oh, “thank you note” to George Bush for all his “hard work.”

Also, in appreciation of the “Paulsie Scam,” which we will be dealing with forever….
luckily it’s been arranged that won’t be too long.
…………….

“Thanks George W. Bush for all your efforts and “hard work” which have led,
your decisions and your Administration solely to blame –

thank you for being “THE DECIDER!” by the way –

to leave us in the midst of so many dire and rapidly expanding problems, so that many people are not just wondering if they will have a job or money, but that even if this planet will make it through another fifty years.

So, hey, thanks for all the hard work and for relieving us and all our grandchildren of any money, and….

oh, I see, there probably won’t be any planet for the little dears to live on.

And everyone dead and all….

Why, gosh, Mr. W., you’re so smart, you probably knew that!

So that’s why you and your cronies went so far as to commit grand larceny even at the end, scraping out the last of any money in the Treasury — wasn’t much left for Obama to do with anyway, after your eight years of partying on high with your Halliburton and your god-only-knows faceless “filthy rich,” gang.

Must’ve felt like the ol’ times, eh, except for the cocaine. . . Er, I mean, I didn’t mean to presume, I mean, you can have cocaine, who am I…

Oh! What a relief, glad to hear you did not partake like the others. It’s just that….

I mean George, friend, my Man here, c’mon there were some pretty weird dancing and stuff and things — right at the end there — that had me wondering and worrying…

Oh, I get it, no cocaine, but wink, wink, you’ve got your ways you say? Hmmm?

Finding things better than cocaine and getting away with it?

Well, he he, I’m not about to judge. I mean if we can have Rush Limbaugh asking for drug users to be hung up by their finger nails, even as he’s got a constant drip for a codeine fix, and he gets away scot free, why shouldn’t you have your fun? You always said it was haaaard work.

But I gotta get back to that stunt with the Treasury at the very end. I mean many, many a lesser, “criminal,” shall we say, mind would never go back again and again, let alone in broad daylight and in front of the entire world! Gad!

Was this all your idea to totally take everything while you could? Somebody else’s?

Anyway, it was brilliant. First, you enlist the support of that guy Paulson. Er, now that I know more about him, being worth $700 million, like and, getting bonuses of $37 million in 2005 and then 16.4 million the next year before he came into office with you…..

Why, could it actually be that he was the one that talked you into it!!! Naaaaaaw?

Certainly, he’d have to be characterized as one of them “filthy rich” that you helped to create, making people wonder who’s really calling the shots in Washington. …

But, never mind, even if it was his good idea — and now I understand he’s had plenty of experience — being involved with the folks who did Watergate and all…way back in his early days… with Ehrlichman and all — so that — no doubt he’s got lots of good ideas, ya gotta give him that.

But, hell, don’t want to take any shine off your apples. No, it was you who chose him. And despite his background, managed to get him on your side and portrayed as one of the most well-respected men on Wall Street, at the time… I remember that well…. I’d never know about his background, and I was most respect…everybody said it was a big…a good pick for you? ‘Course that was the old Wall Street; ‘cuz we now know those bonuses and stuff aren’t too popular right now.

Anyhow, brilliant move, you put this man of yours on task for the high-pressured auto trading that you knew would be required to pull off such a heist.

So you had your guy Paulson, former head of Goldman Sachs…coming to take this position of Secretary of Treasury for you. And now we find out that none of that money went where it was intended to go and it did not change the situation but rather exacerbated it! Brilliant! More on that later, but…

more on that later, but, Jesus! I gotta say though…pretty incredible!!? I mean, Paulson himself, gets like, uh, what was it…50 some billion to a German bank? That then owes…Goldman Sachs 16 billion, and so he makes off with 16 billion on top, is that like…

What a crackup this guy is being! I mean he had everyone fooled, and, in fact, there is nothing at all being said about his involvement or his possible effects on what happened, even to this day.

That’s smoothness even you and I could learn from , y’know, Mr. W and……..stay away from him, man…. He’s just tooo smart for all of us, ok, I think he’ll have……. He, he, I think he’s already had his hands in all of our pockets, he, he, I figure… (I’m sorry bout that)… But anyway…

Naw, c’mon, let’s, let’s…we wanta go over your accomplishments tonight, Mr. President, I mean…. I mean..the whole thing…y’know, going to Congress, there…. Getting them to tally up that un-be-leiv-able sev-en hun-dred bill-ion dollars! …like almost a trillion dollars…. I mean they could not get that high, I mean….

Anyway…so we heard how you guys gathered these guys together in Congress…I mean how it was done, y’know, it was like…well musta been like one of those movies….like Ocean’s elev…. Like an Ocean’s 33, yeah! And. Anyway, so you gathered those suckers, those guys, in Congress together, who had the money, huh?

And, he, he, he, y’know, like, we heard afterwards how you guys gathered, Congressional Leaders… and… without explaining exactly how it would happen – of course Congressmen could not be expected to understand the workings of economics and high finance like a Paulson could. So, kindly Paulson and his deputies explained using analogies, how nice of them to bring it down to their level, so sweet of them….

Y’know analogies…like this is like this, this is like this, y’know, and…yea, like that….

I just want to say how cute you are, W.. I mean, it was just, soooooo you….

Anyway, the analogy they used was that if Congress didn’t cough up the dough pronto – perhaps those weren’t the exact words, my bad. But anyway, that the consequences – and tell me W. this was all you, right? – The consequences would be that of a “GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN” (tell me, that part was you, right?) a terminal global economic meltdown that would… (wait, I’m getting an inkling here… was this next part, Cheney’s?) “End modern civilization as we know it for the foreseeable future.”

Wow! It gives me shivers just hearing it. I mean there ain’t no auto salesman in his wildest fantasies that could come up with something so absolutely, well, disabling.

You guys really took those suckers in Congress “out by the knees”! How could they have had a chance!

And, boy, there’s that implied nuclear thing again…”the meltdown”; yea. Doesn’t have to make any sense; I mean economics melting, but hey close enough. How clever! I mean that whole image of mushroom cloud, why it just worked stupendously to get us into a war. And now, this being economics…

Oh, my God, I see it; it’s like a fifties movie — “Oh, please help, we’re meeee-ee-llll-tiiinggg. It’s the economics mel-ting!” Yea, super scary. Heck, anything like that from fifties horror flicks…just good stuff. Heck, you know that most people believe that stuff anyway. So, I see, you feed them what they always feared anyway. Brilliant. Brilliant.

But that’s my George, the W. himself, going with what he knows. And, hey, why bother coming up with anything else, that card’s a winner for you, my man….

And c’mon, level with me, I just gotta know, won’t tell anyone else… Was that Cheney with the “end of civilization” part? C’mon, he’s already living the Wild West out there in Wyoming, he’s probably thinkin Mad Maxin it and everything… I mean, c’mon…. C’mon, it’s got to be him, that’s just sooo Darth Vader, who else could think like that?

Please tell me I’m right…I feel like I know this guy and that is….well, that is just sooooo him!…


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part One,” click on the link to the audio site above or click below to launch the audio player here.

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player.swf?1305835359


Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Ten: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight: Creating an American Mind

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Creating a (Not So) American Life: Stolen Elections, Crazy-Making Social Processes, and Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies … The Rise of “Obvious Truths”

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine: Creating an American Life

Power vs. Passion, Money vs. Authenticity – Opposing Ways of Changing America

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Opposing Ways of Changing America – Passion vs. Power, Authenticity vs. Money

casually_pepper_spraying_cop6

In the last half century, Americans have experienced unprecedented changes hippiesimages (11)in their lives, their lifestyles, in what it means to be alive and a human in America in these times. Rarely have societies experienced this kind of change. What is even more astounding is the way the changes send us shooting dramatically in one way and then in the other direction.

Of course it is amazing that people are able to manage these kinds of change. But we don’t do this easily.

Let us look at the side-to-side careening of American life in that time and where we are today in that.

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Creating an America Worthy of its Name

In introducing “Obvious Truths,” I talked about how politicians and leaders can only do so much and that the effects of their words are often fleeting. I said that social change that’s either reinforced or carried forward, or even initiated, by something like music or something that affects your feelings, can be greater and longer lasting. The powerful feelings that are stirred this way can affect people for their whole lives and even have influence for generations. I mentioned that these emotional influences reach more deeply into people because feelings exist at a deeper level of the brain undergirding words, thought, or even reason.

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Finally, keep in mind that this is titled the rise and fall of “obvious truths.”

Obvious “Truth” – “Money Changes Everything”…. Really? … Only?

So I’m gonna start looking over what has transpired so far. I said at the beginning there was a title, one that pointed to the power and grandeur of these social movements.Occupy Madrid I wrote at the time that if the title’s claim–casting ordinary folks, along with revolutionary art, as the instigators of grand movements…the people of the Sixties and the music of bands like the Beatles, for example—sounds silly or trite to you that you are operating out of social prejudices we all carry from childhood, like most people do, particularly around status.

img_0168-2~s1000x1000And by that I meant we have a tendency to assume that it is money that changes everything and that ordinary folks have little power without it.

For example, we assume that artists and musicians can’t affect anything. They more often arise from non-affluent beginnings; we have the term, starving artist, for example. Their power in society is considered to be as minimal as their finances.

Picture 9

“Real World” vs. “Flaky”

But this is not true—that is what I’m getting at. For, has the power of people been created with money, solely? Well, I think there’s a tendency to think it is.

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Not long ago, America and I went through such a change arising artistically from the masses. The Beatles affected us in such a great way that we were changed forever and society’s traditional momentum in a direction benefiting its moneyed royalty was stopped and even reversed. Their music and that of those like them changed the world in terms of the way we saw peace. The way we saw love. The way we saw drugs. The way we saw tolerance of other people…the way we looked at other people.

Status and Money, More Than Ever, Determining What Is “Real”

But I’m not going to go too far there, because that’s all coming up, too. I’m roflbot6-1just saying that we do have these preconceptions about status and money that affects what we think is more important or powerful. It affects what we think of as “real” and “real world” versus what is considered silly or superfluous … “flaky” … “kumbaya.”

I was talking earlier about how, these days, it seems like only people with money have power. Everybody knows that and assumes it can only be that way. This is so because many people today have not had the experience of seeing it being different than that.

The Exception That Reveals the Rule

There is one exception and as it happens this exception does reveal the rule.

The Blue Meanies Dissed, Dismissed

For Obama’s rise to the presidency was startling, shocking even, because it imagesnnnwas a unique phenomenon for this time. It was a grand and sweeping phenomenon because people got a chance, for the first time in a long time, to see that ordinary folks getting together could effect massive change…without the power of gobs of money. We can recall how his campaign was largely done over the internet and with small contributions. People could feel again, some for the first time, that they had the power in their passion and numbers to throw off the shackles of the filthy rich. Unbelievable.

Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate – Creating an America That Is Not

Creating an America That Is Not – Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate

Creating an America That Is Not

Obama’s success was astounding, but look what it took! Look at what had to happen before a Democrat, Obama, and the first African-American ever, could win the presidency. It only came about after a long time of national suffering, disgrace, war, loss of life, incompetence, cronyism, scandal, atrocity, erosion of rights, squandering of money, tragedy, and more. Bush was in the presidency for a full eight years; he actually got to steal a second election.

The Blue Meanies – Stolen Election

It is clear that Bush’s first term was not won fairly. Even putting aside the intimidation of black voters in Florida and similar unfair and illegal practices perpetrated by Republicans, we still have the fact that Bush was given the presidency by a decision of the Supreme Court. Our history records how vote counting was stopped before the outcome could be determined; the Supreme Court decided on a winner, Bush; and subsequently the vote tally came out that Gore had actually won the presidency! These are simply the facts, the things not in dispute.

The Rule Itself—Money Changes Everything.

The facts of Bush’s second election are less well known; in fact they are more assiduously covered up. Still, in the vote tally against John Kerry it should not have even been close…but for more obscure reasons.

There is plenty of documented public evidence that the electronic voting machines were fixed, making the outcome fraudulent. The machines were owned by Diebold Corporation, a firm solidly in the Republican camp, the head of which promised the Republicans, before the election, that he was going to get Bush elected. I mean, seriously. Isn’t that pretty much an admission that the voting machines were going to be fixed?

And in fact this is what they discovered to have taken place.

Now, is this not the kind of thing that in the past would have brought people out into the streets?  [Footnote 1]

Anyway, it was confirmed, to some extent even prior to the election, that even a person walking by with an iPhone or something similar could hack into these electronic voting machines and change the votes. That is, if they had the correct access information. And the only ones who had that and therefore could decide the vote tally were the Diebold Corporation in league with the Republicans. Is it any wonder Bush “won”?

The Battleground for America

“Only people know just how to change the world.” – J. Lennon

So the two things of relevance in this example are that in previous times this would have brought people out into the streets, would have caused people to rise up in outrage against authority when it was found out.

The Duty, and Failure, of the Press

Which brings out the second relevant point: The public’s power could be stirred only by these facts coming out and becoming widely known. This information did come out; entire popular books were written describing how and that it was done. It came out in the broadcast media as well.

It is unlikely that you know that, however. That can only be because it wasn’t told enough in the media, that it was downplayed in the media, covered up, or the media directed your attention away from it. And that is the problem I’m getting at.

Changing America by Changing its People

But you see there’s another thing that happened. Even with a responsible media you have to have a citizenry that is open to this kind of information and able and willing to process it and draw conclusions from it. That is what I will be addressing now.

Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies

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Creating a (Not So) American Life: Your Mind Made Fertile For the Planting of Lies

Thousands turn out at the State Capitol to rally against Obama policies, huge deficits, bigger government and higher taxes.  Corneliu Constantinescu (CQ) wears tea bags on his hat at the rally on the steps of the Capitol.</p><p> Photo by Doug Beghtel/ The Oregonian

Going back, I was saying we all have these prejudices regarding what is deemed powerful and important. We all have stuff from childhood that makes us shrink before authority, cower before money, status, and power. We all have irrational ideas magnifying the power of our oppressors, telling us to obey, to not question, to go along with that which others would have of us but which is not in our own interest and in fact brings suffering into our lives. And on top of all that, these early imprints and social teachings would have us rationalize our subjugation and deny our felt experience ever fending off inner and outer information, clues threatening to our precious conscious untruths and instilled self-sabotaging beliefs and notions.

sheep-face

Thinking About There Not Being Enough Time to Think

But you know sometimes you have a chance to kick back and not be caught up in the struggle to survive. You have a chance to reflect on your circumstances, your prejudices, and to re-evaluate matters. jacob-and-the-angelYou have leisure time in which to do more than survive, to actually re-create, re-new yourself, and to grow in wisdom so you are not so blinkered by the blinders of the comfortable ignorance of grade-school propaganda and other early conditionings, prejudices. So society benefits both through your productivity but also through the fact that you have leisure time to become a wiser social actor. You have this leisure time….

Or, do you?

Well, not too long ago we had more leisure time, let’s put it that way. We had more leisure time; we had more time to pause and reflect. So some things might occur to us that were different than what we originally thought…than our preconceived notions; we might actually change our mind about things if we thought about them. I am not saying that was what everybody did all the time or anything like that. I am saying it could happen, and it happened more. So I’m saying that a lot has changed.

Well, you don’t think we have less leisure time? If you are much younger than me, you probably don’t know. But I am old enough to know that I have never seen Americans so busy…so busy and so preoccupied.

18 Ritual dance of the drummer boy.larger

Climbing Down the Ladder of Your Todo List

Backing up, so imagine you or somebody like you is saying, “Ah, naw naw naw, naw, y’know, musicians, ordinary folks, they can’t do anything; they’re not politicians, they’re not powerful, they’re not rich!” Ok?simpsonarrivingfuturetime But this person or you may not have had occasion to actually pause your life…to step back from the twenty-four hour climbing down the ladder of your todo list to success. Y’know?

How long is your todo list by the way? Busy, busy all the time is now required for survival concerns. There was a time in which you might be really motivated…you’d see people that were really striving …trying hard to be a big success or something like that. But it wasn’t required.

Forms Fill Up Free Time…”Fax It Over, I’ll Look At It.”

There is also the increased paper load, the mountains of red tape, which is also filling up the supposed “free time” of the average American. Man! What the hell is with that!?

Now they can blame it on computers; they can say it’s because we have more information and they can store larger amounts of it electronically, and they can put more… aw, c’mon, it’s people deciding that you have to fill things out and that you have to get and give more and more and more and more information, this is a lot of time!

Did you ever buy a house?pile-150x150 You sign that Sisyphian hill of documents? I can only just imagine the day when there was just a deed, signed over. I’m not that old.

So, with exorbitantly more paperwork, there’s less time for thought, less time to think. We’re busy, and we’re nervous. Why? We got a lot of red tape, we got a lot of things to do. We’re under stress…

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Taxes to Twist You With

DSC_0299_20060815And part of that paperwork … probably the worst part, if you’re like me, is due to the complex and contradictory tax codes. Part of the leisure time lost disappears into the black hole around tax forms. Seriously, I am old enough to have seen taxes get more contradictory and complex over the years. In fact the tax codes are rather convoluted abominations twisting themselves to benefit corporate special interest, with little or no rationale even presented to explain why these special interests should be benefited. TwistedGrowth (2)And this sort of corporate special interest input into tax codes has just exploded over the years.

In the previous times, such things as a benefit to any special interest were usually presented to the legislature, and the public, in a particular way to justify them. You can just imagine like, in some kind of bargaining session in Congress, they would say, “Well, if we provide a break here, that’ll result in benefits over in this sector…” Or they might say, “…and it benefits our economy as a whole, which will…” and they might add a few elements into the equation before the inevitable, “it’ll benefit the average American or be a boon to our society as a whole.” And the reaction, we imagine, would be like, “Aw, yeah, yeah…ok.” Then it’s good; it’s approved.

Crazy-Making Social Processes Aid Manipulation

But over time, even this linking to the common good was not necessary, so the tax codes got exceedingly more convoluted and hopelessly contradictory, essentially lacking any reason. We all know that. It’s a dead document, so to speak, which would never, ever, ever be able to be brought back to rational health, so riddled with myriad kinds of cancers which are special interest convolutions of its elements so that it would be impossible to excise them all.

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sarahpalinYou have probably all heard the story. You call up the tax adviser, you have a question about how to fill something out…how to do something. And you’ll ask one person and they’ll tell you one thing; and then you call back and you get a different person and they’ll tell you something entirely different; then if you call again, somebody else will tell you something again … all different. Well, this is crazy-making.

And that crazy-making takes up your time; and it makes you worry more…and, well, it works itself into your time to ponder things, especially important things.

The Planting of Lies – The Rise of “Obvious Truths”

So, the tax code is hopelessly brain dead, and everyone knows it. Any former link to fairness, reasonableness, or coherency has been severed; it has become a coffin into which anything can be thrown and in which any corporate wish can be granted. So the country has now turned completely into the hands of the corporations, ok?

The Money Changing Everything

And with corporations firmly backing Republicans, the Democrats in every election that I can recall, especially in the presidential elections, always were way underfunded and the GOP overfunded because the Rich-publicans were carrying the wishes of those corporations into the board rooms of Congress along with their huge amounts of money.

Corporations invest in America (government).

But these payoffs were small investments to corporations, relative to the benefits they would get in the changes in government policy which affected them. Republicans were…It was obvious…it was all on public record…were getting huge amounts of money going into their campaign coffers and were way overfunded. One hell of a lot of money was put toward putting and keeping Republicans in office. It was not even a fair fight.

Democrats not wanting to be totally disarmed

So with no hope then…and this is what I saw happen…Democrats, who were still wanting to work for a better America and therefore better government, were forced into a choice of either continuing to rely only on contributions from the American people–as for example unions, keeping them woefully underfunded, and therefore losing…or to accept what was being offered them also by corporations.

So you began to have some Democrats making compromises with their principles and accepting some corporate money. Though even then it remained true that for the most part Democrats are funded by unions and organizations dealing with issues, like education, health care, seniors, jobs, and so on that affect the average American.

Now, this is where I get to one of those Big Lies, one of those concocted untruths that end up everyone just knowing to be true.

Obvious “Truth” – Politicians Are Like the People We Want Others to Think We Are Like (But Aren’t)…Like Who We Pretend to Be

To make this point, I need to back up to that thing related to convoluted tax codes and corporations. I was saying that eventually it was getting to where a huge increase in that problem could be attributed to corporations not even having to justify that the paybacks they wanted were good for America anymore. How did this happen?

Breaking news—Politicians are human.

Well, we have the situation mentioned where eventually Democrats were virtually required to accept corporate money or else they had no chance to win election. Naturally then, they had to produce at least a little for their benefactor corporations as well.

People can still be good, even if not Mother-Theresa good.

It is crucial to keep in mind the fact that Democrats were not getting near as much money from corporations as Republicans, by and large, and they remained largely staying afloat through contributions from unions and from organizations of masses of people pushing issues of overall social benefit. So Democrats were backed for the most part by actual people not corporations; still they had to produce something for the overlords.

Alright, so it happened that Democrats would seek to strengthen their overall hand to accomplish beneficial things for society by tossing occasional bones of tax concessions to their corporate backers. They would go to their gop counterparts and would want something in the tax code, for example. And the Republicans would say, “Well you want that? Well, I’ll give you that, you give me this.” So it could not help but happen that taxes and public policy got more and more convoluted in conforming to these complications and outright contradictions. We saw this increasingly over the second half of the Twentieth Century.

Obvious “Truth” – Both Parties Funded by Special Interests

But Republicans were always seen as the ones who were representing various corporations and what were called the special interests–defense, big agriculture, big oil, the Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, and so on.

But then this is what also happened: This huge lie was created, becoming a big part of the Matrix, the Matrix of confusion that was being put out to cover up truth. This lie was impossible to make out, blocked out by an omnipresent media saying all the same thing, in rather like this monotone voice almost like Pravda in the old days of the Soviet Union. I saw this happen too. You no longer had differences of opinion you just had the same thing being said.

Anyway, this Big Lie, firmly woven into the fabric of the Matrix as to be both invisible and therefore unchallengeable even by rational arguments…this lie, and I’m sure you’ve heard it is that: Well, both parties are funded by special interests!

Democrats funded by a special interest—people

Now, of course, you know you’ve got Big Oil and Big Coal, and you’ve got the Pharmaceuticals and the Defense Industry and they’re funding the Republicans, and they would come back and say, “Special interests?! Well you Democrats have them too. What about your unions? You’re being funded by them!”

Well let’s just take the unions for starters, ok? Seriously, the unions as special interests? The unions?

Republicans funded by non-people—corporations

Ok, let me step back. We got corporations, which are a few people getting rich and it’s not even benefiting people. They’re not even including the people who work at the corporations, because they’re union people, maybe, or else they’re non-union people but they’re certainly not making any money off of what the corporations are getting in laws and benefits from their paid-for Republican representatives.

Obvious “Truth” – Unions Are a “Special” Interest

So, what is a special interest now? Ok, so, is the American public a special interest? Wait, I thought the government was supposed to be for the people. Now if the people are workers, primarily; and at one time there was a lot of them that were union workers, ok? But even if they’re not union workers, aren’t the unions aiming for benefits for their membership that also carries over to the non-union workers? If the unions are able to get medical benefits, for example, which is one big thing that they pushed for, well then it became common for all workers to get medical benefits.

Is it a “special” interest if it benefits virtually everyone?

Ok…that’s a special interest? I thought special interest was something that was against the interests of the American people and it was only going to benefit a certain small segment, a certain handful of people. That’s why it’s called special, isn’t it? But there’s the Republicans saying, “Oh, they’re unions, workers benefits are for unions.” And I just wonder if the unions are just a handful of people, who the hell is making all the stuff in America, who’s building the buildings, who’s…? Geez! I think you got the point.

For, I’m sure you’ve all heard it, and I’m sure you’ve all accepted it that “unions are special interests.” But I just don’t get it how…well maybe I don’t have a high paying job, or anything like that. But I work…doesn’t everybody?..I’m a working person and unions aren’t against me. I just wish there were more unions, so that whenever I would have a job or something like that I could have one to represent me against the powerful corporate owners.

Put out to cover up and confuse

So here, quite clearly, we have one of those obvious “truths” put out to cover up and confuse clear thinking: Unions are a special interest.

Obvious “Truth” – Education Is a “Special” Interest

But what else is a “special interest” for Democrats? Oh, it’s the teacher’s union or stuff like that, or, education.

Oh, great! So, what is that again? So education is for who now? Ok, now that’s a special interest. Mmmm hm. That’s a special interest? Does that mean that there are like only a few people that have kids that need education?

Education is a “special” interest…it is only for those who own brains.

I’m starting to get sick here. I don’t quite get it. I mean I’ m getting confused, you know what I mean. This is what I’m talking about, this is that irrationality: Special interest, education? Aw, c’mon, c’mon, I want to say.

An America without people is an America that doesn’t need education.

I mean, c’mon, aw, c’mon, somebody, somebody point out that education is not a special interest. It’s… Jesus! We won’t have an America in the future unless we have kids!

Don’t need education…it doesn’t matter if stupid people make our corporate and governmental decisions. *sarcasm*

Not to mention how can it be a special interest if were we to give more money to education, we would have better educated people growing up…these people would even benefit the corporations by being better corporate employees. They would, in fact, benefit all of society by making better decisions.

I kind of think we have an idea of what a big difference intelligence makes… what a big difference it is when you have intelligent people running things and when you don’t.

We kind of know how that works (stupid people running things).

For didn’t we have a kind of a little contrast there; didn’t we have a kind of a little experiment in that recently? I believe it had to do with C-student Bush…if you remember some things like Katrina and things like that…or maybe what hits you is something about a huge costly war that…well, it was gotten into on false grounds, illegally, we were lied to…but the whole matter and even the conduct of it, wasn’t it all rather…stupid what happened?

Bush gets presidency—kind of like he won the lottery.

Such things that happened under Bush are incompetencies that never happened before. Never! Not even under Republicans. We got Bush here, taking more time off from the presidency than any president in history…it was kind of like he thought he won the lottery or something. Didn’t even bother to look like he had a job to do. Wasn’t his first press conference something like ten months after he was sworn in?

Obama gets presidency—kind of like he got a job!

Now, contrast that with Harvard Law Review editor Obama. How many press conferences did he have after taking office? How frequently have you seen him on the job? He’s handling some of the biggest problems this country has every had. And people are impressed that he can do it. And there’s so much of it. So, isn’t intelligence kind of a good thing for us all?

Anyway. You get the point. Education a special interest? Seriously now.

Obvious “Truth” – The Sick and the Elderly Are “Special” Interests

How about medical care? Health and life are not for the common good. God, no, we don’t need medical care, that’s a special interest, that’s just for them people who get sick…and I’m starting to get sick here, I mean, y’know, for people who get sick? C’mon!

Health care is a special interest…it’s only for people who have bodies.

And, it’s like, “Oh, no, no, it’s not just for those people who get sick, it’s those people who have to pay medical bills.” Oh, I see, then that must be just for…. Who’s gotta pay medical bills, again? Well none of us have to pay medical bills, it’s all free, right? Nooo, it’s not.

The elderly are a special interest…it only benefits those who are affected by time.

And is it really necessary to point out that seniors and the retired are not a special interest? I suppose if you’re thinking the current group is the last humans ever to reach an advanced age it would limit their numbers some.

So unless we all suddenly stop getting older, help to the elderly and the retired is help to us all; it is not special. Am I not right?

Obvious “Truth” – Democrats and Republicans Are Equal

So, where do you hear anybody pointing this out? I don’t know but if you’re hearing the same media and TV coverage that I am, you’re hearing that they’re equal. The Democrats and Republicans are equal because they’re equally funded by special interests, and the special interests…. What are these special interests again? Well, sometimes it’s like, “What are those special interests?” “Well, it’s the union, and the education, and it’s the medical care.” Oh, geez, just listen sometimes.

Obvious “Truth” – Corporations fund the elections of both Republicans and Democrats.

And by the way, I said this was the rise and fall. The idea that both parties are funded by huge corporations, what they call large donor contributors, was blatantly revealed as the lie it is during the 2008 presidential election.

Remember, contrasted with Republican McCain’s funding from those real special interests–that related to Big Business and Defense…what Eisenhower termed the military-industrial complex…Democrat Obama ran a campaign in 2008 where the donations were voluntarily capped at an unusually low level. The upper limit was set at $1,000, which meant that his backing would have to come from numerous small contributors not special interests benefiting only a group. And, amazingly, he received a record amount of money to support him. It was said he had all kinds of money more than McCain, even though McCain was backed by corporations.

Then I must be a corporation, because I gave to Obama.

Now, how did that happen? Well it could only have happened because the masses of Americans wanted to give, even if it was $5, $10, or whatever…whatever they had. It required that donations come from a huge number more of people than contributed to McCain. I gave. My wife gave…several times. Didn’t you give, too?

For a change, in recent memory, this demonstrated that strength I was talking about before–that strength that’s of so many people feeling the same way, therefore acting in solidarity with each other. Surprisingly this happened despite them not being in face-to-face contact with each other, in general. This was one of the interesting things about this development: that it was largely accomplished just through the power of the internet.

It’s the Internet vs. the Matrix.

So the internet kind of brought folks together in solidarity of purpose the same way maybe a rally or demonstration in the past would have brought people together.

It was significant that most of this happened from the actions of people sitting alone in front of computers, not buoyed up by the effusiveness of a demonstration. It showed an unexpected power of social media.

In the past, face-to-face, like demonstrations, were where people connected with people like them.

Remember, in demonstrations in the past…and I’ve been to them…you would go and you would share your feelings of outrage and hurt, you would be affirmed in the importance of your concerns and be instilled with hope of a change in them, most of all you would have your sense of what was going on expressed out loud. Previous to that, you may have been reading the newspapers, say, and feeling, this is wrong, this is an outrage. This would have motivated you to attend a demonstration, and there you would have found other people who were feeling the same things. So you would be confirmed in your beliefs that it was wrong.

In the past, face-to-face, like demonstrations, were where people learned and grew in understanding.

Now, social media and the internet provided a similar thing where you could express your concern and rage and find others who felt the same way you did and so confirmed your beliefs, and even expanded on them with more information. So you could grow in your understanding of events and in your knowledge of what you could do about them.

This function of developing your insight and your effectiveness was provided by the rallies and demonstrations in the pre-electronic eras. The point is that over the election of Obama people connected again; and it was people not loads of military-industrial money that got him elected.

Bush brought us all together…

Well, that’s one thing that Bush gave back to America. He united us. He united us around at least one obvious rallying standard. He made our minds finally clear that…it’s true he’s an idiot! It’s true Republicans can’t handle government. It’s true that they will claim to be fiscally responsible and yet…what happened? Well the largest economic collapse in American history second to the Depression…and it was the largest collapse in the economy of the world. (So, thank you, George W. Bush!… See Footnote 2 as well.)

Obvious “Truth” – Republicans/ Conservatives Are Fiscally Responsible

So this financial “meltdown” is coming from the people who are supposed to know so much about economics. But at the same time, like McCain said, “I don’t know too much about economics.” He don’t know too much about economics! Who does McCain think he is, the Herman’s f-ing Hermits!? Anyway, McCain kind of spilled the beans there. Some of the actual truth came it: About conservatives and fiscal matters…Republicans “don’t know too much” about it.

Coming Up – Watch Black be Made White, White Be Made Black!
Oh, Those Rascally Magical Republicans!

OK, that’s it for Part One of “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’”—Chapters Eight and Nine in this book.

Part Two is available here too—Chapters Ten through Thirteen. And in Part Two I go more into how they were able to get American people—including the media and the pundits and everybody—to accept this obvious unreality which is that both parties are funded by “special interests”; and you probably believe that yourself.

Oh, The Things They Do

But I think if you hear what I have to say, I think I’ll convince you of how amazing it was that they were able to pull that off. I think it will shock you to see how they could get so many people thinking irrationally about something that is so obviously not true. And there’ll be other things like that too.

Watch ‘em turn black into white!

There’s a pattern I’ll be talking about where…it’s like black is made white, white made black, where things are turned around. For example Republicans might have a proposal to help with the health care problem, for as they say, and we all know, the costs of health care are high and people are not getting covered. But their proposals end up accomplishing the exact opposite of what they say they will. And they know they will do that even when they propose them.

It is a matter of record that these sorts of swindles have been proposed and pushed by Republicans fully knowledgeable of what they were accomplishing. These things happened; we see they continue to happen. Taking health care again: Obviously we were left a very, very bad health care problem by Republicans. The point is that right from the beginning—you can go back to Nixon on this—they knew what they were doing. They knew how it would turn out, and there’s proof of this. We have their very words…

A glimpse ahead

The last thing to be disclosed in this series: the Why. The actual events that led these people to decide on this path toward us all, and moved them to increase and add and elaborate those initial moves to the levels of the most comprehensive totalitarian controls over a people ever attempted, let alone succeeding, as far as we know right now.

Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Ten: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight: Creating an American Mind


Footnote

1. Helen Caldicott compares our complacency in the face of dire happenings–such as Fukushima–to the parents who respond emotionless when she has to tell them their child has leukemia. She says, “Get mad. Get emotional.” She urges us to take back our governments from these mad perpetrators of the darkest doom imaginable. And, in the least, occupy! She proclaims,

It’s time you took your country back…. Use your bodies like they did in Wisconsin. Do a Tahrir Square here. Take back New York. Take back the Congress. Invade the Congress! Those people belong to you. They are your representatives, and you are their leaders. But you’ve got to have some guts! And stop being so goddamn polite all the time! And don’t need approval. Step up to the plate….

We’ve got to be emotional…. It’s time we used our emotions and become incensed! Otherwise we’re not going to make it.

2. You might want to step back and enjoy the humor in this as I did. This is my little, oh, “thank you note” to George W. Bush.

It is a satirical piece. A supposed admirer-fan-chum of George W. Bush encourages thank-yous for Bush’s “accomplishments,” which, described glowingly by the fan, sound quite the opposite to the listener. The fan has the most admiration for the great caper Bush “pulled off” at the end.

This comedic monologue combines the actual facts of recent history with a simple, unspun speculation of them, coming from the mouth of a fawning admirer who, for that reason, is allowed to elaborate on the shady dealings. So Bush, it is intimated, basks in the glory of having his ideas for illegal dealings praised as clever and awesome, or even cute.

This is political satire that will have you laughing from the total incongruity and irony of the monologue, but it will also leave you more informed and thinking. This is provocative, funny stuff.


And the audio only version of the above:

A Big “Thank You” to George W. Bush,
with Admiration for the Great Bush-Paulson-”Filthy Rich” Caper
by SillyMickel Adzema

About the audio and video above.

[From February 2, 2010] Yesterday the airwaves were abuzz re: the CEO of Goldman Sachs taking $100 million in bonuses and thumbing his nose at Obama in doing so. Other reports this week are confirming the sleight-of-hand and shadiness surrounding the TARP bailout of the banks: Specifically, that TARP money handed out by Paulson was not recorded, let alone accounted for or monitored; and therefore it cannot be traced or even determined whether it went to benefit American corporations, let alone Americans, and not foreign corporations or even private interests or parties.

With these recent developments coming to light, along with the tea-baggers and Republicans continued blaming of Obama for everything from being born, daring to take the oath of office with unpresidential skin pigmentation, to daring to reverse the direction of the country from the cliff that Bush had so clearly left us heading for, it seems it’s time to revisit those days of yore, those nostalgic last glimmerings of a time when we had a government solidly on the side of the people, that is, helping them in keeping them comfortably distracted from the sight of the truckloads of loot being removed from the Treasury to the coffers of the filthy rich and the huge, oftentimes, foreign or international corporations.

Let us return, then, to December, 2009, and President Bush’s last couple months in office, and recalling those halcyon days, render our gratitude anew:

And the text of the “Oh, Thank You..” audio and video:

A Big “Thank You” to George W. Bush,
with Admiration for “The Great Bush-Paulson-’Filthy Rich’ Caper”

C’MON EVERYONE, JOIN IN NOW!: “Why, Thank you, George Bush!”

…………….This is my little, let us say, oh, “thank you note” to George Bush for all his “hard work.”

Also, in appreciation of the “Paulsie Scam,” which we will be dealing with forever….
luckily it’s been arranged that won’t be too long.
…………….

“Thanks George W. Bush for all your efforts and “hard work” which have led,
your decisions and your Administration solely to blame –

thank you for being “THE DECIDER!” by the way –

to leave us in the midst of so many dire and rapidly expanding problems, so that many people are not just wondering if they will have a job or money, but that even if this planet will make it through another fifty years.

So, hey, thanks for all the hard work and for relieving us and all our grandchildren of any money, and….

oh, I see, there probably won’t be any planet for the little dears to live on.

And everyone dead and all….

Why, gosh, Mr. W., you’re so smart, you probably knew that!

So that’s why you and your cronies went so far as to commit grand larceny even at the end, scraping out the last of any money in the Treasury — wasn’t much left for Obama to do with anyway, after your eight years of partying on high with your Halliburton and your god-only-knows faceless “filthy rich,” gang.

Must’ve felt like the ol’ times, eh, except for the cocaine. . . Er, I mean, I didn’t mean to presume, I mean, you can have cocaine, who am I…

Oh! What a relief, glad to hear you did not partake like the others. It’s just that….

I mean George, friend, my Man here, c’mon there were some pretty weird dancing and stuff and things — right at the end there — that had me wondering and worrying…

Oh, I get it, no cocaine, but wink, wink, you’ve got your ways you say? Hmmm?

Finding things better than cocaine and getting away with it?

Well, he he, I’m not about to judge. I mean if we can have Rush Limbaugh asking for drug users to be hung up by their finger nails, even as he’s got a constant drip for a codeine fix, and he gets away scot free, why shouldn’t you have your fun? You always said it was haaaard work.

But I gotta get back to that stunt with the Treasury at the very end. I mean many, many a lesser, “criminal,” shall we say, mind would never go back again and again, let alone in broad daylight and in front of the entire world! Gad!

Was this all your idea to totally take everything while you could? Somebody else’s?

Anyway, it was brilliant. First, you enlist the support of that guy Paulson. Er, now that I know more about him, being worth $700 million, like and, getting bonuses of $37 million in 2005 and then 16.4 million the next year before he came into office with you…..

Why, could it actually be that he was the one that talked you into it!!! Naaaaaaw?

Certainly, he’d have to be characterized as one of them “filthy rich” that you helped to create, making people wonder who’s really calling the shots in Washington. …

But, never mind, even if it was his good idea — and now I understand he’s had plenty of experience — being involved with the folks who did Watergate and all…way back in his early days… with Ehrlichman and all — so that — no doubt he’s got lots of good ideas, ya gotta give him that.

But, hell, don’t want to take any shine off your apples. No, it was you who chose him. And despite his background, managed to get him on your side and portrayed as one of the most well-respected men on Wall Street, at the time… I remember that well…. I’d never know about his background, and I was most respect…everybody said it was a big…a good pick for you? ‘Course that was the old Wall Street; ‘cuz we now know those bonuses and stuff aren’t too popular right now.

Anyhow, brilliant move, you put this man of yours on task for the high-pressured auto trading that you knew would be required to pull off such a heist.

So you had your guy Paulson, former head of Goldman Sachs…coming to take this position of Secretary of Treasury for you. And now we find out that none of that money went where it was intended to go and it did not change the situation but rather exacerbated it! Brilliant! More on that later, but…

more on that later, but, Jesus! I gotta say though…pretty incredible!!? I mean, Paulson himself, gets like, uh, what was it…50 some billion to a German bank? That then owes…Goldman Sachs 16 billion, and so he makes off with 16 billion on top, is that like…

What a crackup this guy is being! I mean he had everyone fooled, and, in fact, there is nothing at all being said about his involvement or his possible effects on what happened, even to this day.

That’s smoothness even you and I could learn from , y’know, Mr. W and……..stay away from him, man…. He’s just tooo smart for all of us, ok, I think he’ll have……. He, he, I think he’s already had his hands in all of our pockets, he, he, I figure… (I’m sorry bout that)… But anyway…

Naw, c’mon, let’s, let’s…we wanta go over your accomplishments tonight, Mr. President, I mean…. I mean..the whole thing…y’know, going to Congress, there…. Getting them to tally up that un-be-leiv-able sev-en hun-dred bill-ion dollars! …like almost a trillion dollars…. I mean they could not get that high, I mean….

Anyway…so we heard how you guys gathered these guys together in Congress…I mean how it was done, y’know, it was like…well musta been like one of those movies….like Ocean’s elev…. Like an Ocean’s 33, yeah! And. Anyway, so you gathered those suckers, those guys, in Congress together, who had the money, huh?

And, he, he, he, y’know, like, we heard afterwards how you guys gathered, Congressional Leaders… and… without explaining exactly how it would happen – of course Congressmen could not be expected to understand the workings of economics and high finance like a Paulson could. So, kindly Paulson and his deputies explained using analogies, how nice of them to bring it down to their level, so sweet of them….

Y’know analogies…like this is like this, this is like this, y’know, and…yea, like that….

I just want to say how cute you are, W.. I mean, it was just, soooooo you….

Anyway, the analogy they used was that if Congress didn’t cough up the dough pronto – perhaps those weren’t the exact words, my bad. But anyway, that the consequences – and tell me W. this was all you, right? – The consequences would be that of a “GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN” (tell me, that part was you, right?) a terminal global economic meltdown that would… (wait, I’m getting an inkling here… was this next part, Cheney’s?) “End modern civilization as we know it for the foreseeable future.”

Wow! It gives me shivers just hearing it. I mean there ain’t no auto salesman in his wildest fantasies that could come up with something so absolutely, well, disabling.

You guys really took those suckers in Congress “out by the knees”! How could they have had a chance!

And, boy, there’s that implied nuclear thing again…”the meltdown”; yea. Doesn’t have to make any sense; I mean economics melting, but hey close enough. How clever! I mean that whole image of mushroom cloud, why it just worked stupendously to get us into a war. And now, this being economics…

Oh, my God, I see it; it’s like a fifties movie — “Oh, please help, we’re meeee-ee-llll-tiiinggg. It’s the economics mel-ting!” Yea, super scary. Heck, anything like that from fifties horror flicks…just good stuff. Heck, you know that most people believe that stuff anyway. So, I see, you feed them what they always feared anyway. Brilliant. Brilliant.

But that’s my George, the W. himself, going with what he knows. And, hey, why bother coming up with anything else, that card’s a winner for you, my man….

And c’mon, level with me, I just gotta know, won’t tell anyone else… Was that Cheney with the “end of civilization” part? C’mon, he’s already living the Wild West out there in Wyoming, he’s probably thinkin Mad Maxin it and everything… I mean, c’mon…. C’mon, it’s got to be him, that’s just sooo Darth Vader, who else could think like that?

Please tell me I’m right…I feel like I know this guy and that is….well, that is just sooooo him!…


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part One,” click on the link to the audio site above or click below to launch the audio player here.

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player.swf?1305835359


Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Ten: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight: Creating an American Mind

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The Fifty-Year Campaign to Gain Wealth and Advantage Through Totally Concocted Untruths … Creating an American Mind and Personality … Why Americans Are Confused, Passionless, Dumb

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight:
Creating an American Mind

Creating an American Mind – The Fifty-Year Campaign to Gain Wealth and Advantage Through Totally Concocted Untruths


“Obvious Truths” — The History of the Republican’s Fifty-Year Campaign to Gain Wealth for Their Benefactors Through Totally Concocted Untruths


“Obvious Truths”

This series—“Obvious Truths”—delineates the history of the American Republican’s incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive–seemingly coordinated–nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “Filthy Rich,” through totally concocted untruths. These falsehoods were introduced carefully, slowly, and therefore invisibly, over time, one-by-one with persistent, relentless repetition replacing reason or rational persuasion; along with a coordinated campaign whose goal was the creation of an American Mind eroded of rationality and confused and made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications seamlessly portrayed as truths.

These “obvious truths” were employed together with an exact and strategic use of misinformation precisely targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends. These were combined with their campaign to physically and financially weaken the American public through the simultaneous, and equally slow, meticulous, and perfectly coordinated introduction of policies, which though not invisible were cleverly packaged and perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step and year-by-year connections of these policies with their cumulative, increasingly successful results.

The intended goal was the castration of the power of all Americans except for the “filthy rich” and the Republican leadership, their lackeyed public faces. Coincident with this goal what was sought were the lessening of Americans’ power to act constructively to alleviate even their clearly felt and increasing suffering; the slow but comprehensive elimination of rational thought and ability to reason in the American Mind; and the creation of an American consciousness clouded and afog in confusion and thus forgetful of its past as a point of comparison.

What was desired was an American personality splintered and disintegrated and desperate for something however irrational to cling to. Along with such a fractured and weakened psyche, the campaign sought the dismantling of any solidarity of Americans on any large scale. They reasoned this disunity of purpose would be the natural consequence of the average person’s confused state and its inability to discern obvious aspects of reality which, otherwise and in times prior to the campaign, would have been obvious organizing principles giving rise to passionate resistance.

In the past, passionate engagement in action to change one’s circumstances could occur because of the former unconfused clarity in witnessing big events and pervasive, blatant, and universal patterns of change and making the obvious and easy correct interpretations. This clarity created conviction in one’s beliefs, rooted in first-hand observation. And in the past these convictions were reinforced virtually universally by the great majority of Americans, who also witnessed the obvious same things and made the apparent and doubtless interpretations that cried out from them.

In contrast to the former American personality, this campaign by an American, and increasingly global, elite worked to create an apathetic, neutered American easily manipulated to the ends of wealthy overseers.

Our Fifty-Year Invisible “Family” and Cracks in the Dome of Unreality – Creating an American Mind


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Creating an American Mind – Our Invisible “Family” and, Finally, the Cracks in the Dome of Unreality

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Our Invisible “Family”

This reveals the fifty-year invisible family and community that surrounded all Americans and affected every aspect of their lives, including, and intentionally, the basic components of one’s personality, and the erosion of reason, Soul, and independent thought or action.

I explain how only because of increasingly cocky and greedy acts and extreme over-reaching “in broad daylight,” before the entire world, did this malevolent surround become visible. 317486_10150357184771862_526281861_8706445_629664980_nThese brutish and thievish over-reaches displayed an incredible disregard for, disrespect of, indeed, an actual literal inability of the “Filthy Rich” and their Republican puppets to SEE American People, who were the recipients of these attacks.

Together these reveals—displayed unintentionally however blatantly and unknowingly by the Republicans and the “Filthy Rich”… and before the entire world—disclosed to the masses of Americans some “cracks,” “stains,” or textures in the “dome” of unreality they’d existed in, which had made them blind to Reality itself, and had kept them in a near zombie-like dream reality.

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9420665-man-sitting-on-chessboard-among-team-of-white-chess-pawns-3d-illustration307125_10150357188166862_526281861_8706488_1683852870_nAs this awakening continued, some began remembering events, the memories of which had been “bleached” out of awareness until just then, and then with remembering they realized how they’d been trained like animals their entire lives for the uses, whatever they’d be, of the “Filthy Rich,” and been trained then to forget that.

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It is clear that the “filthy rich” had an absolute certainty of their success because of their unmitigated power. What is also evident is the absolute inability of the “Filthy Rich”…which was the shocking thing they’d carelessly let out and therefore displayed to the World…the absolute inability of the Republicans and the “Filthy Rich” to actually notice—let alone view or act towards—Americans as any thing even living or having sentient ability, let alone as humans, people, or individuals.

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And as for the term “fellow Americans” often employed by Rich-publican politicos in addressing the masses, if that thought even crossed your mind for a second as being anything but a device, you are not fully appreciating just how literally I mean for my words to be taken. You may very well, in fact, be deeply dreaming and have missed the crack in the dream state that had shone the light in the eyes of a sufficiently large segment of the world population as to cause them to come out of trance and begin to untie their formerly invisible bonds, so that they could try looking around, which led to the realization of the reality that had been blocked from view, and the beginnings of investigations into the real truths of their existence, and to this series of expositions, among others, delineating the actual, formerly invisible profile of the actual actors in Americans’ lives and their processes of control, as well as the things in their lives that were determined for them by the “Filthies,” though ordinary folks thought they had been making decisions for themselves.

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And the last aspects of this series delineates the real factors in our lives and the outlines of the real intentions for us these puppet masters have had, and have even now in mind.

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The Power of Money to Persuade…When You Happen to Be Poor – Creating an American Mind and Personality

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We Were More Likely to Question Authority When We Lived in Prosperous Times – Creating an American Mind and Personality

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“The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths’” discusses the history of the American Republicans’ incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive, seemingly coordinated nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “filthy rich” through totally concocted untruths.

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Changing the World?

This started when I was reading over another post I had made. The title was relevant, and it triggered this whole thing. The title was “On Cultural Change, Consciousness, and Music.” And I described it as so: “The perfect confluence of context, moment, and person makes history…Obama’s astonishing rise to the Presidency, for example. But the perfect alignment of a nation’s or world’s deep mood, the moment, and a musician or artist can change the world forever. For example, The Beatles.”

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Times Weren’t Always Like This

After reading that, I imagined someone else viewing it, and I considered how chances are it would be someone younger than me-—for I am old enough. That is part of what this is about. I am old enough to have seen some things and I remember some things that people growing up in this day and age would have no conception of. Those more recently coming of age are used to a particular American setting somewhat different than the one I knew. Growing up in a particular context, naturally they would think that is the way things are and how they have to be; they could not know any differently.

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“Obvious Truths” Is About How I Saw Things Change

I was born in 1950, so I am aware of other ways that America has been. This part of the book, on “Obvious Truths,” is a lot about how I saw things change. Specifically, I look at the changes in the way we view ourselves, our lives, and authority; I have yet to hear anyone else mention these kinds of changes.

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But, Really, Change the World We Did

Getting back to that younger person reading that description, I imagined this other person seeing what I wrote about the Beatles and all that, about changing the world…changing the world! In the harsh light of their cold-hearted reality and the comfortable assuredness of their beliefs, I figured they would consider me naive, if not more. How could that person understand? But, really, change the world we did.

Music’s Power to Persuade

Addressing that younger person, I started writing, “If the title’s claim sounds silly or trite to you then you are operating out of a social prejudice we carry from childhood, particularly around status. And you haven’t stopped to evaluate and compare.” Now, I know that sounds kind of harsh, but it comes together you’ll see.

For one thing, leaders and politicians, even great ones, can only alter the course of events slowly and meticulously. Sweeping changes cannot happen by fiat as they depend on the people’s passionate involvement, which you cannot create. In the case of a dictatorship-—for example, Hitler’s Germany, or Kim “Big Little Man’s” North Korea of the present-—that passion might be faked, probably it would need to be faked. Still, even in a free society, politicians can only use words; and no matter how stirring those words, they can reach only so deep inside. It is with great difficulty that political leaders try to move the soul of a nation; most of that mood is untouchable to them.

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Sergeant Pepper

Meanwhile music, in particular, more potently than any other art form, has the capacity to alter consciousness. I will explain that later; it is an area I have done a lot of study in. It is a part of my profession.

Anyway, music affects your feelings and so it affects your consciousness. So its effects will really stay with you more than words will. Music is a more powerful thing, and it has been used consciously to try to sway the spirits of humans ever since the times of shamans.


But music is a much more powerful thing when the perfect combination of mood, context, and music come together. If you think music is not so powerful then explain why music is required at virtually any social gathering…particularly, when there is involved any attempt to persuade the feelings of the attendees. Have you ever noticed that? What is truly shocking is how music can even be more powerful than vast piles of money put against it.

I said, can be. In talking about music’s power to persuade I am reminded of political rallies and such.

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The Persuasive Power of Money … When You Happen to Be Poor

On the other side from the power of leaders’ words of inspiration, which is limited, of music’s more effective persuasions, and the potency of passion and heartfelt feeling naturally arising in people, consider the power of money. Money in the hands of the “filthy rich” is used in a variety of ways and obviously has tremendous persuasive powers of its own.

And here is what I am getting at: Money, as arrayed against music, passion, and social movements is especially more powerful in a situation where the people have been put in financial jeopardy because of the prosperity of the rich. As an aside, I remember a time in America’s past when people were more prosperous and confident about their abilities to manage their lives. I do not believe it is a coincidence that in those days money wielded by the wealthy had less power to persuade and people were less easily bought than today. It was said that people then were wont to question authority more than they were likely to bow down to it. I will get back to this later.

Anyway, these are the things I was thinking about when this started.

Related Post: Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy…

“Obvious Truths” – The True Sounding Untruths – in the Creation of the American Mind

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The True Sounding Untruths: Precise and Strategic Use of “Obvious Truths” in the Creation of the American Mind

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The True Sounding Untruths. (Hell! It’s Obvious the Earth is Flat!)

imagesThen I started thinking about that: the “filthy rich,” specifically, the power of the “filthy rich” and their money. I began to consider it more deeply. Remember this is called the rise and fall of “obvious truths.” I was drawn to looking into those commonly accepted truisms-—truth-sounding but not true; let us call them “obvious truths.” Not true but sounding true: Think of how correct it must have sounded at one time to hear that the Earth is flat. So, an “obvious truth” is something unthinkingly accepted as true but is not actually true when thought about or looked into. I considered some of these errant habits of thinking and looked at where and why they arose and why they would take hold and have power despite having no foundation in reality.

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Doing so, I came up with this description of “obvious truths” and the context birthing them:

These untruthy truisms arise out of the American Republicans’ disciplined, relentless, persistent, cohesive fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “filthy rich” through totally concocted untruths, which are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time….

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Just accept my word for it for now; I will explain….

These untruths are introduced carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly, over time, one by one, with persistent, relentless repetition replacing reason or rational persuasion, as part of a coordinated comprehensive campaign whose goal is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused and made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications of the Republicans seamlessly portrayed as truths.

Precise and Strategic Use of “Obvious Truths” in the Creation of the American Mind

I know this is sounding pretty wild. But, you’ll see. Hang in there and see if I can support it. As I was explaining,

Their Goal

The Republicans’ goal, to be precisely and inexorably attained, is the creation of an American mind eroded of rationality and confused. And this mind is to be shepherded by the exact and strategic use of misinformation specifically targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends. This seeding of minds is to work dialectically with their campaign to physically and financially weaken the American public with the simultaneous and equally slow and meticulous and precisely timed introduction of policies….

I said, I can support this….

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Their Means

This introduction of policies, which though not invisible are cleverly packaged, is to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative increasingly successful results.

Now, again, bear with me….

Their Intended Results

These results are the castration of the American…of Americans in general–except for the “filthy rich” and the Republican leadership which are their lackey public faces. So, the intent of this long campaign, employing “obvious truths” as munitions, is the crippling of Americans’ power in particular to resist even the inexorable increase in the clearly felt suffering heaped upon them as these years went by.

I’ll give you a hint, alright? I remember living in a time that was not so economically depressed. I watched it slowly get worse, and worse, and worse; and I saw people suffering more, and more, and more, ok? But I did not hear people complaining more, and more, and more. That’s a hint.

Their Vision

Ok, so what we have is Americans’ power monkey wrenched through policies directed at them and sustained by “obvious truths” pushed by Republicans whose purpose is to diminish people, to reduce their power, and ultimately to bring them down financially while raising the wealthies higher.

Recipe for The Matrix: Misinformation, Repetition, Impoverishment

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Recipe for The Matrix: Reduce Financial Resources, Add Copious Amounts Misinformation, Repeat (Endlessly)

Weaving the Matrix

Getting back to the truisms themselves, remember, as I said, these totally concocted untruths are designed to be surreptitiously introduced-—carefully, slowly and therefore invisibly over time-—one-by-one. They are to be planted through persistent relentless repetition, not by rational persuasion, and are intended to replace reason and independent thought.

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media-matters-misinformationThey are meant to do their work within an invisible matrix as part of a coordinated campaign whose purpose is the construction of an American mind lacking in its ability to reason and confused. Lastly, this mind is to be made fertile and desperately receptive to these fabrications seamlessly portrayed as truths through the exact and strategic use of misinformation precisely targeted and measured for the achievement of specific ends.

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Alright? I said bear with me, I’ll be able to give you some examples of this…or I’ll make a fool out of myself, that’ll be your choice…

These specific objectives are also to be brought to fruition through a massively funded, all inclusive, and strategically targeted campaign to financially weaken the American public through incremental changes in national fiscal policy as well as-—note this-—in national culture. National policy changes are to be achieved through the simultaneous and equally slow meticulous and precisely timed introduction of policy initiatives. Though these national initiatives could not be invisible, they are to be cleverly packaged as well as sneakily introduced and are to be perfectly timed to confuse the obvious step-by-step, year-by-year connections of these policies and their cumulative, increasingly successful results.

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Ok? I’ll get into the policies, soon. But I am starting with a conclusive statement, and it might seem over the top. You may think it too bold, but I think I can back it up.

Again, those sought for results include the emasculation of the average American through sabotage of her or his powers to act in an effective way in any and all aspects of their lives. To be achieved at the same time is the fortification of the power and wealth of the filthy rich puppeteers and their lackey public faces in the Republican Party.

Instrumental in strengthening the wealthy class of insidious directors is the weakening of the remainder of the population’s abilities. And in particular and ultimately the intention is to cobble the ordinary person’s power to get out from under or to alleviate for very long the inexorable increase in their clearly felt suffering as the years go by. For this suffering and the helplessness about it is crucial to the directors’ success.

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Bear with me…

The Creation of Confusion, The Stifling of Conviction and Thus Passion: Making America’s Matrix

Making the Matrix in America: The Creation of Confusion, The Stifling of Conviction and Thus Passion

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The Creation of Confusion, The Stifling of Conviction and Thus Passion

Now, the key to all this being brought about is the creation of an American consciousness clouded in fog and confusion and thus forgetful of its past as a point of comparison. In this way splintered…we’re talking about the American mind…splintered, and disintegrated it is desperate for something however irrational to cling to.

boehner_cantor_mcconnell_f0805Along with or coincident with the orchestration of the American mind was the dismantling of any solidarity of Americans on any large scale. This follows, because of the confused state that the average American would normally have and its inability—the person’s inability or the American mind’s inability—to discern obvious aspects of reality and distortions of it (lies) which in times prior would have provided obvious organizing standards around which would be passionate resistance. This is what could and would happen in times previous to the Republicans’ campaign.

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For example, I went through a time where people would go into the streets and there were people who complained. Recently we’ve talked about Bush…there’s a book out about how Bush actually created a dictatorship during his eight years.

It’s amazing to me that we all knew that, the corruption was so rampant it was like on a daily basis we were hearing things that in a former time—the Sixties, the Fifties, anytime—would have caused Bush to be tossed out on his ear. This time, somehow, it’s like there was nobody in the streets. People went about their lives as if ignoring what was going on … Ok, so there I’m giving you a taste, alright? anyway…

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So, I said that in a previous time there would have been passionate, a passionate response. Now I say it’s passionate because of the former unconfused minds’ clarity in witnessing big events and pervasive, blatant universal patterns of change and making the obvious and easy correct interpretations. So what I’m saying is clarity of thought creates sureness of action and sureness of one’s feelings, whereas confused minds lends itself to apathy or misguided self-destructive acts. In just a bit I’ll get into how these minds get confused and I think you’ll begin to see some of those things inside of yourself because I think we’re all feeling some of it.

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snowballAnyway, so this clarity, of seeing these things happening, created conviction in one’s belief which was rooted in first-hand observation. I have in other parts shared some of my first-hand observations of events, especially those happening in my formative years. The conviction of my thinking is rooted in such events.

At the time, I also experienced much confirmation and affirmation of my views on these events. So, in general, in times previous to the one we’re in, this clarity and conviction born of first-hand observation was reinforced virtually universally by the great majority of Americans around them who also witnessed the obvious same things and made the apparent and doubtless interpretations that cried out from them.

An example, ok. America once had a president who was much despised, though he was actually not as bad as Bush. But the American people were unfettered in their feelings about this president’s actions, and their refusal to put up with his despicable acts caused Nixon to resign.

So, first off, we have former American minds capable of seeing obvious wrongness, injustice, illegality, untruth, deception, or worse. In our example, this might be the the suffering and/or death of innocent young men or the unspeakable horror being inflicted on the bystanding innocents in the conflict they are engaged in.

Once with clarity seeing, then about it gathering with great conviction—undoubting and unconfused conviction—and passion in large numbers and in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right these obvious wrongs, or their like.

It all starts with clearly identifiable rallying points in obvious view of the great masses of Americans, however.

Too many people are unaware or forget that there was a great union movement in America, there was a great antiwar movement in the country… ok? You don’t see much of that action these days. So, this is what I’m getting to, there’s been a change.

So when these great masses of American were clearly in solidarity about things they saw were obviously wrong they effected change. Think about it. Go back to the Depression. People knew they were poor and they put Roosevelt in power. Ok? They did something about it.

Anyway, so in times past you might have this clarity of what’s wrong and of your own suffering around it. You are not confused about blatant happenings in the reality around you. And the people around you, they see it as well. And they confirm it in you. Then you’re pretty sure what the heck’s going on. I mean it’s hard to deny your own reality. But it’s even harder to deny it when other people see it too, and they’re experiencing the same thing.  [Footnote 1]

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The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny…Any Wonder Why Americans Are So Confused, or Dumb?

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Wonder why Americans Are So Confused, or Dumb?
The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny…

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We have former American minds capable of seeing obvious wrongness, injustice, illegality, untruth, deception, or worse:aa-GOP-cartoon-lies-crimes-and-treason Once with clarity seeing, then about it gathering with great conviction—undoubting and unconfused conviction—and passion in large numbers and in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right these obvious wrongs, or their like. The examples I gave were the union, antiwar, suffragette, and civil rights movements; we could add the Revolutionary War itself and the abolitionist movement. And I mentioned how people rose up for a New Deal and elected Roosevelt during the Great Depression and how Nixon was hounded out of office, yet Bush the Dubya’s crimes—far worse, including “dictatorship”—were not enough even to bring people out into the streets.

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It all starts with clearly identifiable rallying points in obvious view of the great masses of Americans, however. In times past you might have this clarity of what’s wrong and of your own suffering around it. You are not confused about blatant happenings in the reality around you. And the people around you, they see it as well. And they confirm it in you. Then you’re pretty sure what the heck’s going on. I mean it’s hard to deny your own reality. But it’s even harder to deny it when other people see it too, and they’re experiencing the same thing.

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The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny

But what if the media is saying that it ain’t happening? Does that said familiar? At all? It ain’t happening? How about an economic collapse that began years before anybody publicly mentioned it. I remember at the time it was being called a “goldilocks” economy. Yep, not happening. Right now I’m not going to say a lot about this as it will appear in a big way beginning with Chapter Seventeen.

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So anyway, in former times, though, people came together in solidarity and sameness of purpose to right obvious wrongs, or the like. They had clearly identifiable rallying points visible to the great masses of Americans. These things were talked about in the newspapers, on TV, there was no denying what was obvious.

Now, with solidarity of purpose… and this is the important part…solidarity of purpose, with Americans united, feeling the same way, wanting change, their feelings were powerful and so significantly altered major events.

392763_316505275028930_282370021775789_1344329_233053393_n You even see that recently. We have a Democrat, Obama, elected to the presidency of the United States. But, look what it took: eight long years of Bush! Wow.

So anyway, solidarity of purpose gives ordinary people combined strength equal or greater to that of the “filthy rich.” The “filthy rich” are the would-be puppet-masters, the deciders and initiators of the events that have been witnessed so widely, including by the masses. These egregious acts, happenings, or developments brought the masses together in singleness of purpose to decry the source of the wrongs. Crucially, they needed to know the perpetrators of unhappy happenings; it needed to be clearly pointed out who were those responsible for the wrongs universally observed and condemned.Acorn-behind-OWS-what-now-376

These things known, the result could be the massive gathering of intentions, a movement, perhaps a great social movement, united in purpose, against the observed wrong, seeking justice on the perpetrators and some sort of social or cultural change that might possibly or would definitely prevent future events of the same or similar sort of wrongness.

Now, these things did happen in America, folks. Not long ago in historical time but before our day in America food used to come out from corporations and got people sick or dead. So Americans created a Food and Drug Administration to remedy that. People created a government entity to represent them as a counterweight against the power of the corporations.

Why did this happen? It was because people were pissed, and it was because it was obvious what was going on.

But when things aren’t obvious and you have massive lies being told and you have comprehensive, pervasive media exposure to those lies—those untruths in direct conflict with people’s own observations—people can get confused. Confused, people’s power gets dissipated.

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So I’ve kind of told you part of it, haven’t I? I just felt I was giving you too much and without any grounding.

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Now let’s take a look at how the minute daily elements of our American way of life were orchestrated for ends not our own.

Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine: Creating an American Life

Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Seven: Cultural Rebirth, Aborted

Footnote

1. On how people are made confused, intentionally, so they can be used for the profits of others, at EXTREME, dire cost to themselves.

This is a fantastic video. I encourage everyone to wait for it to get past the cigarette stuff at the beginning. That is only used to make a much bigger, more profound point a little further in..

This is actually about climate change…and what they are doing to confuse people about it, which will end up killing billions at least, if not all life on this planet, imo. (is that important enough for ya?)


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part One,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link below for and audio audio player.

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player.swf?1305835355


Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine: Creating an American Life

Return to Culture War, Class War Chapter Seven: Cultural Rebirth, Aborted

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“The Awakening” in America’s Not-So “Pleasantville”: Evolved Parenting Results in Authenticity Rising and Defeat of the Body Snatchers

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Six: “Pleasantville” as Culture War Allegory

To Follow or Not Follow “the Script” in America’s Not-So “Pleasantville”

“Pleasantville” as Culture War Allegory: Thinking for Oneself Gets You “Colorized”

Not So “Pleasantville”

The film, “Pleasantville,” is a postmodern sociological allegory or fable released in 1998. It begins in then-current time against a backdrop of the usual violence, chaos, and turbulence that we are conditioned by the media to believe characterized the Nineties in America. Two high school teenagers, David and Jennifer, played by Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon are planning their evening.

A Tale of Two Siblings

David is planning to watch the Pleasantville marathon on television and to participate in the trivia contest that will be part of it. Pleasantville is a an old sitcom from the 1950s in the Father Knows Best, Leave It to Beaver, My Three Sons style which has attained a cult-like following and is shown regularly on a cable channel similar to the “Nick at Nite” one that we know of which specialized in reruns of old sitcoms. It becomes clear that David is an ardent devotee of the show in part because it compensates for the lameness of his real life. Unlike his sister, who is portrayed as a real “firecracker” of a young woman, he doesn’t date or participate in the school scene. It is implied that he may be using the sitcom as an escape from not only a boring life but a threatening one and that he longs to live in the kind of ordered, safe, and unchallenging reality that the sitcom depicts. David is such an avid follower of the show that he is shown to be a master of “Pleasantville” trivia and is primed and eager for the contest on Pleasantville trivia.

But his sister, Jennifer, is planning for a hot date at home…their parents being away for the weekend providing an opportunity for her to be unchaperoned with her guy—which she eagerly anticipates. At odds over what will be played on the TV–Jennifer wanting to watch instead an MTV concert with her date—they wrestle over the TV remote and end up breaking it. However all is not lost as at just that moment and completely inexplicably a television repairman played by Don Knotts drives up in his truck, knocks on the door, and imposes his services on them in fixing the problem.

Don Knotts—perfectly cast, in a Jungian sense, for it is often the impish or normally overlooked and unnoticed element that initiates sweeping changes in people’s lives—indeed does introduce the magical element into the film. He produces a different kind of remote control, which he claims has special effects saying, “You want something to put you right in the show!” Sure enough, in checking out the remote they hit a mysterious button and are transported into the TV and thus into the sitcom and the town that is called Pleasantville.

To Follow Or Not to Follow “The Script”

After their initial confusion, they realize what has happened and try to return, but do not know how to. David–who it becomes apparent has been thrust into the role of Bud in the sitcom–advises his sister–Jennifer who has become Mary Sue in the TV series–to go along with events until they figure a way to get home. Since he knows all the plots of every show of the sitcom, his idea is that they act out the events as they are supposed to happen and that they do what the two characters–the teenage son and daughter of the parents in the sitcom, Betty and George Parker, played superbly by Joan Allen and William H. Macy–are known to do in the different episodes he has seen.

Essentially, then, David as Bud is advising his sister to “follow the script.” And of course it is not hard to discern at this point that we are beginning to see a metaphor for psychological realities and that “following the script” has a broader meaning for a choice that everyone must make in life in growing up, viz., to follow the script laid out for oneself by one’s parents and society in general or to follow one’s inner direction and inner guide in asserting one’s individuality and expressing one’s unique self.

The rest of the movie is the story of how these two characters–transported magically from the future as well as from the real world as opposed to a made-up TV world–introduce change into the town and thereby color. Mary Sue, formerly Jennifer, does it consciously. Rebelling against her brother’s admonishments to follow the script, she goes on a date with someone she is not supposed to according to the sitcom script and then–horror of horrors for a 1950s world – engages in sex with him at the local “lover’s lane”–where the farthest that anyone goes, according to “script,” is holding hands. We find later that her date describes this unheard of experience to his classmates, and, like ripples emanating from a pebble dropped in a pond, her action results in a number of the school youth engaging in sex and thereby becoming, to everyone’s amazement, colorized!

The brother also introduces change, and therefore color, but it is done unconsciously at first. As mentioned, he tries to get his sister to follow the script. Still, in a metaphorically powerful scene, when he is late for work at the local malt shop–this is unheard of as well because “Pleasantville” is a world where no one is ever late for work–he inadvertently introduces change himself. In fact, he introduces the most insidious element of change because he explicitly advises–without realizing what he has unleashed–that his boss think for himself!

In this scene Bud, formerly David, finds his boss and coworker, Mr. Johnson, played by Jeff Daniels, stuck at the end of the counter, cleaning away with a wash cloth, like a stuck record, at the same spot, even as the surface of the counter is rubbing away.

When the soda jerk, Mr. Johnson, explains confusedly that the normal regimen would have required Bud to arrive at work before he, Mr. Johnson, could go on to the rest of his chores, “Bud” simply suggests to Mr. Johnson that in the future he continue with his next chore even if Bud isn’t there.

So simply in being himself, coming from a future in which people react to change by thinking out new responses and thereby adapting to them, Bud, aka David, introduces a totally new element into the soda jerk’s script. This has far reaching consequences as the movie progresses and Mr. Johnson begins thinking for himself and having ideas about other things as well. In this way, the soda jerk, soon to be artist, too ends up “colored.”

“The Awakening” in a WWII Generation World of “Blue Meanies” and “Nowhere Men” … “Yellow Submarine” … “Pleasantville”

“Pleasantville” and “Yellow Submarine”: The WWII Generation World of “Blue Meanies” and “Nowhere Men” vs. “The Awakening”Blue Meanies


The 1998 movie, “Pleasantville,”thematically, is remarkably akin to the 1968-released movie “Yellow Submarine” put out by the Sixties Generation rock group The Beatles.

In “Yellow Submarine” there is a region ruled by the “Blue Meanies.” These Blue Meanies, especially their leader, are depicted as powerful and cruel, yet sniveling, insecure, weak, and selfish underneath. Their angry and oppressive personas are shown to reveal poor little whining babies behind them. Their actions are shown to be those of “big babies,” whose gruff exterior must remain intact at all costs, lest their hidden sniveling and hurt little selves be revealed. The analogy the Beatles are making to those of the WWII Generation—at that time the parental generation, those “over 30″—is impossible not to make.

“Nowhere Man”

The movies are so similar in theme that the only major thematic difference between “Pleasantville” and “Yellow Submarine” is that it is music that is not allowed in “Yellow Submarine” whereas in “Pleasantville” it is color. But the idea behind them both is the same: Music and color both represent deep feeling, aliveness, thinking for oneself, and change. In “Yellow Submarine,” the man without music is Nowhere Man, who “knows not where he’s going to, doesn’t have a point of view.” In Pleasantville, the men without color act in the same ways, performing the same actions, day in, day out, without change, zombie- or robot-like–like characters in a 1950s-style sitcom in which nothing unpleasant, different, new, or too emotional is allowed to occur.

And above all, the black-and-white men do not think for themselves. This is graphically portrayed in the scene mentioned where the owner of the town malt shop, Mr. Johnson, portrayed by Jeff Daniels, is left cleaning the same spot of the counter for hours so that its top is rubbed away because his coworker is late and the routine they use to close up cannot be completed in the way it is done, everyday, in exactly the same way. Confronted with this small change, he shows himself to be the “Nowhere Man” and like a needle stuck on a record, he is rigidly stuck repeating the same action, not having the power to think of an alternative action in response to a change in the usual routine.

“The Awakening” – No Longer a Distant Vision

The differences in the years of the release and the different artistic modes used to express the themes of these two movies have something to say as well. In 1968 the changes in culture of the New Age were a vision and a hope. It is appropriate and telling that “Yellow Submarine” was expressed in animated form. Like a dream that would take a long time to realize, it needed to be expressed in cartoon-like fashion, for the time of its emergence in reality was too far off.

By contrast, “Pleasantville” blends a fantasy world–appropriately it is a TV sitcom, which has more similarities with reality than an animation – with the actual reality of postmodern times. The advance toward reality is patent in the evolution from an animated form–indicating the change is far off, a fantasy, a wish, a hope–in the 1968 movie; to a black-and-white form involving real actors, real people; and then to a colorized version involving real people in what is supposed to be real time and real cultural reality, in the movie released thirty years later. One might say that what was a fantasy over forty years ago is, however unconsciously, being heralded as, hopefully, emerging and coming into being now–in actual, black-and-white or colored, real time and place.

Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The Preeminence of Inner Authority – Authenticity Rising

The Preeminence of Inner Authority – Authenticity Rising:
Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Concerning the movie “Pleasantville,” noted movie critic Roger Ebert quite astutely pointed out that it was “like the defeat of the body snatchers” (from his excellent review, “Pleasantville” ). One might also say that it is one in which Holden Caulfield, the character in J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, wins out and children do not grow up to be adult “phonies.” Another analogy would be that it is a depiction in which Peter Pan stays young, when he succeeds in keeping the children from ever growing up and thereby losing their capacity to “fly”–representing the capacity to dream, to envision, to be open to new possibilities, to adventure.

What It Is That Makes One Alive

Against this backdrop of lack of real aliveness, the introduction of “color” into the town of Pleasantville through the introduction of sex is not seen as something bad at all. Similarly, in recent history, despite the increasing drum beating of the Religious Right in the last three decades, those of us who grew up in the Fifties know that the introduction of sex–in the Sixties, as in the “sexual revolution”–was a step forward from the hypocritical sameness and plodding repression of the Fifties.

Other elements introduced into Pleasantville that produce colorization in the participants include thinking for oneself (Jeff Daniels in his role as the soda jerk), intellectual passion (the sister), questioning the way things are supposed to be or, in Sixties terms, questioning authority (when the brother finally becomes colored), artistic and creative passion (Jeff Daniels again), and even the passion of honest rage (the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce). These elements arise in Pleasantville just as they arose into the collective consciousness of those of us living in the Fifties and Sixties.

Of course I am not naively saying that these elements never existed before the Sixties. The underlying factor that was introduced into the movie causing color and that was also introduced into our society causing all the sociocultural changes that we, usually, complain about is the factor of choosing something different than what is expected by society, than what is expected by the outside. What is introduced in the movie–as it was introduced in our culture–is the preeminence of inner authority in making decisions, as opposed to outer authority.

A New Psychohistorical Era!

In psychohistorical terms this difference is marked by Lloyd deMause as a difference in a mode of child-rearing. The black-and-white Fifties Pleasantville is a representation of a mode of child-rearing—which characterized the Fifties—wherein the role of the parents is to “mold,” model, and guide children along paths that the parents have deemed to be correct–called the socializing mode of child-rearing. The child is expected to be a clone of the parents, a mini-me, or at least to represent the parents’ ideas of proper behavior, ideals, and mode of living, irregardless of whether the parent models them or not. And when not, the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do” and the term hypocrite as applied to the parents are apropos. The basic nature of the child is considered to be sinful and evil or at least beastial; the classic novel Lord of the Flies depicts this view of human nature. Therefore the child needs to become other than itself and conform itself to something outside of itself in order for she or he to be considered “good” and to receive good responses in turn from parents and society.

By contrast, the colorized Pleasantville represents the mode of child-caring that came out, big time, beginning in the Sixties, wherein the parents’ role is that of “bringing out” from and supporting, encouraging, and helping the child to discover what the child’s talents and inherent abilities, feelings, and proclivities are, and then encouraging the child to “believe in him/herself” in the expression of those inherent and inborn good qualities and values–termed the helping mode of child-caring. [Footnote 1]

This mode contains a radically new view of basic human nature. Humans are seen to be essentially good (even “divine”). It is evil and painful events impinging upon the child from the outside—family and society—that are deemed causative in taking the child from its natural state of innocence and goodness and inherent unique talents to one wherein the child is corrupted and thus becomes beastial and lacking in inherent good qualities and talents.

Therefore the solution is to protect the child from traumas coming from the outside, especially the huge one of feeling unloved through not being seen or respected as a unique individual…as opposed to being seen as a mere outgrowth or mini-me of a parental entity. And in so doing the parents’ role includes helping the child to discover his or her uniqueness and dispensing unconditional love, that is, love that is given freely, without the requirement, as in the socializing mode, that the child do and be what the parents want before the child is accepted or shown approval or any emotional warmth.

In representing this advanced mode of being (and child-caring) the “colorized” people in Pleasantville open themselves to possibilities that were never before considered; they stray from the earlier mode requiring strict conformity to parental scripts. Robert Kennedy’s Sixties quote comes to mind as expressing this: “Some people look at things as they are and ask, why? I think of things that never were and ask, why not?” This means, then, a capacity to experiment and adventure in one’s life, which, at bottom, involve a belief in questioning authority and thinking for oneself in Sixties terms or, in Sathya Sai Baba’s words, a belief that we are, each of us, “experiments in truth” in our sojourns on Earth. And just as these elements and beliefs became more and more a part of America’s collective consciousness in the Sixties and Seventies and ever since then, they also gradually develop in “Pleasantville.”

Love Uncertainty – We Need to Stop Bemoaning the “Messiness” that Comes with Freedom

What It Is About Change… Revolution Is Not a Tea Party
(But It Can Be a Tweet Party)

The “Messy” Scenery of Healing

“Love My Uncertainty”

One reviewer described the ending of the movie as “not at all easy and tidy, but rather very, very messy” ( “Pleasantville” by Chris A. Bolton). Ebert–more astutely but not quite correctly—wrote that the determining factor in whether someone became “colored” was the factor of change. The first reviewer, like someone with one foot still in “Pleasantville” or one who is still not fully colored, does not understand that the ending, wherein the characters proclaim that they do not know what is going to happen next, contains exactly the essential message of the movie. The ending can only be “messy” if one expects a particular ending.

The reviewer is very much like the critics of Occupy Wall Street who claim the protesters do not have a message, or a leader…essentially don’t know where they are going. He is wrong for the same reasons those critics are.

The whole point of change is that it is always something one does not expect. Likewise, when people act out of inner rather than outer authority, one can only expect that what happens will be unique, like people are when they are not conforming to external expectations. So there could be no pat or predicted ending. The moviegoer could not leave knowing whether Betty Parker, the Stepford housewife turned liberated woman, returns to her husband, George, or takes off with the soda jerk turned artist, Mr. Johnson, because that would destroy the uncertainty inherent in change, growth, aliveness, and so on. So the ending is exactly what it has to be.

And this ending expresses the spiritual razor’s edge each of us must cross during our life’s sojourn. Whenever we try to put life, or love, into a box, package, or a gilded cage, it dies or stagnates—just like a boring black-and-white sitcom world. Real change and spiritual growth means letting go and opening oneself to the unexpected and the unknown. So it is in this vein that the spiritual teacher Sai Baba tells his followers, “Love my uncertainty,” in helping them to deal–after the usual “honeymoon phase” at the beginning of their spiritual path–with the trials, changes, tribulations, and suffering that his devotees experience later on, along their path to greater purity of heart and compassion, and eventually spiritual liberation.

The Scenery of Healing

One of the reasons the movie, “Pleasantville,” so appealed to me is that its view of current events is so akin to that which I have been expressing in other of my more recent writings–e.g., the articles The Sometimes Messy Scenery of Healing and The Emerging Perinatal Unconscious and the books Apocalypse – No!, Apocalypse Emergency: Apocalypse? Or Earth Rebirth? and Apocalypse, or New Age? The Emerging Perinatal Unconscious–wherein I make the argument that recent events are not evidence of a downfall of civilization, as conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan would have us believe, but are the necessary “birth pains” of a new age being born.


In Pleasantville, indeed, though everyone smiles and there is no crime or unpleasantness–which is supposed to reflect the view of reality presented in Fifties sitcoms like Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver–it is inherently flawed in that it is lacking in “color.” Those of us who lived through the Fifties know that the lack of color is an apt metaphor for exactly the way it was at that time. It was a back-and-white world–a world that covered up its underlying nastiness and evil by repression and denial–psychological defense mechanisms that characterize the World-War-Two Generation especially.

New Mantram: “Thinking for Oneself Is Good!”

The point in the movie, which is so appealing, is that it causes us to look again at the changes in our society that have occurred because of the various “revolutions” of postmodern times–civil rights, student antiwar, women’s rights, sexual, and so on–and to stop bemoaning the “messiness” that comes with freedom. We have more choice, more freedom now than ever. And this freedom allows us the opportunity for a higher spirituality—some would say the only true spirituality—which involves the harrowing path of deciding for oneself, based upon one’s ability to intuit or “feel” the correct path, and experiencing the consequences of one’s choices, as opposed to the preordained religiosity of following a script.

Though many would argue this, one has only to look, as this movie forces us to do, back at where we started. And from that perspective, with that stultifying, hypocritical, dishonest, and phony kind of supposed “living” in mind, we can easily see the changes and progress made in individual freedom and, dare I say, genuine spirituality, and accept the uncertainty, emotional pain, apparent evil, “messiness,” social and political turbulence, and all the rest that comes with it.

Footnote

1.  See The History of Childhood As the History of Child Abuse by Lloyd deMause on the Primal Spirit site.

Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Seven: Cultural Rebirth, Aborted

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Five: The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard

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Power vs. Passion, Money vs. Authenticity – Opposing Ways of Changing America: Creating an American Life, Pt 1

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Creating an American Life, Part One: Opposing Ways of Changing America – Passion vs. Power, Authenticity vs. Money

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In the last half century, Americans have experienced unprecedented changes hippiesimages (11)in their lives, their lifestyles, in what it means to be alive and a human in America in these times. Rarely have societies experienced this kind of change. What is even more astounding is the way the changes send us shooting dramatically in one way and then in the other direction.

Of course it is amazing that people are able to manage these kinds of change. But we don’t do this easily.

Let us look at the side-to-side careening of American life in that time and where we are today in that.

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Creating an America Worthy of its Name

I talked at the beginning about how politicians and leaders can only do so much and that the effects of their words are often fleeting. I said that social change that’s either reinforced or carried forward, or even initiated, by something like music or something that affects your feelings, can be greater and longer lasting. The powerful feelings that are stirred this way can affect people for their whole lives and even have influence for generations. I mentioned that these emotional influences reach more deeply into people because feelings exist at a deeper level of the brain undergirding words, thought, or even reason.

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Finally, keep in mind that this is titled the rise and fall of “obvious truths.”

Obvious “Truth” – “Money Changes Everything”…. Really? … Only?

So I’m gonna start looking over what has transpired so far. I said at the beginning there was a title, one that pointed to the power and grandeur of these social movements.Occupy Madrid I wrote at the time that if the title’s claim–casting ordinary folks, along with revolutionary art, as the instigators of grand movements…the people of the Sixties and the music of bands like the Beatles, for example—sounds silly or trite to you that you are operating out of social prejudices we all carry from childhood, like most people do, particularly around status.

img_0168-2~s1000x1000And by that I meant we have a tendency to assume that it is money that changes everything and that ordinary folks have little power without it.

For example, we assume that artists and musicians can’t affect anything. They more often arise from non-affluent beginnings; we have the term, starving artist, for example. Their power in society is considered to be as minimal as their finances.

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“Real World” vs. “Flaky”

But this is not true—that is what I’m getting at. For, has the power of people been created with money, solely? Well, I think there’s a tendency to think it is.

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Not long ago, America and I went through such a change arising artistically from the masses. The Beatles affected us in such a great way that we were changed forever and society’s traditional momentum in a direction benefiting its moneyed royalty was stopped and even reversed. Their music and that of those like them changed the world in terms of the way we saw peace. The way we saw love. The way we saw drugs. The way we saw tolerance of other people…the way we looked at other people.

Status and Money, More Than Ever, Determining What Is “Real”

But I’m not going to go too far there, because that’s all coming up, too. I’m roflbot6-1just saying that we do have these preconceptions about status and money that affects what we think is more important or powerful. It affects what we think of as “real” and “real world” versus what is considered silly or superfluous … “flaky” … “kumbaya.”

I was talking earlier about how, these days, it seems like only people with money have power. Everybody knows that and assumes it can only be that way. This is so because many people today have not had the experience of seeing it being different than that.

The Exception That Reveals the Rule

There is one exception and as it happens this exception does reveal the rule.

The Blue Meanies Dissed, Dismissed

For Obama’s rise to the presidency was startling, shocking even, because it imagesnnnwas a unique phenomenon for this time. It was a grand and sweeping phenomenon because people got a chance, for the first time in a long time, to see that ordinary folks getting together could effect massive change…without the power of gobs of money. We can recall how his campaign was largely done over the internet and with small contributions. People could feel again, some for the first time, that they had the power in their passion and numbers to throw off the shackles of the filthy rich. Unbelievable.

Continue with Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate – Creating an America That Is Not: Creating an American Life, Pt 2

Return to “The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny…Any Wonder Why Americans Are So Confused, or Dumb?



Footnote

Helen Caldicott compares our complacency in the face of dire happenings–such as Fukushima–to the parents who respond emotionless when she has to tell them their child has leukemia. She says, “Get mad. Get emotional.” She urges us to take back our governments from these mad perpetrators of the darkest doom imaginable. And, in the least, occupy! She proclaims,

It’s time you took your country back…. Use your bodies like they did in Wisconsin. Do a Tahrir Square here. Take back New York. Take back the Congress. Invade the Congress! Those people belong to you. They are your representatives, and you are their leaders. But you’ve got to have some guts! And stop being so goddamn polite all the time! And don’t need approval. Step up to the plate….

We’ve got to be emotional…. It’s time we used our emotions and become incensed! Otherwise we’re not going to make it.


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form here, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part One,” click on the link to the audio site above or click below to launch the audio player here.

http://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=rzznhtzjsk&as=1
The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths”: Part One. by SillyMickel Adzema




Continue with Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate – Creating an America That Is Not: Creating an American Life, Pt 2

Return to “The Media’s Capacity to Confirm, Or Deny…Any Wonder Why Americans Are So Confused, or Dumb?

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The Power of Money to Persuade…When You Happen to Be Poor – Creating an American Mind and Personality

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We Were More Likely to Question Authority When We Lived in Prosperous Times – Creating an American Mind and Personality

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“The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths’” discusses the history of the American Republicans’ incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive, seemingly coordinated nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactor corporations and the “filthy rich” through totally concocted untruths.

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Changing the World?

This started when I was reading over another post I had made. The title was relevant, and it triggered this whole thing. The title was “On Cultural Change, Consciousness, and Music.” And I described it as so: “The perfect confluence of context, moment, and person makes history…Obama’s astonishing rise to the Presidency, for example. But the perfect alignment of a nation’s or world’s deep mood, the moment, and a musician or artist can change the world forever. For example, The Beatles.”

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Times Weren’t Always Like This

After reading that, I imagined someone else viewing it, and I considered how chances are it would be someone younger than me-—for I am old enough. That is part of what this is about. I am old enough to have seen some things and I remember some things that people growing up in this day and age would have no conception of. Those more recently coming of age are used to a particular American setting somewhat different than the one I knew. Growing up in a particular context, naturally they would think that is the way things are and how they have to be; they could not know any differently.

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“Obvious Truths” Is About How I Saw Things Change

I was born in 1950, so I am aware of other ways that America has been. This series of posts is a lot about how I saw things change. Specifically, I look at the changes in the way we view ourselves, our lives, and authority; I have yet to hear anyone else mention these kinds of changes.

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But, Really, Change the World We Did

Getting back to that younger person reading that description, I imagined this other person seeing what I wrote about the Beatles and all that, about changing the world…changing the world! In the harsh light of their cold-hearted reality and the comfortable assuredness of their beliefs, I figured they would consider me naive, if not more. How could that person understand? But, really, change the world we did.

Music’s Power to Persuade

Addressing that younger person, I started writing, “If the title’s claim sounds silly or trite to you then you are operating out of a social prejudice we carry from childhood, particularly around status. And you haven’t stopped to evaluate and compare.” Now, I know that sounds kind of harsh, but it comes together you’ll see.

For one thing, leaders and politicians, even great ones, can only alter the course of events slowly and meticulously. Sweeping changes cannot happen by fiat as they depend on the people’s passionate involvement, which you cannot create. In the case of a dictatorship-—for example, Hitler’s Germany, or Kim “Big Little Man’s” North Korea of the present-—that passion might be faked, probably it would need to be faked. Still, even in a free society, politicians can only use words; and no matter how stirring those words, they can reach only so deep inside. It is with great difficulty that political leaders try to move the soul of a nation; most of that mood is untouchable to them.

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Sergeant Pepper

Meanwhile music, in particular, more potently than any other art form, has the capacity to alter consciousness. I will explain that later; it is an area I have done a lot of study in. It is a part of my profession.

Anyway, music affects your feelings and so it affects your consciousness. So its effects will really stay with you more than words will. Music is a more powerful thing, and it has been used consciously to try to sway the spirits of humans ever since the times of shamans.


But music is a much more powerful thing when the perfect combination of mood, context, and music come together. If you think music is not so powerful then explain why music is required at virtually any social gathering…particularly, when there is involved any attempt to persuade the feelings of the attendees. Have you ever noticed that? What is truly shocking is how music can even be more powerful than vast piles of money put against it.

I said, can be. In talking about music’s power to persuade I am reminded of political rallies and such.

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The Persuasive Power of Money…When You Happen to Be Poor

On the other side from the power of leaders’ words of inspiration, which is limited, of music’s more effective persuasions, and the potency of passion and heartfelt feeling naturally arising in people, consider the power of money. Money in the hands of the “filthy rich” is used in a variety of ways and obviously has tremendous persuasive powers of its own.

And here is what I am getting at: Money, as arrayed against music, passion, and social movements is especially more powerful in a situation where the people have been put in financial jeopardy because of the prosperity of the rich. As an aside, I remember a time in America’s past when people were more prosperous and confident about their abilities to manage their lives. I do not believe it is a coincidence that in those days money wielded by the wealthy had less power to persuade and people were less easily bought than today. It was said that people then were wont to question authority more than they were likely to bow down to it. I will get back to this later.

Anyway, these are the things I was thinking about when this started.

Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight: Creating an American Mind

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“The Awakening” in a WWII Generation World of “Blue Meanies” and “Nowhere Men” … “Yellow Submarine” … “Pleasantville”

“Pleasantville” and “Yellow Submarine”: The WWII Generation World of “Blue Meanies” and “Nowhere Men” vs. “The Awakening”Blue Meanies


The 1998 movie, “Pleasantville,”thematically, is remarkably akin to the 1968-released movie “Yellow Submarine” put out by the Sixties Generation rock group The Beatles.

In “Yellow Submarine” there is a region ruled by the “Blue Meanies.” These Blue Meanies, especially their leader, are depicted as powerful and cruel, yet sniveling, insecure, weak, and selfish underneath. Their angry and oppressive personas are shown to reveal poor little whining babies behind them. Their actions are shown to be those of “big babies,” whose gruff exterior must remain intact at all costs, lest their hidden sniveling and hurt little selves be revealed. The analogy the Beatles are making to those of the WWII Generation—at that time the parental generation, those “over 30″—is impossible not to make.

 

“Nowhere Man”

The movies are so similar in theme that the only major thematic difference between “Pleasantville” and “Yellow Submarine” is that it is music that is not allowed in “Yellow Submarine” whereas in “Pleasantville” it is color. But the idea behind them both is the same: Music and color both represent deep feeling, aliveness, thinking for oneself, and change. In “Yellow Submarine,” the man without music is Nowhere Man, who “knows not where he’s going to, doesn’t have a point of view.” In Pleasantville, the men without color act in the same ways, performing the same actions, day in, day out, without change, zombie- or robot-like–like characters in a 1950s-style sitcom in which nothing unpleasant, different, new, or too emotional is allowed to occur.

And above all, the black-and-white men do not think for themselves. This is graphically portrayed in the scene mentioned where the owner of the town malt shop, Mr. Johnson, portrayed by Jeff Daniels, is left cleaning the same spot of the counter for hours so that its top is rubbed away because his coworker is late and the routine they use to close up cannot be completed in the way it is done, everyday, in exactly the same way. Confronted with this small change, he shows himself to be the “Nowhere Man” and like a needle stuck on a record, he is rigidly stuck repeating the same action, not having the power to think of an alternative action in response to a change in the usual routine.

“The Awakening” – No Longer a Distant Vision

The differences in the years of the release and the different artistic modes used to express the themes of these two movies have something to say as well. In 1968 the changes in culture of the New Age were a vision and a hope. It is appropriate and telling that “Yellow Submarine” was expressed in animated form. Like a dream that would take a long time to realize, it needed to be expressed in cartoon-like fashion, for the time of its emergence in reality was too far off.

By contrast, “Pleasantville” blends a fantasy world–appropriately it is a TV sitcom, which has more similarities with reality than an animation–with the actual reality of postmodern times. The advance toward reality is patent in the evolution from an animated form–indicating the change is far off, a fantasy, a wish, a hope–in the 1968 movie; to a black-and-white form involving real actors, real people; and then to a colorized version involving real people in what is supposed to be real time and real cultural reality, in the movie released thirty years later. One might say that what was a fantasy over forty years ago is, however unconsciously, being heralded as, hopefully, emerging and coming into being now–in actual, black-and-white or colored, real time and place.

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Scout Niblett, Will Oldham, and Barack Obama: Once Again, Authenticity is Everything in Politics, Music Too. If a New Cultural Awakening Is Coming, It’s None Too Soon For Me!


I SAW A NEW DAWN RISING, PULLED BACK INTO NIGHT.

I AGAIN SEE A BRIGHTER DAY COMING. OBAMA’S WIN; THE MUSIC OF WILL OLDHAM AND SCOUT NIBLETT, AMONG OTHERS, TELL ME THAT MAGIC IS BACK, THE “BLUE MEANIES” HAVE FLED, AND THAT SOMETHING WONDERFUL MAY BE HAPPENING AGAIN

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I feel I have not liked music very much for a long time. Having been one who experienced the Beatles era — beginning to the end — and participated in the “magic” that only existed at that time, when early on, the music that said that we had all the power to make the world what it should be, made everyone I knew feel like they were important and had a role in an incredible time. That changed. And I haven’t heard anything that came even close to having any kind of message like that, let alone impact, in the decades then.

Then last year, I came across the music of Scout Niblett, Will Oldham, Daniel Johnston, Songs: Ohia, and other’s producing what is called “Indie” (from Independent”) genre. Their music did so much for my life and giving me hope about our collective future. I am convinced that Will Oldham is as much a musical genius as Bob Dylan. And I think Scout Niblett is at least as provocative, and authentic; actually more so, in particular in the way she weaves those unique percussive elements into the mix, waking you, almost shaking into you, her message.

My take of Scout’s main important sharing, her offering, her reminder to us (especially in a world of obsessive-compulsive everybodys and “Monk”) is of the perfection and beauty that is found only in the authentically unpolished, unassuming, and unpretentious. Her work says to me that we are all beautiful in the same way as Nature’s own unpolished beauty. She conveys that we are all truly geniuses, or perfect in our uniqueness, or essentially divine, or all of that. But only when we have the courage to give up trying to shape the outcomes of our actions, and to force our wills upon the world instead of flowing with it. She reminds me that we are so much more, and we border every moment the magical, when we dare let ourselves be our slightly worn and unraveled, imperfect but unique, essential selves, relying on the goodness of our divine intuition to direct our actions, foregoing and putting behind us the mental filters that act like so many nagging nannies or parental voices.

I am brought again to remember that being oneself is not only beautiful, but is what brings down the barriers between us all, and thereby helps us to realize our Unity. We see so much fake “beauty” – inhuman, unnatural productions of technicians – a “beauty” that relies on the precisely timed, measured, and symmetrical patterning of auditory elements, copied, as precisely as atoms, or files on a computer, from past creations, Now no longer “alive.” Such “music” I’ve heard, it is astonishing in its familiarity, its sameness, its ability to NOT wake us up. It makes for good office, workshop, or supermarket music, for it soothes us like a familiar heartbeat to a baby. To its “credit,” its guaranteed not to disrupt your driving either; and perhaps that’s why there’s so much of it: Folks living ever more busy and complex lives, how many choose music that might actually shake them up and cause them to lose their footing, in this rat race to a nowhere, disguising itself as survival and endlessly shape-shifting to mimic the meanderings of the victim’s thinking, so as not to ever be seen (“Nowhere Man” – The Beatles). So, to busy to even want real music. Yes, that’s one big diiference between my generation and what happened afterwards when others were forced to bear higher costs, lower wages, and all the rest, beginning with Reagan’s “dawn” in America, the nightmare end of which we are witnessing now. So, this so-called music, may have its roots and its attractions; still, it is a technicians production, not an artist’s, and can be produced just as well, and just as inhumanly, by computer programs.

Sadly, I’ve watched several generations of “musicians,” more fearful than they would ever show and lacking true vision or (divine) inspiration, spew out, decade after decade, such melodic or even cacophonic, offerings. Like anything else, there are those who want to be artists (musicians, writers, singers, rock stars), and then there are those who have no choice and must do their art, exercise their unique talent, even if no reward is to be had (remember Mozart died penniless, cast into a pauper’s grave). Like Mozart, true genius has no choice.

Scout and Will create perfection in their very insistence on following the razor’s edge of the imperfect, the “not cool,” even the “inappropriate.” Scout, like Oldham, reawakens us to the sublime perfection of the spontaneous and raw tonal pathways, occurring only in the moment, those perfectly askance and glancing, slightly unraveled apparently random, somehow precisely tweaked, purely in the moment intuitive impulses and flashes and even unconscious elements; thus, I hear the channeling of a divine splendor that Scout, for one, could not shake if she tried.

Scout and Will create astonishing audio resting places for the mind, which border on the otherworldly. Quite different from each other are their productions, but equally adept are they in creating the trippy new worlds the lyrics and music weave out of the finer filaments of your mind. The genius of Scout Niblett and Will Oldham lies in their incredible bravery in being truly authentic (not fake authentic; you really see their many facets, which aren’t always flattering). And that authenticity comes only out of an incredible willingness to throw oneself directly into the fires of their fears. I could go on, but just to say that that truth comes through like something so true that it partakes of whatever it is that holds us all up and keeps it all together. And that Truth, in which they express themselves, in my opinion is what makes their music more than good, easy on the ears, etc.; it is what takes it beyond music to something magical…

Indeed, like the Beatles did to an entire generation long ago, I came away changed by their music the first time I heard it. I couldn’t stop listening all night long, and by the morning I felt I would never be the same again. And I haven’t been. Like Barack Obama, Scout Niblett and Wild Oldham also give me the feeling that life is really worth living. That you really do want to hang around in this skin-encapsulated ego for a while. Even if just for the incredibly magical you encounter occasionally.

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