Friday, March 3, 2017



If you watched Trump addressing Congress on Tuesday night, then tuned in for the media coverage that followed, you may have noticed a peculiar disconnect, as though the pundits had seen a different speech than the one that was broadcast to home viewers... and to be perfectly frank, considering the events of the past few months, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that this is what actually happened. 

In the all-important immediate aftermath, talking heads and op-ed typists from left to right competed with each other to see who could waste more air time, or fill more column inches, or come up with the hottest "hot take", congratulating Trump on having finally "pivoted", heaping praise on Trump's "presidential" performance, and otherwise applying a vigorous tongue-scrubbing to Trump's metaphorically jacked boots. In particular, there was a lot of talk about "tone", about Trump's "measured tone", and about how Trump has "softened" his "tone". 

While yer old pal Jerky doesn't know what kind of "tone" could possibly make the introduction of VOICE, a Der Sturmer-style "ethnic shame" highlighting service detailing the crimes of immigrants, whether documented or not, sound like a normal, run of the mill policy proposal, judging by the media reaction, Donald Trump has apparently figured it out.

In terms of veracity, mendacity, and perfidy, the rest of Trump's address wasn't that much better, either, as this Vox annotated rundown proves out. Thankfully, in the days that followed in Tuesday's churning, chum-filled wake, more pensive analysts partaking in the benefit afforded by hindsight took their on-the-spot media colleagues to task for apparently falling prey to a weird new version of Stockholm Syndrome. Jeet Heer's take at New Republic, entitled "American Carnage Part II" is particularly good, and recommended.


In a week that saw the needle on the Ridiculo-Meter rocking like a goddamn metronome, perhaps the single most ridiculous thing was the Trumpnik/Republican attempt to cast the rapidly spreading grass-roots anti-Trump "Indivisible" activist movement as an astroturf operation, no doubt bankrolled by every right-winger's favorite Jewish hobgoblin Soros, the Great and the Powerful

Particularly ridiculous was White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's declaration that the Indivisible movement, which he literally called "an astroturf movement", stood in stark contrast to what he deemed to be the far more organic and spontaneous conservative activist movement we all know and hate as the Tea Party

In point of fact, the exact fucking opposite is true. And friends, that’s not a matter of opinion, or a cognitive product of your humble blogger's left-liberal/anti-conservative bias… it’s an objective, empirically verifiable, and factually irrefutable reality

I realize that this might seem like a minor thing to some of you... but the above instance is merely one example of a greater trend, even a technique, or method of rule, that is currently in play. It involves doing one thing while you say the exact polar opposite--for instance, declaring that you're "draining the swamp" when in reality you're stocking it with a genetically engineered species of killer crocodiles--and making not the slightest effort to conceal your perfidy. It's the weaponization of cognitive dissonance. And the stakes are simply too high now for us to let this shit slide. 

Those of us still in the Reality Based Community can't afford to let the Bad Guys re-write history once again, as they’ve done so many times before. Whether it’s the reverse engineering of Ronald Reagan's "legacy", in which they made it look like he was great on the economy (he wasn't), or fantastically popular (he wasn't), or that he was instrumental in the collapse of the Soviet Union (he wasn't), or whether it's the countless instances of Orwellean right-wing historical revisionism and dirty tricks, you can take your fucking pick. 

It's particularly ironic that a cohort that has always been hostile to the postmodern tropes of the Critical Theory wing of 20th century Continental Philosophy should treat science, history, and facts with such naked contempt. Despite their anti-intellectual bleating, it is they who are the ultimate deconstructionists... 

The problem is, they're doing it wrong. They've got things backwards. Whereas the aforementioned philosophers urged us to consider how our ideological presumptions color and alter our ostensibly objective views on science, history, and reality, members of the Conservative Movementarian Cult see scientific data, historical records and facts as nothing more than obstacles to be overcome in service of their ideology.

That's why it's imperative that anyone who isn’t a part of this dangerous cult at least be made aware of its existence. That way, we can begin to study its goals, discern what it hopes to achieve in the short and long terms, and figure out how they're going about accomplishing those goals. We need to understand that what's going on goes far beyond mere irresponsible propaganda, and is veering dangerously close to the territory of mind control. 

I realize how this must sound to some of you, but please believe me when I tell you that I don't say these things lightly. I've been working on a longer piece for three months now in which I describe some of the technologies involved and identify some of the corporations, government agencies and NGOs behind those technologies. Furthermore, I've spent a great portion of the years since the end of the Daily Dirt's run watching in real time the birth and blooming of many of the new ideological movements that have parasitically nestled around the heart of these times... all, I might add, at no small psychic cost to yours truly. 

Y'all best hope yer old pal Jerky's ticker holds up for another year or two. Otherwise, y'all are gonna be deprived of one hell of an enlightening, if frightful, reading experience.

Keep watching this space. 

  • Another day in Trumpland brings news of yet another deplorable, rat-faced Redcap gunning down three far more productive members of society. It happened at a bar in Olathe, Kansas, where 51-year-old waste of flesh Adam Purinton pulled out a 9mm handgun, shouted "GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY!", then shot two dark-skinned men, engineers Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, both 32, killing the former and wounding the latter. Another man, Ian Grillot, attempted to restrain Purinton, and for his trouble was also shot and seriously wounded. Purinton fled and ended up at an Applebee's 90 miles away, where he told a waitress he thought the men he shot were "from the Middle East", as if that factor might somehow get him off the hook. Gee, I wonder where he could have gotten that idea?
  • Do you guys suppose Trump banning CNN, the New York Times, Politico and Buzzfeed from a press scrum last week might have had something to do with each of those organizations recently publishing stories that revealed new pieces of the ever-completening Trump-Russia-Treason puzzle? NAH! It couldn't be! 
  • Obama administration NSC staff veteran member Rumana Ahmed kept working at the White House after Trump took office, and she wrote an article for The Atlantic describing what that was like for her. The fact that she lasted all of eight days might give you an indication. 

1. Timothy Snyder's essay for Slate, entitled HIM and published on November 18, 2016, begins like this:
His election that November came as a surprise. The conservative intellectuals had made telling arguments against his racism and conspiracy thinking. Rival nationalists had mocked his affection for a foreign tyrant. Businessmen had explained that economic isolation could only harm an export economy. All to no avail. 
His followers had faith, of course. They had roared at his rallies and echoed his slogans. They had come out to vote, in higher numbers than expected, especially working class men and women. Even so, the results of the election were paradoxical. The left received 1 million more votes than his party. But due to the vagaries of the electoral system, he was called upon to form a government. His followers exulted, but the various right-wing elites preserved their calm. Although they had failed to keep him from power, they were sure that they could control him. He was good at convincing his followers that he was a revolutionary and convincing others that he was harmless.
Sounds familiar so far, right?
His administration was at first a coalition of the old right and his new right. The members of the major left-wing party, historically larger than his, had a sense that something was afoot. But the left was divided upon itself and unsure about its leadership; its own conflicts could, from moment to moment, seem more pressing than the affairs of the country as a whole. He did not invent the highway, as his propaganda claimed, but he did support public works. This sort of thing helped to confuse the left and the workers.
Okay, so by now most of you know where this is going.
Among much of the ordinary citizenry there was a certain faith that the political elite had matters under control. Among the elite there was a certain faith that state institutions would somehow protect themselves. It was a minority that exulted in his power and a smaller minority that broke the windows and painted the symbols. Somehow, amid the misplaced hopes, his followers set the tone. As the mood changed, much of the citizenry began to think ahead about what he would want and make adjustments in advance. This made his task infinitely simpler. 
Writers reflected upon how he was changing the language. He defined the world as a source of endless threat and other countries as cradles of countless enemies. Global conspiracies were supposedly directed at his country and its uniquely righteous people. His left-wing opponents and the national minorities, he insisted, were not individuals but expressions of implacable international enmity to the righteous demands of his own people. He said that he spoke for his people, that hew as their voice. He had no concern for factuality; what he said about others was meant to generate a certain fiction. 

By now even the densest reader knows this Hitler we're talking about. But keep reading...

In some measure, he was working within the philosophical conventions of his time. Important thinkers of the era had declared that the idea of facts understood by individual was humbug, opening the way for a sense of identity to be confused with the apprehension of truth. But he was also aware that mass media created the possibility to project big lies with such force that they drowned out the small truths. He had a certain undeniable charisma, and he was the first major politician of a new media age.
And here's where Snyder's exercise goes from synchronicity observing to semi-prophecy...
The terrorist attack came as a surprise. It ws unclear whether he planned this himself, but it hardly mattered. He blamed the left, banned its parties, and had its leaders put in camps. A state of emergency was declared and never lifted. A one-party state emerged. The division of powers vanished. The parliament became a rubber stamp. The bureaucracy proved loyal to him.

It continues in this vein. And it's very much worth reading in full. Please do so.

2. FINALLY! A product of the Internet that doesn't make me want to build a machine to go back in time so that I can prevent life from ever having begun to evolve on this planet! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... eating oranges in the shower for a "carnal, ferocious, liberating" experience like no other!

3. Our old pal Keith Olbermann gives us one of his shortest episodes of The Resistance, for Esquire Magazine, so far, with his list of reasons why "He Must Go". Gotta say, it's a pretty compelling list.


To review, while President Obama was kicking 35 spies out of the country and placing sanctions on the entities responsible for breaking and entering into the Democratic Party’s headquarters, Trump was denying that Russia was responsible and promising Putin that he need not take any of the announced reprisals seriously.

- Martin Longman reviews the activities of Team Trump at the Turn of the Year for Washington Monthly, and it's ever so timely and troubling.

  • If you want to learn about some cool and/or weird things that happened on whatever day of history that it happens to be when you're reading this, why not check out our sister-site, Useless Eater Blog? You're sure to find something of interest, guaranteed!

You know what? I'm just gonna leave y'all with a song that's got a message I really appreciate. I hope you enjoy it and spread it around. If I know my readership, I think this will go down quite well...

No comments:

Post a Comment