Category Archives: Agitprop/Propaganda

Cheapened and Coarsened

What is dignity worth?

In our Trump times, Americans have steadily devalued that attribute.

The drumbeat is constant about “improved” economic indicators. Historically low unemployment. A stratospherically high stock market too many of us foolishly believe impervious to gravity. Shouldn’t ours be recognized as a halcyon American era?

But yet …

… Isn’t there a sense of unease behind these achievements? Despite the good announcements don’t we truly witness an entirely different reality?

For too many Americans a health malady could spell complete financial ruin. That once sure entry into the fat and happy prosperous middle class, a college degree, has rocketed beyond easy affordability. In fact undergraduate college degrees demand mortgage money which means buying a house, that other sign of entry into prosperity, must either be further postponed or denied outright.

In both cases today a sheepskin and home insist on extortion rate repayments. Each yoke only pleases any usurers who’ve extended the loans. These are not the conditions that allowed the magnificent growth of post-World War II America. That enlarged middle class built the broad-based and fairest economic wonder our nation has ever known.

And apparently will ever know.

Of course those people then were strivers. They’d endured the Depression and survived the Second World War. Not only had they earned their reward, but were damned intent on receiving it.

This generation and those subsequent will never know what went through our fathers’ minds as they stood over the summer backyard barbecue, a stiffened drink within reach, and perhaps the bucolic suburban scene disturbed by some memory of past want or need, or a piercing echo of combat momentarily disrupting the calm splendor achieved in the comforting green of a manicured 4,000 square-foot lot.

While the nation exhibits greater affluence today, much more of that wealth has now accumulated at the most rarefied reaches of society.

Despite Americans doing our utmost to accrue more symbols, we’ve become rodents who’ve gotten behind on the treadmill. At least in the old rat race, the one made famous by Sammy Glick and the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, as well as characters in numerous John Cheever New Yorker stories, those who aspired gained some satisfaction, if not celebratory cocktails on the home commute or inside the domicile itself.

Today the former notions which sustained and propagated the fat, happy, prosperous middle have been usurped somewhat by an interconnected world that’s given the high hat to the old American verities.

Globalization is the named devil. Lower return for harder toil is the price he asks. Indeed it is intentionally hamstringing the domestic workforce that establishes Americans’ financial lag.

Hard work no longer rewards with commensurate gratification. Deferment may lead to never acquiring. One can do everything right, one can adhere to the rules but still be shut out of realizing whatever had been the American Dream.

Know what’s pole-axed “the American Dream”? Sometime in the early 1980s corporate America decided it would be an opportune and advantageous time for board members and shareholders to increase their claims of profits at the expense of workers who actually created them. Rather than properly compensate those who made the products, who enabled the wealth, decisions were endorsed and executed that those holding the paper deserved larger cuts of the returns.

Therefore, adios to the fair disbursals plumping the lives of the hourly and salaried as well as larded the rarefied.

“Trickle down” as its most mendacious adherents call it. Or as it’s prosaically known, oats that pass through the horse for the birds underneath. Which is what more and more American workers get. Shit.

Worsening the disease, Fox News. Were he alive, it would be Joseph Goebbels ideal channel of dis- and misinformation. Without apology, Fox News clearly dupes the incurious and simple-minded. Coupled with the endless shrieking of right-wing radio’s barking heads it’s a wonder audiences in less dynamic America can muster worthwhile opinions.

Goebbels, the long dead Nazi minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda, would’ve enjoyed – no, he would’ve envied – Fox News’ ability to present outright falsities that the rubes and boobs swear by suck up as stacks of Bibles truths. Fox News isn’t interested in factual reporting. The source’s purpose is to convince dumb gullible America it is being left behind (through no fault of its own), ignored by sophisticates far removed from what’s been mislabeled “real America,” and most fright-inducing of all, supplanted by people whose beliefs and complexions are alien to theirs.

All of which are lies.

Had he lived, Fox News would’ve been a Goebbels’ monster. The broadcaster, like the Reichsfuhrer’s ministry, exists to deceive. It spews lies long enough intending to drown its faithful viewers in them.

Watching Fox, the unaware, the ignorant, the mesmerized now believe our once great nation occupies a promontory on this globe. A vantage from which we’d been absent. With the ascension of Donald Trump into the executive office a formerly prone and pliant United States is now the envy of those nations it doesn’t intimidate. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

Der Trump has hobbled the United States.

Not even at its founding after the Revolution when the British evacuated the former Colonies has our country been in more peril. Until Der Trump, Americans were rightly seen as strong, determined, mindful, and most of all respected. That last attribute represented the true source of America’s power. Those we dealt with knew mighty as the country was, it wouldn’t simply throw its weight around in order to have others kowtow to it, a la Russia and China.

Admire Russia and China and other strongman led nations as Der Trump does, these entities are not respected. They are resented. Let’s hope when the worm turns, that the client states each subjugates take chances to reverse servility into superiority, they will proceed with a bloodless mercilessness that’ll snatch the air from their oppressors’ lungs.

It would only be just.

As for Americans, the vile pig currently soiling the Oval Office continually convinces citizens in the dumbfuck regions overall conditions have improved. That somehow their lives have been helped. Repeatedly barking about figures which are abstract to these audiences has sufficed in distracting them from their own straits.

Certainly industrial workers who’ve either already been affected or are fearful of the havoc produced by Trump tariffs on manufactured goods perceive the dusk settling across America. They along with farmers whose once sure bet markets have been quite disrupted by the mindless bellicosity tweeted from the White House residence’s toilet possess ample ammunition to dispute the sunny forecasts.

A false bill of goods has been foisted on the American public. Under this criminal administration, its traitorous handmaidens in the House and Senate, and Fox News, citizens must believe that living in shit up to their ankles is a good deal. Left unchecked the same devious forces will further persuade Americans that letting the offal rise to their knees can only brighten the above condition.

Of course many in the aforementioned strait will tell you that living in shit suits them fine. That’s their problem. One the vast majority of us don’t wish to share.

Not Ready to Make Nice

One terrific result produced by the Donald Trump klepto- and kakacracy – no need to bother with restraint when any aspect of his crime organization administration is the subject.

Throughout the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the right never let the facts interrupt its false narrative. Right-wingers’ perversion of the story suited the narrow-minded, the flat-out bigoted, and ignorant continually inbreeding in less dynamic America. Continue reading Not Ready to Make Nice

Skewed Views and News

These days, when I hear some dope (if an American) supporting or a provocateur (if a paid agent of an adversarial country) praising Donald Trump, anyone aware of history can only imagine the level of Joseph Goebbels’ envy.

Were the Nazi Reichsminister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda among us bodily today, the distinct lack of resolve which now cores out the United States would warm his cold soul. It would do so because the credulous people we’ve become didn’t bother with much suspicion before swallowing whole the most puerile falsehoods ever conceived. Continue reading Skewed Views and News

Magnificent Arrogance

Were Time magazine founding publisher Henry Luce still alive, the man who’d coined the 20th century “the American Century” would today declare any extension of it dead.

Our epoch of true world influence stretched from the Jazz Age until Bolshevism collapsed under capitalist superiority. Although our Levant fiasco significantly diminished the nation’s prestige while emboldening adversaries, much of the global community still accepted the United States as the planet’s cock of the walk.

After wrong-footing throughout 2017, the only standing America retains is being musclebound and brainless. Continue reading Magnificent Arrogance

Fear Eats Itself

Remarkable, isn’t it, how many Anglos are fearful of a Muslim threat against America that doesn’t exist? At least not in this hemisphere. For this Americans of all hues and creeds can thank the civil rights movement.

All that marching, picketing, and boycotting we may now download and view in digitalized black & white equalized a lot of boats. The movement also brought into the mainstream a good number of immigrants whose origins sat outside what too many of our native born citizens saw as acceptable lands of heritage.

Southern and Eastern Europeans performed their obligations towards integration while assimilating, but having reassuring complexions and religious beliefs somewhere near the country’s predominant Christianity also eased their entry into society. The civil rights movement is the reason why the United States shouldn’t suffer Europe’s same level of random violence nor the polarization between Muslims and non-believers.

American society has yet to impose the same weight of frustration on the Muslim community. But Donald Trump and his gang are doing their damnedest to recoup lost time. Continue reading Fear Eats Itself

Heirs to Death

Congratulations to all those who’ve graduated from American service academies commissioned as second lieutenants or ensigns. Americans are thankful you’ve chosen to be professional military leaders who’ll command forces defending these shores.

While the above is the preferred job description, their profession encompasses the less savory demands of our modern capitalist republic. These United States no longer face adversaries which threaten its being. Therefore, any taking up defense of this super state is a misstatement.

Not since the Roaring Twenties have our armed forces been so intricately bound with corporate interests. Even during Vietnam there had been some pretense of halting the nefarious spread of nationalism mistaken as communism. It was just right place, right time luck that DuPont and Bell Helicopter reaped fantastic profits. What had once been a straight-forward picket of sovereignty is now far more protection and expansion of the super state’s great overseas mercantile concerns. Continue reading Heirs to Death

Fair Play

Nice to have the steel-toed shoe on the other foot. All the better with which to kick.

The Schadenfreude to be enjoyed drops directly from the 2016 election results.

Given a clear choice between vast experience and absolute unpreparedness, between a first-rate temperament for governing or petulance and impatience intolerable in well-run enterprises, between a superior intellect brimming with curiosity and a small mind formed and locked early, less than half of American voters chose disaster. Unfortunately, our no longer great nation remains beholden to the last vestige of slavery.

The Electoral College.

Undeserving though awarded our presidency nonetheless, Donald Trump personifies the least of the United States. In his bloated, billowy, and bloviating presence he is the antithesis of “American exceptionalism.”

He is quite common and surpasses crass. Continue reading Fair Play

All the News That’s Fit to Reap

Could Harvest of Shame be filmed today? And if so, what would our reaction be? Horror? Guilt? Scorn?

In 1960, CBS News produced a documentary titled Harvest of Shame. Migrant farmworkers, the conditions under which they lived and worked, were the subjects. To further emphasize the misery, CBS premiered this episode on Thanksgiving night. Perhaps it hoped the subject matter would pierce viewers deeper on our national okay to gorge day.

I first saw the show about 16-17 years after its initial broadcast. Recently I re-watched Edward R. Murrow and a cast of fellow citizens then likely considered disposable, if better-off Americans bothered considering them at all, discuss who made our nation’s groaning larders possible.

Watching it again after intervening decades, the black & white program has become starker, my understanding of disparities in America clearer, as the chasm between empathy and indifference in Americans has widened. Continue reading All the News That’s Fit to Reap

It Can Be Said

Larry Flynt made a Las Vegas appearance recently. The Hustler publisher visited Southern Nevada for the grand opening of another of his adult novelties emporia.

Although I seldom bother glancing at Hustler – the magazine’s content is too artless for my taste – I nonetheless trekked over to Flynt’s new smut hut. Not because I’ve become more prurient, but in our encroaching Donald Trump times it just seemed proper to pay homage to Flynt, a man who rose to the forefront of defending and strengthening our First Amendment.

While he doesn’t suit any image Americans prefer of their heroes, the Hustler publisher has done much to preserve and expand our ability to opine without censure or censoring. Had Flynt lost his fight, the public’s room to dissent, to ridicule, to deflate, would’ve been circumscribed today.

Too many Americans misunderstand the First Amendment. A great many of us mistakenly believe it only pertains to them, what they believe is “good” and “decent.” The amendment doesn’t only provide protections for views we favor. It also secures much of what we may find objectionable. That is the measure’s greatest strength. Continue reading It Can Be Said

Fractured Fairytales 2016

Don’t two fables form the weak backbone of Donald Trump’s presidential jihad?

Der Trump’s war against America borrows heavily from The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Scorpion and the Frog.

Unlike the first’s titled character, it is the Der Trump’s social media minions and the florid barking attendees at his rallies who are exposed. If the narcissus’ crusade actually holds any rational calculations, these only seem hell-bent on discovering the depths to which the candidate can drive his slanders. Dim enlightenment among his followers won’t occur until even the most convinced clod supporting him finally comprehends this fraud’s derangement has now also become their delusion. Continue reading Fractured Fairytales 2016