Sunday, May 15, 2022

Ten Dead In Buffalo

Chickens, Roosting

Oh, Andy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes really -- pressure, and time.
     -- Ellis Boyd Redding (Morgan Freeman); Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Racism is part of the fabric of American society. Our system was built to automatically, unconsciously, reserve and protect power for Caucasian males at almost any level of society. Cultural assumptions are like that. If you're White, you're soaking in it, breathing it, benefiting from it. 

Class is also part of the fabric of America. Even a poor, Cletus Red-Cap who knows he's poor also understands The System has been arranged and maintained to his benefit. Because he understands that -- like America's wealthy, the Owners -- he's White, and male, too.

But among a White majority, The System is built to reserve and protect power for a small percentage: the Owners. Every poor Cletus Red-Cap knows that, also: It's Chinatown, Jake.


Story-telling and Imagination are part of the human experience. Some stories draw on tropes that are DNA-deep -- monsters in the dark (devils, vampires, aliens), magical powers; glimpses of the sacred and the profane; fear and hope. 

Stories are shared now, globally, instantly, through social media and mass entertainment. Fox, Google, Facebook, Twitter; all harvest information about their users to manipulate them, sell advertising -- and influence public consciousness on a societal level. Look at Cambridge Analytica, at the UK and Brexit. Look at the 2016 and 2020 U.S. elections.

And, when imagination is mixed with politics, and boundaries between Stories and experienced, verifiable reality are blurred -- you end up with millions of people believing that stories of monsters and conspiracies they see on social media are objectively real.

Obligatory Small Animal Photo In Middle Of Blog Rant

They believe a national election was stolen by Ballot Mules. That Sandy Hook was a hoax. That JFK, Jr., will bring Trump back to rule us all. That America is being stolen from its rightful White population by Non-Whites, supported by demon-possessed creatures: Liberals; Soros and the Clintons; LGBTQ+, Antifa. That Whites are being "cancelled". 

They believe that "we are at war with our government" (as Limbaugh used to say). They believe in themselves as the real victims. 'Hillbilly Elegy' said so. The Murdochs' media implies it, daily.

They believe acts of brutality and gun violence have no cause beyond Operator Error -- "just some crazy guy" -- because guns don't kill people; only other people do.


Points of pressure and division in America, created over 400 years, have been cracking for decades and the tempo of the fracturing is increasing. Some points of division are kdue to legitimate, long-standing demands for historic, social and economic justice. Others result from attempts to destabilize American society and government.

All of it is happening against a background of global climate change -- rising temperature, sea levels, food shortages, pandemic disease. Authoritarian and fascist political movements are also rising -- Russia's government among them. Russia has brutally invaded Ukraine, and the mystic vision of its dictator-leader boils down to Make Russia Great Again.

The 'stable' Post-WW2 world my generation grew up in is gone. But what could we expect, after almost 70 years of CIA-fueled regime changes in Africa, West Asia, South and Central America; actual war in Southeast Asia, Iraq, Afghanistan; and twenty years' massive surveillance of American citizens?


With every new massacre by a white-supremacist, ideologically-motivated shooter, I put my face in my hands. In my view, the Murdochs and their paid talking heads; the white supremacist militias; the braying and screeching Rightist politicians want this to happen. They want a civil war.

And the more persons -- like the Buffalo shooter -- are incited by the Right's rhetoric, convinced that planned, brutal acts are self-defense against a world controlled by a conspiracy of liberals and non-white monsters ... then the closer we get to the war America's political Right dreams of.

My country has sown the wind, and here are our Chickens, time coming 'round at last: slouching home to roost, to be born. 


Right-wing pastor Perry Stone declares that Democrats in D.C. who oppose Trump "...are not normal people... [they] have demons in them." (Newsweek, October 28, 2019)


By imagining [actual] demons behind social welfare, economic and environmental regulations, or legal protections for marginalized groups, spiritual warriors frame the dismantling of these systems as ridding the US of demons. More than this, they frame the people and groups they see as benefiting from those systems as agents of evil incarnate. Only after such people are removed can there be a national rebirth. ("Demons of the Deep State"; The Conversation, September 19, 2020)


"Think of what the enemies of America have done over the last 14 months [Ted Nugent told the audience at Trump’s May 14th rally in Austin, TX]. They didn't sneak into the White House -- they lied, they cheated, they scammed; and every day the Democrats violate their sacred oath to the Constitution. And if you can't impress your friends on that, they shouldn't be your friends.

“I love you, but I would love you more,  if you went out and just went berserk on the skulls of the Democrats and the Marxists and the communists," Nugent said. "Evil [must be] stamped out.” (via Daily Kos May 15, 2022)


It's All Funny To Herr Carlson: But, Then, He's Getting Wealthier

Night after night, hour by hour, Mr. Carlson warns his viewers that they inhabit a civilization under siege -- by violent Black Lives Matter protesters in American cities, by diseased migrants from south of the border, by refugees importing alien cultures, and by tech companies and cultural elites who will silence them, or label them racist, if they complain.

(Nicholas Confessori, "How Tucker Carlson Stoked White Fear to Conquer Cable"; New York Times, April 30, 2022)


[In mid-December, 2018] Mr. Carlson had set off an uproar, claiming on air that mass immigration made America “poor and dirtier.” Blue-chip advertisers were fleeing.

Within Fox... [m]any wondered what price he might pay. The answer became clear that night ... absolutely none. When “Tucker Carlson Tonight” aired, Mr. Carlson doubled down ... citing a report from an Arizona government agency that said each illegal border crossing left up to eight pounds of litter in the desert. 

Afterward ...Mr. Carlson spoke directly with [Rupert] Murdoch, who praised his counterattack, according to a former Fox employee...

(Nicholas Confessori, "How Tucker Carlson Reshaped Fox News And Became Trump's Heir"; New York Times, May, 2022)


MEHR, MIT 'DER IST SCHULD':  The Best Friend reports that here in San Francisco on May 14th, the Women's March was not that well attended. The most disturbing aspect were the counter-protestors -- all of them evangelical 'christians', who almost outnumbered the marchers, standing on the sidewalks as the contingent made its way down a nearly deserted Market Street, "shaking their fists at us and shouting that we were going to hell. It was really creepy; we felt alone out there."

And that was in San Francisco.


No comments:

Post a Comment