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Pulling At The Fringes: The Great Pall
State of Affairs 2014
Peering out over the political landscape, one finds a sad state of affairs in 2014. Nowhere is that more evident than in the United States. In effect, a one-party system is at work here, and that one party is MONEY. But since the American public prefers to view everything in terms of a sports competition, the MONEY has split itself into two "sides," so that the average person can pick their team to root for and support. One side offers a future similar to "1984," while the other side offers a future more akin to "Brave New World." Pick your poison, says the doctor, with a sly grin.
Now, to keep up the appearance of a democracy, they still run elections here, but even a cursory look at the election system reveals that you have 50 states broken into districts that are gerrymandered tighter than Ann Coulter's legs on prom night. And these congressional districts are nothing but playgrounds for lobbyists to move in and secure their companies' interests. The democratic ideal may have been one man/one vote, but it's morphed into one dollar/one vote, and you've got nothing on the corporations. Power to the people is all but a faded graffiti slogan on the tenement walls.
With the legislative and executive branches wrapped up by MONEY, that leaves only the judicial branch. The Supreme Court consists of nine people who write lengthy decisions and dissents in such eloquently stated and highly masturbatory legalese, you can only imagine the ritual circle jerk that goes on behind closed doors at the end of every court case. They often appear to be in staunch opposition to each other, but they all spend their vacations in Palm Springs with a load of wealthy oil barons. Spring break Bohemian Grove style for these high court justices. Citizens United, indeed.
Getting corruption out of government has been every bit as successful as getting rid of prostitution. Make prostitution illegal, you give birth to the escort business, where clients are merely paying for "dates." Put caps on campaign contributions, you give birth to SuperPACs. It's the same money, going to the same people, for the same reasons, just taking a more circuitous route. You can't stop the flow, you can only alter its course. And every corporation has a team of lawyers to ensure that every move stays within the limits of the law. The game is the same, only the labyrinth can change.
The US media's role in all of this is only to reinforce the illusions, as directed by MONEY. Fox Entertainment has a division they call news, whose only goals are to subvert all logical thought, promote the myth of America, and squash any dissent. The fact that it isn't even a news network is one thing, but to become the promoters of a neo-fascist, anti-intellectualism is terrifying, if you assume even a small percentage of viewers are so naïve as to be manipulated by the ludicrous propaganda they spew 24/7. Fox News McCarthyism, where analytical thought is seen as a threat and patriotism is the shield they use to deflect.
But since it wouldn't be a sport without two teams, MSNBC is the alternative for those who wish to cheer for the other "side." It is, of course, merely the other side of the same coin. A coin created by MONEY. Add in generic and uninformative malaise offered up by CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN…well, that's a lot of ad time and plenty more revenue streams.
It's enough to make a person tune out…or at least change the channel. And, boy, are there a lot of channels. Evasion of thought through entertainment. Plenty of Soma to go around. So many different ways to further promote the ideal American lifestyle, to plant the thought that happiness is found in conformity. And if they can't get you through TV shows, well, the TV is also a video game console. And if you absolutely must leave your house, they'll get you at the multiplex or the shopping mall. You'll be tracked the whole time on your smartphone. You can't escape the ads.
So, now you have a government that is completely out of reach from the common people, elections that are for show, and a media blitz that misinforms, distracts, and promotes the illusion of collective experiences. If they just fatten you up with donuts and burgers and all kinds of synthetic food-type products, you won't be able to get your fat butt off the couch, even if you did have an inkling to stand up and do something…anything. The only place you can go is work because, brother, you have to get on that treadmill to pay off the house, the car, your health care, the cable TV, the phone…but they do allow marijuana (Soma), alcohol (Soma), and plenty of pharmaceuticals (Soma) to keep you disengaged.
You're now isolated, out of shape, uninformed, in a perpetual state of adolescence, and in debt. And that is the perfect fodder for politicians. You're so vulnerable, you will place your hopes and dreams of a better future in the hands of megalomaniacal strangers, puppets whose strings are being pulled by MONEY. The political landscape in the United States in 2014, in a word: pacified.
It seems people need to take a good, hard look at what they call freedom. Is it really such a universal, absolute concept, or simply a word that is bandied about endlessly but defined more by social conditioning? For example, there are many in the United States who think a universal health care system would equal tyranny, while a privatized system- in which the costs are so high that the working classes will essentially find themselves in conditions of indentured servitude just to pay off their medical debts- is seen as "freedom."
A country can call itself a democracy simply because it allows people to go and punch holes in ballots. But if the politicians are, in truth, beholden mostly to MONEY – lobbyists, special interest groups, billionaires, and corporations – is that really democracy? If the housing market, the banking sector, and investing in stocks and bonds are all merely rigged games…how free is that economy? When the media is controlled by advertisers and underwriters who can spread their messages through the television, the Internet, in magazines, newspapers, written across billboards that block out the sky, and even the phone in your pocket…how free are you?
Before contemplating a wholesale political revolution, there must first be a philosophical one. It's time for a new Age of Reason, or Enlightenment, or Renaissance. But I'm not sure where the voices are to push forward. I'm not hearing them. It feels like we're in an intellectual vacuum, with random coherence scattered across the Internet like a Jackson Pollock painting. There's a veil that's descended over America, where the shadows mock the truth. A Great Pall has fallen over the land, and I don't know what the panacea is.