Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Friday, March 29, 2013

Beat Thy Enemy II: the Media (conclusion; operating within the tent)

“Politics is downstream from culture. I want to change the cultural narrative.”

Long before most of us begrudgingly acknowledged it, Breitbart knew that in order to change the cultural milieu, conservatives must – to borrow a phrase - be in the world, if not of the world.

He knew that to beat the enemy, we had to infiltrate the enemy’s bunker and operate from inside the tent. That hasn’t happened.

Why is it there are no significant conservative voices in Hollywood? There are two theories. The first is the Hollywood version and it goes like this: “conservatives are simply not suited to the creative arts. They’re too left-brained to be as creative as their far more imaginative right-brained liberal contemporaries.” The implication is that storytelling is the exclusive purview of open-minded, non-judgmental liberals who empathize with the human condition. And by inference that means that story telling falls well outside the scope of close-minded, conservative bigots and oppressors of the poor. Hence, Hollywood’s official verdict: conservative writers and artists either self-select out of the creative industry, or they wash out because they just aren’t good enough.

The conservative take on the situation is understandably quite different: “Hollywood, because of its unremitting leftist tilt is uncomfortable with conservative values and creates an exclusionary and hostile environment for writers and artists who make their non-liberal leanings known. In turn, that makes it impossible for conservatives to get referrals and make the kind of connections required to survive in the industry.”

Knowing how significantly the odds are stacked against them, conservatives may indeed decide to let reason dictate their priorities and simply opt out - choosing to pursue a  profession more likely to provide financial security for themselves and their family rather than  “following their bliss.” Being left-brained they may conclude that is a more rational choice than waiting tables in LA while waiting for their big break.

Refuting the Hollywood version is a bit complicated because of the fact that many conservatives and liberals actually do think differently. Conservatives do tend, counter intuitively, to be left-brain dominant which means their fallback thinking process relies on logic and facts. Liberals (especially the Hollywood breed of  “creative” liberals) tend to be right-brain dominant with a fallback thinking process that relies heavily on feelings (intuition) and imagination.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Beat Thy Enemy II, The Media (attacking from outside the tent)

Breitbart knew instinctively, as people in Washington, D.C., and most other places did not, that movies, television programs and popular music send out deeply political messages every hour of every day. They shape the culture, and then the culture shapes politics. Influence those films and TV shows and songs, and you'll eventually influence politics. -- Byron York

As I documented in Know Thy Enemy II, The Media, one of Conservatives’ most formidable enemies is the Hollywood-Big Media Cartel. It is an irrefutable fact of life: this infotainment complex defines pop culture and permeates every aspect of modern life. Nothing short of the state sponsored educational indoctrination system even comes close to the impact it has on how America thinks and lives. Today we look at what can be done to loosen that grip.

The Big Media Cartel is run by leftist ideologues who believe their province extends far beyond simply informing and entertaining. With ideological messages embedded in everything from songs to sitcoms, citizens receive continuous reinforcement of leftist precepts. If you’re skeptical, Ben Shapiro’s book, Prime Time Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story, will disabuse you of any doubt.

Primetime is a well-researched tome on the media’s closed loop system of liberal messaging. Shapiro calls it the “Celluloid Triangle,” comprised of special interest groups, government and Hollywood. He documents how this ménage à trois has operated since the early days of television to infuse entertainment programming with liberal causes and messaging; a ruse otherwise known as propaganda. Tracking the journey of the media/entertainment industry from its original news/entertainment platform to its current role as America’s zeitgeist maker is instructive, although not particularly surprising if you’ve been paying attention.

Big Media is a tough nut to crack. Tougher even then the education system since at least in theory we the people own our schools. Here we’re dealing with a huge, private sector entertainment oligopoly which exists with the tacit approval and support of government administrators, legislators and regulators. It enjoys significant tax breaks, subsidies and multiple regulatory protections, yet is not answerable to the taxpayer. Their only responsibility is to their shareholders, consumers and, marginally, the FCC. The shareholders are happy as long as they are making money; consumers seem inured to the liberal messaging as long as Desperate Housewives airs in it’s expected timeslot and the FCC concerns itself primarily with wardrobe malfunctions and hate-speech; so there’s no pushback.

We have reached a place where one ideology (liberal) controls virtually all pop culture output; and so many people have already been indoctrinated by leftist precepts that they don't even see a problem. That is why, prior to his untimely death, Andrew Brietbart warned people over and over that “the Media is the enemy.”

There are two ways to attack the mediacracy1 - from outside the tent, and from inside the tent. We need to operate in both theatres of operation but we begin from the outside since that’s where most of us reside. From this front, all of us can do something to advance the cause.

If you are a stockholder, divest. If you are a consumer, don’t go to that movie or buy the DVD, don’t watch the Sunday “news” shows – or any MSM news shows for that matter. If you find a show (or an entire Network) to contain offensive messaging, switch the channel, turn off the TV, write to the sponsors to complain about the content they’re supporting and let them know you won’t buy their products.

Because network/cable television is still ad-revenue driven, enough people complaining to sponsors and boycotting their products will have an effect. But for maximum impact remember to take your clues from the left: organized protests and boycotts by special interest groups get greater and faster results than do individual complaints. While the left invented professional grievance squads, the right has a surprising number of special interest groups (SIG) of their own that can be culled and employed for this purpose. (Note: it was the Veterans of Foreign Wars who finally wrestled an apology from CBS for its disgraceful Amazing Race incident.)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beat thy Enemy: I, The Education System

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

In the preceding “Know Thy Enemy” series - Prologue, I Education, II Media and III Celebrity Culture  - I’ve identified three sources which have exposed America to a very dangerous disease. The systemic cause is a virus that manifests itself as a malignant form of socialism characterized by increasing central government control and progressively insistent demands for “social justice.” It’s accompanied by irrational thinking and a loss of will to exert either individual  liberty or personal responsibility. As noted, exposure to the education system, media and the celebrity culture makes one vulnerable, especially the young.

Since we now know what ails us, and we know how it’s contracted, it’s time to clean up each contamination site and start the healing.

Today we’ll deal with the education system. A brief recap of the situation: we have a hardcore leftist agenda that has been incorporated and deeply embedded into the national education canon, curricula, texts and teachers training programs. The degree to which this indoctrination program is slanted in favor of the postmodern values of relativism, socialism and social justice and against the traditional Western Enlightenment values of  individualism, objective truth, reason, logic and capitalism is stunning. With teachers unions entrenched like a bad nail fungus and completely onboard with the social justice (nee anti-America) agenda, how do we unwind this Gordian knot?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Know Thy Enemy III: Celebrity Culture

Barack Obama did not bring us to this first circle of hell on his own. He was aided and abetted by 1) an education system with a relentless propaganda agenda, 2) a media oligopoly that has completely abrogated its First Amendment responsibility and 3) a celebrity dominated culture that is largely a product of the first two. (KTE Prologue)

III. The Culture of Celebrity

“ All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.” -- Marshall McLuhan, patron saint of politicians

In today’s segment of Know Thy Enemy we look at the culture of celebrity and its contribution to pop culture.

Pop culture is defined more by what it is not – neither high culture or folk culture – than what it is. But an operative definition is “a commercial culture based on popular taste.”  Think Andy Warhol’s soup can art:


Clearly the man who predicted that “in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” knew a thing or two about the endurance of celebrity culture.

In 1968 when Andy made his famous prediction, “celebrity” was still a subset, rather than the defining aspect, of pop culture. And although it was considered  “low” culture at the time, to designate it as such today would elevate it to an unfounded level. Even in an era where everything from poverty to death has been assigned its own “culture” it still  seems oxymoronic to talk about “celebrity culture.” 

Whatever it is or isn’t, the celebrity element of pop culture dominates the landscape. To many, especially the young, its appeal is so compelling they would do anything to be famous. Anything, that is, aside from actually working for it. The Celebrity Dream has largely replaced the American Dream for this generation; and unlike the original, which contains a significant “work hard” component, the Celebrity Dream requires only that you be discovered for your own fabulosity.

This new version of the American Dream reads like a narcissist’s Craig’s List ad:  “Deserving swan, trapped in pond with ducks, ISO fame, fortune, and a really good agent.” It’s like the American Dream, only delusional.

GingerCat Looking in the Mirror_thumb[2]In which I behold my own fabulosity

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Know Thy Enemy II: the Media

Barack Obama did not bring us to this first circle of hell on his own. He was aided and abetted by 1) an education system with a relentless propaganda agenda, 2) a media oligopoly that has completely abrogated its First Amendment responsibility and 3) a celebrity dominated culture that is largely a product of the first two.  Know Thy Enemy: Prologue

Today we examine the role of the “free press,” hereafter known as the Media,  in America’s demise:

II. The Media

Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism. Oscar Wilde

Mr. Wilde was prescient. He could be speaking of 21st century America and it’s “4 branches”  of government - the Judicial (say nothing) branch, the Legislative (nothing to say) branch, the Administrative (nothing to say and says it) branch, and the Journalist (say anything, ad nauseum) branch.

There was a time in my memory when the media was respected for their knowledge of the facts and the neutrality they exhibited in the reporting of them. I even remember when sports announcers attempted to be even-handed in the calling of ball games; now that all seems so 20th century.

The throng known as the “main stream media” has lost far more than its neutrality; it’s also lost its institutional memory. While there isn’t a journalist on or off payroll who can’t recite his First Amendment rights verbatim, they seem to have collectively forgotten the responsibilities that accompany those rights; i.e. reporting the truth without regard to their personal political, religious or secular beliefs and inclinations.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Know Thy Enemy I: the Education System

Barack Obama did not bring us to this first circle of hell on his own. He was aided and abetted by 1) an education system with a relentless propaganda agenda, 2) a media oligopoly that has completely abrogated its First Amendment responsibility and 3) a celebrity dominated culture that is largely a product of the first two.

We begin today with a look at:

I. The Education System

In a previous post I covered how the public education system fell under the thrall of postmodernism – simply a new name for all the old socialist/communist/relativist claptrap. Some of the key points:

The amalgamation of the "old" postmodernist left, whose anti-modernist philosophy was based on sophistry, with the "new" socialist left, whose political philosophy was based on delusion, created a new political vanguard with a shared animosity for capitalism.

Key in this alliance is a shared, deep-seated disdain for the philosophical roots of Western thought, specifically the individualism inherent in its tenants.

Since both camps were heavily populated with elite intelligentsia, they were well-positioned to pursue their objectives through the education system. Subjectivity, relativity, and pragmatism became keystones of a new "education philosophy."

That new “education philosophy” is now known as “social justice.”

Postmodernism's education cartel has dictated the terms and conditions of education for decades. They own the education departments in major universities, where the curriculum is likely to include the twelve-volume set Teaching for Social Justice edited by William Ayers.

Yes, that William Ayers; the anti-American, anti-capitalist, unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers who shares the belief with Hugo Chavez that “education is the motor-force of revolution.”

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Know Thy Enemy: Prologue

The left does not win its battles in debate. It doesn't have to. In the twenty-first century, media is everything. The left wins because it controls the narrative. The narrative is controlled by the media. The left is the media. Narrative is everything. I call it the Democrat-Media Complex--and I am at war to gain back control of the American narrative. – Andrew Breitbart

Six years after Barack Hussein Obama announced his intention to run and 5 years into his presidency Republicans seem as perplexed by the man and his tactics as they did on day one. They now get that he despises them, and are finally beginning to understand that it’s not just politics, it’s personal. They can’t fathom why, even in victory, he continues to campaign against them;  hammering their motives, attacking their character and belittling their beliefs rather than trying to curry their support and cooperation as did the Democrats of old.

Today I’m going to explain why Barack Obama is a whole new political animal, one that has “been evolving” for quite awhile in our primordial societal goo. In Know Thy Enemy, Part I – III, I’ll cover the 3 aspects of society that have set us up for this evolutionary force: the education system, the media and –  an outgrowth of the first two – the celebrity culture. The synergy of all three elements has caused us to slip free of the gyroscopic force holding it all together. In Beat the Enemy, I -III I’ll describe what can and must be done to stabilize and repair a society that is quickly moving from evolving to devolving.