Friday, November 29, 2002

Last summer I followed a link from the Project Censored homepage ( to an opinion essay that dealt with the corporate news media and authoritarianism that was posted at the NYC Indy Media Center homesite. Anyway, I thought the essay was interesting and have reposted it here below. I also included my response (you can post responses to these kind of things on the same page sometimes, isn't that neat?) because it ended up buried so far down the page that I figure no one's ever read it. So I'm reposting it here where virtually no one else will ever read it. Here's the URL for the original essay and a whole host of people's responses; most are fairly intelligent:

Here's the essay:

by one Sarah Bellum (hmm...)

Do you trust CNN's motives?

Trust or faith in the corporate media to deliiver the goods is rooted in authoritarianism. What gives the "real" media credibility or authority? Why should we trust that they are telling us the truth? Is it because the mainstream press is officialy sanctioned by the government and brought to us by Coca-Cola? After all, the major media outlets ALL have offices at the Pentagon. And of course the Pentagon wouldn't lie to us would they? Are the corporate media more credible because they have the massive capability to broadcast their view of the world across the globe, with the latest in expensive technology? Comfortability with authority is the only thing to explain our passive and uncritical acceptance of their "take" on the world. "Take" being operative here because this seems to be all they want to do. We are in awe of their power and authority, meanwhile dismissing what Jane out on the street with a video camera says because she is not "real media". This is also why we allow Indy reporters to be harassed by the police at demonstrations, while corporate media gets personally escorted for their footage in the back of a squad car. Then they present what the 'authorities' want them to present. This is how it works all the way up to the White House.

I heard Dan Rather the other day saying "if the white house says its under threat then thats it." Meaning that they uncritically report what the govt. officials spew out to them. And to think of questioning them would be equal to heresy and being "un-american".

Here's my response:

I think one has to first consider the people that actually pay attention to the corporate news media. Firstly, we must admit that most Americans are too busy being amused to death to be bothered with important issues: most people are indoctrinated to believe that the cultural artifacts called "news" are simply boring--these are the majority of citizens who do not usually vote. The Americans who read newspapers and watch news programs typically see themselves as part of the economic and cultural elite (while not realizing that, at best, they are only working for the elite...). This self-view allows these would-be elitists to buy a lot of bullshit. In other words they accept the conventional "wisdom" because that's what the "important people" whom they wish to emulate seem to accept. I don't think this is a conscious process. That is, the consumers of corporate news products don't believe the corporate/elitist line because they think it will make them more powerful; rather it makes them feel more powerful by their ideological association with "important people." This psychological phenomenon is kind of like what motivates the archetypal pathetic, worm-like, ass-kissing, groveling, nerdish teacher's pet of grade school.


Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Sometimes I wonder if things aren't too terribly different in reality:

By James Sherman, courtesy of my buddy, Matt

(We take you now to the Oval Office.)
George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?
Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.
George: Great. Lay it on me.
Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.
George: That's what I want to know.
Condi: That's what I'm telling you.
George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes.
George: I mean the fellow's name.
Condi: Hu.
George: The guy in China.
Condi: Hu.
George: The new leader of China.
Condi: Hu.
George: The Chinaman!
Condi: Hu is leading China.
George: Now whaddya' asking me for?
Condi: I'm telling you Hu is leading China.
George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?
Condi: That's the man's name.
George: That's who's name?
Condi: Yes.
George: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East.
Condi: That's correct.
George: Then who is in China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir is in China?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Then who is?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Look, Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.
Condi: Kofi?
George: No, thanks.
Condi: You want Kofi?
George: No.
Condi: You don't want Kofi.
George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi?
George: Milk! Will you please make the call?
Condi: And call who?
George: Who is the guy at the U.N?
Condi: Hu is the guy in China.
George: Will you stay out of China?!
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi.
George: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.
(Condi picks up the phone.)
Condi: Rice, here.
George: Rice? Good idea. And a couple of egg rolls, too. Maybe we should send some to the guy in China. And the Middle East. Can you get Chinese food in the Middle East?



Really creepy...

Monday, November 25, 2002

Sometimes the corporate news media's understanding of the world makes me giggle.

Consider the question, "is Saudi Arabia actually our enemy?" This query is currently being raised because of some Saudi royal family money ending up in the bank accounts of a couple of the 9/11 Arab Kamikazes--the question was also raised by the corporate news media some months back when it was learned that the vast majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian in origin. "Are these longtime close allies of the United States actually secretly harboring a deep hatred and resentment of our freedom and prosperity?"


The reality is that the Saudi royal family has been a business partner with American oil interests. Period. Further, American oil interests (and other arms of American corporate power like, say, um, the United Fruit Company) are often seemingly able to call upon the vast Arsenal of Democracy and its spooky appendages to aid their economic ventures: the US government has quietly provided military support and training that has kept the decidedly non-democratic House of Saud in power for decades.

Here's a bit of the Saudi reality. There is very little, if any, freedom of speech--this results in all moderate dissent being crushed, leaving only radical, militant, Islamic dissenters to legally criticize the government. The Saudi government practices torture. Women have very few, if any, rights. There is no freedom of religion. The state religion, Islam, is of a decidedly fundamentalist (and therefore dangerous and irrational) variety. The Saudi family and their friends are very rich, raiding the country of its oil and selling it abroad (not to mention lavishly vacationing abroad); average, ordinary Saudi subjects (not citizens) do not really seem to benefit from their nation's vast wealth too terribly much at all.

And our government, business establishment, and military have helped make it all possible! So you tell me: are the Saudi people our enemies or are we (meaning the US government and American wealthy elite) their enemies?

The reality that the corporate news media consistently ignores is that our foreign policy NEVER EVER concerns itself with what is decent and right. (Okay, maybe the interventions in Somalia and Haiti could be described as "humanitarian" but there's still a lot of room for argument even in those cases.) More than half of American "friends" are and have been brutal, torturous thugs that help keep their countries safe and stable for American business and are well compensated for it: Suharto, Pinochet, Diem, the Shah, Noriega, Mubarek, Sharon, and dear, old Saddam Hussein (back in the day) to name just a small few…this is actually quite a long list.

Who are we as a people?

Surely we're not all cold-hearted businessmen ready to send out the Pinkertons to bust heads when our wage-slaves in the random third world nation du jour go on strike. I personally believe that the vast majority of Americans are decent, moral people (if not a bit culturally backward and red necked) that would weep for years if they knew what horrors and atrocities had been and are being committed in their name. But cold-hearted imperialist is the American face to most of the world. We, the people, may not be evil, but our government and wealthy elites are.

Profit at any moral cost: that is our foreign policy.

So I ask again, just who is the enemy here?

Saturday, November 23, 2002

I was "saved" in the spring of 1980 when I was twelve years old; some sincere words of prayer asking God for forgiveness and that He would come exist in my heart supposedly did the trick. A few weeks later I was baptized with water (full imersion, of course) in the standard Southern Baptist ritual of Christian welcome. I officially came down the aisle to the front of the church sanctuary and publicly professed my Christianity and joined the church the next Sunday morning. I was heartily and happily accepted by smiling church members.

In addition to profoundly affecting my thoughts and direction for years to come (even now, as a zealous non-believer, I still have to deal with the existence of Christian fundamentalism as a major American philosophy and political force) several events seemed to be tied in my mind to my Christian conversion. My father, an extremely "backslidden" Christian, was deeply moved on an emotional and spiritual level by seeing my baptism and dedicated himself to fundamentalism as a major focus in his life. My entire family also ultimately shifted to the Christian right-wing. Meanwhile, Baptist conservatives (aka Christian right wing fundamentalists) were stepping up their attempts to take over the Southern Baptist Convention, attempts which eventually succeeded in the mid 1980's. Probably one of the biggest events that I tie to my Christian conversion is the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan to the American presidency by a pro-business/Christian-conservative constituancy.

Then the whole damned country started slowly lumbering toward bizarro conservatism both economically and socially.

In 1994, a close friend made me see how after some years in college with liberal artist types and students my point of view was no longer recognizably Christian. I was holding onto my Christian label because I considered it to be a huge part of my identity. Sadly, I had no choice but to admit the truth and renounce my Christian label. I said "goodbye" to a community, fucked up as it was, of people that I felt were my people, people that loved me and saw the universe in, more or less, the same way that I did.

I turned to the left; the USA kept inexoribly moving to the right (this was the same year that Newt Gingrich led the so called Republican revolution as the GOP took the House for the first time in decades).

Now I understand that spiritual views are very personal and subjective and I don't want to needlessly offend anyone. The urge to understand the world, the universe, the urge to embrace justice and righteousness are primal and deeply seated in the human mind and the human heart. I, of course, recognize these urges within myself. So I respect most peoples' personal views and feelings regarding their own spiritual (or even secular) quests.

But Christian fundamentalists do not. In fact, Christian fundamentalists have very little to do with spirituality or the quest for understanding--they seek to force their will on all humanity. They seek to control despite what their holy book mandates again and again. I know because I used to be one of them. Fundamentalists are a serious threat to the freedom that we hold dear as Americans, as humans--this is NOT a Christian nation, a Christian world, nor should it be.

So I have a fundamentalist family. We live in a fundamentalist country. I embraced fundamentalism as a youth when the whole party was just starting. (I also teach in an extremely fundamentalist community.)

So you see, this is quite personal for me.

That's why in the weeks to come, I'm going to unload a few rhetorical wallops against fundamentalism. Be on the lookout.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Well, I near the end of the third installment of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, Queen of the Damned. Great stuff that I suggest to any member of scifi/fantasy fandom who reflects my StarTrek and superhero point of view...My wife had been bugging me for years to check it out, but it struck me as fluffy and all those goth kids that were reading the Vampire Chronicles often come off as really superficial (I really ought not to judge; after all, I have my own Star Trek suit). Furthermore, coming from the fan-boy geek set as I do, it was tough to get over my deep seated opinion that the only good vampire is a dead vampire (excepting, of course, my inner 12 year old's fondest fantasy, Vampirella). Ultimately, these vampire characters and their stories are quite appealing. The books have complicated plotlines and sophisticated characters that obsess on morality, ehtics, and aesthetics.

But here's why I think I really like these books.

Anne Rice's vampires are for all intents and purposes superheroes and supervillians. That's right, superheroes! I think I annoyed my wife and some friends a few weeks ago when the idea hit me while we were all watching a dvd of Queen of the Damned (not quite the book, okay, not really the book at all, but the film does capture the essense of the characters); I started going on and on about the idea which I think might have damaged everyone else's viewing pleasure. Oh well.

Even though I'm not really an X-Men fan, I think the best explantaion is to compare Marvel's angst ridden mutants with Anne Rice's angst ridden vampires. There are secret wars and battles between good mutants and evil mutants; there are secret wars between good and evil vampires. Both mutants and vampires are scorned and hated by humanity. There are good mutant leaders like Professor Xavier and Cyclops; there are evil mutant leaders like Magneto. So, too, with vampires: Maharet and Marius; Akasha and Enkil. Both the X-Men and the Vampire Chronicles are ensemble stories; that is, no single character becomes too terribly important to the drama--each mutant/vampire has his or her role to play...

Dark Phoenix. Akasha. Think about it.

I suppose I could go on and I would if this was a paper for some cultural rhetoric class or something. But this is my blog, and like Lestat or Wolverine, I follow my own rules here.

snkt and slurp!

Friday, November 15, 2002

Here's a cool story that falls into the cultural criticism category of REAL ART; check it out:

Thursday, November 14, 2002

On this eve of war with Iraq (although, I read that they will comply with the new, improved UN resolution on inspections...what Gulf of Tonkin incident will be fabricated to justify this war?), I think back to about a year or so ago when I was heavily thinking about the post 9/11 world. I'm generally a very lazy emailer but the national frenzy and my own war angst prompted me to participate in some email exchanges with friends which I used to help organize my own thoughts and ideas about the "War on Terrorism." I think some of those ideas could bear repeating in this format. The most thoughtful of these email exchanges was with a close friend from college who now beats the actor path in Los Angeles, Stephen Carver. It was important for me to communicate with him because he opposed the Gulf war back in '91 and I, in my youthful conservatism, supported it. The ideological tables were reversed in this exchange below and it made for some good thought. To be fair to Stephen, this post is my own and therefore heavily biased toward my own ideas--I essentially turn him into a straw man for this reprint, but Stephen is quite the debater so I just wanted to say that his views are not nearly so well represented as my own...


so here it is:

I must admit, that I struggled for about a week after the attack about whether to support American military agression to solve the terrorist issue. In fact, much of my self-argumentation in favor of war was very similar to your issues. The attacks were horrifying; I'm still not sure that I fully comprehend the initial train of thought was that if ever there was a cause for a "just" war this is it. Let me try to expand my point of view in terms of what you wrote (hope this point/counterpoint thing isn't annoying...Jane you ignorant slut!). Your stuff is, mostly, in parenthesis.

(Now, there were also the "freedom" issues of the Kuwaiti people)

Actually, Kuwait is one of those non-democracies that we support in order to enrich the wealthy elitists that own and run our country...Iraq versus's kind of like Disney versus the Southern Baptists; I'm not quite sure of who to cheer for...well, okay, Kuwait, but only because they have a smaller military.

(As for the current situation, I believe the stakes are very different. Oil
is not the reason we fight this one...although I will admit it is still a
contributing factor, as it seems to be in all our dealings in that area of
the world.)

I would, myself, even go so far as to argue that it's not just oil driving this "war" but the American economic system point of view has evolved to the point that I believe our government is of the wealthy elites, by the wealthy elites, and for the wealthy elites. I can't escape the feeling that the "way of life" that the President says we are fighting for is the freedom of capitalists to exploit the poor and powerless and that public shock about the brutality of the terrorist attacks is cleverly being harnessed to provide popular support for US military agression. War will not stop terrorism--government officials have been very clear about that; in fact, we have been informed that war will cause MORE terrorism.

(You're very right when you state that American foreign policy
got us to this place, and hopefully, we WILL change some of that foreign
policy (personally, I don't think we should be friends with totalitarian
governments simply because they control the oil...we have the technology to
get away from the oil, which is a good thing, both for America, and the
world...if we can EVER get the oil companies to switch to the new
technologies...but that's another argument for another day).)

I very seriously doubt that American foreign policy will change at all...if, in fact, the "way of life" for which we fight is actually capitalist exploitation, we cannot change our foreign policy! For decades, our government has been willing to deal with almost any regime regardless of their domestic policies as long as there is some money to be made or regional stability to be provided such that money can be you know about the torture classes at the US military-run "School for the Americas" down in Georgia? We've actually taught foreign soldiers how to kill and torture their own citizens! It is said that the Salvadoran officers that ordered the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero were trained in the United States. Manuel Noriega was recruited by Bush #1's CIA. Iraq was financed and supported by the US when it was fighting Iran. The Taliban and their ilk were called "the moral equivalent of our founding forefathers" by President Reagan when they were fighting the US financed war against the Soviets...we'll see if our foreign policy changes, but absolutely NO ONE in either the government or the mass media is seriously considering it at the moment. As for oil...well, who got our president elected, anyway? (and I don't mean the Supreme Court.) Military agression is absolutely doomed to fail if it is not coupled with profound changes in how we deal with most of the world...

(However, when
dealing with animals who would do something like bomb the WTC and Pentagon
and kill over 6,000 completely innocent people, you simply cannot let them

I agree. They are animals and they should not be allowed to win. But, as Bush #2 has pointed out, this "war" will be fought on many fronts, many of them non-military. I support almost all of those approaches that I've heard about (excepting, of course, military agression): freezing assets, criminal investigations, intergovernment police cooperation, increased security and vigilance, diplomatic and economic pressure. I believe that bin Laden should be brought to trial, not killed on a battlefield. This, more than anything else it seems to me, would help to preserve our "way of life" in the way that you and I and all Americans of good conscience understand the concept. This is not a pipe dream! We found the bombers of Pan Am flight 103; we just sentenced the embassy might take a long time, but justice has been proven to work (unless you're OJ or Robert Blake...).

(They and the people who support them have committed an unspeakable
crime against humanity (and I don't use the term lightly), and there must be
an end to terrorism in the world...if that's even possible.)

Again, I agree. But terrorism will not ever end until we start to walk the walk rather than simply talking the talk. Henry Kissinger engineered Pinochet's coup in Chile--ever see the movie Missing? He's a free and revered man, a Nobel prize winner and as much of a criminal as bin Laden. How can we denounce terrorism when our government has been guilty of it many times over?

(Even if it's
not possible, we MUST make the price for carrying out such terrorist actions
too high for the people who support them.)

What if the cycle of terrorism/retaliation/terrorism never ends? Do we escalate? When do we drop the bomb? There are conservative thinkers considering that possibility right now...will mass destruction of civilian populations deter terrorism or make terrorists all the more desperate? My best guess is the latter. Not to mention the fact that detering civilian deaths is the reason we make war in the first place...Joseph Heller's Catch 22 comes to mind here...

(I do agree with the freedoms we have been given to try to find happiness in whatever
way possible. The very freedom which allows you to be a pacifist is at

I have to respond that in war and mobilizations of the population to support war, these freedoms are some of the first things to go...this is historically true. My biggest fear is that some day soon, I could lose my job or end up in jail for opposing the war...this may sound fanciful to you but many people are really po'd at anyone who criticizes the president or questions the "war." This could get much worse as terrorist attacks increase...We now have an unseen enemy in the US and fervent patriots out to get them; the parallels to the McCarthy era are too numerous to be ignored.

(We now live in a world where madmen will use
airplanes as bombs to achieve political...POLITICAL...ends, and that my
friend, is simply not the way in which civilized people deal with politics.)

I argue that we've been in that new world at least since we were in high school, and violence has been used to solve political problems throughout history--this leads me to wonder what civilization is exactly, anyway. I was enraged and horrified by the attacks but felt no surprise. We've been vulnerable to this kind of attack for years...anybody that has been paying attention knew this despite the way the mass media have utterly downplayed and de-emphasized the fact, congress has discussed the issue on more than one occasion but any preparation or change in policy was seen as too damaging to business! I see this as proof that this "war" on terrorism is not about American lives, but about world stability for business. Don't forget, besides the thousands of lives lost in the attack, the economy took a major is my belief that the economic damage, not the loss of life, rallied the wealthy elites to accept changes in policy.

(but killing innocent people has never been something that America has stood for...except
while Nixon was President....ugh.)

I strongly urge you to read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States." Zinn does a fantastic job of connecting and making sense of thousands of facts that are more or less known to any educated person (including thousands of facts of which I was unaware)...millions of Native American deaths, millions of Africans lost in the brutal conditions of the slave ships and on the plantations, thousands of dead Filipinos in the Spanish-American War, thousands of labor and political dissenters killed in numerous demonstrations and uprisings, the deaths of thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the deaths of thousands of civilians in the bombings and fire bombings of Germany, the napalm and My Lais of Vietnam under Johnson (and ugh Nixon), the thousands dying in Sudan due to the loss of drug manufacturing, the hundreds of thousands of dead children in Iraq due to the US backed economic appears that killing innocent people has always been the American way. I must also point out that in all of these instances, the killing has not benefited the rank and file citizens of the United States; these deaths usually benefit the wealthy elites that dominate and control American politics.

(Osama bin Laden seems to be the type of man that enjoys the power he
commands, and is warping the tenets of Islam to suit his own political
agenda. As he continues to gain power, he will only grow BOLDER, not less
so, and no amount of talking will stop him...we are past that point. He has
already declared his desire is the destruction of America, and the only way
that will ever happen is if we are on the losing side of WWIII, which
is EXACTLY what bin Laden wants.)

I believe that in addition to money, bin Laden desperately depends on Islamic anti-American sentiment in order to have any real power. That's how he gets his recruits; that's why young men are willing to sacrifice themselves, blindly believing that their own deaths will save their culture The true key to ending terrorism is ending anti-American feeling. The only way to do that is to start treating the world as human beings rather than as labor and resources to be exploited and markets to be sold to. But like the wealthy elites are gonna allow that...

(As I see it, our options are as follows: we do what he wants, which is
withdraw from Saudi Arabia, leaving the government there to deal with him
(which they won't...they are terrified of him))

Did you know that the Saudi government has been propped up and militarily supported by our government since the creation of the state? That they practice torture against dissidents? In my opinion, we have always been in the wrong to support the Saudis. The only reason we're there is because of big oil which owns Bush #2's balls and butt.

(and we back out of our relationship with Israel.)

I don't think we should do that...but we do tend to support them no matter what sadistic acts they perform. Israel clearly represses the Palestinians (don't get me wrong, they're pretty unsavory themselves). We pay for the repression, provide the weapons and advanced military training and nod and wink as rock throwing youths are mown down by helicopter gunships.

(Thus, Osama bin Laden wins, and terrorists all
over the world get the message that terrorism works. Then, they will find
some other things they hate about America (our capitalism, the fact we're so
rich...whatever), and they will grow bolder and bomb something else and
we'll have to change our policies again. It will become a continuous loop
of violence.)

Hmm, possibly. But I think that military aggression will result in the same thing. I refer to my policy change and criminal justice recommendations above.

(OR, we stop him (them) now. This is our generation's opportunity to stop
Hitler BEFORE he invades Austria. As unappealing as it is to resort to
violence, there are times when we must.)

I don't think bin Laden is Hitler, yet. But if Middle Eastern anti-American feeling and sympathies with Islamic terrorism continue to increase, he will be Hitler...perhaps Nostradamus's third Antichrist just like the Orson Welles narrated HBO special from the early eighties? (Just kidding.) Remember how Hitler came to power. He used paranoia about Jews and Communists to unify the German public. Economic frustration and a sense of defeat made the people willing to accept strong leadership. I say we address the underlying cultural and economic problems which, in my view, are likely to make bin Laden a Hitler. This is far better than killing, starving, and making refugees of millions of innocent human beings...war torn countries historically resort to crazy leaders (Cambodia springs to mind).

( As much as I believe in the higher
nature of man, there are times when I realize we ARE simply still
animals...and violence does solve some problems)

I guess I'm not that strong of a pacifist because I agree with you in resistance to war stems from the fact that throughout history, wars are fought by the people while the benefits are gained by the elites. If someone were punching me in the face and I couldn't get away, of course I would fight. Kick the fucker in the balls. I believe that violence does often solve problems. The questions are, what are the problems, whose problems are they, and are there better solutions? In this case, I believe that war will only make things worse.

(and tends to create more)

Well, I guess you can kinda see where I'm coming from...

(As long as there are violent people in the world like Osama bin Laden and
other terrorists,)

or the United States government...

(When people like bin Laden can be brought to a
bargaining table to air their grievances, THEN and only then will the cycle
of violence stop.)

I feel like our foreign policy is such that those that feel as bin Laden does (politically, not violently) have not really had a chance to come to the bargaining table...their concerns directly contradict the concerns of the corporate powers and wealthy elites that dominate American and Western politics...their views and pleas are dead on arrival and rarely are even allowed to arrive...

The rest of your comments about the attacks were concerned with your bad feelings about supporting the "war" and your feelings about the attacks. I feel the same way about the attacks myself...and I understand your feelings about supporting military violence because I felt them myself for about a week or so...

So I certainly do not condemn you for your position. I simply disagree and I thank you for the opportunity to exchange opinions...this whole thing really really sucks big time for hawk and dove alike...everyone is frustrated and feels a strong sense of powerlessness. I've heard that incidence of depression is rising.


Some final notes: This has been slightly edited; I removed a comment about anthrax possibly originating from al Queda and I believe that the School of the Americas is in Georgia, not Florida. So I changed the state. Also this was excerpted from a slightly longer email. Hope you enjoyed my war rant.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

My wife and I were watching one of those Henry Fonda narrated XY Factor episodes on the History channel last night; it was focusing on the effect WWI had on American sexual mores. My point isn't about sex actually; it's more about WWI: the show ran some footage of what appeared to be thousands of extremely patriotic flag waving Americans. This image kind of creeped me out. When you see that many American flags gathered togther you'd better be scared. I'm reminded of the anti-German immigrant sentiment from that time (watch the James Dean movie based on Steinbeck's "East of Eden" to see a good portrayal) and the west coast Japanese-American internment camps in WWII (ummm...I think there's a Bionic Woman episode dealing with that...). Anyway, the obvious point here is that things haven't changed really at all in 100 or 50 years. Kill them crazy A-Rabs! Lock up the rag heads! I hope every body remembers exactly what our culture is capable of when it gets wrapped up in a patriotic frenzy when this bullshit "war on terror" finally plays itself out (in fifty years maybe?). Probably not. After all, we're the good guys, right? Right? Right? RIGHT? That's what my high school history book told me, anyway.

Hey kids! These pictures are now plastered all over mainstream news sources but here's the URL for the guy that got 'em first, good old, freaky Art Bell:
This is how we hold the terrorists. Something just doesn't seem quite right...

Thursday, November 07, 2002

You know, I wonder how it felt in 1930's Germany when the Nazis came to power. The House is Republican; the Senate is Republican; the White House is Republican; the majority on the Supreme Court is Republican. Maybe if we're all lucky this is the deathknell of the Democrats leaving the way open for a true people's party like the Greens or something. But I'm not feeling too lucky right about now...I don't even feel like the trains are going to end up running on time.