Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All We Know

Is there anything to write about that hasn’t already been written? Is there anything to be said about humanity that hasn’t already been said? The news, it’s always the same; so-and-so said this and everyone is outraged, or everyone laughed, or everyone wept or no one did any of these things. Or there is another invasion, another explosion, another bomb, and responses were voiced, blood spilled, bodies mangled, voices – silenced.

The news lies to us, the politicians lie to us, the journalists lie to us, the commercials lie to us, the experts lie to us, and we lie to each other and to ourselves. This is what we refer to as our “world view.”

So is it our fault if that is all we know? Yes, I’m afraid it is, for you see there is really no one else to blame.


At July 22, 2009 3:09 AM, Anonymous some guy said...


At July 22, 2009 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, Rob.

At July 22, 2009 10:58 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Rob, apropos of your subject, you might find "The Political Class" interesting.

Given the natural tendency that people have to see what they're looking for, Lady Insignificant's essay reinforces my sense that people who truly regard themselves as liberals should primarily concern themselves with helping foster the growth of independent news media portals like The Real News.

I don't think it's merely a question of liberalism either, so much as all people who want a popular culture and media that doesn't serve to obscure the issues we face, such that ordinary people are continually discouraged from questioning their supposed superiors.

At July 22, 2009 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan, I read that linked essay. It suffers from the same problem that many supposedly proper-thinking people's writing suffers... partisanship.

Based on her following comments I'm left with the same impression I get when I read Daily Kos, Digby, Huffington Post, Eschaton, et alia. After telling us tales that pull our heartstrings, Lady Insignificant seems to think that what's needed is a focus on the Evil Rethugs.

I'm pretty tired of people pretending that the world will be fixed when American govt is 100% Democrat.

At July 22, 2009 1:54 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Charles, I don't think Lady I. has posted since the early part of 2008, so how honest or dishonest she would be about Obama and company is an unknown to me-- you could be right, but my point in referencing the essay was a desire to discuss what Rob touched upon regarding the culpability of ordinary people.

And as I said about seeing what you're looking for, I was more interested in her point about the awfulness of the media.

I wish I knew how to persuade all the goofballs who insist on giving money to political candidates at the national level to stop doing it and support independent journalism instead, and not just lefty leaning establishments like the Real News. I may be a hypocrite in this regard in that I'm not giving them any money, but I'm unemployed presently.

Although I think that if you subscribe to their channel on Youtube(for free) and watch their videos, potentially doing this will result in their getting more money in revenue sharing for ads via Youtube/Google, if enough people do that, etc.

(There's also The American News Project(ANP),I know less about them, but they have Youtube and Facebook presences just like TRN.)

But your point is well taken. All the lefty bloggers who tell us that a bad democratic healthcare bill is better than nothing probably have health insurance, or are just willfully blind, or maybe both.

At July 22, 2009 8:38 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

What I really had in mind is how our world view is formed by our culture which connects us all. Since it is our culture and we act within it we cannot separate ourselves from it or from each other or the actions of our culture. The terror wars are a product of our culture not the other way around. And the same thing could be said about our news media awful as it is. In fact especially the news when you consider the obnoxious way it is presented on TV combined with commercials the total effect is a nauseating snapshot of what our culture has become.

Having read the link it struck me as particularly self centered. But then that is a trait our culture promotes. The author separates herself, or tries to, from the part of U.S. culture that is doing bad things but when your world view is that same world view promoted by our culture separation becomes problematic. In the end it makes her sound mean and petty. Americans may have some economic problems but it is nothing, nothing, compared to the suffering our culture has caused to others.

At July 22, 2009 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan -- For the most part, I see and agree with your points. Let me offer some thoughts on what you said.

1) I'm past the notion of trying to fix the present system with tinkering around the edges. I think it's a waste of everyone's time and energies, and money too.

2) My reasons for saying (1) have to do with what I think was the wisest thing in the linked essay -- her statement that the present system is corrupted by money. I think it incredibly naive to believe we can change this system merely by "waking up" more people. I don't see how that can work. The monetary power of those who currently run the game is far greater than a massed group of "woke up" people can muster. The American legal system is corrupted in the same way -- see the recent essay by Pam Martens at CounterPunch for one facet of what I'm referring to.

3) As to LI and Obama -- I'm sorry, but Obama's intentions and what he would likely do if given bigger Fed power (ranking Senate office, cabinet agency head, or POTUS) were quite clear as far back as 2004. I really don't see how anyone could have been gulled by Obama, except by what LI referred to in her statements about people being tired and distracted by everyday living. I have some small advantage in that I've been so under-employed that I have had tons of free time to spend reviewing Fed political machinations and the candidates who have been chasing the White House. It was easy for me to see where Obama was going. More importantly, it has been easy for me to see that the supposed differences between Democrat and Republican have essentially dissolved to the point where the only difference is rhetoric and presentation. And I'm sorry to say "I told you so" to anyone on this, but the truth is, Obama is Bush with a more pwog- and lib-pleasing vocabulary and manner.


Rob -- Your explanatory comment isn't too far off what I understood you to be saying. It's pretty much what I was agreeing with when I said "Exactly" -- we're all part of the culture. We all play a role.

However, the present corruption is so deep that I cannot --and surely WILL not-- bear responsibility for such things as the Patriot Act I and II, the FISA courts legislative amendments, the destruction of habeas corpus, the torture and illegal detention at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, the extraordinary rendition, the Military Commissions Act, the John Warner Defense Budget Reauthorization Act, the "war" in Iraq, the "war" in Afghanistan, the covert war in Iran, the quasi-war in Somalia, the refusal to consider real reforms to health care, the bogus "bailouts" of Wall Street.

I'm sorry, but I cannot see where any of that shit is my fault.

I have no problem admitting that as I live in America, I am part of American society. However, I don't think one can reduce that categorization to culpability. I just don't see the connection.

At July 22, 2009 9:45 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

I’m not trying to say that we are all culpable of the actions of our government. Of course you are not responsible for the greed that drives the engines of destruction. All I am saying is that all those things are a product of our culture as are we. Lady on the other hand seemed to be making excuses for lazy thinking and stupidity by claiming Americans are just too hard put to pay attention to what our government does and it just does not fly. You are being honest with yourself while Lady is not. It’s not really all that fine a distinction.

At July 22, 2009 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahhh, rob, that sounds so much more reasonable to me!


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