Is there even such a thing as American culture? Going to the AOL web page I’m greeted with “Stars most likely to get naked.” It gives one a moment to pause and to ponder what sort of creature gives birth to such inanities.
What influences American culture? Television for one, Fox, talk shows, propaganda from the Pentagon via the major news outlets, violent movies with no plot and no acting based on themes so tired and over used they hang on hooks like boneless chickens. Organized sports where primitive tribalism is on full display in all its glory reinforcing the militant core of American life preparing young minds to accept and do as they are told creating fertile ground for more endless war. Violence lies at the heart of American culture ready to burst out accompanied by chest thumping and primal grunts instigated by the fear mongers in Washington who wield fear like a weapon of mass destruction.
In fear and anger Americans look for someone to blame for the end of their dreams of some kind of secure future. Perhaps in the end it’s our culture of militancy and fear that are the root cause, for it has brought us to where we are today, our nation’s foreign policy run by the Pentagon, a congress on the take, a president who has all the depth of a paper cutout who ordered the deaths of thousands to prove himself as the big macho honcho though in reality has shown himself to be a rather weak leader, that is to say he doesn’t seem to really have any agenda of his own but merely apes his predecessor George W. Bush Junior while buckling in to any pressure from the generals and the money men.
The government is using the fear mongering of terrorism to crush the public into submission. They are using the fear mongering of terrorism as an excuse to dismantle our safety nets (We must be responsible about the national debt) like Medicare and Social Security, and to increase the level of surveillance while decreasing whatever rights remain to us. We have been locked out of courts through tort reform making corporations, like politicians and the wealthy, above and beyond the laws that bind the peasants. Corporations own the president, congress, and the courts. The U.S. military are now mercenaries in their service.
After years of slow painful and dangerous progress in the arena of worker’s rights people are now happy to just have a job, ready to accept lousy jobs, lousy pay, and lousy hours because it beats the unemployment lines and living on the streets. This hasn’t come about by accident, it was engineered, part of the plan to crush us into submission. But our culture demands that we accept what we are dealt. If tariffs are lifted allowing corporations to utilize cheap and sometimes slave labor overseas we must accept it because it’s our fault for wanting too much money for the work we perform. You can’t fight the new global economy! Accept, accept, and accept. If the government tells you that domestic spying is protecting you against bad terrorists, then you must accept it like a good little gerbil.
A majority of people wanted a single payer health plan, and instead are told they must now purchase private corporate insurance, the very thing they most wanted to get away from. You read about all the back room deals Obama made with the insurance and hospital industries, and the pharmaceutical as well, so is there little wonder that regardless of what this legislation is called it certainly isn’t health care reform? But the bottom line is people are basically accepting that this is all we can do, the best that can be had in the name of pragmatism, of reality. Yet the reality seems to be that many Americans are all too willing to accept that they asked for health care reform but got a bailout for the insurance industry instead. That should make people extremely angry but instead some act smug as if they know something very, very clever (which I guess is that they know they are pragmatic).
So what is American culture? It appears to be a culture that is heavily entrenched in militarism, violence, and fear. It’s also a culture that has given up the ghost, willing to accept whatever tidbits are thrown our way, effectively crushed into submission by our government.