Sunday, November 22, 2009

The PR Universe

Reading the news has become an exercise in despair. From the sound of things this legislation on health reform is a disguise for massive cuts in Medicare. Ever since Americans received what few puny safety nets we have there have been people who would like to see them dismantled and it looks like they have a new champion with Obama and the Democrats. Regarding Afghanistan it seems likely that another 30,000 troops will be sent there as future cannon fodder. The economy is on its way to purgatory because the same crooks that brought us to this point are still in charge. And all we get from Obama is PR. Lots and lots of PR happily relayed to us via the news media.

PR seems to be everything these days – it’s all that really matters. Karzai is one of the biggest crooks in the world sitting in Kabul the only thing he rules over but the PR tells us he is the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan which isn’t even a nation. The health care is all PR though it means windfall profits for insurance companies and certainly resembles nothing most people had in mind. PR, nothing but PR. Everything is PR and facts seem to be a rarity.

We are told that we are in Afghanistan to fight al Qaeda by Obama. General McChrystal tells us that there is no sign of a heavy al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan. Then McChrystal turns around and tells us he needs 80,000 more troops. Then Obama does his best Greta Garbo act and supposedly is deciding on whether to send more troops to fight shadows on a wall. It’s all PR, a grand show written and then acted out for the benefit of the public. It doesn’t have to make sense or bend to the laws of logic because it’s all PR. I admit I seldom think about the extent of the staging that goes on but most of what we see regarding our government is carefully staged and likely even choreographed to some degree. The leaking of information regarding escalation in Afghanistan, Obama’s anger over it, McChrystal running around making speeches in apparent defiance of Obama and his authority, I think most of it is PR if not all of it. It’s a PR world after all.

Honestly it is getting more and more difficult to write about this. I really don’t have much else to say and a lot of it has already been said endless times. The Obama administration doesn’t even seem real to me. The endless lies have reduced the importance of what Obama says to that of a ghost squeaking ineffectively in a dusty corner of an old house. The funny thing is I’m quite sure future historians will be writing about the historic significance of the Obama presidency imbuing it with pageantry and romance that simply isn’t there but then hasn’t it always been thus?


At November 23, 2009 3:46 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

All PR? You hit the nail on the head, Rob. Politicians amd candidates at the level of any office above the local, seem to have stables of handlers who package the candidates to make them most palatable to the most voters--or a certain segment, such as "liberals" or "rednecks. I don't know this for sure, but I have the idea these include the same types who work for pop stars: makeup artists, wardrobe advisors, speech coaches, and so on. If what we see and hear are simply well-polished performances, how can we ever hope to get at the truth? I'm afraid you answered that in this post.

At November 23, 2009 12:49 PM, Anonymous micah holmquist said...

The trouble with PR, or perhaps more precisely attempts to craft a message so that is it appealing to large numbers of people, is there is no way around it. In other words to effectively communicate with people, you have to engage in it, but in doing so, your message is often distorted.

At November 24, 2009 4:55 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Rob, I understand your frustration. Here's something Jay Taber recently wrote:

"Corrupt by design":

Whether one views American government as corrupt by design or by accident has more to do with political illiteracy than self-interest. Watching American voters habitually fawn over celebrities like California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, or cult figures like US president Barack Obama, is a portentous reminder that citizenship is as endangered a phenomenon as leadership. As a system for fleecing the gullible and complacent, our government may have no equal, but as a model for social harmony, it is sorely lacking. One can always, of course, find failed states to use as examples of what we're thankful we haven't yet become, but as social services and communal values are savaged by politicians like Arnold and Barack, that psychological exercise offers little comfort. Without a radical change in direction, our future is Somalia.


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