Sunday, August 08, 2010

Manning: Odd man out

Honest to god, I don’t know why I read the New York Times. If there is such a thing as evil idiocy, and I believe that evil idiocy exists with all my heart, surely its corporeal manifestation is none other than the New York Times. And every time I read the New York Times I find the way they report and their method of propaganda to be so transparent you wonder why they bother for surely any child could see through the New York Times fog, or maybe its smog. Today the New York Times presents us with a tale of Manning’s troubled youth complete with asinine title.

It’s not enough that Bradley Manning’s (You remember Manning, the guy who is accused of giving Wikileaks those “secret” documents) life is over, no, the NYT isn’t satisfied with leaving it at that because it is doing its patriotic duty as sniveling weasels always do ( I dislike patriotism intensely) by defaming Manning in every rotten below the belt cowardly way possible, and then some in order to provide cover for the rotten Obama and the rotten Obama administration and well, the whole rotten federal government. But then that is exactly what I would expect of patriots because the word patriot is short for patently ridiculous idiots or PATently RIdiculous idiOTS if you prefer, or not. Whatever.

The Times portrays Manning as an odd man out, one of those, you know, quiet ones. And you have to always watch out for those quiet ones. The Times reveals the awful tortured truth that Manning -- now hold on to your shorts -- was made fun of for being a geek by his classmates in his youth! Gods! Horrible! Gasp! Oh still my racing heart!!! The brutes, they called him a geek. I can’t believe it, no wonder Manning stole “secrets”, he was getting even with those childhood tormentors. Who needs shrinks when you have the writers of the NYT? But it gets worse yet. It turns out that Manning is gay. And doesn’t that just about explain it all? I mean, gay, c’mon, why that practically makes Manning an Arab terrorist!

Okay, I know we are all shocked by these revelations regarding Bradley Manning, whose mother is a native of Wales we learn from the intrepid NYT, which only shows the geeky and gay Manning is practically a foreigner. But it gets worse still, I hesitate to reproduce the following information and I would request that pregnant women and those with a heart condition to not read the following or please leave the room. It turns out that Manning refused to say the pledge of allegiance. You know, the more I learn about Manning the more I like him. Anyone who refuses to pledge allegiance to a stupid piece of cloth, old glory though it may be, is all right in my book. I refused to pledge allegiance as well, I think you had better watch out, I might be capable of anything, anything. I might even piss on your hubcaps.

And the New York Times drivels on even more but it isn’t worth bothering with, actually none of it was worth bothering with. As I read through the article (while pausing to wipe slime from my eyes) it struck me how much the New York Times reinforces and codifies the worst aspects of American culture with this hilarious send-up of Manning’s oh-so “troubled” youth. I mean, who didn’t have a troubled youth? Oh yeah, the people writing the article, but look how they turned out, automatons for the State. They probably don’t even drool on their pillows. It would never occur to them that perhaps the reason that Manning did what he did was because he felt it was the right thing to do. In all fairness I know the NYT cannot tell right from wrong so we cannot be too hard on them.

I keep wondering just what secrets could there be? What secrets do States hold in their hidden dank and cold hearts? The best potato salad recipe in the whole world? That Richard Nixon wore women’s undies? The real truth about the Loch Ness Monster? What secrets, that’s what I wonder because States don’t have secrets. They like to pretend they know things that they cannot tell you because it might jeopardize national security, which is to say the purpose of pretend secrets is to make you more subservient than you already are (if that is possible), but the only secrets are in the private lives of politicians and frankly, I have no desire to learn them nor would anyone else in their right mind. True there are manufacturing drawings for nuclear bombs and space age weapons (that were tested out in Iraq) but that had nothing to do with the documents that were released. I think the real reason Manning must be punished, and Assange as well, is because they are seen as defying the State. And just like gangsters of yesteryear the State must not appear to be weak thus Manning and Assange must be made examples of.


At August 09, 2010 4:43 AM, Blogger Ethan said...

It's there in every tiny little thing they do, the transparent evil idiocy. I was at my parents' house the other day so I actually saw the NYT for the first time in a while--looked quick, saw an article about public high school explicitly saying that its job is to prepare students for shitty jobs (and saying it like it was a good, and also unavoidable, thing), and then a little article summary saying something along the lines of "Amid job losses, crop failures, drought, and now wildfires, Russia's government faces a rare popular uprising"--yeah, and what do Russian people face? The NYT doesn't care.

It's interesting that they're doing the same thing to Manning--analyzing his childhood to find some reason why he would do the awful things he did--that they just recently did to the so-called Times Square terrorist.

I like your patently ridiculous idiots thing.

At August 09, 2010 12:28 PM, Blogger Mimi said...

Of course, the whole idea of the Times' slander is to somehow invalidate Manning's leak. But what difference does it make to the truth if he was revealed as a mass murderer? The tape should still make everyone who views it an instant pacifist. Want to bet it won't? He's gay and "odd," so it can't be true. Talk about idiots...

At August 09, 2010 3:26 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

1. See "USCYBERCOM Commander Eyes the First Cyberwar Defeat" which suggests that military dissatisfaction with the Afghan mission is larger than the establishment press says, and Manning likely had accomplices who felt the same way.

2.Rob, Regarding your riff on patriotism, while I understand where you're coming from I'd argue that Manning felt, not without justification, that his was the more meaningfully patriotic path of action.

One reason the NYT "has" to smear him is maybe others might feel the same way, and decide that patriotism and love of country means doing what you can to compel your nation to behave better.

At August 09, 2010 3:53 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Ethan, your example is a good one for what I’m talking about. Yeah, that analyzing thing is something the Times does a lot. Talk about hackery. Perhaps it’s good the Times doesn’t even pretend to report actual news any longer and more people will catch on. Then again, maybe not…

Hi Mimi, yeah, that’s about the size of it alright, he’s weird, he’s different, he doesn’t belong, an outsider, not one of us. He must be bad! Well you know, the world has been run by the dumb-ass jocks for a long time and look at where it has gotten us. Endless war and cities that can’t afford street lights any longer, paved roads replaced with gravel roads for lack of funds, I could go on but you know.

At August 10, 2010 1:52 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

I left this comment the other day but for some reason it disappeared:

Rob, Regarding your riff on patriotism, while I understand where you're coming from I'd argue that Manning felt, not without justification, that his was the more meaningfully patriotic path of action.

One reason the NYT "had" to smear him is maybe others might feel the same way, and decide that patriotism and love of country means doing what you can to compel your nation to behave better.

At August 10, 2010 3:54 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

First of all I made no mention of patriotism in regards to Manning himself, I was referring to the NYT. One need not fall back on patriotism to do the right thing, Jonathan. And how can patriotism be meaningful? Patriotism is a tool used by the State to bamboozle the public into doing horrendous monstrous things that they would not normally do. Patriotism is an evil aspect of exceptionalism because it is always used by the State to facilitate their violence. Saying you are a patriot means you go along with whatever the State dictates and that is not what Manning did. If Manning felt patriotic I have no idea, perhaps he did but even so, I wouldn’t change what I wrote.

At August 10, 2010 7:22 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Rob, I'm not telling you that either of us knows Manning's views of what constitutes patriotism, nor that you were trying to define his views. Moreover like you I disagree with the view implicit in the NYT piece.

The reason I suspect Manning may have been motivated by patriotism is because I assume he joined the military because he loves his country and believes in his country, and has since come to believe that our military mission is wrong.

Pat Tillman's parents said their son joined the military because he wanted to fight for his country, but later came to believe that the US mission in Afghanistan was wrong.

But I reject the idea that the jingoistic right has a hammerlock on defining patriotism, and the only choice others have is to wholeheartedly accept or reject their definition. I love my country but don't hold with the brutish mentality of the "love it or leave it" crowd.

You ask, "how can patriotism be meaningful?" Well, one thing you can do is take it away from the tea-partiers and Palinistas, and insist that for all the many times the US has fallen short of the ideals of the bill of rights, et al, there were also Americans who understood that you don't give up on the idea and let the cave-men and cave-women have their way and their vision of America.

You already know how "they" think:

so Obama=Socialist.

Somebody on the teevee or the radio said it, so it must be true.

You have to believe that. Or, you have to believe,

Obama not socialist, so Obama good?

You already know that's idiocy, so why do people who reject NYT-style establishment and Teabagger/Caveman thinking have to find themselves boxed in such that they have to reject patriotism or accept it on the terms the teabaggers offer.

(I'm not even saying you have to love your country to be an acceptable person, but maybe I should flesh out that aspect of my thinking in a separate post...)

At August 10, 2010 9:19 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


I don’t think there is any difference between how the left and the right both use patriotism to pursue wars and instigate draconian home spying measures so it’s both the left and the right that are defining patriotism not just the right. Though your comment is very thoughtful I don’t hold with national love, or love of nation, however you wish to put it. Patriotism is a viral form of tribalism whose only purpose is to manipulate. I’m sorry but I just don’t get loving a nation. You can love your friends and your family but love a nation? What is there to love, I mean, do you love the government, or do you love everybody in the nation you live in because they live in it with you, or do you love the ground, or maybe the shape on a map? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. So I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

I understand that you are trying to say that there is a difference between right and left patriotism. The idea that it is patriotic to question the government if it is doing wrong is supposed to be the liberal brand of patriotism while the love it or leave it mentality of patriotism is assigned to the right. But it just doesn’t wash because the results are the same no matter who is in charge, more war.


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