Thursday, June 12, 2003

The land of the free?

We watched 'Bowling for Columbine' tonight, and I think there were some very cogent discussions in the film. Most notably, the idea that here in the 'Land of the Free', everyone is scared all the time, and the media feeds into this with reckless abandon.

I was doing some computer consulting work in 1999, and I watched as the fear grew to a fever pitch that our whole society would just crumble and we'd all be living in caves after the Y2K debacle hit. There were record sales of guns, ammo, canned foods, bottled water, oil lamps, and generators in the months preceding the end of the year. Is our society so unstable that a couple of missing digits in a computer database could bring us to our knees?

Many of my clients would call me, asking what they should do to 'protect' themselves. I asked them what they thought was going to happen, and I heard the most absurd irrational bullshit (which incidentally echoed the mediated worldview the government and media were pushing on everyone). When I thought about what they were telling me, I realized that the message ("We are going to suffer") brought up an important question: who is the 'we' that is going to suffer? Is each and every American, or some representative statistical sampling of them, going to be cast into financial ruin by this non-event?

The answer is pretty clear: NO INDIVIDUAL PERSON would suffer as the result of the changeover. Large corporations, on the other hand, could suffer great losses if they didn't have their shit together. And in the American business model (shepherd/sheep model), the corporations have decided that injecting fear into the populace is the best way to keep the sheep entrenched in the consensus narrative, i.e. living in a type of fear that can only be alleviated by consuming. And it worked!!! People were climbing all over each other to get the last bottles of bottled water at the grocery stores, batteries and ammunition were sold out of stock, there'd never been higher sales of generators...

The greatest trick the marketers have been able to pull off is to con everyone into thinking that what is bad for the company is bad for everyone. I know from personal experience that companies who are having record good years will lay off employees to increase shareholder value and insure those large bonuses for the CEOs. We provide billions of dollars in corporate welfare to companies that are doing very well already... why would we do this? To sell the American Dream.

After 9-11, the same fucktards who were saying "if this changes our way of life at all, the terrorists have already won" ad nauseum began doing everything they could to change everything about life in America. The Total Information Awareness program brings the McCarthy era back to life, and the 'Homeland Security' office has it's most recent historical analogue in a similar department in Hitler's cabinet. The American people live in fear; the media and government capitalize on that fear; and the corporations provide a public service by offering you more crap to buy to relieve that dull aching spasm of conscience that remains in some small percentage of the population.

The lies and deceit are driving me insane... I need to get out of this fucking country, a need that is thwarted by the fact that we are not (for very good reasons) very popular anywhere else in the world.