Sunday, July 17, 2005

On Fox News, Terrorism, and the Nature of Cultural Illusion

So, I've been traveling a great deal this summer and staying in hotels and with friends and family who possess large televisions and countless channels. At home, my wife and I don't subscribe to cable. We steer clear for fear that we would otherwise become television zombies surfing from channel to channel trying to ease the cravings of media addiction. We live quite happily at home without cable, yet, whenever we go away on "holiday" (as the Brits say), we hungrily devour cable television content like it's going out of style (and often, it is...).

If you're familiar with the themes of this blog, you probably won't find it at all surprising that I despise FOX NEWS: FAIR AND BALANCED. Yet, whenever I get the chance, I tune in and watch. I can't keep myself away from it. This is more than just another case of media addiction. For me, watching FOX NEWS: FAIR AND BALANCED is like driving by a gruesome car accident: I just can't turn away, and I feel COMPELLED to look. As a result, I've subsisted on a steady diet of political rhetoric, narrow-minded propaganda, and patriotic masturbation.

I could certainly ramble on without end about why FOX NEWS: FAIR AND BALANCED is dangerous and downright un-American, but instead, I'll refrain from a never-ending cascade of derogatory commentary and "say my peace" in the most concise manner possible... I'll make a list!

1- first of all, the way FOX NEWS: FAIR AND BALANCED uses the term "Fair and Balanced" is downright immoral. Seriously folks, isn't it clear by now that, with respect to our HUMAN REALITY, there is NO SUCH THING as "fair and balanced"? The "media" isn't liberal... it's SENSATIONALISTIC and BENT ON COMMERCIAL PROFIT (thank you, Capitalism!). "Fair and Balanced" is a MYTH, perhaps something to aspire to, but NEVER to be fully realized, at least not in our entropic reality. Therefore, FOX NEWS: FAIR AND BALANCED represents misleading propaganda, and oh, how Hitler would be proud...

2- Anyone who believes the word "liberal" actually means ANYTHING substantial is NOT exercising an important and God-given function of our miraculous human brain. The word "liberal" is arbitrary with a highly subjective meaning. It could be used to describe anything in our world. For example:
FOX NEWS (along with the rest of the "sensationalistic" media)uses the word "terrorist" quite liberally.

Of course, as it is with words, so it is with the universe... people believe whatever they need to believe to get by in life. The fact that the word "liberal" is arbitrary doesn't prevent people from believing, often with an absolutist faith, that it can accurately describe a facet of human behavior. In truth, people who use the word "liberal" to describe another human being are revealing more about the limits of themselves than they are about the human being they are attempting to define... and this brings me to:

3- It astounds me that the "children" playing the political games in Congress consistently define themselves along arbitrary and essentially meaningless labels like "liberal" and "conservative". What angers me is that our beloved politicians would rather exaggerate what few differences they share and argue over arbitrary lines, thus minimizing the flow of progress, than actually SEE the many commonalities they share and thus work together to get PRODUCTIVE things done. Daily, I'm astonished at how ignorant and childish our "Representatives" in Congress are. At the same time, they are a mere reflection of who WE are as a democratic American body. WE bear the responsibility of giving these spoiled children their power. This alone says more about the general state of the American psyche than any sociological graph or table of numerical symbols, and this brings me to:

4- We Americans get what we deserve. The power brokers in Washington may masturbate over how effective and patriotic they are, meanwhile, they have yet to do ANYTHING about overcrowded classrooms, out-of-date textbooks, understaffed public schools, an anemic Veterans Affairs system, a less than minimum wage, the rising cost of higher education, a national debt that my grandchildren will be paying off, and I could go on and on. Like I said above, our wonderful politicians would rather bitch and complain about partisan differences than see the REALITY that they have much in common with one another. The last five years of political melodrama has only revealed the pitfalls of ethnocentric group-think. The Neocon "Republicans" have kicked-started two bottomless wars that continue to steal the lives of our American families, not to mention those citizens of Earth residing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. The Children of Washington D.C. speak with authority about "terrorism" and "freedom", yet, don't they realize that these are merely LABELS! What is "freedom"? What is "terrorism"? These words are cultural illusions perpetuated by the quixotic potentials of our collective minds. Surely these words represent much larger concepts than their semantic function would have us believe. Afterall, "terrorism" is simply a byproduct of war. Americans have utilized "terrorism" in the past, most notably with the exercise of nuclear weapons (i.e. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and M.A.D.) and most recently with our belligerent strategy of "shock and awe". When President Bush speaks of "terrorists", the TRUTH is that he is not only speaking about Al Qeada, but good ole America as well. We have, afterall, created our enemies. Rumsfeld and Reagan were buddy-buddy with Saddam Hussein. They sold him arms and strategic maps so that he might adequately combat an Iranian regime on the defensive. Reagan also funded the Mujihaddin in Afghanistan, an act which lead to the downfall of the USSR, but also precipitated the rise of the Taliban and Al Qeada. We Americans are our own worst enemies. Our short-sighted political policies have created today's greatest threats to national security. And this brings me too...

5- LABELS!!! Conservative, Liberal, American, Terrorist! Why must we be so lazy with our minds? Why must we substitute knowledge for symbolic semantic dogma? I don't mean to be a Chicken Little here, but our country aint doin' so hot. Our Nation's Achilles Heel is our Federal economy. Our "enemies" know this. We no longer function through a production economy. Our economy is driven by mindless, debt-filled consumption. Our economy is, like the labels we use, a system of cultural illusions. Money has no value except within the confines of our minds. Our "enemies" wish to destroy the United States by bankrupting our Federal economy and bringing a decisive end to the "Great Experiment". Osama's plan from the moment he declared war on us was to draw us into a series of endless military conflicts that drain both our morale AND our economic resources. Thank Allah the Neocons were in power to combat "terrorism" by leading the United States into a series of endless military conflicts that drain both our national morale and our economic resources... and all for the sake of waging a "War on Terrorism", i.e., a "war on illegitimate guerrilla warfare", aka, a "war on arbitrary cultural illusions".

Okay, so I've gone on for far too long. Just promise me one thing, good reader. Don't take this REALITY for granted. Look deeper, learn, and communicate.


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