Cutting Through The Crap

Monday, August 23, 2010

Propaganda + Sheep =


Is, in fact.

The most patriotic among us like to believe in American exceptionalism, whatever that is. We're number one. We lead the world in... well, for sure basketball, I guess. How different are we, how unlike those other countries. How impossible it would be for us to become... a mob.

Except that the people who think they are seeing fascism where it most certainly is not, are finally being shorn of their grass-fed sheep's clothing to reveal (were they able to see it) the real rabble underneath. This "mosque" thing: this horrible, debasing, shallow, hateful, despicable mosque thing. It's peeling away the remaining layer of the thinnest veneer, the fantasy that Americans are too civilized, too evolved (if they believed in evolution, that is) to be propagandized, to march in lockstep, succumbing to manipulation. To raise their arms and shout and scream and threaten people of a certain religion (and let's not forget gays), citizens or not; to be led by power-mongering demagogues into the streets. But now, finally, we can no longer lay claim: we're as bad as any gang witnessed by history; we're them; we're willingly led across the divide. Easily, formulaically; frailties exploited in the most demeaning of clichés. Victimhood and scapegoats. Banal, unoriginal stuff. Embarrassing.

How many times, how many ways can it be said: the "mosque" is a community center (containing a prayer room; and there's already an actual mosque one block away); it's not at the "hallowed ground" (strip clubs and pizza joints are closer to the hallowed grounds [good name for a coffee shop, by the way: "Hallowed Grounds"]); it's run by a Sufi Muslim who espouses the opposite of radicalism. Its presence -- anywhere, but especially there -- is a statement of who they aren't, and who we are. It flies in the face of Wahabbism, it represents hope for reconciliation. And it's a building in NYC!! Across the country people have been convinced they should be intensely interested in -- offended! outraged! attending rallies! waving signs! -- a decision by a local planning board. In another city. Y'know: the one that Sarah Palin thinks isn't even America.

Boy, how I'd have loved to have had that kind of support when my neighbor decided to cut down my tree.

It's as obvious as a burning bush that Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and the rest of the RWS™ don't really care what it is. What they care about is finding a cause -- any cause -- with which they can stir the masses into a rage. It's all they have, it's what they do. And they did, so easily as to eliminate any shred of doubt over what we've become. Mindless, people are spitting venom over a completely innocuous situation -- or what would have been, had the demagogues not seen an opportunity. If a concerted effort by cynical politicians (or, in the case of Sarah, professional tweeters) and a nationwide propaganda machine can so easily convince people they should be really really angry over such a meaningless issue (to the extent that it's not meaningless, they've got it exactly wrong), what does it say about how we'll behave when the real crises come to a head? Who will be next, how will the rage be felt?

It's only a matter of time. And look how shamefully easy it has been, how similar to Germany in the thirties: appealing to a sense of victimization, picking scapegoats, abetted by deliberate propagandists, leaders whip up anger ever more shrilly to ever more receptive and grateful audiences: yes, yes, we're being heard; our victimhood, our entitlement, our suffering at the hands of others. It's unfair. We're better than they are. They're taking away our freedoms. They hate our country, they hate us. They are undeserving, they don't belong here. They threaten our very way of life. They do.

They.

23 comments:

SeaSpray said...

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

HOWARD DEAN.

HARRY REID.

(not shouting - emphasizing)

So ... then how do you feel about extreme left politicians ...Howard Dean and Harry Reid for coming out AGAINST building the mosque at that location?

There must be many more from your party that don't agree with the location given the stats of the growing numbers opposed to the location.

They must've been sucked in by Sarah and Fox. Oh and Newt. Like invasion of the body snatchers or Grizzlies or something. :)

13 stories tall.

Everyone agrees they have the *right* to build it.

People have the *right* to do a lot of things ..but it doesn't always mean it's the *right* thing to do.

People 2 to 1 are opposed to the center going up in *that* location. Not a little one ..13 stories looming over head.

It is hallowed ground at the WTC.

And that is a great name for the coffee shop.

Gov Paterson (Democrat) has offered to help them with land. People are not against it altogether ..but NOT in THAT Location.

And I doubt it will go up in that location. I heard the steel workers will refuse to do the job. And momentum is growing among construction and emergency service workers and people across the country.

The emergency and construction people were there. They lost friends in the wtc and friends involved in rescue or they have become seriously ill from the air and contents of the rubble.

Believe me ..I don't recall agreeing with Howard Dean ..but he was on the mark with his comments.

And it's not about bigotry like some people are trying to make it.

It really is about respect.

Sid Schwab said...

It would surprise me if you thought any differently, SS. It surprised and disappointed me that Reid and Dean caved (as is clear in the article I quoted.) But for a nation to let itself be deceived into self-destruction there needs to be a majority of sheep, and not just a few too frightened to speak up. Or too worried about their political futures, given the effectiveness of the liars.

My point is the ease with which people are convinced to act against their own interests, by people who only care about their own power. Conservatives aren't the only ones.

The point, which you continue to ignore (because you're the perfect foil) is that there are differences among Muslims; and if we're ever to win hearts and minds (not likely, with people so stupid on this side) we need to support people like Rauf. There's a lot of meat in this post, arguing how the fight against the "mosque" is defeating our own goals. You ignore it.

Enjoy the fall, because it's coming and you're at the front end.

Not shouting. Weeping.

Sid Schwab said...

Ooops, sorry. Part of my reference is to tomorrow's post. But it doesn't matter: Fox "news" has you and so many others convinced it's fair and without agenda. As it donates a million to the RGA. You can't and won't see it. It's not hard to see, but you have to want to. You're in a place that's easy for you, and, like the rest of the teabaggers, it's better than facing facts.

Read tomorrow's post. But it'll wash off like everything else.

(And the "people so stupid" comment was generic, aimed at the whole damn country.)

SeaSpray said...

It's insensitive for what the people and this country went through that day. I know people that worked down there. A friend of mine lost a relative in the south building.

My uncle helped build the towers as a crane operator for the city of NY.

I don't hear any concern for the people truly hurt by this. But ..even on a NTL level ..it is a disrespectful location.

* I haven't watched FOX in a few weeks. Did see CNN a couple of times.

You are so off the mark with me every time you blow me off to watching fOX news that it's predictable and amusing.

I have been listening to John Bachelor on ABC radio between 9p - 1a m-f and I believe on weekends too. I don't hear whole show or every night, but enjoy listening when I can.

He covers all kinds of topics and in a way that the tv news does not. has guests from all over the world and this country ..that usually aren't on tv or at least I don't recognize the names. Very INTERESTING. Also gets into espionage and reveals info not the norm for the tv airwaves. TV may touch on something ..but he gets people on from out in the field. He may talk about books, Nasa, the mosque, politics, Korea ..so many things.

You said "But it'll wash off like everything else."

I could just as easily say that about you. Depends on who's eyes one is looking thru.

Frank has a point. Do you watch FOX all the time. I guess know your enemy is why. Believe me ..you follow them way more than me. I will be paying more attention during election season. And this Jersey girl will definitely be VOTING. It usually doesn't matter except locally, but this fall should be interesting for our state.

Sid Schwab said...

Insensitive. What a load... How many? Whose feelings should trump our efforts to show the world who we are?

Remember when your pal Ann Coulter called the 9/11 wives publicity whores?

The question is about facts, and about resistance thereto. Or that suddenly so many conservatives think national polls should trump the decision of a local planning board, which voted 29-1. It's about doing damage to the cause of getting moderate Muslims on our side, which is vital if we're ever to defeat radicalism.

It's also about exactly your reaction: you're gonna vote, by golly, and you're pissed. At something. You are the perfect substrate, the exact audience all the cynical RWS™ have in mind. It's not about mosques at all. It's about convincing people like you that something awful is happening and that the way to fix it is to elect the same guys who got it all started. Why? So they can have their tax cuts. Simple. Effective. You think it's about mosques. RIght.

There are some things that are more than just opinion, and for which changing one's mind isn't an option. Like, y'know, the age of the earth. Or whether treating Muslims differently from any other citizens defeats our purpose. But I'm sure listening to a guy who talks about NASA helps you to see truth.

I helped build the 405 bridge over the Willamette River when I was working construction in college.

Cory said...

SeaSpray/Jersey Gal/Lil' Bo Peep-

Pardon my Frank-ness (pun intended), but being delusional myself, makes me an expert at recognizing the condition... and I see it in you. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'm quite certain that when searching for truth, which I don't think you are, one must have the ability to cast aside ones emotions to decifer fact from fiction. Yeah, I know that our inclinations to be our own worst enemy, politicians/scumbags (same thing), and the state of cable news make it very difficult to find empirical evidence of the truth (it's designed that way, you can see that can't you?), but you must at least try a little harder, you seem to be taking the path of least resistance (like most sheep do). Your writing and ideas give me the impression, and also reflect the pure emotion of your desires- a knee jerk reaction (did I say pure emotion), not what the *right* thing to do is. My intention is not to "gang" up on you defending Sids position... Just for the heck of it, please try seperating yourself from the flock, from the RWS™, try some original thought and individual thinking, it might be liberating for you. Please? Am I banging my head against the wall, again? Purdy please? I'm desperate for you to try- it's the only thing that can save us!

Kellie said...

Guess that a religious building 2 blocks from Ground Zero is bad but a shopping mall AT Ground Zero is ok? I guess nothing says "American" more than shopping.

Ebert said it well when he said an open garden would be best there.

Frank Drackman said...

Sid's been listening to Michael Savage again...

Sid Schwab said...

Here's a statement from a US Senator from my the state of my birth, which makes my points exactly. Think about it, SS. Rise above what the voices tell you.

SeaSpray said...

I wrote a lengthy response and blogger ate it up. :(

Can't redo it now. I should've copied first.

SeaSpray said...

You said "But I'm sure listening to a guy who talks about NASA helps you to see truth." in response to my saying "I have been listening to John Bachelor on ABC radio between 9p - 1a m-f and I believe on weekends too. I don't hear whole show or every night, but enjoy listening when I can.

He covers all kinds of topics and in a way that the tv news does not. has guests from all over the world and this country ..that usually aren't on tv or at least I don't recognize the names. Very INTERESTING. Also gets into espionage and reveals info not the norm for the tv airwaves. TV may touch on something ..but he gets people on from out in the field. He may talk about books, Nasa, the mosque, politics, Korea ..so many things."

So much MORE than Nasa.

His topics are timely. Guests interesting and being a 4 hr show delves into several topics per night. 7 nights a week.

Earlier about banking, now home sales... but there will be other things up for discussion.

Worth checking out. :)

Why do you always bring up the age of the world with me? You seem stuck on that. Millions? Billions? I really don't care how old it is.

Cory ..thank you for your respectful attempt at persuasion regarding my views.

Dr S - If you are going to be angry with conservatives regarding mosque ..then in all fairness shouldn't you be more then "surprised and disappointed" DEAN and REID?

But last I heard the dissent against the location is 2 to 1 and as I stated previously ..that doesn't reflect only conservative views.

Guys and gals ..we all agree it is a constitutional right to put the mosque up. I understand your arguments. But ..we disagree about the location.

For me ..it is not right to do for reasons that you don't agree with. I think independently with capability of discernment.

Regarding Fox .. if they are all so powerful and persuasive ..influencing the mindless masses ..then how did Obama get elected? Was FOX promoting his election as president?

Isn't it possible that people are dissatisfied with his presidency, administration and policies? And as a result ..looking for an alternative?

He was elected. His party has ALL the power. Your people that you wanted in ..are in control. They passed the health care that the people did not want. They've also done things to alienate independents and your party ..even if by omission. FOX hardly has the power to cause all of that.

And conservative minds were around before FOX.

You give FOX so much power. How many other stations are out there for people to watch or listen too? How many conservative stations? How many liberal stations? I'm curious.

*I checked out the bridge pics and looks like it was an awesome project. Did you enjoy it? My uncle also worked on the Verrazano bridge in NY. he was proud of his work. I wish I paid better attention back then and remembered what else he worked on.

And now bachelor is discussing the Austrailian elections tomorrow with a correspondent from in Hong Cong. World politics, national and local and so much more. I don't always get to listen but it's interesting. I even listen when exercising in pool at night.

Oh Dr S - I ALWAYS vote. Just more optimistic this year with my state.

SeaSpray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeaSpray said...

I give up trying to post - blogger won't take it and wasted too much time.

SeaSpray said...

And THAT took? *sigh(

Nite! :)

Sid Schwab said...

SS, it's really a unique experience for me to have a "conversation" with someone who simply repeats the same points over and over, no matter what other information or ideas I add. It's as if you don't hear. It's fine to disagree, but completely to ignore the issues I raise -- it's a perfect microcosm of the state of our politics: facts, complexities, the idea that simple answers simply aren't enough -- one side just refuses to accept that. It's all rationalization for wanting it all for oneself, and not wanting to sacrifice at all. It's the toxic deception that R. Reagan foisted upon us: government is the problem, taxes are evil, people in need are welfare queens, real Americans can get whatever they want and not have to pay for it, and can happily ignore everyone else.

I don't really blame you: Ronnie and his descendants gave us easy. Life gives us hard. Reality is a bitch. I'd love to live in your world, if only I could turn it all off.

SeaSpray said...

I hate blogger sometimes.

If you see duplicate entries ..just delete.

But I don't want to talk about it anymore. No need.

It is about respect, decency ..honoring "hallowed ground".

I don't disagree about the right.

Therefore ..because it is about respect and because it is logical that it would be better at another location I can't be persuaded on this. I usually see gray areas in life ..but not with this.

And just because 29 people voted for it ..does not mean they are right.

If 29 people jump off a bridge ..should I do that too?

2 to 1 are against across the country are against it.

But I was against it before hearing that.

I said it the 1st time I commented ..it is about respect and honor and doing the right thing...and we differ on what the right thing is and so it isn't something I need follow up on.
******************************
You said "It's the toxic deception that R. Reagan foisted upon us: government is the problem, taxes are evil, people in need are welfare queens, real Americans can get whatever they want and not have to pay for it, and can happily ignore everyone else.

I don't really blame you: Ronnie and his descendants gave us easy. Life gives us hard. Reality is a bitch. I'd love to live in your world, if only I could turn it all off."

There you go again. :)

You're generalizing ... assigning me to your stereotypical belief system and I understand you need to do that in order to rationalize all you are contending with.

You have no idea what world I live in or my sacrifices or how hard my life is at any given time.

I've known and know some good people who have had to or currently are being aided by public assistance. Any one of us could have dire circumstances put us in that position.

I would hardly call *any* of them welfare queens. they are the people the system was designed to assist. I recognize the need for social programs.

And ..I personally know what it is like to go with out heat in the middle of winter, no food and holes in my clothes when living with Mom between 12-14 and she didn't go for public assistance.

One good thing that came from it is that it taught me compassion and I never ever put poor people down in anyway ..because unless you walk in their shoes ..you do NOT know what they are going through. I think the genuinely needy people are usually obvious ..unless they hide it because of pride. And unfortunately ..abusers exist and rob from programs meant to help those truly in need.

Just because people have conservative views does not mean we are all identical with entire belief system.

Are you like all the left wing loons out there or can you think for yourself?

I don't happen to believe you are ..nor do I generalize liberals ..compartmentalizing them into what I think they are.. or want them to be. I can see the differences.

Sid Schwab said...

For its originality, concision, and thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of the rights and purpose of a local planning board, vis á vis the role of national opinion, I particularly like your 29 people comment.

SeaSpray said...

I thought you would appreciate the depth of that statement. ;)

People in charge can be misguided and the beauty of this country is people have a right to protest.

"It is about respect, decency ..honoring "hallowed ground".

I will add the feelings of all the people concerned about it who were deeply affected by the terrorist attack on September 11,2001 matter.

The decent thing would be to acknowledge the pain of the people and look for another location... if they are concerned about building bridges.

Would you continually pursue something if you saw it was causing great distress and was connected to something so devastating?

"I don't disagree about the right."

Why would I need to continually chew on discussion over this since I have made my mind up? There are topics open for debate ..but not this one any longer for me.

Last word is yours. :)

Sid Schwab said...

No need. Your penultimate lines are perfect.

Sid Schwab said...

Gift suggestion for teabaggers, including you know who...

SeaSpray said...

I aim to please. ;)

Running out for appt ..I don't know why ..seriously ..I don't ..masochist I suppose ..but will read your gift suggestions later.

i know ..so much for last word. well you always have option for it. :)

Sid Schwab said...

I'm waiting breathlessly for your comment on today's post, SS; particularly on the question at the end.

SeaSpray said...

Ha! ha! FUNNY about the shirt!

So ..are YOU wearing it? I mean so people know how to proceed with you and all. ;)