aka “The News”
I’m proud of my heritage. I’m the Grandson of people who fought the Nazis and won. I’m the son of a Pittsburgh Steelworker. My Uncle Eddie built Navy ships of the line at Newport News. My other Grandfather W.J.B Addis worked on the railroad, lost a digit, drank to cope and continued to work his entire life to support his family.
Sometimes I can’t stand this silly country, but say a cross word about my family and we’ve got a problem.
If it seems contradictory for me to sometimes despise the system they fought to uphold while admiring them for the loyalty and patriotism it took to defend and support it, then you don’t understand Americans.
Americans have a psychological difficulty separating the Nation as it is, from the Ideal of Americanism; the Heroes from the cause, especially when the faces on TV are pointing over there and screaming “It’s those people. They are to blame for how you feel and your lot in life!” Then they can harness your hatred—and direct it where they will.
Here’s an example. The former Confederacy and their flag. Some Americans take The Old White South’s death grip on those statues of Rebel Soldiers or ‘The Stars and Bars’ as blatant and undeniable racism. They have a vitriolic response, an emotional reaction that is essentially genuine, but often misguided. Their anger has been encouraged and engendered by that segment of the culture seeking to make use of human vulnerability and gullibility. And since no one likes to be called a gullible dope who falls for obvious manipulation, we block any evidence that reveals this to us. We defend our ego, no matter what the price. And so Blacks see racists and Whites see iconoclasts, when most of the time, the truth is much more basic and personal.
The guy standing in front of the statue of Stonewall Jackson holding a rebel flag doesn’t hate the Black man standing opposite him holding a sledge hammer. Only the ‘journalist’—that lifeless face on the screen repeating words not of its own making says that sort of irresponsible and inflammatory shit. The White guy identifies himself with the history of the ground he standing on… his home. It’s likely he has an ancestor who fought for Lee and refuses to let others call this long dead grandparent a traitor or a racist or anything other than honorable. Is that the truth? It doesn’t matter. It’s his truth. He’s angry at the man with the hammer because he’s holding a hammer, not because he’s Black. He standing there because this man wants to destroy a part of that history and therefore, in his mind, a part of him. It’s Personal, not racial.
The man with the hammer has been told the same lies as his White counterpart. Our schizophrenic culture, plagued by lies, contradictions and moral equivocation, has convinced him that this inanimate object is a threat to his freedom and his place in society. He’s told this piece of granite mocks his manhood and his humanity and therefore it must be destroyed. He sees the man in front of him as his enemy, defending the thing that attacks his identity. It’s Personal for them both.
Left alone on a desert island these two men would come to love one another. Here, assailed from every direction and in every sick, manipulative, contemptable way, they would kill each other if not restrained by the same forces that have driven them mad. Define Irony.
The media are not passively recording and reporting history. They are shaping public opinion. They are not innocently educating the citizen about the world and issues she or he must grapple with in a free society. They are manipulating the truth to incite citizens to act on their behalf, on behalf of the money that keeps them comfortable.
‘I sing the song of him whose bread I eat’ Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor was right, sadly. Jefferson wrote “…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” Would that he had written, the informed consent of the governed.
It should be a crime to pose as a reporter or journalist and then lie to the public. And, guess what, it is. But they’ve found a way around that as well, they call it opinion, or spin or whatever they like. They just make shit up as they go.