Thursday, August 30, 2012

Give the Devil His Due..

Hola, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, hippies and straights around the world! This is your ol' pal, "Dr. Woody," John Konopak, citizen journalist in Albuquerque, rising today to bring you a World-Wide Hippies/Citizen Journalists Exchange "Citizen's Alert," in which we'll give the devil his due.
I really, really hate to do it, but on a purely technical level, ya gotta hand it to the likes of Hannity, and Limbaugh and O'Reilly and the rest of that feculent crew.

Yes, they're reeking scumbags of racism, fascism, and elitism. What they do is egregious, transparent fear-mongering, and race-baiting, done with a straight face. They stoke the fears of the timorous, and ratify the prejudices of the bigoted, And they're "good" at it...

They specialize in the "Big Lie," and they're "GOOD" liars --like Ted Bundy was a "good" (successful) serial killer.

And now the whole GOPhux Party apparently is taking the campaign for President, to an even higher level of conscious, in-your-fucking-face mendacity.

For students of propaganda, this truly is an epochal development: the nuvo fascisti of the USer Right have actually IMPROVED on a proven, reliable propaganda tactic called the Big Lie. The Nazis appropriated it, wholesale, from the work of "vanguard intellectual" Edward Bernays, Freud's favorite (American) nephew. Bernays coined the phrase, and described the practice, of "the Big Lie,"
...though it was Josef Goebbels who perfected it...,
and now the Rovian GOPhux are rewriting it. (Aside: If Goebbels had had the cabloids and the 24-hour news cycle,  w├╝rden wir alle deutschen jetzt sprechen...aber dass einer ganz anderer Gedichte ist.).

You know the premise for the BIG LIE: It's assumed that everybody lies, pretty much all the time, but people are usually too afraid of social stigma to tell big lies. So, Bernays reasoned, people can be brought to believe a really big, really egregious lie--because they'd be afraid to lie that grandly--and that lie, repeated often enough, by ostensibly "credible" sources will eventually (sooner than later) become "true" in the public's mind.

The Jewish Problem, for example. And "Killer" weed....or God....

So, in one sense, at least, on national TV this week, in Tampa, at the RNC, there is history in the making:  the GOPhux are reaching BEYOND the one,"Big Lie." into the politics of total dissimulation and falsehood.

They've decided that they'll simply lie about EVERY-fucking-THING.

There is no misrepresentation, misinformation, or misstatement that is beneath them.

Apparently on the theory that 1) no one from the MSM/CorpoRat/SCUM "press" will challenge Rmoney or the Mini-Me-Ryan on "national television" and 2) that nothing that is NOT on national television is "real," the GOPhux apparently are going "all in" on a what amounts to a bluff. They got rags, but they're just gonna lie. About everything, and about anything, any and all the time, and dare the CorpoRat "press" to call 'em on it. One o f the most interesting exercises today (Thursday) in the wake of Shitstorm Ryan last night was to watch the SCUM "press" scramble for euphemisms to conceal the act of lying...

And it's fuuking GENIUS.

The issue with the Big Lie, of course, izzat if you get caught in it, and called on it, and revealed and the whole strategy collapses. Your opponent can tag you with the label, and it can stick.

But if you lie about EVERY-fucking-THING, as the GOPhjux--notably Paul Ryan, Wednesday night, but also the bloated, bilious bloviator Chris Christie, on Tuesday night--showed when  everybody just flat lied their asses off, about EVERYTHING, with virtually every breath, you leave your opponent with almost nothing to say.

Because, even though the lies exist, if you--as an opponent--call them on ALL their lies--if you ACCUSE them, no matter HOW validly--of lying about EVERY-fucking-THING, then it's YOUR accusations which look paranoid, hyperbolic, exaggerated, overblown, no matter the truth of them.

All lies, all the time. So many that you cannot tell 'em from the truth, because there is no truth spoken. If someone challenges one lie, or only a few, even if they are shown to be lies, it leaves the impression that the unchallenged lies are true.

It's fucking BRILLIANT! And if you've always wondered what it would be like if the rulers dropped all pretenses and ran things strictly for their own benefit and interest, this is how it would look.

Y'all c'mon down to the beach, we'll all swap lies...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Storm Surge

Hurricane Andrew took part of the roof off my/our house in Baton Rouge, and damaged just about every building in the neighborhood, more than 100 miles from where the storm came ashore.

We had winds OVER 90 mph for about a quarter of an hour in, I repeat, BATON ROUGE.

Interesting sidelight:

 In the aftermath, all the men in the neighborhood, on our street, got together spontaneously, shared tools and equipment, and we all worked together to make everybody else's house as well as our wwn secure against the elements. We shared tarps and plywood and nails and labor, about a dozen of us, all of whom had some experience or skill in construction--not unusual in the South, even in bourgeois neighborhoods.

The storm passed over us in the morning, pretty early, though it was light. We lost about 1/3 of the shingles and a couple of sheets of plywood at our place. Nobody had a LOT of damage, but everybody had SOME.  We had all the houses on our street buttoned up by sunset.

 Before the storm, I suppose we had known each other on sight, but there was no sense of "neighborhood" about "Riverbend" that was discernible. We all pitched in for that one day, but as far as I know, most of them/us never said another word to one another for the next three years, anyway. We moved in '94.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Those Were The Days...

My very good (former) wife, Bonnie, and me, at my parents' place in Nambe, probably in around August, 1984, on our way from Santa Barbara to Baton Rouge; she, to start her career as a professor, me to start grad school in journalism. You'll note the surfer's tan and long muscles? The dogs: In Bonnie's arms, my lil ol' rat terrier, Widget; then from the left, my parents' dogs Hubert, Peggy, and Quincy. All have since left for the Bridge (parents included). Bonnie and I were (amicably) divorced last month.