Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Media Cannot Be Blamed For Following Owners' Orders*

(*Unless at a war-crimes tribunal.)

Elsewhere today, yer ol' perf' saw repeated another iteration of a constant, common complaint that the "media" are responsible for all our ills, because they don't present 'our' side of the stories as sympathetically as those of the (in this case) 'education deformers.'

And it occurred to me to repeat my customary reply: They're "just doing their jobs."

The 'media' is/are wholly owned subsidiaries of huge, enormous, globe-spanning, wealthy corporate enterprises which gobbled them up like jellybeans during the Raygoon years. The 'media' print, publish, broadcast, and otherwise disseminate what they are TOLD to publish, etc.

The "press" unself-consciously constitutes itself as gatekeepers. The best way to exert thought-control is not directly, by telling folks WHAT to believe. It is by influencing what they think ABOUT--the narrative--and the language and vocabulary of images with which they think about it. That's what 'the media' does.

Control over the gate-keeping function--directing the narrative, vocabulary, and syntax of the 'public mind' and the power it implies--is what is at stake in the debate (such as it is) about who can CALL themselves 'journalists.'

It is worth recalling, too, Upton Sinclair's admonition: "It's hard to get a man to understand what his paycheck depends on him not understanding."

Worth remembering, as well, as we wade ever deeper into the morass of the Big Muddy/CorpoRat State: In the corporate state, corporate media are State Media.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stone and Bone: The basic bits of carpentry and joinery

Yer ol carpenter has a treat: Here's a gay-ron-teed Joiners and Carpenters NERDGASM. I LOVE stuff like this.
"Primitive" people aren't intellectually less competent than civilized ones. They just haven't had the need or the occasion to think THOSE thoughts.  That's why there are no "superior" or "inferior" languages--or morality systems, either. They all do only and exactly what the people who usae them need them to do.
The take-away, for me  --the ex-journeyman ClassA spike spitter: Basically, all the cuts, joints, channels, mortices, and the other tricks of wood-working were already in use 7, 8, mebbe 10 THOUSAND years ago. Done with stone-and-bone, alone; and intuition gained from experience, of course.
I could go on...
I won't....

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Selfie" -- 10/17/14

For someone approaching their 69th birth anniversary (in six months), having been run relatively hard and put up wet a few times, veteran of one war, three marriages and countless close encounters, and a dozen or more careers, to say NOTHING of the bales of cannabis, gallons of beer and whisky, and the other drugs I eagerly sought and consumed, this (I think an unbiased observer might remark) is an amazingly un-lined, un-wrinkled, un-scarred, UN-careworn countenance, nest paw?

(There is, I should say, I room we don't enter, wherein hangs a portrait we don't discuss...)

I had the extremely good fortune to be born at a time when my race, gender, family class location and historical moment made it possible for me to do just about whatever I ever wanted to do.
Not that I ever WANTED to do much of anything. I am lazy as paint. Indolence is my life-long avocation
But that same 'fortune'/location that could have propelled me into high echelons of anything I'd cared to work hard at also made it possible for me to simply do whatever came along well enough to get along.
I'm not now wealthy, though I'm not 'poor.' I endured my parents (lord love 'em) long enough to have earned a small inheritance, with Soc. Sec, and a (much diminished, thanks to 2007-09) small stash I put away during the last two decades of my working life when I was steadily and gainfully (and for by far the longest durations) employed as a paid, professional scholar, distorting and distressing the placid certainties of complacent, bourgeois, college kids in two states. I don't think I'll out-live it, ceteris paribus.
But I don't lack for anything I really want, that much, these days. I got a roof over me and Budreaux, food for us, and wheels to get us around (e.g., a trip to the groomer last evening to get nails trimmed). It's not bad...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dr. Woody'z "Iron-Clad Lawz," Rulez, Maximz and Operational Definitionz For "Binnezz" and Politicz

Dr. Woody'z "Iron-Clad Lawz," Rulez, Maximz and Operational Definitionz
Dr. Woody'z Iron Clad Law of Congressional Compromise:
If compromise is unavoidablly required in order to pass legislation, no compromise may be proposed or accepted which does NOT maximize ass-fucking the poor and helpless.

Dr. Woody'z Iron-Clad Law of Political Economy
 It is futile, if not indeed impossible, to try to conduct a meaningful political democracy within the structure of a totalitarian economy.

Dr. Woody'z Iron-Clad Law of Political Succession:
The apparent ease with which power transfers is an accurate index how little of it actually changes hands.

Dr. Woody'z Operational Definition of Racism:
There is ONLY one kind of 'racism:"Structural racism. It's almost redundant. Individuals may be biased, bigoted, discriminatory, prejudiced. There are such individuals in EVERY group. But they are not necessarily "racist." For such attitdes/behaviors to become "racism," they must occur in a system which (even tacitly) approves of, authorizes and empowers such behaviors as means to interrupt, exclude, or deny the fair and equal participation in a society's "cultural goods" to people deemed "inferiors" to the dominant group. Racism requires "structural" complicity and acquiescence.

Dr. Woody'z Iron-Clad  Rule of Racial Ressentiment:
Low-ranking members of racial majorities will endure a small diminution of their own condition or reduction in their benefits if, by doing so, they believe they can ensure those whom they detest as inferiors will suffer greater reduction and discomfort.

Dr. Woody'z Iron-clad Law of  Human Regulators:
If there is ANY possibility for abuse and/or corruption to occur, abuse and/or corruption WILL occur.
Dr. Woody'z Iron-Clad Rule of Media-State Relations
In the Corporate State, corporate media are State Media.

Dr. Woody'z Operational Definition of Propaganda.
The purposes of propaganda, in no particular order, are: One: to gin up--create a climate of-- hatred and fear against external--or/and designated internal--enemies/antagonists
Another: to shape popular compliance with large, 'national' or even international agendae.
Again: to construct and disseminate the dominant 'national' creed/mythology/narrative, and make that dissemination ubiquitous and invisible.
A further one: to normalize and/or rationalize purposeful, manifest falsehoods: The Big Lie is a famed and famously successful 'propaganda' tool.
And yet another: (possibly the culminating and final purpose of propaganda) to create public narratives that legitimize existing power relations and structures. The easiest to propagandize are those who have the most invested in its 'truth.'

Dr. Woody'z Inviolable Revolutionary Maxim:
When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose. Revolution is 'rational.'
But when you have anything, you have EVERYTHING to lose. Revolution becomes 'irrational.'
The 'genius' of the present system is to make sure EVERYBODY (nearly) has SOMETHING to lose.

Dr Woody'z Second Law of Revolutionz:
Regime change does no more or less than what it says it does: changes the regime, like a wardrobe, or tires. One group of oligarchs, technocrats and lickspittles gets replaced by another group of oligarchs, technocrats and bootlickers; with the additional caveat that the replacements won't be any better than the replacees at the things they were replaced for not doing well, and may well be MORE venal and corrupt because they'll be the more eager to replace the wealth spent to gain power.

Dr. Woody'z Iron-Clad Rule of  Political Civility:
Civility is the shit-soaked ball-gag the Bosses force into the mouths of workers to deprive the workers of their only real weapon: Their rage...When they tell you to be "civil," they're saying you're not ENTITLED to your rage, to your resentment at being screwed yet again, to your resistance. When they tell you you have to be "civil" to speak, they're really telling you to shut the fuck up!

Dr. Woody'z Five Unbreakable Rules of Business:
1) Buy low; sell high.
2) There are three necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for success: Location, location, and location.
3) A fool and his money are soon parted, and there's a fool born every minute.
4) There's an ass for every seat, so never give a sucker an even break.
5) You CAN cheat an honest man; it's not even that hard. 

Prof. Wombat's Ancillary Commandments of Finance:
1. Always use other people's money.
2. When conducting trades of securities worth as much as toilet paper, take your commissions in real cash money.
3. Speculation is far more lucrative than providing actual goods and services that are worth something in themselves.
4. An excessive concentration on product and customer reveals a lack of managerial expertise.
5. The proper definition of 'long term' is two quarters from now.

Dr. Woody'z Iron-Clad Rules of Understanding the Rich:
1) No large fortune was ever made without an equivalent crime ("You'll find it in Balzac!").
2) When the wealthy say they got their money through hard work, ask WHOSE.
3) No "self-made" person ever really is.
4) The wealthy do not discriminate between truth and falsehood.
5) There is no such thing as a "free market"; everything has its price.

Dr. Woody'z Revolutionary Haiku:
Tumbrels lie, discarded.
Dull'd with age, disuse: the blade.
Still, roses may grow.