|Progressive Calendar 10.31.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 04:38:09 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.31.06 1. Walk for democracy 10.31 11:30am 2. Immigration 11.01 8:30am 3. Chante/peace 11.01 11am 4. Palestine report 11.01 12noon 5. Pond lit drop 11.01 2pm 6. Bridge vigil 11.01 4:30pm 7. Roseville scam 11.01 6:30pm 8. Pentel/panel 11.01 7:30pm 9. Phil Rockstroh - Iraqi war dead & collateral damage to America's soul 10. Phil Rockstroh - Six flags over Neo-Nuremberg 11. ed - Yes sir boss (poem) --------1 of 11-------- From: Krisrose02 [at] aol.com Subject: Walk for democracy 10.31 11:30am Walk For Democracy 10.31.06 Come join Dave Berger, Green Party Endorsed Candidate for State Auditor for a "Walk for Democracy" from 11am to Noon this Tuesday, October 31st in downtown St. Paul at Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) 480 Cedar Street. Dave and friends will be protesting his exclusion from the MPR debate which is scheduled from 11:30am to Noon. Dress warm and bring your cell phones so we can call into the show. Halloween costumes are optional! If you cannot come to St. Paul, please consider calling MPR during their Midmorning show with Karrie Miller (9am to 11am) and ask that Dave be included in the debate at 11:30am. Or call during the Midday Program with Gary Eichten between 11am and Noon on the 31st and ask that Dave be allowed to debate. The MPR call in line is: 1-800-228-7123 or (651) 290-1212. THANK YOU for making a difference!! -- MPR EXCLUDES GREEN CANDIDATE FROM STATE AUDITOR DEBATE 10.27.06 Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)...91.1 FM has informed Dave Berger, Green Party Endorsed Candidate for State Auditor, that he is the only candidate running who is not invited to the State Auditor debate this coming Tuesday, October 31, 2006 from 11:30 AM to Noon during the Midday program with Gary Eichten. Pat Anderson (R), Rebecca Otto (DFL), and Lucy Gerold (I) are all invited to debate. --------2 of 11-------- From: Ellen Tveit <tvei0002 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Immigration 11.01 8:30am Getting Some Perspective on Immigration Wednesday, November 1, 2006 8:30am-3:30pm Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Center 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota For more information or to register, please contact Lisa Thalacker at cspg [at] umn.edu or call 612-624-8842. Registration is $25 before October 25. The conference agenda is available online at www.hhh.umn.edu/centers/cspg/events.html. (Students may attend at no charge, but must register in advance.) --------3 of 11-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Chante/peace 11.01 11am Month of November, Monday to Saturday, 11 am to 3 pm, Chante Wolf has a photography show "Generations for PEACE" telling her story from Air Force warrior to Veteran for Peace, St Martin's Table, 2001 Riverside Ave, Mpls. lhowell [at] visi.com --------4 of 11------- From: Kelly O'Brien <obrie136 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Palestine report 11.01 12noon "Dispossession, Occupation and Resistance: Reports from a Recent Visit to Palestine" Ziad Amra, attorney with American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Wednesday, November 1, 12noon (reception to follow) University of Minnesota, 235 Blegen Hall, west bank campus Free and open to the public Directions/parking: http://www.onestop.umn.edu/Maps/BlegH/ FFI: Institute for Global Studies, www.igs.cla.umn.edu <http://www.igs.cla.umn.edu/> ; 612-624-9007 Ziad Amra was a legal advisor to the Norwegian Agency for Reconstruction and Development (NORAD) between 1995 and 1998 in Palestine. His work for NORAD involved building the institutional capacity of the nascent Palestinian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC). As a legal expert in MOPIC, he managed and developed the first environmental legislation for Gaza and West Bank, and developed a unified planning and building law for both areas. As the lead coordinator, researcher, and developer on these two legislative initiatives, he worked with NGOs, local/regional/national government, and community organizations as well as with Israeli NGOs and Palestinians. In 1995, he worked on the negotiations of Oslo II regarding the transfer of planning and building authority to Palestinian Authority. Since 2001 Amra has been assistant vice president of corporate banking for USBancorp, in Minneapolis. He is a board member of the Minneapolis chapter of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a steering committee member of the local chapter of National Lawyers Guild (NLG), and is a member of the Coalition for Palestinian Rights. Amra's appearance is part of an ongoing series at the U of M titled The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy: Alternative Voices, sponsored by the Institute for Global Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. Other speakers appearing this fall will include Beirut Daily Star editor-at-large Rami Khouri and Virginia Tilley of the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. More on the series can be found at www.igs.cla.umn.edu <http://www.igs.cla.umn.edu/> . --------5 of 11-------- From: Jonathan Fluck <jonathanfluck [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Pond lit drop 11.01 2pm Hi all! Here are the times and areas the Pond campaign will be lit dropping the final week + of the campaign. Please email me with what day you will be joining us so we can arrange to meet up and coordinate the effort. Tues Oct 31, 2 - 5pm: Mpls Ward 11 Precinct 2 Wed Nov 1, 2 - 5pm: Mpls Ward 11 Precinct 6 Thurs Nov 2, 4 - 7pm: Mpls Ward 11 Precinct 8 Fri Nov 3, 4 - 7pm: Mpls Ward 12 Precinct 11 Sat Nov 4, 3 - 6pm: Mpls Ward 13 Precinct 1 Sun Nov 5, 3 - 6pm: Mpls Ward 13 Precinct 5 Mon Nov 6, 2 - 5pm: Mpls Ward 2 Precinct 2 Again, please let me know what day(s) you want to help so we can make sure we meet up! - Jonathan Fluck 612-600-7439 --------6 of 11-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Bridge vigil 11.01 4:30pm Wednesday, 11/1, Lake/Marshall vigil changes to 4:30 to 5:30 pm, due to going off daylight saving time. --------7 of 11-------- From: Amy Ihlan <amyihlan [at] comcast.net> Subject: Roseville scam 11.01 6:30pm [ed head] There are 2 important Twin Lakes meetings coming up this week -- On Wednesday, November 1 at 6:30, at City Hall, the Planning Commission will have a public hearing on Rottlund's new proposal. The new proposal does not include a big box retail development -- but this is because it does not include the property where the big box shopping center was going to go under the previous plan. On Thursday, November 2, from 5:30 to 8:00 pm, the City of Roseville is having an open house on the "update" of the environmental review for the Twin Lakes area. There are many questions that need to be asked about both the new Rottlund proposal and the environmental review process. My greatest concern is that there will be an attempt to get the original Rottlund plan (including a large retail component) approved in pieces, and that the process will be timed so that key approval votes occur before a new council is able to take office in 2007. I'm also concerned that the environmental review "update" will be designed to pave the way for higher density development than the previous environmental study allowed. Please plan to attend these meetings if you possibly can to express your views and concerns, and feel free to contact me for more information. [It's been one long battle against big money developers and an unresponsive arrogant city council 3/2 majority. Nothing so tenacious and so destructive as the bulldog jaws of the undeserving rich on the pantlegs of easy public money. -ed] --------8 of 11-------- From: Ken Pentel <kenpentel [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Pentel/panel 11.01 7:30pm Ken Pentel - Green Party endorsed for MN Governor WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST Harriet Tubman-Governor Panel 3111 1st Ave S Mpls 7:30pm --------9 of 11-------- Selling Satan: Iraqi War Dead and the Collateral Damage to America's Soul by Phil Rockstroh www.dissidentvoice.org October 27, 2006 "United States numb to Iraq troop deaths: experts" - Reuters headline "O Nature, and O soul of man! how far beyond all utterance are your linked analogies! not the smallest atom stirs or lives in matter, but has its cunning duplicate in mind." - Herman Melville, Moby Dick All human beings have a talent for the denial of the more unpalatable aspects of ourselves, but we Americans have turned denial into a form of collective genius. There is no need to burn books, if the public is too ignorant to know they exist, or too benumbed to resonate with their content. Regarding the death of well over half-a-million Iraqis, the majority of the citizenry of The Corporatist States of America have experienced a comparable degree of regret and remorse that their oligarchic overlords experience when topping off the tanks of their corporate jets with fuel purchased with money plundered from their employee's retirement accounts . . . sans conscience above - sans conscience below. Dante posited Limbo (that quiet suburban community ringing Hell) was a place reserved for those who evinced indifference to the world around them. It would seem our corporate/consumer version of Damnation (which now includes Casual Fridays in Hell itself) requires prescriptions for anti-depressants, urine tests, and Reality Television competitions to enter its inner most circles. As stated, human beings have always possessed an immense capacity for self-deception - but, at present, we Americans can no longer afford stupid, naked monkey business as usual: The stakes are too damn high. When we, as a people, cannot or will not connect the needless deaths of well over half-a-million Iraqis with the oversized motor vehicles in our driveways, the situation has grown dire indeed. How can we go on this way? At this point, a guilt-induced, collective nervous breakdown in the middle of our morning commute would seem to be in order. By existing in this degree of denial, what have we conjured? What sort of a society do we call forth when our lives are as isolated, benumbed, inauthentic and devoid of conscience as they are at present? The answer is: We're living in the midst of it . . . this hideous era of pervasive flimflam and permanent war. Call it: The Halliburtonization of everyday life. Again, as above - so below. We live in a nation dominated by salesmanship (commercial, political, religious). Accordingly, the salesman's credo is: a facile mendacity trumps a stubborn truth - because an honest mode of being would cause the buyer to become wary of the giddy lie of the pitch. Hence, complicity in its duplicity is what the corporate/consumer state demands of us. The salesman's counterfeit smile is, of course, camouflage. Beneath it is hidden a face more closely resembling that quintessential corporatist and Halliburton-alumni-in-good-standing: Dick Cheney. His joyless, thin-lipped, psychopath's half grin is the true countenance of our death-enamored empire. A salesman's repertoire of manipulative enthusiasm and sham amiability fronts the whole criminal enterprise. Is it any coincidence that Las Vegas and prisons are the fastest growing population centers in the United States? We've become a country comprised of clip joints and jails. A land of suckers and criminals, with a cultural landscape peopled by corporate scam artists, congressional bagmen, and war criminals (hiding in plain sight in the highest offices of the land). It's a natural progression, due to the fact that capitalism has always depended on a predatory class of sociopaths, has always relied upon thievery and murder, and, therefore, needs an endless supply of suckers and victims. Yet, most of us Americans are no one's victims. Any con artist worth his smarmy smile is aware of this fact: As a rule, a mark is made the victim of his own greed. Moreover - by means of our complicity in allowing our identities to be molded by a culture dominated by proliferate propaganda, empty salesmanship, and our own lies of omission - the fate of a hapless mark, bamboozled by self-inflicted selfishness, is the criteria we live out daily. Apropos, we're now condemned to shuffle through our lives as somnambulating ciphers, dim denizens of a world made manifest by mountebanks. We should be cautioned. History reveals that what a nation inflicts upon the world, its own people will, sooner or later, inflict upon each other. There is no need to warily scan the horizon line for its arrival, because we're already living in the midst of the angst and emptiness we have wrought. Ergo, when dreams mean nothing - when words and images are rendered meaningless - our lives reflect these dismal states. Words, images, and dreams are our internal analog of the vast, manifold, and incomprehensible sublime of the cosmos. When we dream, we are spiraling supernovas and spindling stalks of slime mold. We are schools of silent fish and we are the fulmination of thunder. We are uniquely ourselves; yet, we also contain all of existence. To lose our dreams is to lose our soul. Hence, to have the verities of our inner selves twisted and distorted towards the selfish ends of corporate capitalism and the dishonest agendas of mass media-driven political discourse is to become estranged from passion, empathy, and imagination; thereby, we grow inured to phrases such as preemptive war, collateral damage and acceptable losses - expressions that we should find repellent, if not, flat-out mortifying. If not, then it should follow: We should change the names of the civilian casualties of war, inscribed upon their respective tombstones, to simply read "Collateral Damage". Moreover, narratives of bereavement should sound something like this: "You see, when the bombs of the Preemptive Warriors fell on our home - our child, now named, 'Collateral Damage,' was asleep in her crib, and she became 'our little Acceptable Loss'"... Now try this: See how the statement above sounds when you substitute the names of your loved ones - or even the names of your pets. In opposition to empathy, the corporatist mode of being instructs us that human life, like material objects, exists merely to be used, used-up, then discarded; nature is to be subdued, exploited, and decimated; trees toppled; rivers dammed up; mountains ground down to silt; words degraded, attenuated, and stripped of meaning. Finally, they will come for us. Instead, what if we were seized and shook by shamanic visions sent to us from an ensouled earth that had grown enraged by our ignorance and indifference towards its plight? What if these fantastic and terrifying narratives warned of dire events and augured destruction, in which, oceans rose, hurricanes churned, glaciers melted, the very young and the very old perished from extreme heat and cold, as clouds of pestilence descended upon the land? Are these visions crackpot ravings or last summer's news and weather reports? What difference would it make whether these dire and dreadful circumstances are wrought by wrathful gods or Global Warming? The structure, plot, theme, and dnouement are essentially the same: Hubris and ignorance transform nature (human and otherwise) into a force of blind destruction, thereby rendering arrogant folly rending tragedy. Whether engendered by gods, or memes or molecules, suffering is suffering; untimely death is untimely death, regardless of the cause. We Americans have numbed ourselves in order to be able to live with our complicity in the crimes of empire. We have carpet bombed our rational minds into oblivion by the belief in chimeras such as "smart bombs". Reason tells us a truly smart bomb would be able to distinguish the innocent from the guilty. Therefore, for a smart bomb to exist, it would have to be a Frankenstein Monster Bomb, because, in order to exterminate the truly guilty, it would first have to kill its creators. Then it would go after the soulless bastards who ordered its use. Accordingly, smart bombs would be flying into Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld's front doors as thick and fast as moths toward a glowing porch light on a warm summer night. Only a society of numbed-out, reality-adverse imbeciles could believe in the existence of smart bombs. In a related matter, recent public opinion surveys have revealed close to seventy percent of the population of the United States does not believe in the Theory of Evolution, yet believes that a mythological character called Satan is a literal entity. How did this epic ignorance come to be? How did we leave the 21st Century and blunder back to the 14th? Maybe this type of hocus-pocus, hoodoo and religious legerdemain is necessary to keep an increasingly angst-ridden, over-worked populace from rising from our enclosures in Hell (also known as cubicles and work stations) and demanding a system that offers greater depth, meaning and resonance than the one presently afforded under corporate hegemony. Is this how we became so passive and benumbed - because the life we're offered and have accepted within the corporate/consumer paradigm is so limiting in its possibilities: it being a system that occludes and eventually destroys the natural world (both external and internal)? Is this the reason we have grown so dim - because our imaginations have been so deeply suppressed that its imaginings now rise as a living nightmare of literalization? Perhaps, Americans don't believe in evolution due to the fact we no longer believe that meaningful change can occur. And, perhaps, we believe in the literal existence of a soul-collecting Devil because we know that we have lost our essential selves to a mysterious force that seems beyond our control. Having been seduced by the illusions of corporate capitalism (a false mythos that tantalizes us with promises of freedom but instead shackles us to exploitive labor and mind-numbing consumerism) we know we have made an ill-advised bargain with some dark force that has robbed us of our humanity. We know (maybe ineffably) that, here within the empire, our lives have lost an essential, soul-enhancing element. It is possible we fear our souls are imperiled by the Devil because, on some level of awareness, we grasp we have forsaken our ability to experience a life imbued by meaning, depth and resonance, due to our systematic suppression of those vital aspects of our character that are capable of imagining then creating a future containing greater possibilities than the shriveled pickings of the present. We fear the licking flames of hell, I suspect, because we realize we have sold our souls at fire sale prices. Phil Rockstroh, a self-described auto-didactic, gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: philangie2000 [at] yahoo.com. [We don't spend enough time realizing all the ways capitalism destroys our souls, humanity, imagination, spontaniety, joy in life and nature. We get smaller and grayer and more brittle, made into zombie ants to work and shut up and be no threat to the tarantulas who run the system, sucked dry and lifeless. It's a very clever and necessary strategy for the tarantulas - if we had any vital juices in us, we'd overthrow them. Slave-masters have to make slaves think like slaves; capitalism depends on a pervasive crapaganda system to lobotomize our independent thoughts and thoughts of independence. -ed] --------10 of 11-------- Six Flags Over Neo-Nuremberg Bush, Oprah, the San Diego Chicken, and a Proto-Fascist Panopticon of the Mind Six Flags Over Neo-Nuremberg by Phil Rockstroh www.dissidentvoice.org October 6, 2006 http://www.referralblast.com/rblast.asp?sid=7227 Many believe fascism will come to the United States of America resembling contrived spectacles such as The Super Bowl, The Academy Awards, and American Idol, with the proceedings intercut with teary, yet ultimately triumphant, Oprahesque tales of how redemption can be gained through the renunciation of one's rights, liberties, as well as, the dutiful turning in of one's subversive neighbors. Don't reach for that remote, folks: It's already here. Our journey to fascism began at the end of The Second World War when the tenets of the hyper-commercialized entertainment/military/corporate state became sacrosanct by means of our internalization of it from constant mass media reinforcement. What purported to be only a message from our sponsors metastasized into the 24/7, corporatized UberCulture of the present day. The Revolution will not be televised - because The Corporatist Coup is being continually broadcast. Commercial advertising is a form of political speech: A very potent one and its effects are far from benign. By means of its cultural dominance, commercial advertising is promulgated, to the point of total market saturation, without any form of effective opposition; hence, by its very nature, it amounts to corporatist propaganda and serves as a vehicle of mass indoctrination. By way of a ceaseless bombardment of advertising imagery, we exist in a nonstop, holographic, corporate Nuremberg rally of the collective mind. We need not participate in old school, torch-lit processions of Brownshirts through the streets: This brand of all media penetration proto-fascism has been internalized. We, like maggots born into a pile of dung, find nothing malodorous about our place of birth. Karl Rove, Roger Ailes, et al are not evil geniuses. Well, at least, they're not geniuses. They're simply cocktail party-variety, confidence artists of the electronic age. They're media professionals who understand the proto-fascistic fantasies of the populace of the consumer state. Hitler and Goebbels grasped what any advertising copywriter is taught early on: People can be manipulated, if an appeal can be addressed to modern man's yearning to break free from the constraints of his existence as an economic animal. Whether it's the promised dawning of The Thousand Year Reich or the empty facsimile of freedom promised by the purchase of a new automobile, both provide the feckless sucker with the illusion of shaking up the old order; hence, the quotidian prison will collapse, allowing one's imprisoned longings to escape to freedom over the rubble. But first, paradoxically, one must surrender their rational mind to the individuality-destroying agendas of the state and/or corporation. When people habitually surrender their free will to the irrational dictates of a dominant order, an inner anxiety results. Outwardly, one feigns strength, yet inwardly one is ridden with doubts. To compensate, an individual will grow, over time, more rigid, even totalitarian. Enter George W. Bush, a man affecting a massive measure of feigned toughness - yet, at the same time, riddled with such a high degree of concomitant inner doubts that when he attempts to speak, his words trip and stagger over his lips like drunken dwarves attempting to clear a high curb. In temperament, Bush is as vain and brutish as any tin-plated dictator. Worse, Bush, more closely resembles an abusive pimp - tragically, Lady Liberty's. Habitually slapping her around, accusing her of holding out on him, and paranoid of betrayal, Bush, a preening caricature of Macho Narcissism, like any run-of-the-dark-alley pimp claims to be her protector, as, all the while, he abuses, exploits, and degrades her. Apropos, Bush's vast collection of outfits for every occasion should include a plum purple pimp suit; accordingly, the presidential limo should be tricked out to sport 1970s-style Cadillac El Dorado opera windows, a two tone paint job, and be accessorized with plush, white fur-lined upholstery. It was the black magicians of advertising who sold us George W. Bush. Bush was initially marketed as a box of detergent (though he's dumb as a box of rocks) - a cleansing, Christian soap to be used as directed to wash and scour the stain of Satanic jism left on the fabric of American life by the sinful Bill Clinton. Bush, a former drunk, now "cleaned-up," was ready to lead America to a whiter-than-white future - plus provide round-the-clock protection from the offensive odors emitted by the body politic. But, after the Eleventh of September 2001, Bush was marketed as a Humvee. The biggest, most powerful vehicle traveling the perilous roadways of a hostile world: It's O.K. kids, daddy's at the wheel . . . just sit in the backseat and watch your DVDs . . . You're safe and protected: anybody or anything stupid enough to get in our way will be crushed beneath us. Challenge us you evildoers and you'll join the rest of the smoking wreckage and pulverized road-kill in our wake. Although - after wildly fluctuating gas prices and a series of deadly rollovers on the roadways of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Post-Katrina Gulf coast - the Hummer presidency of George W. Bush is sputtering: the DVD player is running an endless tape loop of Bush strutting, clad in a flight suit, while Iraq burns and bleeds; in addition, the vehicle's passengers are carsick and road weary. The fool's gold standard for this form of governance-by-marketing-subterfuge was set by former soap and nuclear missile salesmen Ronald Reagan who was successfully sold as a kind of grandfatherly Marlboro Man. Reagan, whose fantasy-prone hagiographers still believe, by some cryptic act of telegenic alchemy, brought down the Soviet Union - somehow - by simply reading a teleprompter. Later, Bill Clinton was a rock-a-billy cool Elvis who fattened up the economy like it was binging on a round-the-clock, fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches and chocolate cake diet. At this point, hapless George W. Bush, as was the case with his geeky, hyperthyroid father before him, must be beginning to cause his corporate creators to drastically up the dosages of their respective SSRI prescriptions, because, while they intended to market Bush II as the heir apparent of the iconic cowboy Ronald Reagan, it's clear he couldn't handle the responsibilities of the San Diego Chicken. Bush should serve out the rest of his term wearing a chicken costume. Such an act would be emblematic of the man, as well as our era: Bush as an emblem of the populace of the United States - a people who have lost their dignity, by way of surrendering it to the corporatist order. In a more literate age, F. Scott Fitzgerald, in his masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, limned characters emblematic of his era. Yet the words he wrote in the 1920s still resonate today as a powerful indictment of those who created and enable men like Bush - the corrupt corporatist classes of the present time: "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made ..." (Pg. 180-181) Carelessness is the manner by which extroverts manifest despair. Being a nation that considers introspection a loser's gambit, carelessness has been our national mode d'etre since the countries inception. Bush is only its latest manifestation. And the mess is piling up by the hour. As was the case with Gatsby, beneath the carefully constructed image and manic consumption of the UberCulture, the American empire is doomed. Although, we, unlike Gatsby, for all our cunning artifices and desperate subterfuge, are not flaming out and falling amid the glittering debris of frenetic, jazz-imbued bacchanals - we have only managed shopping spree debt, over-priced coffee jags, McMansion-enclosed anomie and porn habituation. Gatsby remains an emblem of the hollowness howling beneath the convivial veneer of capitalist man. An updated version of the model is Oprah Winfrey. Yes, I realize Gatsby is a fictional character, imagined and realized by F. Scott Fitzgerald within the context of a novel; Gatsby is a construct of the mind sent out into the world to synergize with the imagination of the reader. Yet the Oprah we hold in our mind's eye is also an imagined character - a character wholly created by Oprah, fully imagined and realized inside the media hologram. Oprah is a corporate capitalist, performance propagandist. Her rousing tales of personal redemption are very useful to the plutocratic order of the present day, an elitist order in which she's comfortably ensconced. In a time when the besieged laboring and middle classes would benefit from an honest expose detailing the ruling class machinations that belie their sense of powerlessness, Oprah, instead, proffers twelve step-usurped platitudes, "Self Help" bromides (suggested book club title: An Idiots Guide To Idiocy) and shop-worn Horatio Alger doggerel, all refitted to the media age. The Gospel of Oprah reeks of faux redemption. Even when Oprah addresses a topic such as the wage enslavement of minimum wage jobs, she avoids the obvious question of who benefits from having this exploitive system in place. Such disingenuous story telling is analogous to Charles Dickens penning "A Christmas Story" sans Ebenezer Scrooge. Oprah is a plutocratic enabler disguised as the populist underdog who made good. She is a shill for the status quo. She will never point a pampered finger towards the corrupt ruling elitist of the corporate class - because that finger would end up pointing back at her. The UberCulture's frenetic come-ons and false promises flatten people out emotionally, rendering them depressed, passive, and conformist. Moreover, in a culture where success is deemed the end all/be all of all things - even a measure of God's love and grace, when contemporary Americans risk straying from the mainstream and fail, the repercussions are terrible, more than most people can endure, economically as well as psychologically. And within the parameters of a corporately controlled economic structure - rigged for the benefit of a privileged few - failure is altogether likely. Then combine those noxious realities with the puritanical idea that failure is due to some character flaw (a toxic notion Oprah has given a makeover for the media age) and we're left with a populace who are conformist, terrified to risk, yet cling to the defining delusion that they live in a society where industry, innovation, and pluck are rewarded with success. For this reason the corporatist order needs a consummate propagandist like Oprah; a charismatic mountebank who, by means of her stem-twisting tales of personal redemption, dangles before her credulous audience the elusive and illusionary carrot of success. Success and personal fulfillment are possible for one and all, she lies, if only one will surrender their rational instincts and avail oneself to her gospel of self-help salvation. In doing this, Oprah simply sells a variation of the old totalitarian snake oil. Oprah Winfrey is a sleight-of-hand artist. One of an order of corrupt illusionists who have conjured an all-pervasive, corporatist narrative, a ceaseless mass-media phantasmagoria, wherein empty imagery deluges authentic apprehension and our minds are whirled within a virtual-reality vortex that drowns out resonate experience. The Virtual States of America. In reality, a large measure of our lives are comprised of long work hours, rounded by tedious, time-decimating commutes, while in unison, mass media manipulation creates a psychological and societal dynamic whereby we must work, nearly continuously, so that we can afford to purchase the empty distractions needed to stave off the demoralization attendant to this soul-numbing arrangement; yet, for all our efforts, we only accumulate more enslaving debt. Ultimately, condemning ourselves to exist indentured to our corporate bosses, by means of our own consumerist compulsions. These circumstances and our own complicity contrive to fetter us to the global company store of late capitalism as, all the while, our perceptions remain imprisoned within the proto-fascist panopticon of the UberCulture. Part prison, part holographic theme park of the mind, it spins a ceaseless spectacle of commercial propaganda. Call it: Six Flags over Neo-Nuremberg, U.S.A. Phil Rockstroh, a self-described auto-didactic, gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: philangie2000 [at] yahoo.com. --------11 of 11-------- Yes sir boss I'll do it right away. (Bury my heart at bended knee). ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
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