Big Brother’s got that ju-ju, Gaia’s got the blues — hologram, carry me home
By Joe Bageant
May 13, 2010
“Information Clearing House“
I’ve spent most of this week watching American television and movies. I leave the TV on all night long. I toss and turn with my bad back, and bad lungs, catch a rerun episode of Two and a Half Men, or CSI, and conk out again. Then I awaken to the U.S. morning talk shows. It’s a grueling regimen, only for the strong. Or the lonely. For periodic relief, I switch to Mexican television (be patient, I really am going somewhere with this). Mexican TV is not one iota better than US television, but is veeerrry heavy on the booty. More than heavy. Astronomical. Think all-but-bare tits and ass close-ups every fifteen seconds, straight through commercials, dramas, comedy shows, history shows, and even the news where possible. Every show but the bullfights and that old nun who comes on at ten PM, who invariably drives me back to the U.S. channels.
Ahhhh … Safely in the American national illusion, where all the world’s a shopping expedition. Or a terrorist threat. No matter, as long as it is colorful and wiggles on the theater state’s 400 million screens. Plug in and be lit up by the American Hologram.
This great loom of media images, and images of images, is so many layers deep that it has replaced reality. No one can remember the original imprint. If there was one. The hologram is a hermetic snow globe, a self-referential circuitry of images, and a Möbius loop from which there is no logical escape. Logic has zilch to do with what is going on. The smallest part holographically recapitulates the whole, and vice versa. No thinking required, we just cycle and recycle through an aural dimension. Not all that bad, I guess, if it were not generated by forces out to fuck every last pair of eyeballs and mind plugged into it.
The investing class has put thousands of billions into movies, TV and other media to keep the hologram lit up over the past six decades. Which is to say, keep the public in an entertained stupor, awed, mislead, and most importantly, distracted. But the payoff probably runs in the trillions.
hat tip: Jewish World Review
The narrative of the incident of Israel and the Golden Calf — read this week publicly from the Torah — is so riveting and fascinating that we return to it year after year with renewed and refreshed interest.
How did human beings that experienced godly Revelation at Sinai revert to worshiping a Golden Calf just a few short weeks later? What happened to the “the kingdom of priests and holy nation” to cause this terrible reversal of course?
The great biblical commentators and, in fact, the Jewish people itself, in its deepest soul, have all wrestled with the problem of understanding this unfathomable fall of Israel and its consequences. And even though a full solution to this problem is not present, at least not in this limited space, I think that there are a number of insights that are apparent from this event, and that these insights are pertinent and necessary to us, personally and nationally, today as well.
The Torah itself stresses that the absence of Moses from the Israelite encampment for so many weeks after the Revelation at Sinai was a strong contributing factor to the debacle of the Golden Calf. Jews, like all other humans, need strong, courageous, sensitive, wise leadership. Every person must, perforce, make difficult decisions for themselves. The world and Jewish society especially, is not a dictatorship governed by infallible people. But, at the same time, people require guidance, direction and vision in their lives.
There must always be someone to point the way, to identify the goals and to formulate plans and ideas. The Jewish people were still too raw, too insecure, and too new to freedom to be able to be weaned from Moses’ continuing presence and leadership. Panicked, they searched for a substitute Moses and reverted back to the idolatrous ways of the society of Egypt where they had been raised. After forty years, the Jewish people would be able to bear the permanent loss of Moses. But it would take many years of Torah life and training for them to make it on their own with Joshua as their new leader.
By RALPH NADER
Those long-hoping, long-enduring members of the liberal intelligentsia are starting to break away from the least-worst mindset that muted their criticisms of Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign.
They still believe that the President is far better than his Republican counterpart would have been. Some still believe that sometime, somewhere, Obama will show his liberal stripes. But they no longer believe they should stay loyally silent in the face of the escalating war in Afghanistan, the near collapse of key provisions in the health insurance legislation, the likely anemic financial regulation bill, or the obeisance to the bailed out Wall Street gamblers. Remember this Administration more easily embraces bonuses for fat cats than adequate investment in public jobs.
Of all the loyalists, among the first to stray was Bob Herbert, columnist for The New York Times. He wondered about his friends telling him that Obama treats their causes and them “as if they have nowhere to go.” Then there was the stalwart Obamaist, the brainy Gary Wills, who broke with Obama over Afghanistan in a stern essay of admonition.
If you read the biweekly compilation of progressive and liberal columnists and pundits in the Progressive Populist, one of my favorite publications, the velvet verbal gloves are coming off.
Jim Hightower writes that “Obama is sinking us into ‘Absurdistan.’” He bewails: “Ihad hoped Obama might be a more forceful leader who would reject the same old interventionist mindset of those who profit from permanent war. But his newly announced Afghan policy shows he is not that leader.”
Galena, OH – Beth Lear, Republican from Galena, announced today that she will campaign for State Representative in Ohio’s 2nd House District, currently held by Kris Jordan (R – Powell). Representative Jordan is seeking the Senate seat being vacated by Senate President Bill Harris.
“For a long time now it has been true that as Ohio goes, so goes the nation,” said Lear. “But Ohio hasn’t been leading, we’ve been following. I want to change that.”
Lear said that, according the most recent “Rich States, Poor States” report from the American Legislative Exchange Council, Ohio ranked 49th in economic performance, with only Michigan doing worse.
“There’s a simple reason for that poor performance,” Lear said. “Republican and Democrat leaders alike for the last 20 years have been unwilling to rein in our state government,” Lear said. “Add burdensome taxation and regulation and it becomes awfully difficult to grow jobs. Ohio needs a different kind of leader, one who understands that government is best when it governs least. I pledge to be that kind of leader.”
Lear said Ohio must have a government that gets out of the way and allows small businesses to thrive. “If you want to keep college graduates in Ohio and encourage new business to locate here, then you must allow them to create and thrive, and reward them for it, rather than punish them,” Lear said.