Tuesday, April 30, 2002

This coup thing is currently ongoing and changing, I'll come back to it. I haven't posted much here but I've spent a lot of time posting on other sites and emailing other people. One of the sites I've posted is on Douglas Rushkoff's. It was featured on Bloggers "Blogs of Note" and I stopped by. Apparently Mr. Rushkoff is an acclaimed author, news correspondent and in my not so humble opinion full of shit.

I have a personal rule that I try to stick to; not to vocalize an opinion about something or someone until I have at least one first hand experience with that person or idea. I guess I'm violating that rule right now. I haven't read any of Rushkoff's books, but I've seen some of his posts to get a good feel for his very often leaky (not watertight) assessments. I feel like he just makes stuff up based on some fact and his opinion. Not all of his ideas are crap though, some ideas of his are interesting and though provoking. But I must say much of what I've seen is crap. All this leads into this - someone posted a comment on Rushkoff's most recent log. The following portion is by Stardustbaby [skywlkrj@aol.com] responding to a portion of one of Rushkoff's half-baked ideas;

"We live in a sorry state. We do not educate our children (I say this as an undergrad in NYC), we have ruined the NEA, and we sympathize with characters on TV but do no show any remorse for what we do to our neighbors immediate and global. People do not suffer within borders.... You get people interested by including them in the dialogue."

That one thought hit me like a ton of bricks. I say that because I watched the final moments of The Bachelor with my girlfriend last week. This was not my decision, I spent the majority of the evening making fun of the show in protest, but I'm just making excuses at this point. I could and should have walked away but alas I did not. The TV VS. Real People statement says it all. We dropped bombs that killed thousands of innocent people of Afghanistan, along with members of the Taliban and Al Qeada. The majority of corporate commercial media was afraid to show us what was really going on, save for maybe NPR and left wing news outlets like Pacifica, Democracy Now, Free Speech Radio News, F.A.I.R. etc. I had trouble listening to Fathers who lost Sons, Daughters who lost Mothers. It pained me to listen to one man after losing his son, not even speaking in vengeful tones but pleading to the US and the world saying "please stop the bombing, you are killing innocent people". I'm not saying we should haven't done what we did, but at least have the balls to say that we have no choice, acknowldege that others are suffering too, make good on the pledge to help rebuild their country, or anything for pete's sake! I'm not even going to make value judgements here about the bombing, just be honest with yourself with what the consequences are when you take these actions. Stand up and say it honestly if you are so vehemently in favor of the incursion.

And yet look at us! We're fascinated and enamored, emotionally engrossed, with the mindless drivel comprised of some privledged rich guy on a TV show looking for a ready made wife, choosing between what I think were a herd of aspiring actresses in LA attempting to add to their resume by getting on the boob tube. In defense of my girlfriend she said it was like watching a train wreck, and indeed it was. I've been known to slow down a bit in the sight of an accident. Shame on me. This however leads me into my next post, an attempt for comic relief and my most recent inspiration!

HOW TO GET MORE AMERICANS INTERESTED IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIR!

The solution is Reality TV! It'll get more Americans interested in foreign affairs, educate how our policies affect other people’s lives in other nations; REALITY TV!!! Stick leaders and political figures with galvanized impressions of the US and put them in a really nice house decorated by Prince, with cameras on them 24 hours a day, recording their every move! Sheer fucking genius!!!

I can see it now - Musharaf, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Ariel Sharon, Yassir Arafat, Prince Abdullah, and Ozzy Ozbourne (just to keep things interesting), all living under one roof. It'll be a ratings blockbuster and people will be educated about world politics too. Attention President BUSH - There will be so much more support for the invasion of Iraq when Saddam kicks Ozzy's dogs after the canine craps on Saddam's custom carpet, adorned with his likeness.

"The nerve of that asshole! The dog doesn't know any better? Let's kick his country's ass!" That's exactly what will shoot thru the minds of Americans everywhere. It'll be the water cooler talk of the nation. Instant online polls ala NBC/Court TV will show at least 79% of viewers will say we should invade, with only 18% saying hold off and the remaining 3% undecided. Even those pesky tree hugging liberals will buy into it! The Animal Cruelty Society and PETA will stage protests demanding that Saddam be punished! With the right editing and some crappy alternative band playing in the background to raise the tension of the dramatic moment, it's a no brainer! I'm calling MTV right now to pitch my idea to the suits.

People will come to sympathize with Sharon, who really just has a Napolean complex. Arafat's uncompromising attitude stem from erectile dysfunctions. Osama is masochistic because he can't get over neglect of his parents, and that his Mom was only his Dad's 13th favorite wife. Musharaf likes to cross dress and go out to bars in the Barrio trying to pick up men. We'd learn all this from the weekly confessional. Why spend millions on good PR Prince Abdullah when all you have to do is live in the house? You could be saving that money and spend it on more important things, like say more personnel and biohazard cleaning products to mop up the blood when you chop peoples hands off for stealing!

Back to Rushkoff, he reminds me quite a bit of Aynn Rand. I know I'm all over the place but I could not help but think of the scene in The Fountainhead, where the lawyer for the main protagonist architect character (it's been a while, I can't remember the names or even crucial details right now) starts going into a tirade about his client to the jury. The lawyer, which is really Aynn Rand talking, just starts making shit up about how the first man who discovered fire probably was lynched by his fellow cavemen because they resented his genius, the first person who created the wheel probably received the same treatment. His client, the lawyer established, was one of those geniuses being lynched! What a bunch of bullshit. Some geniuses with controversial ideas have gotten some rough treatment, but not all of them have been treated that way. Were you at the great unveiling ceremony for the first caveman that discovered fire or the wheel? Aynn Rand just made a bunch of bullshit up to justify her beliefs that she held. Her beliefs are regarded as very anti socialist, sometimes even fascist. Many Republicans and Libertarians love her books.

I've spent a lot of time on Rushkoff's site and posted some rather rancorous stuff, I think, so far. Both Aynn Rand and Rushkoff seem earnest and intelligent but also completely ignorant of any reasonable challenges to their theories. Maybe I'm being too rough on him. No more Rushkoff bashing till I read one of his books..... but I ain't paying for it, I'm going to the library!

One more thing; for her astute observation and permission to use her quote, I thank Stardustbaby for her generiosity. She deserves a link, so click here for her blog. Tell her Palmer sent you.....

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