....LMB: "Memory Surrenders"....

April 07, 2003


"Nearly eight in 10 Americans now accept the Bush administration's contention — disputed by some experts — that Hussein has 'close ties' to Al Qaeda (even 70% of Democrats agree). And 60% of Americans say they believe Hussein bears at least some responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — a charge even the administration hasn't levied against him."

As you've most likely seen on a million different lefty news sites, there is no public evidence that Saddam Hussein has any ties to Al Qaeda, and logic tells you that since the two have hated each other in the past, that they probably aren't allies. And there is even less evidence (yeah, I guess I'm saying less than zero) that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9-11.

Scarily, the poll numbers of Americans who believe that Hussein has launched terrorist attacks on the U.S. (he hasn't) is increasing as time passes (and as the war goes on)(insert my usual caveat about the inherent untrustworthiness of poll data here). Pretty soon people will start blaming Saddam Hussein for the repression of women in Afghanistan. And Watergate. And of course for the Holocaust (I think he also tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden).

I'm going to theorize on this. I think that this adoption of this belief is a fairly subconscious effort by many Americans to stave off feelings of guilt or doubt that the war may have induced in them. If they start feeling bad when seeing footage on the TV of Iraqi refugees or bombed out homes, they can "remind" themselves that this war was necessary because Saddama bin Laden attacked the U.S. Then the guilt can be transformed into quiet determination. They'll resolve to keep up their courage until "our boys" complete their mission.

But all of this is part of a larger American problem. It's usually referred to in the media as "apathy," but it's really about powerlessness. Unless you or I try real real hard, we have no say in what goes on in our government. Any American could have done the research that would have disproven the Saddam-Al Qaeda link, but why bother? Your knowledge won't change policy. So why go to the effort of learning about what's going on in the world if you can't put that knowledge to any use? Since you have no say, you might better spend that time figuring out how to alleviate your feelings of guilt at what your government is doing than trying to stop the unstoppable.

That's not apathy, it's recognition of the balance of power, combined with ignorance and despair. Americans are ignorant about the world because they don't see how learning about the world is going to make any difference. And if nothing you can do will make a big difference in your country or society, why waste time trying to? Better to look out for #1, or your family, and try to get as comfortable as possible.

That's my conclusion. Huge numbers of Americans act the way they do because deep down, they feel defeated and insignificant, unable to impact or influence the world around them, and are trying to live the most fulfilling lives they can while trying to cope with that hopelessness.

Which is, of course, why I'm an activist.

I say fuck defeat, and fuck despair. Quite frankly, this world isn't worth living in, so I'm going to use my power, and use my time to TRY to make this world worth living in. Hell, I'm going to try to make it a paradise, because nothing else is worth that kind of effort.

Everyone has power, and everyone can use it.

Naive? Idealistic? Fucking right.

Let's go. We've got work to do.

Posted by Jake at 12:51 AM | TrackBack (0)

Have you read Eric Fromm's "Escape From Freedom" ?
This is a book that should be read by everyone who is trying to understand what is going on in America and why.
A few quotes..."In considering the psychological success of Nazism...the readiness to submit to the Nazi regime seems to be due mainly to a state of inner tiredness and resignation."
"Usually Hitler tries to rationalize and justify his wish for power. The main justifications are the following; his dominion of other peoples is for their own good and for the good of the world, he himself acts under a higher power, God, Fate, History, Nature; his attempts at domination are only a defense against others who seek to dominate him and the German people: He wants only peace and freedom."
This is a great book for these times, written in 1941!

Posted by: farmgirl at April 7, 2003 08:03 AM

And to put farmgirls comment into a modern perspective, this link ( http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/100102_bush_advisors.html ) shows exactly how Bush is doing the same thing now.

Posted by: Andy at April 7, 2003 10:02 AM

What about this:


Posted by: Stu at April 7, 2003 11:31 AM

i feel your pain, Jake. it's another reason i've started considering again the prospect of studying law.

as for the lies, at this point, the only thing that will wake Americans up to the lies fed to them will be a video tape from bin Laden after the war is over, thanking America for getting rid of Saddam.

Posted by: DesertJo at April 8, 2003 09:34 AM

I'm still waiting for somebody in government to start blaming Saddam Hussein for SARS. And for a majority of Americans to start believing *that*, too.

Posted by: M Jacobs at April 8, 2003 09:39 AM

Doesn't even compare to the Arab world where 70% believe it was the Jews who piloted the planes on 9/11.
I also find it strange that the link provided by Stu above is being treated as if it doesn't even exist. Good sense of balance people.

Posted by: Sadworld at April 8, 2003 12:48 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

December 01, 2004

Media Mambo

The Great Indecency Hoax- last week, we wrote about how the "massive outcry" to the FCC about a racy Fox TV segment amounted to letters from 20 people. This week, we look at the newest media scandal, the infamous "naked back" commercial. On Monday Night Football, last week, ABC aired an ad for it's popular "Desperate Housewives" TV show, in which one of the actresses from the show attempted to seduce a football player by removing the towel she was wearing to bare her body to him. All the audience saw, however, was her back. No tits, no ass, no crotch, just her back.

No one complained.

The next Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh told his shocked viewers how the woman had appeard in the commercial "buck naked".

Then, the FCC received 50,000 complaints. How many of them actually saw this commercial is anyone's guess.

The article also shows the amazing statistics that although the Right is pretending that the "22% of Americans voted based on 'moral values'" statistic shows the return of the Moral Majority, this is actually a huge drop from the 35% who said that in the 2000 election or the 40% who said that in 1996 (when alleged pervert Bill Clinton was re-elected). This fact is so important I'm going to mention it over in the main news section too.

Brian Williams may surprise America- Tom Brokaw's replacement anchor, Brian Williams, dismissed the impact of blogs by saying that bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Which is really funny, coming out of the mouth of a dude who's idea of journalism is to read words out loud off a teleprompter. Seriously, if parrots were literate, Brian Williams would be reporting live from the line outside the soup kitchen.

In related news, Tom Brokaw has quit NBC Nightly News, and it appears that unlike his predecessor, the new guy can speak without slurring words like a drunk.

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror- in February of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence, a new department that would fight the war on terror through misinformation, especially by lying to journalists. Journalists were so up in arms about this that the Pentagon agreed to scrap the program.

Don't you think that an agency designed to lie to the public might lie about being shut down, too?

This article gives some examples about the US military lying to the press for propaganda and disinformation purposes.

Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December- African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley is opting to not renew his daily talk show on National Public Radio. He criticized his former employers for failing to: "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply don’t know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future." He's 100% correct. NPR is white. Polar bear eating a marshmallow at the mayonaise factory white. And the reason it's so white is that it is trying to maintain an affluent listener base (premoniantly older white folks) who will donate money to their stations. This is a great paradox of American public broadcasting, that they have a mandate to express neglected viewpoints and serve marginalized communities, but those folks can't donate money in the amounts that the stations would like to see.

U.S. Muslim Cable TV Channel Aims to Build Bridges- it sounds more positive than it is "Bridges TV" seems to simultaneously be a cable channel pursuing an affluent American Muslim demographic, and a way of building understanding and tolerance among American non-Muslims who might happen to watch the channel's programming. I was hoping it would be aimed more at Muslim's worldwide, but it ain't. Still, I'd be interested in seeing how their news programs cover the issues.

Every Damned Weblog Post Ever- it's funny cuz it's true.

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News- Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created collectively by thousands of contributors. It's one of those non-profit, decentralized, collective, public projects that show how good the internet can be. Now, the Wikipedia founders are working on a similar project to create a collaborative news portal, with original content. Honestly, it's quite similar to IndyMedia sites (which reminds me, happy 5th birthday, IndyMedia!). I'll admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the Wikinews project, though. IndyMedia sites work because they're local, focused on certain lefty issues, and they're run by activists invested in their beliefs. I'm not sure what would drive Wikinews or how it would hang together.

CBS, NBC ban church ad inviting gays- the United Church of Christ created a TV ad which touts the church's inclusion, even implying that they accept homosexuals into their congregation. Both CBS and NBC are refusing to air the ad. This is not too surprising, as many Americans are uncomfortable about homosexuality, and because TV networks are utter cowards. But CBS' explanation for the ban was odd:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Whoa, what? First of all, the ad does not mention marriage at all. Second, since when do positions opposite of the Executive Branch constitute "unacceptable"? This doesn't sound like "we're not airing this because it's controversial", this sounds like "we're afraid of what the President might say."

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