A Heads Up
Link on over to the always excellent Orcinus and get a copy of "Rush Newspeak and Fascism: An Exegesis". It is a thought provoking eye opener that really helps one to understand the tenor of the seemingly anti -democratic (the political ideal not the party) times that right wing think tanks and media are foisting on us.
Me? I'm reading. I'll be jumping into blogging more as soon as my more up to date worldview coalesces some...
It is good to be back.
Trying to get "up to speed" concerning happenings in the world; working on being current means covering a great deal of ground after the better part of four weeks without access to a computer or periodicals or even NPR to offer hints about planetary happenings.
The day after I posted about my need for a laptop a fellow blogger offered me a loaner. Unfortunately I didn't have occasion to view my mail until returnng home. But the kind offer reinforces the sense of community I feel weaving the blogtopia (thanx skippy) together; that and a look at my stats- a bunch of my favorite daily blog reads stop on by when I'm away. To me the highest compliments. I wish I could do something analogous to having cold beverages, something good to eat in the fridge and some comfy chairs in my EP cyber-parlor to make my visitors feel right at home, especially seeing the last things I wrote, impassioned and from the heart but not very clear... eeesh.
The way we use language is really important. Think of language as the container for thought as well as the vehicle for communicating. Public figures, like the current White House resident and his administration have the expertise of the advertising industry behind them, shaping their message for optimum utility in leading "We the People" by our unsuspecting noses. Read " A Nation of Victims" by Renana Brooks to see how Mr Bush's calculated use of language works. A quotation from the article follows:
Psychologist Martin Seligman, in his extensive studies of "learned helplessness," showed that people's motivation to respond to outside threats and problems is undermined by a belief that they have no control over their environment. Learned helplessness is exacerbated by beliefs that problems caused by negative events are permanent; and when the underlying causes are perceived to apply to many other events, the condition becomes pervasive and paralyzing.
Bush is a master at inducing learned helplessness in the electorate. He uses pessimistic language that creates fear and disables people from feeling they can solve their problems. In his September 20, 2001, speech to Congress on the 9/11 attacks, he chose to increase people's sense of vulnerability: "Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.... I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight.... Be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat." (Subsequent terror alerts by the FBI, CIA and Department of Homeland Security have maintained and expanded this fear of unknown, sinister enemies.) Contrast this rhetoric with Franklin Roosevelt's speech delivered the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He said: "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.... There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounding determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God." Roosevelt focuses on an optimistic future rather than an ongoing threat to Americans' personal survival.
Ms Brooks outlines quite clearly the psychological techniques this administration uses in an effort to keep the citizenry dependent. Bush and company do not seem very interested in the possible side effects of this method of governance- but perhaps a higher level of citizen anxiety is a good for his corporate contributors as well, think of the pharmaceuticals, the junkfood, the beer consumed by the uneasy. And in times of stress people shop more to feel better. A win win for the powers that be and their collaborators. A loss to the practice of Democracy and "We the People".
I read this article in the June 30 Nation magazine, but found it handily on the web at Alternet. Truthout also featured it. You might want to forward it to your friends...
Is putting one political party's fortunes ahead of the general welfare and mental well-being of the populace, American? Ruling like a banana republic despot is shameful, Mr Bush.
Bush Rove and company might have a majority of mainstream reporters in their back pockets, but there are plenty of us doing what we can to help the truth see the light of day. Sort of like the Lilliputians tying down Gulliver.
Welcome to the millstone of Truth, Mr Bush. 2004 is just around the corner.
An exciting time to be alive. A wonderful community to share life's verve with.