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February 23, 2007


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I know someone who has rightwing patter down so well, it's downright disconcerting. People almost start to argue with him until they remember that he is momentarily assuming a role. He probably could make good money doing that, but he'd probably feel a need for a shower afterwards.

We need Mummers to go around the country in masks pantomiming talk show talking points, until the populace see what a farce it really is.

A gasbag mime. The paradox is striking.

A Bill O'Reilly mask. How grotesque. Perhaps we could sit in the dumpster and make up a batch of papier mache? O'Reilly... Limbaugh.... Imus... Hannity... all with grotesquely exagerrated features. Would match their equally grotesque views.


The active duty military personnel who signed the 'Appeal for Redress' are being featured on 60 Minutes tonight at 7PM. One of those is a soldier whose website 'Soldiers Voices Forum' I've highlighted on deadissue recently. A bona fide 'Support the Troops' moment if there ever was one, I urge everyone to tune in and to also help spread the word by posting on your own websites, sending out emails, etc.

Thank you for speaking up.

You betcha. Sign me up. I'll do anything for a buck. Profit motive? Yum.

Money is the root of all evil. Cherishing or coveting is the root of all evil. This is why I don't see how the Axis of Evil can be other than Brands. Cherishing and coveting and money is what the marketplace is all about. Surely, we should be at war with our own evil impulses? Operation Enduring Freedom should involve years in an Ashram.

...should involve years in an Ashram
That's the most subversive thing I've seen since I got back online.

To weed the garden is the work of a lifetime.

Yes, exactly!

This is why I don't see how the Axis of Evil can be other than Brands.

Iraq, Iran and North Korea have already been made into brands for the pleasure of the American people. Speak directly to their fears and desires.

10 points and afternoon tea with Candy if anyone can guess who wrote this ...

In the West, democratic principles are proclaimed and many able and conscientious publicists do their best to supply electors with adequate information and to persuade them, by rational argument, to make realis tic choices in the light of that information. All this is greatly to the good.

But unfortunately propaganda in the Western democracies, above all in America, has two faces and a divided personality. In charge of the editorial department there is often a democratic Dr. Jekyll -- a propagandist who would be very happy to prove that John Dewey had been right about the abil ity of human nature to respond to truth and reason. But this worthy man controls only a part of the machin ery of mass communication. In charge of advertising we find an anti-democratic, because anti-rational, Mr. Hyde -- or rather a Dr. Hyde, for Hyde is now a Ph.D. in psychology and has a master's degree as well in the social sciences. This Dr. Hyde would be very unhappy indeed if everybody always lived up to John Dewey's faith in human nature. Truth and reason are Jekyll's affair, not his. Hyde is a motivation analyst, and his business is to study human weaknesses and failings, to investigate those unconscious desires and fears by which so much of men's conscious thinking and overt doing is determined. And he does this, not in the spirit of the moralist who would like to make people better, or of the physician who would like to improve their health, but simply in order to find out the best way to take advantage of their ignorance and to expolit their irrationality for the pecuniary benefit of his employers.

But after all, it may be argued, "capitalism is dead, consumerism is king" -- and consumerism re quires the services of expert salesmen versed in all the arts (including the more insidious arts) of persuasion. Under a free enterprise system commercial propaganda by any and every means is absolutely indispensable.

JJ, please do tell me who wrote this, and provide a link or footnote. It is exactly what I have been trying to articulate about the "arts," those of freedom (the liberal arts) and those of wealth bondage (advertising, marketing, propaganda, and spin).

It comes from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Revisited, which he wrote in 1958 .. 49 years ago and some 25 or so years after he published BNW.

It is very enlightening, as the 25-years-later piece outlines his thinking about the components that make up the original BNW ... it's essentially a long and very robust footnote to the book.

That excerpt is but one of many nuggets, and it is stunning, gobsmacking to realize, as one reads it, just how clear and prescient his reading of the tea leaves was then. Reading Brave New World, Revisited today leaves you with the distinct impression that what he has written could pass for a well-researched and thought-out essay a month ago, as almost all he writes about in 1958 is visible and growing in 2007.

Thanks, what a writer, let alone a prophet.

Yes, the writing is deliciously well-constructed and clear. i can only dream ..

Thanks, JJ, I love Huxley. Someone I would like to read more deeply. I will not tax the Tutor's patience with subversive links, but only note that there are many doors that lead to deep perception. Wake up, sleepwalkers! It is time to discover our humanity.

Someone I would like to read more deeply

Gerry .. other than family, work, other reading, writing, and life in general ... what's stopping you ? ;-)

:) Michael and I just drove back from DC and had a lot of time to talk philosophy and such. He asserted the necessity to read the entire arc of an author's work, particularly if you are going to critique or extend it. I agreed, but who has the time to read anything much less the complete works of several important writers. Huxley is not officially on my list, but it may have to wait 'til retirement before I can really complete it.

I wouldn't dare try it, even for the big bucks. You know the old joke: Don't make that face. Somebody could sneak up on you and slap you on the face while you're making it, and then your face will be stuck like that forever. What if I was typing away in a feigned rhapsodic state over the latest weird big-name cola mutation, when somebody sneaked up behind me and... and... it hurts to even contemplate.

Hey, we can't all be Huxley experts. Have a little pity.

Sorry. Actually it should be slap you on the back. It's been a long day.

What if I was typing away in a feigned rhapsodic state over the latest weird big-name cola mutation, when somebody sneaked up behind me and... and... it hurts to even contemplate.

Bit too cryptic for me, mx ... but that's no doubt 'cuz of the limitations of my dendrites. Perhaps you can spell out your message a bit more clearly, or unpack the above a bit ?

I can see, then, that prior to writing any more on WB I should read all of Huxley. Would be time well spent.

Sorry, JJ. It's my pitiful attempt to do a take-off on a bit of parent-to-child wisdom from the distant past. The parent would attempt to get the child to stop making rude faces by warning him/her:

If you're making that ugly face and somebody walks up behind you and slaps you on the bag, your face will freeze in that position forever. Then you'll be sorry.

IOW, JJ, what if I put on the conservative shill mask and then it wouldn't come off ? :D

The mask not coming off is quite common. We become what we pretend to be. Blogging as citizens opens up a distance between our "real selves" and our masquerade self. Then it becomes very hard to know what is real (ie the thing we pretend to be) and what is fake (ie our artful satire of same).

"There are those who esteem the unexpected, and those who define it. Experience our description. All new, all weather: Bling Dumpster 2007."

My attempt at ad copy.

JJ that was a great quote from Huxley but you could tone down the intellectual high horse a bit.

farc -- I shoulda said "Bling Dumpster 2008"

or 2112

or "millenium"

or 'nillachocosoy

Dumpster Bling has a nice ring to it.

JJ, you ignorant slut...  ;-)

Bling me your poor, your tired, etc...

JJ that was a great quote from Huxley but you could tone down the intellectual high horse a bit.

I have never doubted that I am a dilettante. One of my many flaws.

I don't see any dilettantes from my brand-spankin Pella Bling Retrofit "Eames-Era" Omni-eye Console Window here. All I see is a used book in a patch of thistles.

In a good way.

The dilettante takes inexpert knowledge of a subject and popularizes its study. He catches a glimpse of a pattern and introduces a bit of something to a discussion that allows sight of it to develop further. He helps people over hurdles and waves cheerfully if they manage to go further. He'll never be what you might call a bull goose authority, or even try to be one. I think both Obadiah and I are pretty fond of them.

The Dumpster, located behind the local high school, is always full of good "like new" used books. Some of the best, like Huxley, are barely opened.

at least someone opened Huxley even once, I suppose [my high school copy, before I opened its creaky binding, Dumpster-destined, was rubber-stamped Apr 14 67]. Maybe the biggest dilettantes are the high school teachers who make kids open certain books, g'bless them ... I do love the dilettantes in this scenario!

To make a person learn to love the higher things that they might otherwise have disdained - that is how freedom is taught and achieved.

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