The other day I was getting irritated at a bunch of stuff. Since this is a frequent occurrence, I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then a tiny little thought crept in and asked a question. Is all this stuff related? A simple question that begs some difficult answers. Warning: I’m going to sound crazy and delusional.
I’ve always been curious as to how the political right ended up being composed of the groups it has. These groups would seem to have completely different ideological and philosophical views. I never understood how the religious groups and the corporate giants could be lined up so neatly on the same side. One group is all about love and sharing and family. The other is about squeezing the last penny out of employees, customers, and anyone else who they think might have money they could take. Let’s look into this a bit by examining a few of our issues in this country.
Climate change is happening. Regardless of whether we’re causing it or it’s a natural phenomenon, we should be taking steps to make our environment more habitable not less. This is a problem for a wide variety of industries because it means they have to invest in new technology and machinery. That means spending money and not making money. After all, they’re goal is to make a good quarterly statement not look decades down the line at how much the weather might suck. It benefits them if we’re not to blame for climate change.
Then there’s the idea that God would not let us ruin his world. He’ll let us commit genocide, ethnic cleansing, forced relocation, and all manner of crimes against humanity, but not spoil the good Earth. It sounds crazy, but that’s the view held by some of the people in charge of our environmental policy. While I’m not suggesting we worship the Earth, I would think the religious folks would want to take better care of a world created especially for us.
So how do you get a group of religious people who live primarily in the Southern (read hotter) states who rely on agriculture a great deal to take a your corporate view on climate change. Well I would reach out to my friends in the media and give voice to the loudest groups who don’t care what they sound like. It would only take one interview question about whether they believed God would allow global warming (a tragic misnomer) or one article on a protestant website. They whip up a frenzy among the fundamentalists, and the next this you know they’re back big oil’s candidate for presidency.
Surely the information will get out right? That’s what the internet is for right? Well, not so much. Let’s talk about big media, the entertainment industry, tech giants, and parent’s watchdog groups. Oh my, where to begin? I don’t even know.
Let’s start with TV, America’s babysitter. Parents rely on tv to keep their kids occupied so they aren’t bothered by them. Unfortunately, not everything on tv is suitable for kids and monitoring what they watch is just too much damn work. So parents form groups of busy bodies that would find something objectionable (likely something their church told them was bad), and complain loudly about it rather than turn the channel. Seriously, these people go through movies and shows frame by frame (1/30th of a second) to find something that might look from a certain angle like a penis.
They complain to their congressman, the congressman forms a committee, the committee tells the studios to knock it off, and we get a decade of overly sanitized television. There are two things that are important here. One, these groups are very organized, extremely vocal, and can get people elected. Two, they are easily influenced and will not stop watching television.
That said, they are the problem. Any thought provoking television will either offend them or get them in an uproar about something, and if that something is directly tied to profits or re-election then it’s a problem. Now, the thing to do is proccupy them with a bunch of crap.
There’s a reason the top headlines are about sports and celebrities. It fills the gaps where meaningful information should go. I’ll bet at least 9 out of 10 people couldn’t tell me who the Koch brothers are, even though they’re a huge part of our political landscape. Big media plays along and in return the government helps them squeeze every penny out of mindless television, crappy movies, and overly cloned pop music. All so parents won’t have to be bothered to watch their kids.
I really believe that Corporate America is playing Middle America and the fundamentalists against the left. The worst part is how well it’s working. The political center of this country has moved so far to the right that Eisenhower and Nixon would be seen as centrists at best. There’s no proof of course. These scenarios are just what I’ve got going on in my head.
I can see a future in America that looks a lot like the present day Middle East. A huge divide between rich and poor with next to no middle class. Councils for morality and decency at the local level of government, and maybe even a house committee as well. My hopes are that this doesn’t happen, I don’t live to see it, or I’ve moved to another country.
This is likely my last post. My need to scream into the void is just that, screaming into the void. I have other obligations and an imploding personal life to keep me busy. Perhaps one day I’ll revisit this place and look back with relief that my fears were for nothing. Perhaps, and I hope this is never the case, I’ll look back and say I told you so.
And may the force be with you