Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Common Dreams & Memes

I've multiple important bases in my life, so each day I read news articles from assorted places around the world. Via the wonders of the internet I check local news of Hawaii via, local news of Sweden from Swedish newspapers and The Local, Korean news from The Korea Herald (and elsewhere), news of Japan via assorted bulletin boards & feeds such as J@pan Inc and "The Community" in Japan, news of the Middle East from Haaretz and sometimes Al Jazeera. I check news of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, science news from New Scientist, plus technology & finance news from here, there, and everywhere.

As if that were not enough, there's the need to keep up with assorted hobby-related news & auctions, and of course professional reports & journals. I often write in my own Pretrend blog ( and earn a living by decent work...

And be with loved ones. And simply live.

But every day I also read Common Dreams - an amalgam of "progressive" articles from various sources. It is great: combining stories, reprints, links and comments on political economy sure to get my blood racing.

A recent article by Tom Engelhardt ("Foreclosed: The George W. Bush Story") looked critically at the
legacy of the Bush administration. It included a provocative quote from a 2004 article by Ron Suskind, "Without a Doubt" (New YorkTimes; published also as "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush") - where "history's actors" who "create our own reality" mock the careful "reality-based community" who follow behind attempting judicious study of what's been done. This hubris is the voice of The True Believer: "we create our own reality" and evade the dreaded u-word: uncertainty.

A related article elsewhere by
Christian Salmon, "Scheherazade in the White House" follows-up by discussing political stage-management, quoting Prof. Ira Chernus on Karl Rove's Scheherazade-like approach to ruling others: "When policy dooms you, start telling stories -- stories so fabulous, so gripping, so spellbinding that the king (or, in this case, the American citizen who theoretically rules our country) forgets all about a lethal policy."

A "leta" to Common Dreams on US Election Day is commanding:
"Why do people find degrading, defacing, belittlement of a man who was willing to take on the responsibility of the Presidency if elected. What do you gain from the demoralization of the administration. Why is it helpful to tear apart the years served. Is this what you say , talk about in front of your kids. You are their mentors. You should be using Positives Repectful thoughts how else are they going to grow up with the right outlook of politics. It is you who are painting the pictures of people who were elected. Think about it. You vote in dog catchers, local government, church elections. Isn't it time to take a good look at SELF. Let the President leave office ... throwing the keys happily on the desk in the OVAL OFFICE....he has aged during his terms. He deserves your respect. Your children have to hear and see this from YOU "adult citizens of America. GOD BLESS AMERICA." (sic)

The marketing story, or meme, is powerful imagery to shape reality. Those directing government powers, with much money & huge access to media outlets, might do as they wish - eluding comeuppance.

The article by Salmon finishes by reminding us that Karl Rove resigned from government saying "I'm Moby Dick" ... evading reality's deadly harpoon.