Posts Tagged ‘Joe McCarthy’

Leave It To The Pros

August 15, 2021

            Your Viet Nam, not ours. Ours joined us for dinner every night on the televised evening news. Yours was a story you, or the evening news, could choose to follow (if that was your media of choice), or not. Most of our dead, and those doing our fighting and killing, were conscripted by Uncle Sam. Most of those fighting, killing and dying in Afghanistan contracted with Sam to defend the Second Amendment, the Constitution and all the other Amendments (the how and why of it all was irrelevant). The volunteer Army, formed after our Viet Nam, worked hard to promote itself as a professional military career with attractive pay, sign up bonuses and benefits. Our Viet Nam was actively opposed, pressuring one President to not run for re-election, and another to resign in the disgrace of his lies. Yours was treated as an occasion to promote the economy (“Buy a truck or Hummer!”), just another part of that same economy, an unpleasant chore which 4 presidents had to deal with. Each had more pressing concerns in the service of capitalism. Our Viet Nam gave rise to both side-ism in journalistic reporting, something considered treasonous just 20 years prior in the aftermath of the big one – WWII (the McCarthy era, Joe not Kevin). Jane Fonda was never forgiven. Although the whiff of treason has long since abated, both side-ism got lost somewhere in the workings of a professional military after 9/11 (as has vociferous opposition to “the war”); soon to be the self same loss of interest after the financial meltdown of 2008 (with the self same loss of vociferous opposition). Indeed, both side-ism in news reporting seems to follow a logic all its own, creating pros and cons totally divorced from any grassroots boots on the ground. Political tool anyone? Analysis finds ours was a failed revolution that made your Viet Nam a corporate collapse on a scale even greater than the Bush meltdown of 2008. Leave it to the pros.

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Charlottesville Ain’t The Sharks And The Jets

August 16, 2017

Leonard Bernstein wrote the music to West Side Story in the 1950’s. The story was based on the template of Romeo and Juliet, only instead of Shakespeare’s rivalry of the Montague’s and Capulet’s, Bernstein considered that of the Jets and the Sharks. Ethnographers are likely to point out that this template is somewhat universal with actual examples from America’s own history, like the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s. Indeed, West Side Story could also be staged as a sports rivalry (the Jets and the Dolphins), or an intrigue between two college basketball or NASCAR dynasties. However, Analysis finds it a bit disconcerting when the apprentice president of the United States appropriates this same template to address the ongoing tragedy which happened in Charlottesville Virginia this past week. Nazi’s and their opponents are not like the Montagues and Capulets. There is a difference, both in the engagement as well as the correct use of the cultural template. Suffice to say it is not a sporting event, nor a literary play. Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel and the future apprentice president’s mentor, Roy Cohn, may have mastered the insinuation of equivocation for purposes of disparagement during the McCarthy “Communist investigations” but the real politic of this methodology ultimately failed America. This tactic relies on eliminating difference in favor of the cultural template utilized in story telling. Successful, it absolves one of the “rivals” of guilt, while assigning guilt to the other (a perverse interpretation of “equal justice for all”). The apprentice president has utilized this argument form many times as a “real estate” tycoon as well as in his primary/general election run. He continues with it now during his Charlottesville “do overs”. Analysis shows he will likely call for another “do over” explanation (and probably many more). In the case of Charlottesville, the template as explanation is totally inadequate. It is very, very convenient for quick, deadline oriented media. Nazi and KKK ideology has history, actions and deeds which cleave to a rigid perspective and interpretation. The opposition is diverse, even disparate. Much as the folks who run in the various races-for-the-cure fund raisers, the opponents of Nazi’s are unified by a determination to stop the spread of a known carcinogen. The inevitability of confrontation and clashes leads folks like the apprentice president to simplify and equivocate the “rivalry” in terms of the cultural literary template. Cohn’s ghost calls out “they’re both the same, equally bad.” However, there is a deafening silence when it comes to defining or narrating the “other side’s” history and continuum, word and deed, position and ideology. To do so would be to speak of anarchists, something that folks like McCarthy made sure would not see the light of day, let alone media presence. Professor David Graeber was fired by Yale University for having done anthropological field work with various anarchist groups and actions in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. You remember the various world bank, international monetary fund forums disrupted by anarchists in cities like Seattle, Washington, Quebec and numerous overseas occurrences? Gonzo journalism it wasn’t but his involvement and study resulted in an excellent academic anthropological book entitled Direct Action: an ethnography. Recommended reading if one would like to understand the antifa which operate on the principle of the black block (which also requires a bit of understanding as it is not just folks with tiki torches chanting anti-semitic babble). Folks like Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover would prefer Americans associate anarchism with bomb throwing and Sacco and Vanzetti. Events like Standing Rock present more current incarnations of “anarchy”. As Graeber pointed out, anarchists are primarily interested in local governance issues. They eschew oppression of any kind and prefer local governance to be resolved within a framework of consensus – so that each represents themselves and all feel they have been heard, all feel the resolution is not at their expense (no 50 senators and the vice president to produce a majority, in order that majority rules). The rest flows from that (their disregard for national government, for multi national capitalism, etc.). Charlottesville ain’t the Sharks and the Jets.

Post Inaugural Musings

January 22, 2017

What a tickle to think that the news media got their photo journalism wrong. The images of Yuuuge crowds in Washington DC dated the 21st were actually from the day before while those dated the 20th were from the following day. The news media just can’t get it right. Not to be trusted. So sad. The new administration will banish them from the White House and put the news media across the road. Like the marines, a seat at the press corps table will be accorded only to those who have shown themselves worthy – a few good men! Analysis witnessed further screw ups on the part of the press. Coverage of the made-up, non-existent demonstrations that took place in DC on the 20th was accompanied by audio describing the violence as perpetrated by people “dressed in black with their faces covered to shield their identity.” The images mistakenly showed the Washington riot police, dressed in black with face shields in place. Analysis goes off on tangents over the press’s repeated reporting of a populist president who actually didn’t win the popular vote. No problem. What’s a couple of million amongst patriots in need of coming together? Those people who appeared at the demonstration in Washington (whichever/whatever date you choose) should have voted. Why didn’t they? The XQ Institute runs a TV ad showing factory work and workers from the 1930’s as well as high schools from the 50’s. Their accompanying audio goes something like “High schools were designed to be great training for factory employment. Let’s rethink it.” With the recently inaugurated president’s emphasis on factory work, does that mean we will see a return to the public high schools of the 50’s? And what about school house rock? Analysis finds these rifts of fantasy to reveal a thread extending back through the populist president’s mentor, and assistant to Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohn. Those of you still able to keep score at home without your smart phone may recall the inquisition methodology from that time. After showing proof that the suspect bought a newspaper from a street urchin, the charge became one of associating with a known communist. Who knew the news boy was a red? Ya gotta look at the shoe laces! Fast forward to today. Who ya gonna believe, the news media or our amazing successful president?