Author Oliver Lange in his novel, Defiance, had this to say about American society in the 1970’s.
“We proved the lie, were served up with a gagging portion of our own vintage distillation of apocalyptic horseshit
— all the narcissistic swill about indomitable spirit, invincibility, courage and nobility of purpose
— and demonstrated once and for all to those who looked on with interest a fact long suspected:
that this nation, through a self-administered indoctrination of spurious righteousness, larded with the false rewards of superfluous luxury, had at last achieved the most tractable, malleable — let’s face it, spineless — people to walk the face of the earth.”
-Aptly described by Oliver Lange in Vandenberg – The Journals, 1971
Lange’s Cold War novel concerned a fictional lone American holdout against a Soviet occupation of America – hardly a liberal theme by today’s standards.
Yet the description still appears to fit this society to a Tee.
Our politicians of both parties thrive on tossing our way narcissistic swill about what America stands for and what the American People are truly like. I’m reminded of G.W. Bush during his presidency expressing surprise that the rest of the world might not see America and Americans in the same light as our narcissistic swill and all those talking points celebrities of all stripes throw at us.
We do hopefully attempt to teach, encourage and try to foster ideas of indomitable spirit, invincibility, courage and nobility of purpose in the military. You know, those on whom we count and by whom have cast our imperialistic dice; importing Democracy, war, defense and security.
For the rest of us talk is cheap. We indomitable spirits are inspired by the cheap theatrics and propaganda of talk-show and political personalities, movies and commercialized patriotism more interested in money than global peace, global honor or global respect.
I dare you to expose your beautiful minds to that short video and then tell me how and why none of it is true nor an accurate portrayal of what’s been going on while we potato our couches.
The public righteousness long proclaimed by the TV reverends and political god-talkers finally caught the attention of genuine social justice Christians who are now furiously publicizing social justice values in the most justified religious backlash in years
,,, and having success – except among those who think God is a Conservative Republican.
That might be a good sign but it still seems like the most popular and followed god-talkers are not the ones advocating that we care for our poor and infirm. No, the god talkers that fill former basketball arenas and mega-churches are either promising that God the capitalist wants to reward folks too trusting for their own good with riches
… or are promising that the greatest threat to religion in America lies in liberal and progressive values that detract from the image of God as the One Angry Almightyness who supports a fundamentalist literal definition of sin which can’t be tolerated with any degree of allowance..
I suggest that the wisest thing we can do is turn off the television sets and all the other “sets” through which we are told what to think, what to feel, what to be afraid of and how our money can buy us relief from all of it.
I suggest that being fluffed into believing every little commercialized medical threat and the need to consult your doctor needs to be seen as a need to ask the Doc if super-glue on the lips is a good way to stop eating corporate-larded-consumable swill
… and if ear plugs and eye masks are the best way to lower all your physiological levels to a manageable level. ( Have you every noticed how that word broken down the middle forms two double syllable concepts: “physio” and “logical” – neither of which are honestly proposed to you in pharmaceutical commercials?)
Turning off the TV sets would help – at least until advertisers and broadcasters get the message that selling larded false rewards of superfluous luxury, gossip-based headline news and self-absorbed entertainment is not what a mature society wants.
Oh …. sorry … that above paragraph describes someone else’s Brave New World where “mature” and “society” can be justifiably used in the same sentence …. but certainly not our Cowardly Consumptive Outworn World.
We can’t go on like this much longer.
Our new clothes were never new and never clothes.
Our uncovered asses are all hanging out there exposed to the winds of change
…while we, well we seem to be content in our ignorance or awareness of (whichever fits) the fact that we are the most tractable, malleable — let’s face it, spineless — people to walk the face of the earth.”
Thank you Oliver Lange … sorry that you are still right on the money.
So I decided to see what Joe Bageant had to say about this stuff.
What about being hypnotized by entertainment in whatever form that takes?
” … The American national illusion, where all the world’s a shopping expedition. Or a terrorist threat. No matter, as long as it is colorful and wiggles on the theater state’s 400 million screens … keep the public in an entertained stupor, awed, mislead, and most importantly, distracted.”
What about Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again constituence? What might Bageant have said about that?
“we are seeing an armed infantilized nation wail, hurl blame and do horrific things, the worst of which we do to one another
… to keep its captives deluded and sated enough to remain productive and consuming — not to mention hating the right people — right up to the last moment before total collapse, and they are no longer needed.”
Or, what do we do with the pretended American Dream – whatever that ever was?
Entertainment addiction is like contracting measles after never having been vaccinated or educated about how to think safely.
Consequently such addiction
has, and still does, prevent Americans from grasping any of this. Instead, the hologram allows us to believe that life can exist without suffering. We actually achieved that state for a while, too, by forcing the suffering on unseen people elsewhere. We accepted the hologram’s one voice to the many as truth (not that we had much choice, The ‘Gram was all we knew), then let our souls and national character necrotize in the warm bath of self-gratification and statist hubris.
So where are we now Joe?
Clearly, we have taken an unimaginably disastrous course, and intend to take everyone else out with us. Yet we have only done what most of the world’s nations would have done, given such brute power and wealth for such a time. Perhaps more accurately, done what most of the world’s governments and leadership would have.
So long as nations have hierarchical leadership, they will have escalating hierarchical greed, power hunger and destructive folly — and therefore, eventually approach hierarchical evil at some point. It may be an old saw, but power does corrupt.
What might we do to come to social maturity?
Inside most Americans is a globally brattish child. Thanks to our endowed natural resources (since squandered) and to armed national theft abroad, the American has not suffered enough to become a responsible adult on the planet.
resist pride in anything said to be national, whether it be prosperity, healthcare, culture, competence, social cohesion and identity, or whatever. Pride and courage do not live in the same house. Courage, which has little to do with blood and guts, but everything to do with sacrifice, chooses to dwell alongside humility.