Thursday, January 7

“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” Bertrand Russell

I’m visiting my mother today. This is both a joyful and frustrating experience for me. Joyful because I like my mother and, until I started my life inversion experience, I’d been separated from her, except for one or two visits a year, for seven years thanks to my former ‘career’. Painful because my mother is a bit of a CNN junky. It could be worse I suppose; if she was a FOX News junky I’d have serious problem, although the truth is that I think that CNN is just as bad these days.

I alluded obliquely yesterday to the Dec. 25th ‘airline terrorist incident’ when I made the racial profiling joke. Today CNN is all a-buzz regarding the story in light of Pres. Obama’s official speechifying. The infotainment rhetoric is rife with references to partisan maneuvering during an election year (senate and congress) and plenty of reminders that this is ‘scary stuff’. I’m so grateful that they drive that point home every five minutes, because, heaven forbid, we might stop thinking that we should be in perpetual fear, all the time, every second. We might be able to shake our heads clear and understand that, while terrorism is horrific, it is statistically less dangerous that homelessness, car safety, climate change, cancer, taxation, and (arguably perhaps) crossing the street.

The infotainment industry does a better job of terrorizing the public than anything al Qaeda is doing.

I’m also left wondering what it is in Yemen that the US suddenly finds so attractive that they need to manufacture this excuse to intervene. I mean, when the prez suddenly declares a renewed commitment to defeating al Qaeda, you can just imagine the smiles spreading across the faces of the world’s banks and arms manufacturers. It was a good day to be an industrialist or capitalist.

Our governments, the mainstream media, both on TV and in print and, grinning in the wings, the banks and corporations, eat this stuff up. They love it when we’re scared, and they love having a reason to scare us. Scared is good when you want to misdirect and control people, and that’s what they specialize in. I was guardedly optimistic when Obama was voted in, and he at least shows well on TV – more presidential and less stooped than G. W. – but under the shine, the news and direction is pretty much exactly the same. Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.

And another thing while I’m ranting; Do those personalities on CNN actually believe the crap they’re peddling? Or are they actually smart and just completely compromised and subverted to the cause? Probably a mix, yeah? Most likely, some of them really believe in what they are doing, believe that they are journalists, while others are aware that they get a juicy cheque for doing absolutely nothing but blow a band of smoke chosen by their owners up as many asses as possible.

If you think that CNN, Fox News, CTV News, CBC Newsworld, CBS, NBC, ABC or any other major news network, not to even mention the major papers and periodicals, actually engage in real journalism, in a sincere seeking after the truth, then please give your head a vigorous shake and wake up. They want you afraid. It might not be a much better emotion in general, but I’d suggest that getting angry might at least reflect a better grasp of the truth.

And if you choose this option, be angry at the ones who deserve it – those that purport and purvey the lies, and do it with a smile.