The Story Behind The Label

The president gave his annual state-of-the-union reading of a speech that could have been written by the Hallmark Cards Political Greetings Division, touching on all the most important aspects of our national condition:

We are the greatest nation in the history of the world and we have some problems but we’re working on them and not to worry, we’ll continue to be the greatest nation in the history of the world.

That established, the usual chorus of near orgasmic praise from his acolytes was accompanied by carefully worded criticism from neo-liberal progressives  who took pains to point out how his sleight of mouth magic this time was much more populist than last time. The neo-conservative regressives took him to task but for all the wrong reasons and the sub-moronic right continue charging him with being born on mars and hating billionaires because he is a communist, but these people require surgery to remove their fingers from their noses. More important was the problem of general consensus among those of the extreme center, the extreme right and the barely discernable left.

At a time when truly radical change is needed we have an extremely mild call for no material change at all, with rhetoric couched in market based packaging and labeling without a thought let alone any action of substance proposed. Thus, a call for more education at a time when tens of thousands of teachers are being laid off and public school budgets are under assault, and a promise of peace by bringing home some troops from Afghanistan while military bases all over the world number more than six hundred and new wars are threatened in Asia and Africa as well as Europe. Especially “populist” was a call for the minimum wage to rise to $9, a royal figure at which a full time worker would still wind up below the family poverty rate. And the same president had opted for a $9.50 wage back in 2008, further proof that not only his rhetoric but the entire economy is sinking.

These are all the usual platitudes employed by any president in these reports to the stockholders that say business is great or will be as soon as a newer product line hits the malls. The lack of material substance and reliance on cheap talk, word games and advertising jargon certainly did not originate with this particular servant of the 1%.

In recent years our consciousness controllers and their Madison Avenue mind managers have verbally transformed the American working class into a middle class, re-labeled workers as associates and convinced many that trillion dollar warfare and the death of hundreds of thousands of people is the experiece of peace. Now the world’s most primitive social democratic ploys to maintain private capital domination have become “entitlements”, which must be cut in an austerity program to save bankers, billionaires and corporate capital from facing financial ruin or worse, social revolution.

Presidents rank slightly above other members of our entertainer class, performing for very high wages to keep a minority in material comfort while supplying the rest of us with immaterial pleasure that keeps is from noticing we haven’t much else to be pleased about. Like the Oscars, the Grammys, the Super Bowl , the World Cup and other prime time shows, these annual speeches draw big crowds and intense coverage by media, though the overwhelming majority of the people pay little attention to them, if any at all. This speaks well for them, but maybe it’s time they start focusing more closely on the politicians rather than escaping their reality by watching the singing, dancing, acting, running , jumping and political posturing that seem to help make life bearable.

We are under the domain of a system whose owners bring us closer to ruin every moment we give our attention to their distractions of our minds from critical thought in order to protect their massive bodies of illegitimate wealth. The continued reliance on our economy’s private parts to bring us out of a depression caused by that masturbatory focus in the first place amounts to an attempt to destroy ourselves in a way that might make sex puritans triumphantly gloat . But the attack on all that is even remotely public and socially oriented in a rush to return to complete and total reliance on the deity of market forces under private control is not funny and is bringing all of us closer to a social and environmental breaking point.

This speech reading by the current CEO of corporate America was a defense of all that is wrong and must be changed. The state of this union, and the world, is distress, and the last thing to get us out of the mess we’re in is continued reliance on the fanatic notion of a free market that wildly profits some, at the deadly expense of all.

Frank Scott writes political commentary which appears in print in the Coastal Post and The Independent Monitor and online at the blog Legalienate. Read other articles by Frank.