by Paul Dean

March 2, 2004

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Witness the unceasing workings of the worm upon our world. The worm demands that our understanding of any political and economic situation is only as deep as yesterday's news. Haiti’s Aristide is out, (we tried, honest we did, but it was too late to save him) but now the U.S. Marines, out of concern for our southern neighbors, will step in to insure the peace. Democracy will reign! Reform will be the word of the day.

And what is the recipe for reform? Reinstate the pre-form, call it reform, and deform the form of democracy to conform to the norm, because we win all contests the old fashioned way. Just call it good old smash-mouth democracy, because the best defense is a good offense.

Through it all, the worm works its way into the brain, severing connections, leaving empty tunnels. Take a fragment here, a fragment there, and what do you get? We can use these spare parts to assemble a brand new story! Besides, YOU can't handle the truth! We make sure of that.

If any institutional deception is uncovered in these doings, something that (God forbid!) somehow finds its way into the official narrative of events, the media worm will inevitably hold that we were ALL deceived.

For example, who could possibly have had any indication, any inkling, that the Bush administration might have been “exaggerating” claims of the threat posed by Iraq? At the New York Times and the Washington Post, the administration's claims were investigated with all due diligence.

Here’s how it worked. First, they simply reported what Bush said about the matter in his speeches. Then, they cross-referenced by soliciting comments from multiple independent sources (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Perle, Powell). They even went so far as to rely on international sources, such as Tony Blair, Campbell, and the boys at British Intelligence. No one had any reason to suspect a lack of veracity on the part of any of these sources, and so now you can begin to understand why we are all so SHOCKED!

Pursuit of stories such as the 2000 “election”, the California “energy crisis, the corporate “accounting” crime wave, etc. revealed nothing that could have, in any way, given media outlets any reasons to be suspicious. Reflexive anti-American probing of our hallowed institutions is not good journalism, and would inevitably have been seen as unacceptable bias. Such irrational suspicion flies in the face of history, at least of the history left over after extensive tunneling and burrowing. Official versions of events are simply “the truth.” Everybody knows this.

Sure, some people pointed out supposed connections dating back to the Vietnam war, the Iran-Iraq war, the Iran-Contra scandal, twelve years of sanctimonious sanctions, and more recent policy papers emanating from right wing “think tanks” urging the violent overthrow of Iraq, on grounds having nothing to do with WMD. These accusers looked at the main players in the still-unfolding drama and saw all of the usual suspects: people with names like Bush, Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, Poindexter, Reich, etc. They brazenly asserted that some connection could be drawn between current events and these past disasters, as they sought to avert a new disaster while it was still in the gathering-storm-cloud stage.

Sure, there were millions of people in the streets in major cities around the world who were saying these things. But the worm was working overtime. The informational context in which the information was delivered to us was deliberately no context, consisting only of the aforementioned empty tunnels and severed connections. Why bring up old news, why make “arbitrary” connections that had long since been effectively obscured? Why not continue to let sleeping dogs lie, even if many credible people said they had been reawakened, reactivated, and were still lying?

Yesterdays news is all the history the American public needs. Being already wise to the extreme left wing bias of billionaire-controlled corporate media, there was no reason to provide Americans any more fodder to fuel that perception. Better to let people see connections where they want to see them. If people want to believe Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, who are we to interfere? This represents valid consumer choice. Free markets leave people free, free, free, and that rhymes with democracy. Don’t you see?

Believe what you want to believe, its all just a matter of preference. Burdensome connections bind us to a past that we don’t need. Pinochet, go away! Nicaragua, Shah of Iran, Vietnam? All they are is dust in the wind.

Effective reformers know very well that the most effective reform is not reactive but is instead proactive. If you can prevent an emerging form of government, or a democratically elected administration from functioning by harassing and sabotaging it in its formative stages, and if you can obscure your role in the process, the failure of the shattered, dysfunctional and imperfect effort then can be pointed to as proof of the need for “reform.” Just ask Castro, Mohammad Mossadegh, Salvador Allende, Daniel Ortega, Che Guevara and Aristide.

Of course, those among that group that have not been murdered have been portrayed as rogues and monsters, or simply disappeared from view, so that no reasonable person can take them seriously. When recognizable at all, the worm has created an instant revulsion in the populace which arises at the mere mention of their names. Add to this list Ralph Nader, super traitor, the most powerful threat to world peace since (fill in the blank).

All the good stories either do not need any context whatsoever, or they need so little that a simple phrase like “Haiti’s flawed elections” or “pro-Aristide thugs” will suffice. Terms like “evildoers,” “terrorists,” and “anti-Americans,” are in this class. What more do you need to know? People who are “Freedom Fighters” and “Liberators” never need to explain anything. It’s all a done deal before they even open their mouths.

Separate the story from its roots and you have a movable thing: a fresh and exciting putty-like material which can be the informational basis for bold and invigorating reform. Besides, people will not sit still while you drone on about the history of poverty and political repression in Iran, or Haiti, or Chile, or Cuba, or Afghanistan. Better to let them suck on the Janet Jackson Super-Tit-in-a-Bowl-Inadvertent-Wardrobe-Malfunction story for a while.

There it is, bouncing, jiggling, hypnotizing! Thumping, thudding, grinding! You can't escape it. No time or energy needs to be wasted establishing context on this one. All this is about is the wiggle and throb, the prance and bounce, the tit in a vacuum. We hate the tit, we love the tit, we hate to love the tit, but there it is. Just don’t let the children near it.

Lets talk this out. We can't let this one go without extensive discussion. We’ll talk about Haiti later. Can you imagine the damage to our social fabric that has probably already occurred over this? Silent victimization of the weakest and most impressionable among us is the inevitable result of such doings. I mean, as a grown man, I can handle stuff like this, and often do. But this is far from a trivial issue, and we need to do everything possible to avoid a reoccurrence. Surely you must know these things tend to come in pairs! This must not happen again! You think I exaggerate? Expand your viewpoint, get outside of your own little world, and show some concern for others. I leave you with a thought that I hope will put this in some kind of perspective. Imagine the devastation that would occur, if, for example, tiny babies were routinely exposed to such things?

Paul Dean is a writer/activist and bass player with the band Blusion. He lives in Sebastopol, CA.  He can be reached at: blusion@blusion.com.    

Other Articles by Paul Dean


* Amazing Stuffed Monkey Claims to Rule The World
* Bush at the UN (An Honest Speech)
* Talk Radio Victim

* Mental Monoculture

* Plain Language: A Message of Solidarity With The Working Class

* You Can Be Deliriously Happy, Here’s How

* Letting Freedom Ring, And Ring, And Ring

* The Furnace

* The Universal Unification of Everything

* Size Matters? Thanks Debra For Keeping it Up

* The Infallible Opinion Poll, Sample of One, 0% Margin of Error

* Evidence, Absence of Evidence, And Evidence of the Absence of Sense
* Open Letter: Don’t Tolerate Media Disinformation About the Anti-War Movement

* Smoke Out the Moronic Axis of Evil: A Letter to Presidentmoron.com







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