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The Media Hates Conspiracy Theories…Except When They Don't

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Estimated Reading Time : 6 minutes 38 seconds

KOOKS OF THE TINFOIL HAT BRIGADE

This week marks the 16th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Whenever the topic of 9-11 comes up in the establishment press, it is wrapped in the warm cloak of officialdom and protected by vociferous assaults upon "conspiracy theories" and their unhinged purveyors. What is odd is that even during the anniversary week of the attacks, actual 9-11 conspiracy theories rarely rear their head anymore, only the denunciations of them from authority figures in the media who over time have become all the more fervent and ferocious in their attacks upon them. At this point, the sight of the anti-9-11 conspiracy crusaders pontificating in the media is akin to watching a straw man tilting at windmills.

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The anti-conspiracy forces in the press don't just deride 9-11 conspiracies but all "conspiracy theories", reshaping the term into an epithet meant to belittle and mock anyone who dare believe in such nonsense as a "conspiracy". Without fail, every year, the establishment news puts out an article that "scientifically" proves that anyone who believes in a conspiracy is a loser and kook who eats his own boogers and maybe other people's boogers too. Google "why do people believe in conspiracies" and you can see the same article repackaged year after year in different media outlets. NPR, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Scientific American, CNN, Business Insider, Research Digest and the Washington Post all have articles reinforcing the belief that anyone who believes in a "conspiracy theory" does so because they are uneducated, lack control in their lives, are emotionally and psychologically unstable and are also inherently more violent and dangerous. 

This belittling approach to conspiracy theories by the establishment press has been very effective, for anyone who wants to be allowed entry into the Kingdom of Those Who are Taken Seriously, knows not to "peddle in conspiracy theory". A friend of mine, a man in his seventies, is so indoctrinated by this thinking that whenever any sort of "conspiracy" is even remotely alluded to he simply says "now you're talking conspiracy theory" and abruptly ends the conversation. He is not alone, as I have had more conversations than I care to recall with people of all ages where people simply refuse to consider something because they label it a "conspiracy".

"SERIOUS PEOPLE" VS. CONSPIRACY THEORY AND MAGICAL THINKING

Kurt Andersen followed the pattern of these dismissive and presumptuous articles when he wrote a magnificently awful, bias confirming, self-aggrandizing piece titled, "How America Went haywire", in last month's The Atlantic magazine where he bemoaned America's descent into non-rationality and conspiracy theory. The piece is taken from Andersen's book on the same subject and if you don't want to read it I'll give you a quick summary, Andersen majestically gets on his pristine high horse and doesn't just tell kids of this generation, but kids of ALL generations, to get off his impeccably groomed, rational and science based, lawn. Andersen's thesis is basically that he and anyone enlightened enough to agree with him, like his establishment liberal friends in the media, are the smart, rational and noble ones who are caretakers of all knowledge, and aren't fooled by idiocies like conspiracy theories or, God-forbid...religion. 

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Adam H. Johnson, did a thorough and wonderful job of eviscerating Andersen's lazy, lackluster and thoughtless piece, and I encourage you to go read his article before, or instead of, reading Andersen's insipid Atlantic piece. As I read Andersen's article I was struck by many things, and then when I read Johnson's takedown of the piece I recognized that he and I both had nearly identical thoughts about Andersen's screed. The first thought I had was…why did Andersen start his timeline for when things really went off the rails in terms of conspiracy theory and magical thinking, after the Iraq invasion without ever mentioning that debacle? This struck me as odd because the Iraq war was a gigantic moment when a conspiracy theory and magical thinking came together and were peddled to the American public as fact by those in authority in the government and the press. It seems to me that the Iraq war was a key moment in destroying the credibility of the news media and authority in the eyes of Americans, which made the public more likely to disbelieve "official stories" and start to believe "alternative stories". But then Adam Johnson enlightened me as to why Andersen skipped the Iraq war altogether in his jeremiad…Andersen's editor at The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, was a key player in the spreading of those false conspiracy theories regarding Iraq and 9-11, and is a neo-con who pushed hard the magical thinking of American empire in the middle east. In other words, Andersen sold out to his paymaster in order to get his piece published in The Atlantic, which will now act as a commercial for his new book. Needless to say, Andersen's credibility and intellectual integrity are entirely scuttled by his decision to ignore some of the more glaring examples of conspiracy theories and magical thinking in recent times.

It isn't just the graveyard of the Iraq war that Andersen whistles past, what about the other real conspiracies that happened in the same time frame that effected us all, like when Goldman Sachs and the other too big to fail banks conspired to defraud their customers and the country, along with mortgage lenders, ratings agencies and the regulators? And while we are on the topic, what about the magical thinking of trickle-down economics? Or the fed re-infalting bubble after bubble? Or neo-conservatism as an ideology? Apparently, according to the King of Rationality, Kurt Andersen, neo-conservatives are not like those foolish rubes who worship an invisible man in the sky. No, neo-cons, just like Kurt Andersen, worship the right God…namely, the dollar and American Empire, neither of which are targets of Andersen's lazy, shallow, pompous and self-serving diatribe. 

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED

"Serious person" Kurt Andersen reminds me of another self-serving, self-styled rationalist of his same, decrepit generation, Little Bill Maher, who just like Andersen, despises religion and worships "science". The trouble is that Andersen and Maher's faith in science is fundamentally flawed. An example of this occurred a few months ago when Maher was arguing with a guest on his show about the Scooby-Doo/Russian story, and his guest said that there is no evidence to support the conspiracy claims, and Maher vociferously retorted, "The science is settled!! All 17 intelligence agencies say so!!". Little Bill, as always, was talking out of his ass, as "all 17 intelligence agencies" did not sign off on Russian interference, four of them did, and they only claimed that they were "asserting" this to be true, but did not provide one iota of evidence.

Maher's phrase, "the science is settled", stood out to me. Science is rarely, if ever, "settled". The fact that it was lost on Maher that science is always evolving is ironic, considering his admiration for Darwin. What Little Bill and his equally arrogant comrade Kurt Andersen also mis-understand about "science" is that just because something cannot be replicated in a laboratory doesn't mean it is impossible or isn't true, only that it has never been replicated in a lab. Science is, at its heart, fueled by the humbling acknowledgement that we as a species have very little understanding about ourselves, our world and our universe. Maher and Andersen's presumptuous vision of science is one of a near omnipotent force that has figured out just about 99.9% of everything that is knowable in the universe. The reality is that mankind knows next to nothing about itself, its world and this universe, but the adherents of scientism, like Maher and Andersen, are too enamored with their delusions of superiority to ever fully contemplate or grasp that inconvenient truth. 

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In terms of conspiracy theory, Little Bill is no better than the rest of the establishment media. On a show this past spring, Maher was talking with former CIA operative, Malcolm Nance, about the Scooby-Doo/Russia story, and Little Bill proclaimed that the intelligence community had Kennedy killed because he had a "pussy problem", meaning that Kennedy was vulnerable to blackmail because he was such a philanderer. This statement was remarkable for a few reasons, the first of which is that it went completely unchallenged by the former CIA agent, Nance, with whom Maher was talking, which would indicate that he too agrees with Maher's assessment of Kennedy's assassination, which is an extraordinary revelation. The second interesting thing about it is that Maher, ever the rationalist, is a strident opponent of 9-11 conspiracies because of his hatred of Islam, so his aligning himself with not only the Russian conspiracy, but a JFK one as well, was noteworthy in that it was a glaring intellectual inconsistency. 

Of course, what was really happening was that Little Bill was willing to set aside his usual adherence and allegiance to "facts and science"  in order to confirm his bias against Trump and the Russians, and in a round about way, be in support of the intelligence agencies. Maher wasn't saying that the intel community assassinating Kennedy was a bad thing, he sounded all for it, and in so doing he came across like he was encouraging them to do the same thing to Trump.

Little Bill's exercise in confirmation bias is, just like Maher himself, entirely unremarkable, as it is standard operating procedure in the institutional press and media. Just watch the intellectual contradictions fly on cable news or in the newspapers without any mention of the obvious moral, ethical, political and mental gymnastics required to ignore the glaring hypocrisies hiding in plain sight. 

CONSPIRACIES DON'T EXISTEXCEPT WHEN THEY DO

What I find interesting about this approach on all things conspiracy, is that it is entirely emotionally driven and so transparently vacuous as to be absurd. The reality is that a "conspiracy theory" should not automatically be dismissed simply because it claims a conspiracy occurred. The truth is, conspiracies happen all the time. I am not saying Bigfoot shot Kennedy or that Hillary Clinton is a Lizard Person (…although..I believe that he probably did and she more than likely is…), but conspiracies do not just live in the realm of fantasy, but flourish right here in reality. For instance, people are routinely charged with and convicted of "conspiracy" to commit one criminal act or another all the time here in America. So when people automatically and instinctively label anything a conspiracy false, simply because it is a conspiracy, they are not only taking a shortcut to thinking, they are denying things that are observably true. 

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9-11 conspiracy theories, in particular, seem to really rile the mainstream media and those in authority a tremendous amount. Any 9-11 theory that deviates from the "official story" as compiled by the 9-11 Commission, is deemed a threat to the establishment order and treated as such with attacks and ridicule in the form of the demeaning slur of "conspiracy theory". The problem with this approach, for anyone who cares about language or…God-fobrid, Truth, is that the "official story" of 9-11 is actually...a "conspiracy theory". According to the 9-11 Commission, Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts in Al Qaeda, CONSPIRED together in a cave in Afghanistan, to have 20 hijackers fly planes into various U.S. landmarks, killing thousands of Americans. When two or more people conspire to commit an act, that is a conspiracy, and in the case of 9-11, if you subscribe to the official story, then you are subscribing to a conspiracy theory, but you will never hear the media call the official 9-11 story a conspiracy or conspiracy theory.

The truth is most people just use the term "conspiracy theory" as a way to bludgeon a disquieting set of facts or ideas that are contrary to their ideology or worldview. There is a very clear example of this dominating the headlines and talk shows on cable news this very day…the Russian Election Meddling Story. Most people I know unquestioningly believe this story, that the Russian government colluded with the Trump campaign and interfered with the U.S. election, to be absolutely, 100% true, and it may very well be true, but people are believing it without ever even reading the Intelligence report that is the foundation from which all of the stories about the subject are based.

If the Russians did collude with Trump and interfere in the election, than that is most definitely a...conspiracy, but interestingly enough, the news media are very careful to not ever call the Russia story a "conspiracy". The establishment has so systematically and thoroughly degraded the word conspiracy that they cannot even use it when they are alleging an honest to goodness conspiracy in which they themselves actually believe. 

RACHEL MADDOW LOVES SCOOBY-DOO

A friend of mine, the incorrigible Johnny Steamroller, calls the Russian "meddling story" "The Scooby-Doo Story", because "meddling" is an amorphous, weasel-word term that lacks much needed specificity, and that in the old Scooby-Doo cartoon tv show, Scooby and his gang would always solve some crime and the perp would tell the cops he "would've gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids!!" The Scooby Doo/Russian meddling story is interesting in terms of conspiracy theory because it is an "official" conspiracy theory and not an "alternative" conspiracy theory. That is the key to understanding the establishment media and their loathing or loving of a conspiracy theory. As gatekeepers for officialdom, the mainstream news will not counter any official conspiracy theory, but will eviscerate any alternative conspiracy theory. 

As a result of the distinction between official and alternative conspiracies, we get Rachel Maddow whole-heartedly embracing the Russian election conspiracy theory to the point that she makes Glenn Beck look like Walter Cronkite and Sean Hannity look like Edward R. Murrow. Maddow sees Russians behind every single thing that happens and furiously reports it as though she's found the Lindberg baby in the arms of Jimmy Hoffa. This should not be surprising though, as when it comes to the "officially" sanctioned Russian conspiracy theory, anything goes. Even the most stodgy of old school media entities have embraced the most batshit conspiracy peddlers in regards to the Russian story, one need look no further than the New York Times op-ed page where the certifiably insane Louise Mensch was allowed to write a pieceas proof of that.

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Maddow may end up being totally right about Russia, and everything she is reporting true, but there has not been any solid, tangible evidence put forward to date to corroborate the claims of Russian interference she embraces. None. There was an Intelligence Report, that I wholeheartedly encourage people to go read (that Ms. Maddow tells her viewers to only read from select sections and not get bogged down in the details) that makes assertions that the Russian government tried to influence the 2016 election, but even that official report is completely devoid of evidence. That doesn't mean the story isn't true, it just means there is no evidence the story is true.

But that said, if you believe, as Rachel Maddow does, that the Russian government "meddled" in the election and colluded with the Trump campaign, then you believe in a conspiracy theory, that as of right now, has as much solid proof behind it as 9-11 being an "inside job" or the CIA assassinating Kennedy. Again, that doesn't mean those things didn't happen, it just means those things haven't been proven to have happened. 

EMOTION AS A WEAPON

Contrast Maddow's approach to the Russia conspiracy, an officially sanctioned conspiracy, to her approach to the Seth Rich murder - alternative conspiracy theory. Rich, a DNC staffer, was shot and killed at the height of the election season last year. The case is unsolved and what happened and who did it are unknown. Regardless of the void of information regarding the Rich case, Maddow, and the rest of her cohorts at MSNBC, are so opposed to any notion of a conspiracy in the Rich story that they are physically repulsed by it. The thread running through all of the anti-Seth Rich conspiracy reporting in the establishment press is that anyone who dare consider a conspiracy in the case is being cruel and vicious to the Rich family. These types of pleas to emotion by the media are giant red flags in terms of their credibility. Why should the media care if the family's feelings are hurt by people investigating the very mysterious death of Seth Rich, a case where no one knows what actually happened and who was behind his murder? And why is considering a conspiracy something that should never be contemplated ever again just because the family finds it offensive?

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The same appeal to emotion occurred in regards to 9-11, when Maddow, in particular, and the establishment media in general, consistently claimed that anyone talking of conspiracies were being disrespectful to the memories of the fallen and their families. Even in the case of the JFK assassination, considerations for the Kennedy family were said to be of paramount importance to those in power and so if anyone asked why so many standard operating procedures were ignored, the establishment used the delicate feelings of the Kennedy family as an excuse for deviations from standard, or to hide documents or even destroy them (the autopsy notes etc.). 

The truth is that people may say they don't believe in conspiracy theories in general, but they will believe in a conspiracy theory as long as it acts as a piece of confirmation bias for their belief system or helps to alleviate their cognitive dissonance. If a conspiracy is useful to them, they will give it more credence than if it challenges their ideology. For example, the Scooby-Doo/Russia story is a conspiracy theory that confirms the bias of a lot of people on the left and in the establishment in regards to Trump's election victory, and may also help to reduce their raging cognitive dissonance. Being able to blame Russia for Hillary's defeat isn't just a salve for Mrs. Clinton, her adamant supporters or the media, all of whom have a great deal of humiliating egg on their faces, but it also allows all of these folks to avoid doing the thing we as human beings least like to do…namely, admitting we were wrong or that we made a grievous mistake. 

The Russia interfering in the election causing Trump to win narrative means that America isn't a nation that has lost its mind, Hillary wasn't as atrocious as she always has been and democrats weren't idiotic to have nominated her, and Clinton supporters and the media's instincts weren't as spectacularly wrong as they obviously were. Russia is a very convenient scapegoat for those looking to blame everyone but themselves for the election disaster that brought us President Trump. 

THE LADY DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH, METHINKS

As I previously said, the Russian election conspiracy may very well be proven true. There is a long history of foreign governments meddling in other countries elections, the problem is that the country doing the meddling is usually the U.S. This is an inconvenient fact for those in the establishment, and is usually ignored or glossed over as "whatboutism" or "moral equivalence", two terms in vogue at the moment used to shut down debate. 

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That said, there have been previous cases of election meddling in the U.S., but these examples are also uncomfortable to the institutional press because they undermine the narrative of the establishment and American democracy as being above reproach. One noteworthy example was when Nixon sabotaged LBJ's Vietnam peace talks in 1968, in order to keep the war going and increase his chances of winning the presidency. What is interesting about this bit of election meddling is that the establishment media is only talking about it now in order to equate Trump with Nixon. 

Another example of U.S. election meddling is one that the mainstream press will deride as a "conspiracy theory", but which is in reality a conspiracy fact, and that is Reagan's treasonous deal with Iran to keep the U.S. hostages imprisoned until after Reagan won the 1980 election. Go read Robert Parry's outstanding work on this topic as it will surely help you to see Reagan's America, and the media's adulation of him, in a new light. It will also help to give context to this past year's election and the possibility of Russian interference.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, Official media go to great lengths to belittle conspiracy theories because they are seen as a threat to them and the established order they are committed to defending. The gatekeepers in the media are little more than stenographers to those in power, so when citizen journalists start stepping on their toes with questions those in authority would prefer not to hear, then the media kick it into high gear asserting their control over debate.

Just because something is a conspiracy, does not make it false, nor does it make it true. Each case should be studied and judged on the merits of the actual evidence. When judging the probability or possibility of a conspiracy, it is vital that we acknowledge our own personal predisposition's and biases and take them into account just as we take the veracity and amount of evidence into account. Know this, conspiracies happen, and the truth is that the most reliable theory of history is conspiracy theory, not the coincidence theory that the establishment hoists upon the public. 

The best bet regarding the current conspiracy du jour that the media won't call a conspiracy, the Scooby-Doo/Russian election story, is for the buyer to beware, not because the Russians are saints and Trump is a beyond reproach, but because the establishment and their shills in the media has been proven to lie over and over and over again…trusting them is a sucker's bet.

Regardless of whether a conspiracy has the imprimatur of officialdom or originates from an alternative source, it is imperative for us to demand clear-cut evidence and proof for or against whatever assertions are being made when people are trying to convince us of anything, especially when we are predisposed to believe what they are selling. Now…in that spirit, please go read the entire intelligence report on Russian election interference, especially the sources and methods section…you may find it very enlightening.

©2017

 

Orlando and The Rough Beast

Estimated Reading Time : 7 Minutes

On the night of Friday, June 10th, singer Christina Grimmie, a 22 year old former contestant on the NBC show The Voice, was shot and killed by a deranged fan after a performance in Orlando, Florida. The next night, June 11th, Omar Mateen, a 29 year old American man of Afghan descent, walked into the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and shot over a hundred people, killing 49 of them, in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The following Tuesday, June 14, Lane Graves, a two year old boy visiting Disney World from Nebraska with his parents and four year old sister, was snatched and killed by an alligator while wading in shallow water in a lake in Orlando, Florida.

These three stories share much in common, violence, tragedy, grief, frustration, heartbreak and, oddly enough, geographic location. From a human perspective, these stories illicit a great deal of emotion, as we are all able to project ourselves or our loved ones into their horrific circumstances. From a mythological/psychological perspective, these stories reveal something much deeper and much darker about us, our collective unconscious, our time and what lies ahead for us all.

The Religion of Fame and Celebrity

The Jungian psychological symbolism of these three attacks are relatively obvious, and strikingly ominous, for anyone looking for them. The incident that kicked off this horrific four days in Orlando was the senseless murder of Christina Grimmie. Grimmie had obtained a modicum of fame being a contestant on the show The Voice. Grimmie is symbolic of one of the new and powerful American religions…the religion of fame and celebrity. The talented and ambitious Grimmie was trying to climb up the ladder of success to become one of those people who are the Greek gods (immortal myths) of our time…the famous. All religions sell and profess "the light", but that light brings with it the shadow.  That which is demonized by a culture or religion, becomes the shadow of that culture or religion. The shadow of the old religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, is usually sex. See the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church as a prime example of the repressed shadow asserting itself in distorted ways. The shadow of the new American religion of celebrity is desperation and delusions of grandeur.

The fan who shot and killed Christina Grimmie was the vehicle for the shadow of the religion of fame and celebrity to assert itself. He stalked and then killed Grimmie, and then himself, as a sacrifice to this new religion. Without that level of crazed fanaticism, which is a toxic combination of desperation and delusion, the new religion of celebrity would hold no psychological power over the masses. Good can only function in opposition to evil…the famous can only be famous if there are masses of anonymous people yearning to be just like them. The brighter the light, the darker the shadow, and in this case, the darker the shadow the brighter the light. Christina Grimmie was, like more and more people in our culture, consciously acting upon the siren call of fame and celebrity, her killer, like many of the unwashed and un-famous masses, was unconsciously acting upon the siren call of fame and celebrity's shadow. In terms of the new religion of fame and celebrity and its psychology…meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The Old vs The New

Which brings us to Omar Mateen, the man who slaughtered 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse on June 11. Mateen, like Grimmie's killer, was playing a part in a much wider mythological struggle than just his own psychological torment. Mateen, by all accounts a closeted homosexual, was a foot soldier in the battle between the old religion and the new. The old religion, in this case Islam, which like Christianity and Judaism before it has sex as its shadow, is not going quietly into the goodnight of its evolutionary oblivion. The religion it is battling was born of its own shadow, that religion is the religion of Libertinism. Mateen was a man torn between the new religion, Libertinism, and the old religion, Islam. Mateen's biology, sexuality and western culture pulled him to the church of Libertinism, and yet his family, tradition and heritage pulled him towards Islam. The poor people slaughtered in Orlando by Mateen are just collateral damage in the war raging between the new and old religions and in his own psyche. Mateen was unconsciously mugged by not only the shadow of one religion but two. The psychological shadow of Libertinism caused him to yearn for the clarity and moral purity being offered by the old religion of Islam, while the the shadow of Islam caused him to act out his repressed sexuality and deem it "deviant", which made him hate himself for his biological urges, and then project that hate on to others who seemingly had no internal struggle over their choice of Libertinism.

Mateen's psychological (and sexual) struggle is the same struggle as the entire culture and its old religions of Islam/Judaism/Christianity. The old religion of Islam/Judaism/Christianity is trying to hold back the tide of human biological urges as well as the new religion, Libertinism, which celebrates them. All the laws, violence and intimidation in the world cannot stop what has started, namely, the decay and collapse of the old order and its religions and the rise of the new order and its religions. There is no moral judgement to be made for or against either side, only the admission of this psychological reality.

The Leviathan

And then there is the horrific tragedy of Lane Graves, the little boy snatched by a gator and killed in a Disney resort lake. Graves is symbolic of the innocent, the pure and the good. The little boy joyously playing in shallow waters with his father and then a beast rises up from the depths to snuff out his life. 

An innocent little boy killed by a beast from the depths is symbolic of the entire series of killings in Orlando that week. From the depths of the collective unconscious and the individual unconscious of the killers, a Leviathan, like that shown to Job in a vision in the Book of Job, born of the shadow of God, rose up to snuff out innocent life in an attempt to make its unconscious aspects conscious. In Jungian psychology, water is symbolic of the unconscious, and this story is about more than the Graves family tragedy, but about the beast lurking in our collective unconscious that is desperate to be made conscious and which will kill as many innocents as it can in order to bring about that consciousness. This primal, primitive unconscious energy is fighting for its survival and will do anything to stay alive (become conscious).

As a friend of mine (and a Jungian analyst) The Big Falconer, said to me recently, "the unconscious, the Self, the dark side of the God-image, doesn't care how many millions of people or how much of life is killed in the quest to become conscious…." And the horrors of Orlando are proof of that.

The Happiest Place on Earth

The fact that this horrific drama played out in Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, otherwise known as "The Happiest Place on Earth" is also of great symbolic meaning. Disney is a religion unto itself. The religion of Disney, is a uniquely American religion that sells an eternal childhood and all the innocence that comes with it. This Disney religion is puritanical, and like its sister religion of Celebrity and Fame, is also delusional and grandiose. The Disney religion ignores the darker parts of reality, namely, the impulses and instincts toward sex, violence and death. Those things, sex, violence, and death, were what came out of the shadows and into the light that bloody weekend in Orlando. The shadow will not be denied. You ignore it at your own peril. As the saying goes, "Do you believe in the Devil? You should, he believes in you."

Like Disney, the American culture has turned into an adolescent theme park and maintains the delusion of being the "happiest place on earth". Disney is as American as it gets, and to have this bloodshed on its doorstep is no "coincidence". The veil of Disney (childhood)/American (adolescence) delusion and illusion is not just being pulled back, it is being violently shredded. The scales won't gently fall from our eyes, but will be forcibly torn away. An innocent little boy, a perfect symbol for the religion of Disney (childhood), was devoured by what that delusional and illusional religion ignores, namely death, which took the form of a primitive shadow beast (reptilian instincts/alligator).

"Many miles away something crawls from the slime, at the bottom of a dark, Scottish Lake" - The Police, lyrics from the song Synchronicity II, off of the album Synchronicity

The fact that the alligator, the symbol of the lizard/reptilian brain, the most archaic part of the psyche, the home of the unconscious drives of sex, violence and fear, was lurking just below the surface of the delusional Disney (childhood)/American (adolescence) waters is striking. This primal beast, this alligator/dragon/Grendel is lurking in the depths and the darkness of America and the world, and it is hungry. The beast's hunger is for life, for consciousness, for survival. It devoured an innocent little boy (childhood) that night, but it also slaughtered an aspiring singer and 49 other people (eternal adolescence) the previous two nights. This Leviathan has crawled out of the primordial ooze of our collective unconscious and is determined to make itself known and to be made wholly conscious. 

The news is currently filled with stories of the primitive, the primal and the wild lashing out at mankind. In Florida, Gators found with human bodies in their jaws, or taking bites out of unsuspecting people. Bears, awaking from their hibernation to devour humans in Japan or attack runners in New Mexico. Mountain lions attacking young children as they play in their back yard. While on the surface these stories reek of the vacuousness of our media, mythologically, psychologically and symbolically they are harbingers of the darkness, like a bear awoken from its slumber, that is dwelling in our collective unconscious, lurking just beneath the surface of our consciousness. These stories are reminiscent of the plethora of shark attack stories in the summer before the 9-11 attack. That summer was deemed the summer of the shark, and if anyone had been paying attention, those shark stories forewarned us not of more shark attacks, but of something much more sinister stalking humanity from the depths and the shadows of our collective unconscious.

The death and destruction played out over those four days on the stage of Orlando, the "Happiest Place on Earth", is like a mini-drama of all mankind and the collective unconscious. The attacks in the "Happiest Place on Earth" are the eyes and nostrils of a gator/dragon/Grendel just breaking above the surface waters of our consciousness, that portends an ominous and powerful  dark force just beneath the surface of our awareness, that is ascending from the depths to descend upon our world.

What Rough Beast?

As W.B. Yeats wrote in his poem "The Second Coming"...

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer; 
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, 
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned; 
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

"The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere", even, as we recently learned, at the "Happiest Place on Earth". "The Ceremony of innocence is drowned" like the innocent Lane Graves drowned underneath those blood dimmed tides of the Leviathan's lair. "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity", does this line not speak prophetically to the time in which we live today?

The rest of Yeat's poem is as follows...

Surely some revelation is at hand; 
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   
The darkness drops again; but now I know   
That twenty centuries of stony sleep 
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Yeats asks the question, "what rough beast, it's hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?" That rough Beast is now born, risen to life in the bloody waters of Orlando, and now, with its hour upon us, slouches its way to prominence and power in our world. This Leviathan is loosed upon us, and will gorge itself upon our ignorance and unconsciousness. There is a very dark age quickly descending upon us all and it will obliterate man's world and try men's souls. The Beast has been unchained…and it is desperate to feed, and we are all on the menu. This is just the beginning of the long descent into darkness…and we are not all going to survive to make it into the light.

Related Article - The Way of the Gun : Meditations on America and Guns

Recommended Reading for anyone interested in learning more about Jungian psychology and the Shadow -  Answer to Job by C.G. Jung, Archetype of the Apocalypse by Edward Edinger, Owning Your Own Shadow : Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche by Robert A. Johnson.

 

©2016

 

THE JOHN OLIVER TWIST : Things Said and Unsaid.

This is the fifth article in our new series THE JOHN OLIVER TWIST, where we monitor tv's political comedians and hold them accountable. The original article, Court Jester as Propaganda Tool, can be found HERE. The second article, The Drumpf Affair and Little Bill Maher's Power Fetish, can be found HEREThe third article Waxing Brazilian and Waning Credibility can be found HERE, and the fourth, Out Trumping Trump on the Great Wall of Trump HERE.

ESTIMATED READING TIME : 7 MINUTES 12 SECONDS

A (relatively) brief post on the recent comings and goings of our favorite political comedian, Brave Sir John Oliver, and to a lesser extent, Little Bill Maher, over the last few months. Much has happened but I've been pressed for time so haven't been able to update you, dear reader, on the shenanigans these two faux truth tellers have been up to.

As I have tried to show in previous posts, John Oliver uses the Establishment Propaganda Model ™ to great effect to deceive and misinform his audience. Oliver is not the first comedian to use that model, but in recent years he has certainly been the most effective. Part of how you know he is such a good propagandist for the establishment is to see how the establishment has embraced his work. If Oliver were what he claimed to be, a rebel speaking truth to power, those in power would loathe or maybe even fear him, but they don't, they celebrate and embrace his every move. It seems every week following one of Oliver's shows the public is inundated with articles in the mainstream press about how Oliver's latest "takedown" or "evisceration" of one subject or another was so utterly brilliant. Even Oliver has poked fun at the embarrassing amount of gushing praise his work receives.

The thing about Oliver's "eviscerations" or "takedowns" are that they have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the subjects he takes on. Yes, they may raise some sort of momentary awareness, but that awareness evaporates almost as soon as the episode is over. The Atlantic magazine did a great piece on this recently where they exposed the reality that Oliver is all sound and fury signifying nothing. And that is part of the Establishment Propoganda Model™ as well. Feed the audience something to distract them and to give them the impression that they are well informed and making a difference, when in reality they are really being led down a cul-de-sac of self satisfaction with nothing at all changing in the long run. 

What has interested me the most in the last few months since my last John Oliver Twist post, has been the things that Oliver has left out of his segments, as opposed to what he has put in. This is a vital part of the Establishment Propaganda Model ™, focusing on certain, specific things, but leaving others out. For instance, on episode 10 of season 3, which aired on April 24, 2016, Oliver's opening segment was on Obama's trip to Saudi Arabia and how the Sauid's ignored him during his trip.

It was a cute bit, but if you watch it closely you realize that it entirely ignored the real reason the Saudi's were so angry with Obama. Saudi Arabia was furious with the U.S. over a bill that was up before congress that would allow victims of the 9-11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia over their role in those attacks. That is kind of a huge thing to leave out of the story, don't you think? It's like talking about O.J.'s marriage to Nicole and leaving out the stabbing. The funniest part of the whole thing is that two episodes later, on episode 12 of season 3, which aired on May 15, 2016, Oliver opened his main segment, which happened to be on the 9-1-1 emergency phone system and it's problems, by stating "9-1-1, a number we work hard to remember". Apparently Brave Sir John doesn't work so hard to remember those numbers when they point to Saudi complicity in terror attacks referred to by those same three numbers, and Obama's ass-kissing of those same, complicit Saudi's. 

The Saudi/Obama kerfluffle and Oliver's choice to willfully ignore the reason behind it, 9-11, is both odd and telling. It is also telling that just a few weeks later, Oliver did a little bit on Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who had lost his cat. Kadyrov is a real piece of work, no doubt about it, but Oliver made a big point, in fact he mentioned it twice, that Kadyrov's wikipedia page has an entire section dedicated to his human rights violations, as if this was some sort of remarkable "gotcha" point. As I said, Kadyrov, a Sunni Muslim, is a real piece of work (or a real piece of something else more odorous), but that said, you know another group of Sunni Mulsims who have a less than stellar track record on human rights…that's right...the Saudi's! Oliver never mentioned that fact in his piece on Obama visiting the royal kingdom to try and quell the fears of financial liability of the royal family over their role in 9-11. In fact, Saudi Arabia has such a horrendous human rights record that, unlike Kadyrov, they don't just have a mention of it on their wikipedia page…they have a whole wikipedia page dedicated to it!!

This is how the Establishment Propaganda Model™ works, some things are said and others not said. The assumptions underlying the establishment propaganda are never to be challenged, only blindly accepted. A great example of this shows up on Oliver's most recent episode, episode 13 of season three, which aired May 22, 2016. Oliver opened the episode by doing a segment on the turmoil in Venezuela, and the protests that have broken out there. The very first thing he shows about the protests is a video clip from ABC News which clearly states the context of the protests, that "on one side (of the protests) are students and the middle class, and on the other, police and the military."

That quote may seem like a minor part of a bigger segment, but this clip and statement are incredibly crucial in setting up the context of the protests and the premise of Oliver's argument that follows. This statement of "students and the middle class being on one side, and the military on the other", does all the work Oliver needs in setting audience expectations for who the good guys are and who the bad guys are in the Venezuelan situation.  And I am not saying that Oliver is wrong here, as he skillfully shows with the rest of the segment, Venezuelan president Maduro is, like Kadyrov, a real piece of work. What actually intrigued me the most about Oliver's Venezuela piece and his setting of context in regards to the protests, was that in a very similar situation in Brazil (episode 6, season 3, air date March 20, 2016), he completely ignored the context of those protests because he was taking the side of the right wing, the lighter skinned, the powerful, the rich and the military, against the black lower and working classes. Why would Oliver highlight the context in one case and ignore it in the other? The answer is obvious, the context helps him in the Venezuela argument, and undermines him in the Brazil argument. The key in both cases is that Oliver, just like the American Establishment, and just as the Establishment Propoganda Model™ would predict, calls for the overthrow or removal of an elected, left-wing, South American government that is less than friendly with the U.S.. The Venezuela/Brazil protests segments are damning and incontrovertible evidence of Oliver as a propaganda tool. Every liberal watching his show immediately sided with the "students and middle class" against Maduro in Venezuela, just as they would have sided with the black, poor and working class protesting in support of the left-wing President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, but Oliver intentionally never alerted them to the class warfare element of the Brazil situation.

This is how the Establishment Propaganda Model™ works, you manipulate the information you present in order to contort "reality" to your own ends. So, for instance, the mainstream media in the U.S. would ignore or treat as completely normal the U.S. military doing exercises on the Russian border, but would call Russian military exercises WITHIN THE BORDERS OF RUSSIA as provocative. An easy way to dissect this sort of propaganda is to simply turn it around and imagine what you would think if the media from another country…Russia say, did the same thing. Would you trust them, or believe them? Would you take them seriously? Of course not. If the Russians did a military exercise in Canada and the U.S. did a military exercise in North Dakota, who is the one being provocative? In this case, obviously the Russians. So this is one way you should watch and read the news and see through the propaganda model.

As previously stated, it is not always the things that are said that are revealing of the Establishment Propaganda Model™ at work, but what isn't said. For example, why does John Oliver choose the subjects he chooses? Why did he completely ignore 9-11 in regards to the Saudi/Obama situation when it was such a vital part of the story? Why hasn't he done a segment on the "28 pages" redacted from the 9-11 report which some believe implicate the Saudi's in the attack? Why hasn't he done a segment on the C.I.A. losing the torture report…talk about a situation ripe with comedy? Or better yet…why not do a bit on this press conference from last year by the State Department which talks about how the U.S. has  'long standing policy" to not support coups. it is relevant to both the Venezuela and Brazil situations…and come to think of it, the Ukrainian and Egyptian situations as well. This press conference is the height of comedy and should be right up Brave Sir John's alley…yet he ignored it. 

These are the types of questions viewers should be asking of Oliver and all of the other political comedians. These questions show that it isn't just what Brave Sir John says that proves he is a propaganda shill for the establishment, it is what he chooses NOT to say.

LITTLE BILL MAHER PUCKERS UP

As for Little Bill Maher…well…he has been up to his old ass-kissing tricks once again. Most of the episodes of Realtime with Bill Maher are dreadfully dull and inane. The only time my interest is piqued is when Bill bends over backwards (or just over) for an interview guest. On the 5th episode of season 10, which aired on February 12, 2016, Little Bill interviewed "journalist" Richard Engel. Engel was there to promote his book, and Maher was more than happy to let him "plug away".

What was so interesting in the interview was that Maher briefly mentioned Engel's being kidnapped in Syria. This kidnapping story is pretty amazing and is a twisting and turning tale of propaganda from start to finish. Engel was kidnapped by Syrian rebels who claimed to be Assad forces in an attempt to garner U.S. public support to invade Syria. Engel claimed that a group of Syrian rebels attacked his captors, killing many of them, and freed him. The purpose of the propaganda was to make Assad's troops out to be the bad guys, and the rebels to be the good guys. Except…there were no dead bodies…even though Engel claimed to have seen them. And the rebels didn't save Engel from Assad's forces, they saved him from themselves. It was all a ruse…one which, shock of shocks, NBC, the home of Brian Williams, gladly went along with. You know who else gladly went along with it? Little Bill Maher. The story had been quite clearly debunked and dissected by the time Engel made it the set of Realtime, but Little Bill Maher simply pretended that Engel's original story was the one that happened. In typical Maher fashion, he got on his knees, licked his lips and told Richard Engel that he was "so brave", much like his similar work with General Hayden this season.  This is a great example of the Establishment Propaganda Model™ in two respects…the first is what Maher (and Engel) didn't say, namely that the kidnapping was a ruse and propaganda ploy, and two, retelling the original story so that the truth of what actually happened goes down the memory hole, never to be seen or heard again.

Another hum dinger of an interview with Little Bill was on epsidoe 13, season 10, air date April 22, 2016. This time writer Lawrence Wright stopped by to discuss 9-11, Saudi Arabia and the 28 pages redacted front he 9-11 report. I was glad Little Bill was tackling this important issue…and then I saw the interview. This interview was a classic of the Establishment Propaganda Model™ in that it served no purpose but to obfuscate the truth, not reveal it. Take a look.

This interview is so incoherent as to be mind numbing…and that was its purpose. Wright speaks of Saudi complicity in the attacks due to a Saudi agent being in contact with the hijackers here in the U.S. He also spoke of Saudi government officials being involved by supporting the attack logistically. He also claimed that the U.S. intelligence community knew this as it was happening and were also in close watch over the hijackers their entire time in America. But then he says that the 28 pages aren't really worth much thought because all they will do is "embarrass" the C.I.A. Yes…"embarrass" is what he said. The idea that anything other than "embarrassment" is behind the nondisclosure of the 28 pages is never even mentioned or thought of. What an absurd idea!! How could it be anything other than fear of "embarrassment"? This ignores the fact that it isn't just 28 pages we haven't seen about 9-11 and the Saudi's, but 80,000 files. That's right, 80,000 files…not just 28 pages. That is a hell of a lot of "embarrassment" to cover up in an attempt to save face.

Later in the interview Wright goes on to "explain" that Saudi Arabia isn't responsible for any terrorism at all…only the ideology that creates terrorists. Got that? This comes just moments after he explains that Saudi Arabian officials were in direct contact and supported the hijackers on 9-11. If none of this makes any sense to you, then that makes two of us.

Of course those statements by Wright are in direct contradiction of one another. Maybe Wright was just drunk and rambling…not the craziest notion after watching the absurd interview, or maybe he was intentionally being obtuse and contradictory. Maybe that is his job, to muddy the waters, to obfuscate the truth, not to clarify it. And Little Bill Maher was all to happy to help Wright make a gigantic mess of things. Little Bill was giddy at the chance to be able to change the subject from 9-11 and Saudi and U.S. Intelligence "embarrassment" and make it about Pakistani child fuckers…seriously. Little Bill turned the redacted 28 pages of the 9-11 report into a story about Pakistani child fuckers. Pakistani child fuckers reinforces Little Bill's, and the establishment's, preferred worldview, and U.S. intelligence "embarrassment" and Saudi complicity in 9-11 do not. Concerned about Saudi Arabia, U.S. intelligence and terror attacks?Don't worry…Lawrence Wright and Bill Maher assure that there is nothing to see here.

Besides his interviews, Little Bill has been full of the usual idiocy in his comments over the last few months as well. A case in point is when he had a comedian on and talked about how he, Little Bill, doesn't tell his audience what they want to hear. He was very proud of this, wearing it as a badge of courage. Little Bill is a truth speaker who says the truth no matter what…consequences be damned!! In his next breath, Little Bill went out of his way to make a point blindly supporting Israel. Little Bill explained that Europe, who has always been adversarial with Israel, might now be more sympathetic to Israel since European countries are now being over run with Muslim immigrants from Syria. It was a staggeringly illiterate thing to say, historically speaking. In case Little Bill doesn't know, it was European Jews who immigrated into Palestine, not the other way around. And those European Jews brought with them a terrorist campaign against the locals which featured the invention of the car bomb!! Yes, Little Bill Maher doesn't tell his audience what they want to hear, unless that audience are his pay masters in the establishment, then he says exactly what they want to hear, especially about Israel, over and over again. Bravo Little Bill!! 

Also in keeping with the Establishment Propaganda Model™, Little Bill, just like Brave Sir John, hasn't mentioned on his show the C.I.A. losing it's torture report either. In addition, Little Bill keeps on banging home the idea of "liberals supporting liberal ideas" in regards to the Middle East and Islam. Either Bill is dumber than I think, or he is intentionally laying the foundation for more wars in the region against Islam. You see, you cannot argue for liberals to fight for liberal values in Middle Esatern countries, without also arguing for actual fighting in those countries. Little Bill is a neo-con in that he wants to reshape the middle east, and while he would say he is against another war there, his rhetoric betrays him. You can't tell people to fight for liberal values and then tell them not to actually fight.

In conclusion, both Brave Sir John and Little Bill Maher have been, as the Establishment Propaganda Model™ would predict, serving as useful tools to reinforce the establishment narrative, and not to attack it.  As much as I am loathe to do it, I will continue to watch these two dim-witted, establishment shill, asshats, week in and week out, all as a service to you, my dear reader. I hope you are grateful for this, the greatest of all sacrifices, that I willingly make for you. God help me!!

©2016