Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poppies: Who Contols The Voters' hearts and Minds

Pay attention now. Because over the next week we might see a bit of sleight of hand, as the press decides that Sarah Palin is really too much and that McCain's halo has been horribly tarnished.

Pay attention. Because will that really be the way the process goes, will that really be their way of forming a decision? Is the press really assessing public opinion, or simply mapping its own new narratives onto the popular scene and making its own presumptions seem like "reality"? And is there an ulterior force(s) behind that presumption?

Ever since Eric Boehlert wrote his nice little expose on shared suspended disbelief of reality, I've been waiting to see which blogs left and right would pick up on the phenomenon - the self-pleasing ability to jointly ignore huge swaths of obvious documented fact to collectively adopt a contrary opinion. Psychological studies show that well-educated people perversely are better able to use their IQ's to adopt positions unsupported by facts. And recent studies show the larger the social group, the more intelligent the species of ape. So here we display a group participatory ability at self-delusion encompassing millions at a time (not that this is a fair study - lower primates don't have TV & internet to work with).

But here's the problem. When working with groups this large and influences this complex, it becomes difficult to say whether we deluded ourselves, or whether someone deluded us instead, figuring out which buttons to press to make us think we were turning that remote-controlled car?

Because as Boehlert points out, the press, the Democrats and basically all of us assumed a patronizingly untrue version of reality to drive through a particular view of reality and subsequent "obvious" result. And Democrats are supposed to be the less media-savvy - Republicans are the "manipulative ones". And the press is supposedly "free" and "independent", even as they come across so repetitive, mimicking each other with the same catch phrases and press release soundbites so they look more like chorus girl dancers and Gregorian chanters than free thinkers and analysts.

So what's the mechanism at play when Mark Halperin suddenly wakes up after several years of extreme R.E.M. sleep and notices that Republicans lie profoundly and obviously about just about everything when they get on TV or the campaign stump (including an impressive coordinated perversion of reality we call "spin", though it would be less impressive if there were less willful suspension of belief amongst the audience)? And that McCain and Palin are indeed true to this perverted Republicanism. Is Mark Halperin just a lone clairvoyant Rumpelstilskin? Or has 100 years passed for Sleeping Beauty's kingdom and Obama is our prince? Or is it just another fairy tale, where the wicked witch ensconced in yonder dark castle is peering yet again into her magic crystal ball, ready to unleash her flying monkeys on a new attack, or to put the kingdom to slumber anew, with slightly different dreams but similar results, whispering "sleep, poppies, sleep, poppies, sleep...."

In short, who's in control here? And why exactly did we think *WE* were?

I'm afraid I know the answer to, where are all those poppies? We might all be needing them before this painful nightmare is over.

(Brainwashing, throughout school, could have something to do with our enduring belief in that which has not been, except in our delusions, in a very long time; an American democratic republic. That could be why we do not yet comprehend that the America we thought we knew began, obviously, disappearing almost 5 decades ago, when bullets were swapped for ballots and America became just another banana republic but with a good P.R. team.)

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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

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