Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Warp Power of Myths Deployed as Propaganda

Glenn Greenwald highlights the enduring power of myths to distort our shared narrative, thereby misdirecting us into false realities in which our every action, as the sovereign electorate, is preempted by definition and absolutely void: empty, meaningless actions like voting on rigged machines. Greg Palast calls vote caging "lynching by laptop," the unspoken penalty for simply being insufficiently like The Powers That Be.

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Speaking of invented storyline myths becoming entrenched in our media discourse and then never dissolving no matter how factually inaccurate it is, here is a superb video compiled by Jed Lewison documenting the completely fact-free reporting that has driven the tawdry media attempt to connect Barack Obama (through Rahm Emanuel) to the Blagojevich scandal. Obviously, it's perfectly appropriate to ask questions about Obama and Emanuel's involvement, but the media simply invented a pure fiction to implicate Obama in order to drive the story -- a fiction that has had a considerable impact on public perception:

That's almost certainly damage that will never be undone. That's why it is, in my view, worthwhile to dissect the Brennan coverage -- what one finds there is a deceitful methodology that is used in almost every story.

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"Mind not my words, let the play say the thing." --Robin Williams, extemporizing Shakespeare, on the album Reality: What A Concept

Joseph Campbell began lecturing, for I don't know how long, at State's Foreign Service Institute in 1957. How many times since then have we used the power of myth as the engine of regime change?

Somebody took the lessons of Goebbels and Goering to heart. Add some behaviorism and comparative mythology and BAM! An invisible weapon that leaves no marks and yet is more powerful than all the armies of the earth. As a Zen poet, non-matriculating grad student of research psychology, and devoted student of comparative mythology, I see it plain as day.

I call it myth-jacking. Robert Parry, whose Iran-Contra reporting brought me to my senses, just posted a great article on the power of myth:

Besides being only one of many factors in the reduced violence, the “surge” also failed to bring about the political-economic reconciliation in Iraq that Bush had promised when he announced the build-up in January 2007. Nor has it led to the expected drawdown of troops to below pre-surge levels, with almost 150,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq, about 16,000 more than before the “surge.”

Yet, the myth of the “successful surge” has proved extraordinarily powerful.

During the campaign, Obama faced hectoring from media interviewers, such as CBS News’ Katie Couric and ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, demanding that he admit he was wrong to oppose the “surge.”

For weeks, Obama held firm, insisting that the issue was more complicated than his interviewers wanted to admit. He argued that there were many factors behind Iraq’s changed security environment. But ultimately he caved in while being interrogated on Sept. 4 by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.

"I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated," Obama confessed to O'Reilly. "It's succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."

Obama may have judged that continued resistance was futile. But his surrender on the “successful surge” myth may have other long-term consequences. [Retrieved 5:50 AM Pacific 23 Dec 08 from http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/121808.html]

As if that weren't bad enough, check out this hair-raising little quote from Ray McGovern:

Obama is no shrinking violet. Just the same, it may be useful to warn him not to succumb to the particular brand of “shock and awe” that can be induced by ostensibly sexy intelligence to color reactions of briefees, including presidents. I have seen it happen. [Retrieved 5:55 AM Pacific 23 Dec 08 from http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/110708c.html]

Our president is not ours alone. I think he's being, or about to be, run like any other asset of the same NSA-type fiends who've been myth-jacking us to hell, and sticking us with the bill, for god knows how long now.

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