WRITING ON THE WALL by Joseph Roberts
The topic of Chris Hedges’s latest book Empire of Illusion the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle is living out loud here in Vancouver-Whistler. “In this world, all that matters is the consistency of our belief system. The ability to amplify lies, to repeat them and have surrogates repeat them in endless loops of news cycles, gives lies and mythical narratives the aura of uncontested truth.”
Just “believe” and act nice while the world “comes to our home”. Sounds like the Canadian thing to do, eh? Unfortunately the real fleecing is not some goofy mascot but us tax-paying sheep that cannot even afford tickets for their two-week party. Of course you can sit at home, with all the road closures, to watch it on TV, bombarded by sponsor’s spin and officially sanctioned voice of the games ingratiated reporters.
“A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death. Morality is the product of civilization, but the elites know little of these traditions.”
I surveyed media dominance by counting Olympic sponsor billboards and bus shelter posters compared to all others combined. From Vancouver to Burnaby the tally was Olympic sponsored billboards 38, all others combined two. That is a 19 to one visual mind share advantage blanketing the landscape. Slogans like the official Olympic restaurant MacDonald’s wake up and smell the excellence, or Coke’s happiness starts here repeated. Coors beer is guarantied cold, even if it’s fake snow on the slopes. Amazing, eh? American beer.
This orgy of corporate sponsorship colonies our short-term memory and imagination, making us ripe little well programmed consumers of all that great stuff. Feel the ----. Fill in the blank with some multinational logo or slogan, and you get the point.
The Prime Minister, the primo Puppet Master, shut down parliament so he and his “decisionaries” can enjoy olympic photo opportunities and do secret back room deals undebated in Ottawa.
These politicians and their managers are in their own self-congratulating bubble.
Hedges, again, said it well. “The overarching structure of the corporate state and the idea of the common good are irrelevant to specialists. They exist to make the system work, not to examine it. Our elite replicate, in modern dress, the elaborate mannerisms and archaic forms of speech employed by calcified, corrupt, and dying aristocracies.”
Over two thousand years ago a more compassionate being, while being crucified reportedly uttered the words “God forgive them they know not what they do.”
Well, welcome to Vanoc Territory! You sort-of voted for it, it was kind-of democratic, they did not actually mention the real budget, they fudged it. They have already grabbed gold. Mark Twain nailed it well when he declared that the “last act of any government is to loot the treasury”. The champagne corks will be popping, the decisionaries will be smiling, and yes, new records will be set. Inconvenient records ignored by the embedded media as the economy and ecology swoops down hill, breaking yet another record: biggest bail out of banks ever, weirdest weather on record, most troops stationed on foreign soil to steal oil, most centralized media ever, most phoney politicians, and the fastest spending of taxpayers money. Wahoo! Can’t wait ’til it’s over!