||[Apr. 3rd, 2007|05:18 pm]
Since we are in the early stages of another presidential political season, even I, Jon Levin, a person who generally avoids mainstream newsmedia for its worthlessness, cannot help but be bombarded with divisive political rhetoric coming from all sides. And sure... there are issues over which the American people are deeply divided, so much so that we often come to view those on the other side of an issue as an "enemy." But this misses the much larger problem:
A tiny wealthy elite has used their control of mainstream media, television in particular, to create an artificial rift in American society -- what has become known as the red/blue divide. Democracy can't exist under such circumstances, as people have been manipulated to ignore their own interests. Instead, they make rash decisions out of fear of enemies that have been manufactured by those in control, for the sole purpose of such manipulation. Rupert Murdoch might be able to claim that Fox News merely meets the needs of a segment of the TV-viewers that had previously been ignored. But everyone knows that Fox News is a tool of divisiveness and control. If the urban working poor and the rural working poor were ever allowed the chance to relax and smoke a bowl together, they'd figure out that they have much in common and generally want the same things out of life. Things from which they are barred not by each other, but by the wealthy elites who wield control. If the common follk could ever come together and see how silly their differences are and how significant their similarities are, the whole social structure would change quickly and radically toward something far more harmonious for everyone. (Everyone INCLUDING the wealthy elite, by the way.)
Fox News viewers are NOT our enemies. They just don't know any better. Our job shouldn't be to defeat them, it should be to reach them. To educate them. This means that we have to appeal to them in terms they can understand and appreciate. We should resist the urge to make fun of them and instead treat them with as much compassion and respect as we can muster. Much of what they believe may be abhorrent to us, so the task of reaching out to them may not be an easy one. On the contrary. We have a far more difficult job ahead of us than the wealthy fear-mongers do. Fortunately, we have truth on our side. But even if we have the moral high-ground, we have to realize that they believe they have the moral high-ground, and that they see us as a bunch of degenerates. SO... as much as it pains me to say it, and as much as it will pain us to DO it... I really think we have to clean up our act a bit.
We are dealing with masses of people (some of whom are perfectly decent, intelligent, reasonable folk) who are simply operating from within a pre-European-enlightenment mindset. They simply haven't evolved past the "God, King and Country" ethos of, say, Feudalism. The fact that they now drive Hummers instead of a horse-drawn cart doesn't mean anything. For whatever reason, they're stuck in "reverse," and to us it looks like they're all totally insane. But from their point of view, they think they see things clear as day, and to them we seem insane. Since we KNOW we are actually more advanced than they are, we have something of an advantage. We can sink to their level to be able to communicate with them, and then go home and be modern humans again.
How does this translate into real-world action? Well for starters, in the future, if we're going to, say, march on Washington to protest some atrocity or other, I think we should get dressed up. Like, we should wear suits and ties, and the ladies should wear nice dresses. Our "Sunday best." (Don't think of it as compromising our freedom-of-self-expression; rather think of it as a costume party.) We shouldn't bother chanting about "smashing the state" or anything scary like that. Consider how it will play out in the media. What would influence a conservative Fox-viewer and strike fear into Dick Cheney's heart more... seeing an unruly mass of vaguely hippie-lookin' freaks marching and jumping around all willy-nilly, OR a calm, orderly, purpose-driven throng of hundreds of thousands of well-dressed professionals? Can you imagine it?!? The cops wouldn't know what to do! Seriously. If we could pull that off, the Bushies would collectively shit the biggest brick in the world. But then what would we do with such a brick? Hmm... maybe there's a way we could burn it to generate free electricity.
If I were magic, I'd snap my fingers and there'd be world peace. If I were magic, but not quite magical enough to pull that off, I'd snap my fingers and transport poor urban folks and poor rural folks to outdoor barbecues with plenty of good food, good beer and lots of really good marijuana. And good music. And then just sit back and let people realize that they actually can tolerate each other just fine.
I think this would work, not only to heal the artificial rift between "red" and "blue" but also between British and Irish, Israeli and Palestinian, Illinoisian and Wisconsonite, etc. Of course, a large part of the strategy involves the smoking of the peace pipe full 'o weed, and some of the more conservative barbecuers might not be into that. Sooooo... I guess we should round them up and shoot 'em. Hah hah, no. No no... we should just bake really good pot brownies, pot cookies and candies, and not tell them they're getting dosed.
While we're at it, we might want to dose the White House and Congress.