“A demagogue like Trump is what you get when you turn culture and the press into burlesque.”
– Chris Hedges –
Postmodern, post-humanist, post-factual – there seems to be no dearth of terms attempting to describe the world we live in today. But sift through the intellectual gibberish and they all say the same thing: we ain’t what we used to be.
The dignity and inherent self-worth of each and every individual is no longer a given, nor is reliance on rational discourse foundational to the quest for common ground.
And to add insult to injury, the lame observation that “perception is reality” has been replaced by such ominous corollaries as “opinion is fact” and “illusion is truth.”
I am a member of an alumni chat group overwhelmingly united in their distrust of the new President-elect. Before the election they smugly advised each other to hand out flyers and hawk Hilary on street corners, and now instead of licking their wounds they are frantically signing petitions and organizing prayer groups.
Pray? That’s about as ludicrous as those frequent headlines emanating from the Vatican: “Pope decries violence…” “Pope calls for peace…” “Pope laments the persecution of…”
Get over it, folks. There is no God listening to your pleas. And T’Rump is not the problem.
Look to your left and look to your right – there’s the problem, the man and woman next to you. Cultural paradigms have been shifting for decades now, and T’Rump is simply taking advantage of a new mindset dominating the cultural landscape.
Gird up your loins and get on with your life, if you have one.
Equally disconcerting to many is the proliferation of “fake news” that seems to assail us from all sides.
“The media landscape in America is dominated by “fake news.” It has been for decades. This fake news does not emanate from the Kremlin. It is a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry that is skillfully designed and managed by public relations agencies, publicists and communications departments on behalf of individuals, government and corporations to manipulate public opinion. This propaganda industry stages pseudo-events to shape our perception of reality. The public is so awash in these lies, delivered 24 hours a day through electronic devices and print, that viewers and readers can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction.
Donald Trump and the racist-conspiracy theorists, generals and billionaires around him inherited and exploited this condition, just as they have inherited and will exploit the destruction of civil liberties and collapse of democratic institutions. Trump did not create this political, moral and intellectual vacuum. It created him. It created a world where fact is interchangeable with opinion, where celebrities have huge megaphones simply because they are celebrities, where information must be entertaining and where we can all believe what we want to believe regardless of truth. A demagogue like Trump is what you get when you turn culture and the press into burlesque.”
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!