I faintly remember engaging in duck-and-cover drills at elementary school before they were phased out after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.
Looking back on them now, the exercises seem somewhat misguided in their approach. Unless, of course, the real point of the drills was to teach an entire generation of Americans that they were forever and always under threat. Cowering under one’s desk can certainly aid in cultivating such a sense of fear and submission to authority.
Still, the changes that overtook America during those transitionary years from the late 80′s to the early 90′s seem pale in comparison to those that overwhelmed us after 9-11.
It has been ten years – an entire decade – since Bush told us that the world would “never be the same again,” and by some measure he was right, but not because the world itself was changing; it was he and his ilk who sought to impose radical change upon the world.
It is true that all governments, and by implication, all presidents lie. However, the Bush administration took the manufacture of fiction to a level that seems, even in retrospect, unimaginable.
The 43rd President of the United States was adroit at taking a microkernel of truth, and wrapping around it an incalculable number of lies, spinning, overlapping and knotting the facts in such a way as to make any attempt to decipher truth from fiction an exercise in futility.
After eight grinding years of terror alerts, false flags, unprecedented propaganda, two open-ended wars, media prosecution, exploding deficits and the metastasis of an Orwellian police state, the American people were in a pavlovian condition to reject anything that reminded them of the current president and, by consequence, to embrace whatever they deemed as representative of that opposite.
I count myself as one of these Americans. I voted for Barack Obama. I do not regret doing so, since the other option was even worse. Had I to do it over again, I would have abstained entirely from the process – hardly an alternative that would fill one with remorse.
Indeed, Barack Obama may be an even more compulsive liar than Bush was. Though his administration has been less destructive to the fabric of civil society than his predecessor’s, it remains more ambitious in its expectations of just how much deceit it can get away with.
The Obama White House’s ostensible disrespect for the intelligence and awareness of the more educated members of society makes the “Joe Six-Pack,” Jacksonian approach of the Bush administration look mild by comparison.
Though Obama is, hands down, a better liar on his worst days than Bush is on his best, his administration’s attempt to manipulate public opinion and create a palatable fiction conducive to the agenda of those in power has been a dismal failure.
Only the 1970′s produced a similar flowering of conspiracy theories in America, but with the broadcast media at its disposal, the establishment was able to control the popular narrative without credible threat. This is no longer the case today.
Today, the rich bandwidth connectivity provided by the World Wide Web has turned what would have been an obscure underground movement during the 1970′s into an incendiary force of theories about the world that not only rival the official narrative being offered by Washington, but may, in fact, be overtaking it.
At the very least, these alternative theories that seek to make sense of current events through the unofficial revision of conventional history, are burning at the very roots of the establishment narrative. The government and its handlers are losing control of public opinion.
The loosening of fiction’s grip over reality can be seen no where more clearly than in the most recent attempts by the Obama administration and it’s large media outlets like CNN, FOX and the New York Times to reintroduce the Al-Qaeda boogieman to the American people. Not only do many people seem cynically indifferent to the entire terror narrative that once caused them to squirm in their seats, but an increasing number of Americans seem to have their own particular theory as to what is really going on.
The increasingly discordant composition of reality being produced by the establishment is drowning under the weight of its own absurdity. In its place, a plethora of simpler and more harmonious theories are being embraced, rising like giant balls of methane gas from the ocean floor.
It is a common practice by those who wish to control the minds of men to use the lack of uniformity in competing narratives as a sign of weakness. Anyone who does not believe the official narrative is labeled a “conspiracy theorist” and the abundance and variety of such alternative theories is offered as self-evident proof of their falsity and by illogical consequence, as evidence of the veracity of the official narrative.
Well, reality doesn’t work quite like this. Of course these alternative theories are imperfect, but this is because human beings perceive the world subjectively and so variety of interpretation is unavoidable. It is not the abundance of alternatives that should raise alarm bells, but the attempt by any one group to claim by fiat, that it’s particular view of history is the correct one.
The world is waking up to the later concern, and Americans, though doped up on pharmaceuticals and pacified by relentless TV programing, are not immune to these disturbances in the psychic field.
I have no doubt that, if it were the Bush administration still running things in this country, the cynical indifference to power currently on display by the American people would have been more fiercely confronted. Another bombing in Arabia and the release of a few more Bin Laden tapes is chump change in the eyes of fanatical imperialists like Bush, Cheney and the rest of the Vulcans. By this time, Bush would have been presiding over his second 9-11.
I can only hope that this president and his handlers are as incompetent in greasing the wheels of the police state as they have proven to be in handling the official lie.
Although one cannot be sure that escalating conflicts in the middle east will not lead to “disturbances” of the peace at home, I have a feeling that this administration will prove incapable of using such events as a pretense for further consolidation of power into the hands of the established few.
That’s my hope. That’s my theory.