Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For Your Entertainment

When I study how humans have acted and interacted within the societies that they are in, I have basically had to conclude that on a basic level, we haven't really changed all that much in the past 10,000 years or so. This is true in terms of the basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter. Basically, we moved from being the hunter-gatherer to the more settled life of today although some people will say rightfully so that we live in concrete jungles. But the basics remain the same. Transportation is transportation be it your feet, a wheelchair or a horse.

The same is true in politics. In a lot of ways, politics is similar to theatre, movie making, carnivals and what not. One movie that never gets old for me is Network. It is art imitating life.

Arthur Jensen: [bellowing] You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU...WILL...ATONE! [calmly] Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those *are* the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that . . . perfect world . . . in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.

Howard Beale: Why me?

Arthur Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.

Howard Beale: I have seen the face of God.

Arthur Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.

Or as Fox Mulder would say while popping a sunflower seed into his mouth: "Whatever happened to playing a hunch, Scully? The element of surprise, random acts of unpredictability? If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen or expect the unexpected in a universe of infinite possibilities, we may find ourselves at the mercy of anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced."

Now let's take for instance when a presidential candidate or the president visits your city. Do you think they just arbitrarily decided to visit just to take in the sights? Presidents and politicians in general are figureheads. The Chief of Staff tells them where to go, advisors tell them what to think, speechwriters tell them what to say, and consultants tell them what to wear. While the press release may be sent out a few days before the visit, the planning occurred several weeks before. The Secret Service and travel office are sent ahead to scout the location and plan the routes, line the supporters up, and so and so on.

My own personal experience of this sort happened in 2004 when I was working on Michael Badnarik's presidential campaign. I basically had a week's notice that Michael was going to be in town and I obtained this information by looking up his website. No press release and no staff. Just me and my elbows and feet.

Hopefully this clears things up and if this disturbs you, don't be. We've being doing it since ancient times.

1 comment:

Blondie said...

Hey there Chris! Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on my Marilyn post. I always appreciate new followers! Your blog looks great and so interesting, I will definitely be back. Have a fantastic New Year! Kori xoxo