Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cultural Revolutions (one potato chip at a time)

[ So I really dug Stephen's last post, and devoid of panic attacks (I'm sorry that happened to you man) and refreshing youtube responses as a form of therapy, here's a sort of indirect response... ]

You know it's amazing to think that a portion of our country (it would seem) is being irrevocably lost to Rupert Murdoch and Fox News. It could almost be forgivable if this new juggernaut of political theory were taking the form of a radical third party or some traditional religious belief system. We as a nation have seen those kinds of institutionally based 'insurgencies' before and we as a collective people know how to handle them (I think?). But this new objection to the status quo is different in root, form, and context.

What Fox is creating could possibly be a new evolution of television in the modern American household . Now it's hard to say how and why this is happening but I'm relatively certain that it is truly happening. This is a somewhat mass mobilized movement of couch potatoes. These people (devoid of their actual place in the proposed new tax structures and health care reforms) are the ones who voted republican and stuck with Fox News years ago less because Dubya was doing a great job in their eyes, but more because Larry King gets fucking boring and Bill O'Reily has kooky catchphrases. This is what that entertainment decision has turned into: a bible thumping, abortion bashing, Obama hating, semi-manufactured protest movement that is based mainly on the interests and desires of the anchors, producers, and owners of the Fox News Broadcasting Corporation.

I mean, now their saying they're not sure they even believe in the republican party anymore, and who can blame them right now? But that shouldn't be justification for the waving of signs that read "Beck For Prez!" or "Obama=Anti-Christ". This is what happens when television rots your brain. I never really believed those warnings my mother gave me until now. Maybe this is television's last grasp as a "technology" in our culture, maybe it's flame is burning a few degrees hotter in the waning moments of it's life. I don't know what meaning this holds in present tense, but I do know that this is not a genuine movement. Sure these people care, and sure they probably will be affected negatively by the proposed plans. I'm not so cold and naive to think differently, but this mass, almost anti-American, movement is no different than the left hype machine protests over the war during the Bush era (aside from being openly endorsed by a major corporation and "authority" in news media).

To be completely honest that's the main thing I find so detestable about all of this; the fact that everyone in this "movement" acts as if they have some righteous monopoly on validity, honestly, sincerity, and patriotism. But I guess it's really not their fault since they think how the tube thinks and the tube is the ultimate righteous gospel (thanks Network). These attitudes are not entirely born of the little light boxes in their homes, but at the very least they have been cultivated, nurtured, and empowered by the likes of Beck, Hannity, and O'Reily.

What would Thomas Jefferson think? I mean what we have now is a new ruling class, an external obtrusive force that asserts itself not with taxes, or physical militaristic force, but rather with flashy graphics, snippy commentators, and good ol' entertainment. We are all slaves to this new medium, it's just a disparaging level of self awareness that I think has created this new cultural niche that celebrates MILF's from Alaska and assholes from the gym (the rest of the Fox News cast). What I wonder the most is whether this small cultural revolution will reach a climactic pinnacle, or just simply deteriorate like the many potato chips consumed in it's early anti-matter phase.

Either way I think it's safe to say that Fox News (along with American Idol, of course) is now one of the most impressive cultural fascist on the American landscape. I tip my hat to them, job well done.


  1. I'm going as a teabagger for Halloween, I've decided.
    I think what's really interesting about all these gatherings is what a perfect expression of mass insanity they are: the nonsensical running themes of Ayn Rand, the Joker, illegal immigration, &c... It's anyone that you'd have the misfortune to run into and let talk your ear off, saying like Y'KNOW WHAT I CALL IT, I CALL IT JOKER-CARE, BECAUSE IN THE MOVIE THE BATMAN THE JOKER... multiplied by I guess 100's.

  2. I don't know... Insanity is merely a point of view isn't it? I guess what I mean to say is that there are many facets of the American culture that are what an objective opinion could consider to be "insane". Sure these people might use stupid catchphrases and reference the worst kinds of popular entertainment to portray a veil of wittiness, but at the heart of it they've been made to think, and truly do believe that their "doing the right thing". I'm not sure I'm objective enough to call that insanity. I guess I just feel sorry for them and us. I feel sorry that we all have to look at each other in the ways that we do each and every day. I guess that's more what I was trying to say in the paragraphs above. I'm angry that an outside entity as trite and washed up as television has done this to us as a people.