This country is utterly and, perhaps, irreconcilably divided. President Trump was inaugurated without incident, though riots reported as ‘protests’ marred the capital for a few days. The left-wing media complex has been active at full steam churning out one false narrative after another, reeling from the flurry of activity that the Trump administration has pumped out just in the first ten days of office. And the ambiguously-named and crypto-anarchist march on Washington dubbed a ‘Women’s March’ became one of the most reported demonstrations in the world, with similar events staged in metropolitan centers across the country, although no one actually seems to know what the march was supposed to be about. It’s been a long couple weeks.
And yet, for those of us with actual lives, nothing that’s been reported on makes any sense.
I’ve written before on the politicization of American life. This past election cycle brought that theme into the forefront of the American consciousness, and now, post-inauguration, it should be abundantly clear to anyone with only so much as a television set that this politicization is just about complete. ESPN might as well be another arm of MSNBC, Hollywood’s been hard-left now for decades and unabashedly so for at least the last fifteen years, and the growing presence of SJWs online has made even much of the internet a cesspool of post-Enlightenment liberal insanity to everyone who isn’t a millennial trained to navigate the digital dumping ground. Just this past week, even Bandcamp, the popular music-sharing site that offers independent artists and labels to sell and distribute their music, got political, announcing that for a short time, they’d donate a few bucks to some refugee charity fund in direct response to the president’s perfectly reasonable and therefore horribly barbaric and Nazi-like temporary ban on travel from a very limited and specific group of unstable countries. What’s the need for something like that? What do refugees have to do with music? Why does music have to political at all? Oh right, my bad. We’re four generations deep into this neo-Marxist notion that good music is supposed to speak to us as political animals, rather than as children of God—or even less demandingly, at least as people with thoughts and feelings greater than those fixated on the crisis of the week.
Of course, Bandcamp’s management might be more shrewd than I’m giving them credit for; indie music makers and consumers tend to fall more heavily on one side of the political aisle than the other, after all. It wouldn’t be a bad business move to pander to them with a bit of frivolous deposits into some charity account in the name of the next big media-generated crisis, even if it’s under the guise of blatant virtue signaling.
And speaking of virtue-signaling, did anyone watch the Super Bowl last weekend?
The point of all this is that nearly every facet of your life, from posting pictures of your cute dog on your social media account, to the music on your radio when you drive to work, to the commercials for products you’ll never use on television, to the forums about the video games that you play at night, to the movies you take your date to on weekends—all of that has become a tool of political control. Thirty years ago such allegations often strayed into the territory of conspiracy theory, requiring cherry-picked examples of sinister implications to children’s cartoons or commercial television, often coupled with the now-passé belief that rampant consumerism hollows out the cultural bedrock of a society. Now, the indicators are so obvious that celebrities can stand on stage during an award ceremony recognizing their contributions to industry, and instead of graciously accepting the award or speaking briefly on the work of their peers, they can turn that podium into some soap box upon which they can spew out their own political beliefs to the supplication of everyone in attendance. And while they’re at it, even proclaim loudly that they’re going to start punching people in the face over political disagreements—not even over matters of policy.
The nerve of these socialites! To appeal to common-man values, to speak haughtily of immigration, and to label everyone who voted for Donald Trump a racist, while they get paid millions of dollars to do little more than wear costumes and read lines off of a script, sit in a trailer with catering and air conditioning while they’re on set, and pretend for the cameras that they have a real life, all before going back to their communities where all the immigrants they see and interact with are maids, groundskeepers, or chauffeurs, where almost all of their own friends are of their own ethnic background, and where the very coffee they drink costs more than the typical lunch meal of a middle-American family. And then they stand up and say they’re embarrassed to be white, embarrassed to be American, embarrassed for the country! I guess when you’re that rich and glamorous, you can afford to bite the hand that raised you when the cameras are giving you the attention. These people are worse than petulant children—at least they can eventually grow up. Everything they do is for the attention.
I’m not suggesting that the Hollywood socialites are paid directly by Soros or Rockefeller or the Clintons to intentionally shill for the international communist movement. Even if they were, it doesn’t matter. We all know too many people in our own daily lives that emulate this sort of behavior without Correct The Record depositing five cents into their bank accounts for every anti-Trump Facebook message they throw up. It’s the entire state of mind that goes into this sort of virtue-signaling, and it’s everywhere, dealing with every topic imaginable in such a way that there is always a clearly framed good guy and bad guy. How cluttered is your Facebook feed with the endless reposts of political edutainment videos about African animals, rainforests, racism, or some other hot liberal buzz-topic? How many times have you read the ravings of your only tangentially-political friends? How often is the latest executive order, the latest congressional blocking, or the last few articles about Global Warming discussed as lunchtime conversation with your coworkers? How much do you or your coworkers even know about any of it? Probably just what you’re fed by these thirty-second edutainment blips. Hollywood celebrities don’t have to tell us to follow their lead on these matters. They’re given more exposure in our lives than most of our family actually has.
News Cycle? I Want a Cliff-Hanger!
Politicization—the growing influence of politics over the average, normal person’s life—has succeeded because it’s turned politics into a reality game. It’s more dramatic than the hour-long serials on your TV because the villains actually walk around in real life and the conflicts at least seem to be real. The Paul Ryan we see on youtube smugly discussing the dismantling of Obamacare in a thirty-second edu-blip isn’t really any more human to the average internet denizen than that one SS Officer stand-in from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he has about as much personality. It’s inevitable that the boundary between the character of Paul Ryan—the one seen only in front of a camera—obfuscates the real person who happens to look just like him and hold the same position in the government. It’s easier to treat him as though he’s a character in a movie than it is to really believe that he actually lives out a life with a family and is made of flesh and blood, comparable to you or me. For one thing, most people will never actually meet Paul Ryan. They’ll only know the dramatis personae that recites his lines off the teleprompter while they wonder whether this week’s episode of Real Life is going to end on another cliffhanger or not. Will Obamacare be defunded? Will the wall get built? Find out next time!
But what happened to our media? What happened to us? We used to go to daytime television and our gameboys for entertainment, or read Tom Clancy thrillers for our political intrigue fix. Now we go straight to the source, so long as it’s presented in a way that clearly lets us know who the bad guy is. And our news media has been too eager to comply, hungry for ratings and those advertisement bucks. Given that the average age of the people who watch the big three television news stations is pushing seventy, I can’t blame the mainstream media system to be terrified. They’re going to age out of existence in about a decade.
It helps that the American public has, actually, gotten dumber in the last two generations. It’s not just you, the national average IQ really has decreased in the last fifty years. Sad!
So news stories became even more shaped into being stories. The narrative became a thing to promote and emphasize, rather than an emergent property of the news cycle. It helps keep people glued to their news sources and jacks up the ratings, sure, but it gives the audiences a sense of in-group identity as well. You feel like you can get along better with your friends if they share the same political beliefs because it feels like you’re both on the same side of this conflict. You’re fighting for the Good, whatever it’s supposed to be, based on your responses to key political buzzwords.
This is why you can’t really fight the left with facts. Conservatives and libertarians have been debating the left now for decades, and they typically win. Yet the outcome of those debates have won over only small handfuls of individuals rather than entire communities. Trump’s populist surge came from people who were directly affected by and reacting to political correctness with their own narrative, still somewhat small in comparison to the one that the media presides over. But it’s still a narrative. The facts weren’t important, as made clear by Trump’s frequent use of hyperbole. But his narrative more closely reflected the reality of his voting bloc, and it was consistent, and it was held together by a unifying message, unlike his opponent’s, who needed to have several narratives targeting several different voting blocs (women, blacks, students, immigrants, Hispanics, etc.) chained together by a somewhat difficult to believe demonization of the right.
That’s just how human beings operate.
This explains too any friendships that were called off during the election, and the degree to which political debates can get viciously personal, even when they’re on topics that are comparably remote from their actual lives. Discussions on immigration become stories about underdogs trying to get ahead in life. Debates on abortion become body horror spectacles about men forcing women to breed. The entire Obamacare debacle is framed by tragedy, where diseases could be prevented if only there was that government alternative. The facts of the narrative don’t matter; it takes too long to research them adequately and it’s too easy to pepper in a few statistics here and there to satisfy the scientism of the modern age. Only the more convincing story is important, and Trump tapped into that.
And for what it’s worth, right-wingers have their own narrative as well, now that their own growing media alternative to the MSM is pretty stable. But at least most of those outlets are more representative of the facts on the ground and typically have less agreement between one another. Substantiating information, corroborating testimony, and actual research is still alive in the alt-media outlets, as is listening to opposing views. Most of the mainstream networks don’t even bother with any of that anymore. It’s all for show.
Fascism is little more than believing in a strong figure of authority to tell you what to do, and then executing those dictums through violence and silencing your opposition by any means necessary. Yeah, there are some economic aspects that are grouped under the term, and there are some nuances with regards to in-group identity and community building, but none of the Antifa rioters, or BLM, or the lefty ‘women’s march’ crusaders know detailed minutiae regarding Mussolini’s tax policies, Stalin’s nationalist economic plans, or the details of Hitler’s genetic studies that led to the ostracization and suppression of entire classes of people based on their heritage. What these Antifa drones do recognize—or think they recognize—is the use of political power to enact an anti-leftist agenda. Forget the fact that the fascists enact their agendas through force of violence, through actively taking over the media, and through vast populist groundswells. Forget the fact that the Trump administration can only lay a reasoned claim to one of these things. Forget the fact that the Antifa financial backers own most of the media outlets and are the obvious controllers to this entire ‘social revolution’ and ‘resistance’ movement. That sort of irony is lost on the bandana-wearing, baseball bat-wielding Blackshirts calling for Berkley to remove a homosexual speaker on individual liberties from campus.
And sure, we could sit there and point fingers. We could call them the real Nazis. Look at how they’re shutting down free speech! Look at how they’re just going around punching people they don’t agree with! Look at how they’re setting fires in the streets and beating people up! That’s what the Nazis did, right? We’re not the Nazis, they are!
But that’s empty bloviating and everyone knows it. The sort of civilization-ending violence that the left’s narrative no longer bothers to hide deserves more of a response than “no, you!” like some sort of playground spat between toddlers. It requires action. It requires counter-protests and opposition. The people at the top have been building upon these themes in the culture for decades, and the last eight years vamped up the knobs to eleven. Quietly muttering “I’m not a Nazi, YOU are,” while buildings are set on fire and the rule of law is ignored is just a rhetorically comfortable alternative to sitting on your hands, but that’s what most of the conservative establishment would prefer to see. It’s simply not classy to defend your livelihood and your culture from literal torch-bearing mobs of balaclava-clad communists who are literally beating people in the streets and setting their homes on fire. It’s hard to see a resolution that doesn’t involve direct conflict at this point; the left is forcing the issue with their tantrums and the old media is helping them to do it.
Politics has become even greater than a game. It’s become a hyper-reality simulation, like a TV show that plays in the speech and expressions of everyone in the country. The lines are written by the same people—writers in LA setting the proper trends in goodthink, the speech writers in DC who set the proper policies in accordance with goodthink, and of course, the reporters in New York who load up the presses with proper goodthink information that you need to know. The difference is that the celebrities at these award ceremonies and the reporters on television and the pontificators in congress aren’t the actors in this farce, they’re just the props and cues, the news articles are marks taped on the stage for your convenience, and the comedians on their late-night television slots are some of the director’s aides just off stage, feeding you the next line. You’re the actor. You and your neighbor and your boss are the actors, caught up in this ridiculous scam of a play that nobody really wants to watch because the entire auditorium is a stage and there’s no comfortable seat to be found—and the refreshments aren’t even that good since they’ve replaced the popcorn with stale vegan corn chips.
Democracy’s easier this way. You just have to take control of the social institutions and then create an easy-to-believe narrative, and always pepper it in your favor. Even if you’re bombing your own civilians. Even when you’re signing executive orders for the indefinite detention of innocent people. Even when you’re selling out your countrymen to the jihadists that want to burn down the West and behead the infidels who live here. In the old days, you had to hound hundreds military officials, convince thousands of people from various backgrounds, and then find the right aristocrats to bribe or threaten before your rule of law could be legitimized, and even then, it was never guaranteed that you wouldn’t go down in the history books as a usurper. Now you just play along with the media-entertainment complex and spout a few nice-sounding lefty slogans, and the propaganda prints itself.
At least until a monster that knows that complex better than you do comes along and makes everyone in the entire system look like the fools they really are.