Perception Management

photo by Paul

by David Glenn Cox

There is no top to this and no bottom. There are no sides to this and no way to contain it. It can only be held in place temporarily, only with makeshift propaganda and truckloads of hubris. This involves us all, every last mother-loving son or daughter of us and it is inescapable, it is our destiny, our Alpha or our Omega, a new beginning or a certain end.

From the power of Barack Obama to the powerlessness of Trayvon Martin, from the violence of George Zimmerman to the violence of Robert Bales in Afghanistan: we are a violent and bloody people who tend to excuse our way past our own violence. Bales was serving his country as a hired assassin six thousand miles from home while bankers were attempting to take his house and throw his family into the street. George Zimmerman comes off as a Travis Bickle wannabe when he says, “They ****** always get away!”

The harder the state tries to control us the more it spins out of control. The Revolution has already begun. It doesn’t mean it isn’t so, just because they haven’t shot at you yet. If you are a college student you already know it. If you are a teacher you already know it. The Occupiers know it and even the Tea Partiers know it; they might not understand it, but they know it all right.

There are two Americas; there’s an imaginary one created by mainstream media and a “hard rain gonna fall” real America. The other day, Occupy Wall Street protesters attempted to retake Zuccotti Park in New York. Here is what the Reuters News Agency reported: “The movement has made headlines for its clashes with police after campsites were set up for months in cities from New York to California.”

Wait a damn minute here, protesters never clashed with police. Police clashed with protesters. Or to put an even finer point on it, armed men with intent to do harm pepper sprayed and otherwise assaulted those assembled in a public space because the government didn’t like their politics or their message. Get it? Corporations are people and money is speech but actual people expressing their opinions are criminals and are met with state sponsored violence.

Yet the New York police were quick to deploy half of their force the other day to limit the public’s view of this police state in action. A new era of perception management has been put into place as the media couched previous reports of Occupiers in Zuccotti Park with terms like defecation and rats. Rats? In New York City? Really…rats?

Recently, America’s least favorite used car salesman Willard (Mitt) Romney won the Republican primary in Puerto Rico. The media reported his victory with grand adjectives such as “huge” and “decisive”. Puerto Rico…really? Has anyone ever heard of a primary victory in Puerto Rico being heralded as important, let alone huge?

Write it down: Romney is the Republican nominee and these events are simply window dressing, simply more perception management. Santorum and Gingrich hang around for no other purpose than to wound and weaken the Romney campaign. Meanwhile, Barack Obama rides the crest of a tidal wave of good economic news, most of which is not only not good, it isn’t even marginally good.

New home sales:

1963 – 560,000

2008 – 485,000
2009 – 375,000
2010 – 323,000
2011 – 303,000

Forecast for 2012:

2012 – 307,000
(US Housing and Urban Development)

But this is the perception which those in power seek to create. The other day the Representative from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan, proposed his new Republican budget plan. His new plan is nothing more than a rewrite from his last budget plan. In it, Ryan proposes tax cuts for corporations and the rich and draconian program cuts for Medicare and Social Security. His plan was so unpopular with the public in it’s last go around that 78% of Americans polled said they wouldn’t support it.

So Ryan and the Republicans propose this wildly unpopular budget again during a presidential campaign with great media fanfare. Ryan was asked if the Republican candidates will support his budget plan. Ryan answers accordingly, “of course they will.” Imagine, you are the presumptive Republican nominee spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to win over a skeptical public and a junior Representative from Wisconsin is deciding your economic policy for you. This is almost an exact replay of John McCain’s ill fated trip to Florida in 2008, locked in a dead heat with Barack Obama McCain proposes cuts to Social Security in a room filled with senior citizens, it was and is political suicide.

Obama hit the road recently, holding a series of photo ops at new factories and solar energy power plants saying, “We want to encourage production of oil and gas, and make sure that wherever we’ve got American resources, we are tapping into them. […] But they don’t need an additional incentive when gas is $3.75 a gallon.” Once again the Republicans will anoint a wildly unpopular candidate and the media will present Barack Obama as the lesser of two evils. Even so, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

The solar plant Obama visited employs ten full-time workers, but what Obama is saying with his own inimitable slip-sliding tongue is that the Tar Sands pipeline is a done deal come January. The House passed the Republican Jobs bill (391 to 28) and the Senate passes it, (73 to 26) and Barack Obama smiles in approval. The bill titled “Jobs” is actually more about deregulation and reversing provisions of the Dodd–Frank legislation. All hail the one party system.

In Barack Obama you have the most right-wing reactionary President in American history. A right-wing Fascist with a media created persona perception of a moderate Democrat, is presiding over an improving economy as home sales fall nearly one percent during a month when traditionally sales should be rising. And the fall was reported by the media as good news! The Washington Post reported in a recent story placing the blame on the mortgage companies. But in actual fact, you know already why Americans can’t obtain mortgages. The reason is the same reason they were using the finagled mortgages of a few years past. Most Americans no longer earn enough money to afford their own home.

Wages have been falling one percent a year against a rising three percent inflation; you don’t need to be Robert Reich to figure that one out. We will hold an election in six months to decide which direction that “we” the people wish to go with this nation and our choices will be a candidate on the far right or a candidate on the near right. The choice between a candidate who wants to end Planned Parenthood or a candidate who thought the cat food commission’s findings were “a good place to start.”

A soldier pushed over the edge by repeated deployments shoots down children and innocent adults in a fit of psychotic rage. The president says that it is unfortunate and then smothers the issue. A psychotic cop wanna-be shoots down a child on the streets of an American city as police and city officials say it is unfortunate and try to smother the issue while the shooter wasn’t even charged with a crime.

Do you begin to see what is going on here? You don’t matter, your opinions don’t matter, the lives of your children don’t matter and if you dare to complain you will be shown just how much you don’t matter, because in their eyes, you don’t.

These things will never fix themselves, there is no righting the ship here. Why can’t the Occupy movement give us a clear list of demands? Because the problems we face are too many, too huge, too involved, and too all encompassing.

Corporatism, Fascism, plutocracy, wars, economy, healthcare, homelessness and a growing poverty along with a gnawing anger and just what does our representative government offer us? Tax cuts, pepper spray, rubber bullets and neighborhood watch. This can’t be fixed with a vote but with a movement.

“One man, one family driven from the land; this rusty car
creaking along the highway to the west. I lost my land, a
single tractor took my land. I am alone and bewildered.
And in the night one family camps in a ditch and another
family pulls in and the tents come out. The two men squat
on their hams and the women and children listen. Here is the
node, you who hate change and fear revolution.

Keep these two squatting men apart; make them hate, fear,
suspect each other. Here is the enlarge of the thing you fear.
This is the zygote. For here “I lost my land” is changed; a cell
is split and from its splitting grows the thing you hate–“We lost our
land.” The danger is here, for two men are not as lonely and
perplexed as one.

And from this first “we” there grows a still more dangerous thing:
“I have a little food” plus “I have none.” If from this problem the
sum is “We have a little food,” the thing is on its way, the movement
has direction. Only a little multiplication now, and this land, this
tractor are ours. The two men squatting in a ditch, the little fire,
the side- meat stewing in a single pot, the silent, stone-eyed women;
behind, the children listening with their souls to words their
minds do not understand. The night draws down. The baby
has a cold. Here, take this blanket. It’s wool. It was my mother’s
blanket–take it for the baby. This is the thing to bomb.
This is the beginning–from “I” to “we.” – John Steinbeck

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