Eating the seed corn
Expanded from the 11-19-2006 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Recent BARBWIRE Media Hits
and Ego Trips
The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006
BARBANO: Nevada's newly-hiked minimum wage is nowhere near enough
Reno Gazette-Journal, 11-11-2006
"What do I do now?"
Thus spake Robert Redford, uttering the last line in Jeremy Larner's Oscar-winning script for the 1972 film The Candidate.
His campaign manager, played by Peter Boyle, never answers the question.
Part of the response would have proved disappointing, as Gov. Rheingold Scheizendexter has found out. Campaigning is exciting and fun. Governing's a bitch. The only thing that can happen after a winning campaign after a few moments of golden afterglow is letdown.
Given the results of Nov. 7, Larner's hanging harangue remains fair to ask today.
First of all, shuck off any euphoria like a coarse husk on an ear of drying corn. The golden kernels thus revealed may appear as perfect as Mother Nature intended. But keep in mind that the old gal is a trickster.
Next, look for dry rot, earwigs and other nefarious critters. They come as part of the package.
You may soon wish that you could turn your ear of corn into corn liquor to calm you down when you see what lies beneath.
This year's ear of political cornball has been genetically engineered to infect you with a false sense of security.
You may think that our political system still works, but your choices were largely limited to two corporate-approved candidates.
Political positions are test-marketed like products so that most of the risk has been drained away before a mass launch.
By the time you get to the checkstand to pay and make no mistake, it's you who will pay your only choice is between paper or plastic, be they bags or money.
It is disgusting to listen to the nattering nabobs of negativism among the chattering classes talking about America's move back to the center.
The scope of acceptable political discourse today goes from the zootsuit-right to the moonhowler-right, from point X to point Z. Anything else, like A through W, are trashed by our betters as "out of the mainstream."
Why do we accept such drivel? Why do we keep re-electing governments which export our jobs and national wealth to third-world countries which are driven to turn us into what they used to be. (Given that we are plunging headfirst toward fascist theocracy, they seem to be winning handily.)
Why do we disrespect people whose skin is of a different tan or who speak a dialect not native to our neighborhood? Why do we seek to blame them for our frustrations rather than those who are really running us into the ground?
Who is fanning these flames of division and exclusion? Who is teaching us to self-destruct?
Start with a minimum of $100 million a year from tax-deductible corporate-funded think tanks which spew out the cynicopseudo-intellectual rationale for repression of the mentally incurious.
I've documented this kind of stuff for several decades (references below), but hatred, sex and violence sell a lot better and the suckers keep buying it.
We lament the erosion of our competitive edge in science when as a nation we are among the world's biggest believers that God waved a magic wand and created the universe in seven calendar days before there was a day. (Sen. Maurice Washington, R-Sparks, is drafting legislation to allow Old Testament creationism to be taught in Nevada public schools.)
Just as the divisive right has tried to question evolution, the corporate noise machine has spent billions trying to convince us that this small planet is in no danger from mankind's fouling of the nest.
Any farmer can tell you that poor crop management can't last, that eventually you will play out the land. Then, one nuclear winter or globally warm summer, you will be confronted with the ultimate short term solution: eat the seed corn now and live a little longer, or risk starvation in order to have something to plant come spring.
It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature. She is efficient, relentless and ruthless.
If the current dominant life form on this planet is so derelict in its stewardship that it imperils its own survival, she will gladly let it go away and wait a few hundred million years for a more worthy custodian to evolve. (Sorry, senator. There will be no magic wand to save us.)
We are an adolescent and primitive species, hamstrung by the shortsightedness which characterizes our humanity. Indeed, given our brief lifespans, shortsightedness can be deemed hereditary.
We are building permanent bases in Iraq. We are beginning construction on a major new tropical Gulag centerpiece at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where some of the readers of this newspaper may soon reside as the nation moves toward paranoid dictatorship.
We sit on a fragile financial house of cards as our national fiscal and physical health fail.
Bill Clinton's policy of taking baby steps on everything will no longer do. Neither will Dubya's grotesquerie of Godzilla stepping on everybody.
Time is tight and the seed corn is already being popped in the heat of Baghdad and New Orleans.
The question remains: What do we do now?
Be well. Raise hell.
The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below
ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press
SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.
By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)
Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.
Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006, Free registration may be required
BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey
BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy
The sands of time do not affect the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Rinfret, Pierre A.; "Peace is Bullish"; Look Magazine, 5-31-1966
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Copyright © 2005, 2006 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 38-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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