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Friday, May 26, 2017

Is there any way to reach Montana? Is there any way to talk to Texas?

pain tension to the noose is knot teasey when yew twine to unentangle Joyce, a humptitrumpteenth attempt to Wake doomed to flail and abbaDonner like all those synavant. Three pages; a personal blest, yet awe for knot. Entanglement persists however Iskander hacks. Enough. Return we now to the whorl of Humpti hisself, thou bullshi eggoman burn of Iblister the terrabull.

Yesterday, ever the Cassandra, I succeeded once again in accurately foreseeing the worst. Gianforte of Montana won.

The common explanation is that he won because most of the votes were cast before the Republican candidate assailed a "liberal" journalist. I suspect that the assault is precisely what put him over. Gianforte's voters, like Trump's, have no consistent ideas about policy or ideology: They have fetishized brutishness. They have become convinced that all liberals are devious demons who deserve only the ax and the chainsaw. Fucking reporter got what he fucking deserved.

And that, my friends, is fascism. At core, Fascism is neither libertarian nor Marxist; it is  engineered proletarian rage-gasm in the secret service of aristocracy, though the aristos may not be able to control what they've started.
I don’t know if Republicans broke American politics or if Republican politics is broken and endangering the whole political system, but it can’t be fixed so long as political elites can’t acknowledge or understand what the source of the failure is.
The fact that Republicans are defending Gianforte and conservative journalists piled on Jacobs isn’t confusing or an outgrowth of “broken politics,” but the inevitable consequence of virulent illiberalism in the American right.

On Thursday morning, the anti-Trump Republican strategist Rick Wilson wrote a bracing denunciation of those on the right who defended the assault of a reporter -- though one seemingly premised on the belief that the “cultural collapse of the GOP into the Trump Troll Party” might be reversed through reason. In truth, everything that’s happened in the past year or so has conditioned conservatives to believe they will face no consequences for poor or unprincipled behavior.
Another example.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Friday appeared to joke about shooting reporters two days after a GOP House candidate in Montana was charged with assaulting a journalist.

Abbott showed off a target sheet to a group of reporters and photographers after signing a bill reducing licensing fees for handguns, according to the Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek.

“I’m gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters,” Abbott reportedly joked.
A commenter on Daily Kos (I didn't bookmark the link; sorry) accurately noted that much of Montana is a Limbaugh-only zone as far as the drive-time commute is concerned. Radio listeners have no real alternatives to the GOP party line. It's daily brainwashing in the absence of anyone to snap their fingers and say: "You're in a trance. Wake up!"

Democrats must understand that remaking political reality requires retaking the media. That task requires new voices -- attractive personalities who won't make white rage-addicts feel belittled or under attack.

This job will take money. But money is only part of the problem: The real trick is finding the right way to talk to this audience. Those Montana morning commuters don't want to listen to a voice in the ether screeching "I hate you and I hate everyone like you." People want to be flattered, not insulted.

Unfortunately, many liberals refuse to understand that basic fact of human psychology. "I hate you" is the only message liberals really want to deliver to all of those pale-skinned red-state commuters who voted for Trump and then for Gianforte.

That's one reason why Air America failed. Any attempt to create a new Air America will probably fail just as hard.

So how do we counter the propaganda of the radio rightists?

There are two kinds of propaganda, the subtle and the anvilicious. Both saw service during World War II, when Germans were forbidden on pain of death to listen to enemy radio broadcasts.

The Brits went for the subtle approach, creating what seemed to be ordinary German-language variety programs. Lots of songs, lots of jokes. These shows were carefully laced with news segments designed to underscore the leadership's failings and to convey a whiff (just a whiff) of defeatism.

The Russians, by contrast, went for the thuddingly obvious approach, dropping anvil after anvil. They signal-jacked official broadcasts and insulted Der Fuehrer in the harshest possible terms. Even during the official radio announcement of Hitler's death, a Russian heckler broke in and spewed venom.

(If memory serves, the actual broadcast is heard in Syberberg's film.)

After the war came the analysis: Which form of propaganda worked better? Surprisingly, the Russian approach proved more effective. The British attempt to seduce the audience with popular entertainment simply did not work very well.

Limbaugh and co. have heeded this lesson. For decades, they've been incessantly anvilicious on behalf of the avaricious. This approach has proven infernally effective.

Now, the anti-Trumpians have taken up the anvil. It's about goddamned time. Keith Olbermann might as well be renamed Keith Anvilman. Lawrence O'Donnell is almost as unsubtle.

Good.

Yet not enough. The "anvil" approach is working, but it will not suffice. It needs to be combined with other methods.

Despite the lessons learned from the UK and USSR variants of WWII propaganda, I think that the time has come to reconsider the British way of doing things -- to launch, as it were, a sneak attack. Let's face it: Those Montana commuters won't listen to Keith, even if someone were to place him on the air during drive-time. They're not chomping for Chomsky. They're not aching for Amy Goodman.

We need another type of radio programming, filled with non-newsy things red staters might enjoy, might even consider addictive. I'm not sure what kind of programming would work best. Sports talk? Discussions of superhero movies? True crime? Bigfoot sightings? Maybe all of the above.

Whatever works. Whatever fetches ears.

Every half-hour or so, expose those ears to some news. Real news. Non-Limbaugh news, non-AlexJonesian news, yet also non-mainstream news. Interesting stuff. Contrarian. Liberal-populist. The kind of news that most red-staters never hear. Neither CNN nor Infowars but something else altogether.

The Young Turks may have stumbled onto something close to the right approach to the news. I hate to make that admission, because their lapse into Bernieism was utterly infuriating. My point is that the news programming needs to be part of a larger package. A bright and attractive package. Something fun.

Will this approach work? I don't know. But I can't think of any other way to inject a new type of thinking into the red states. Until we hit upon a way to reach these people, these fellow Americans, they will remain lost. They will be drowning souls at sea, swimming away from the shore because a voice in the air keeps telling them: "Whatever you do, don't go that way."

Our national discourse will continue to spiral and spiral deeper into unreason, until the spiral becomes a swastika. Pretty soon, any journalist asking impertinent questions of a far-right candidate will feel lucky to walk away with bruises and broken glasses. Until reason is restored, our screaming society remain in the most vicious of circles, dazed, reeling, writhing in
Comments:
There is a way, but neither you nor anyone else from the middle to left wants to hear it. I've been putting it writing since Katrina, but it has had no impact. I've made the arguments time and time again on comment threads only to be slapped down for impure thoughts. So fuck it.
 
Well, I haven't slapped, have I? Of course, he who gets slapped is not necessarily wrong, and not necessarily right. The same may be said of the one who slaps.

At any rate, I thank you for reading past the first paragraph. After spending a day trying to read Joyce, it was hard to shake myself free of that thought process.

Maybe someone should have slapped me.
 
Excellent post! The first paragraph was intriguing...and the rest, much needed:

"Democrats must understand that remaking political reality requires retaking the media. That task requires new voices -- attractive personalities who won't make white rage-addicts feel belittled or under attack..."

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! And screw the anvils. We don't need leftist versions of Rush. And, The Young Turks are still spouting Bernie bs, so they're beyond repair.

From the ground up, if you include social media as a door way to any new TV media. The brogressive twit generation needs to stop "calling out" and start "calling in." There are a few articles on that.

And Bob Harrison, what have you been advocating? You know people need stuff repeated for it to sink in....so the millennials are going to need a lot more browbeating about "calling in" and maybe we need a few more chances to hear and absorb your answer to moving forward.



 
zee, writing a bad pastiche of "Finnegan's Wake" is hard -- but not as hard as trying to read the original.

I did not imply that Democrats should emulate the Young Turk's worshipful attitude toward the abominable Bernie, whom I still believe to be a witting agent of Roger Stone. (Bernie certainly operated according to "Stone's Rules.") But in terms of style, the Turks are definitely on to something.
 
Hm, maybe I should take "Read Finnegan's Wake" off The List.

I understood what you meant: I only meant that there is no coming back for the Young Turks, so there's one method we'd have to reinvent....or at least mimic with new players. And I could not give even a half-crap about Ubermann (or Maddow) and think we ought not try to create any left wing Rush Limbaughs, anvil "success" be damned.

I tried to read up on Bob Harrison's ideas: maybe he meant we should start prosecuting the small fry before going after the White Whales..?

I think together we all need to create an entirely new edifice, maybe starting with the beams we mutually remove from our red-team/blue-team eyes.






 
Have you ever considered the possibility that the red-staters aren't the idiots you think they are Joseph?

What lies do the Democrats tell? What do they obsfucate?

What happened to Seth Rich, and why does everyone in news lose their careers for wondering?
 
Hey, Anon 11:01 PM--are you a genuine idiot, or are you one of Tsar Vlad's paid trolls from Lower Slobbovia?

(Dated myself with THAT reference...) ^_^
 
pain tension to the noose is knot teasey when yew twine to unentangle Joyce, a humptitrumpteenth attempt to Wake doomed to flail and abbaDonner like all those synavant. Three pages; a personal blest, yet awe for knot. Entanglement persists however Iskander hacks. Enough. Return we now to the whorl of Humpti hisself, thou bullshi eggoman burn of Iblister the terrabull.


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