Teach Your Children Well. In a World of Les Moonves, Unbridled Capitalism and Opulent Yachts, Reach For George Carlin.
I was walking along the river this morning holding the girl while the boy trailed a bit behind taking in the sights. It was rush hour on a lovely overcast and slightly foggy day. He heard some truck horns blaring their horns overhead on the bridge that spans the river. To which he asked a pretty good question that may indicate he's in the next phase of his development, still not three years old: “Where are they going, Dada?”
Instantly I seized on an opportunity to, while remaining mindful not to overwhelm him, at least open him up to some fundamental understanding. I began one of my rants, but tailored for this specific receiver, who is still obsessed with trucks: “The trucks are carrying all sorts of goods to places far and wide,” I told him. “Some of them bring food to the supermarkets, like eggs, avocados, and chick peas. Then when we go to shop for our food it seems like magic that everything is in one place for us. But there’s a lot that goes into the growing, manufacturing and distribution of all food. Another time we can get more into it, about the monopolies, etc.”
We were then interrupted by a man who had just parked his car along the water. “You’re a good father,” he said and smiled approvingly, looking up at us ascending the public park stairs. Almost choked me up a bit. Because I no longer wish to remain silent about things I believe. And in this case about things I believe that don’t get aired enough in public, that speak to a wider, more engaged and empathetic worldview. About things I believe are already known elementally to the mass consciousness but often get crowded out by the worst parts of the relentless propaganda that piles up in our brains from being barraged all day long in thousands of little ways through predatory advertising and political and nationalistic brainwashing. So few talk seem to want to talk about this kind of stuff though. Just sleepwalking through life, as if it were always this way and there’s nothing to be done about it. Happiness through consumption. Willfully ignorant of the amount of child slave labor involved in the making all those cheap goods we're trained to pursue as reward for working increasingly shittier jobs. Not ever stopping to contemplate literally how it all comes to us, and then winds up in junk piles filling our garages and attics.
It recalled another similar instance this summer not too long before. We were stopped at one of those rest stops that appear infrequently along those long highways. Aghast at both the sheer amount of the corporate garbage offered as food choices and the outlandish prices of them I launched into a monologue with my son at my side. “This is what you call predatory capitalism,” I projected a little further than to him. “This is the only stop for many miles on this highway. And we have no choice if we want to eat but to buy what they have. And so because people here are vulnerable they can take advantage of us. In this system of capitalism it rewards people who take advantage of others. That's because we value profit over people.” And on like that. A woman stopped and was looking at me. She smiled and said, “you’re a good Dad teaching him like that. I’m a teacher.” We then got into a fulfilling exchange that covered unions, strikes and the history of such that doesn’t get taught in our schools.
The takeaway: apply all that we talk (or write/blog) about here into the real world. That’s where it’s going to make a real difference. Maybe one person at a time. It’s an opportunity for a public conversation. Or at least a plant some seeds in a small group of people who may be listening.
As it happens I didn't get a chance to expound as eloquently earlier this morning. The sight of a huge yacht slowly coming through the straits, a regular occurrence, had the usual disgust welling up in me. It appeared to be yet another self-contained floating island of opulence. This one happened to be flying the Australian or New Zealand flag from it. Every time I see another one of these palatial boats going out from NYC toward Long Island (or CT. or up to New England) I imagine some fat, over-tanned oligarch sitting pampered in its cozy lodging beneath the deck, protected by a crew he secretly looks down upon and wonders how long his fraud can be perpetrated. When will a worldwide mutiny occur among the ranks of those employed by these Economic Terrorists?
Balzac got it mostly right. But I’d add that “behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” Anybody who has millions of dollars to spend on a boat has had to have engaged in some kind of extremely illicit brokering, outright cheating or malicious pillaging. I keep imagining some day there might be a man out of a job, about to evicted from his apartment and in debt with a family to feed (maybe former military), situated along the rocks with a high-powered rifle or missile thrower launching a fusillade of rapid gunfire or explosives into the side of one of these floating Fuck-You’s. (If this sounds far-fetched to you, I remind you of this segment on DN in which retired NYPD detective Graham Weatherspoon, speaking about the vet who went on a cop killing spree in Dallas, told Amy that he’s heard from veterans returning home from overseas saying they’re fed up with seeing cops getting away with gratuitously murdering young black and brown folks in the streets. In the same way white vets could see how – because most vets come from working class backgrounds - their kin have been taken advantage of by corrupt gov’t or predatory banks/corporations - the Bonus Marchers and the Okies being a couple of examples). I’m not advocating for such a scenario. But I'd understand if it happened.
For my part I reflexively throw my middle finger in the air, every time (which I also do at the constant helicopters overhead, which are primarily in the employ of shuttling around these coddled Economic Terrorists or used by the Surveillance State). I relish the thought of one of these disconnected human beings by chance happening to glance in my direction expecting to see the usual conditioned American in thrall to wealth. Not me. I grew up in the 80’s, an abysmal decade in every measurable way, watching mindless lemmings gobble up all the Worship the Rich propaganda. I’ll have to find a way to explain that gesture to my kids. But I will.
The true enemies of the 99% are the Financial Terrorists of Wall St, and their buddies in the Big Club, the CEO’s of Corporate America. As George Carlin reminded us,
“Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t.
You have no choice.
You have owners. They own you. They own everything.
They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear.
They got you by the balls.
They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else.
But I’ll tell you what they don’t want.
They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.
As with everything Carlin wrote there’s so much to unpack there, including here the privatization of education with charter schools, the DC lobbyist revolving door, the quadrennial spectacle of the presidential elections that consume all the air in the room, the manufactured distraction and celebrity gossip that passes for news, etc. Basically, that our government is an auction house available to the highest bidder. But that’s not what I’m getting at for the moment.
The politicians we spend so much time focusing on really pale in comparison to the damage done by those who really Control The Narrative, the Mainstream Media. Media head scumbags like recently #Me-Too-ed Les Moonves and Phil Griffin of MSNBC (as told to us by Ed Shultz) are two major reasons why we have Drumpf. As Jimmy Dore reminds us in the clip below the former is the infamous slimy, dollar-delirious douchebag who proclaimed, "Trump may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS." Both networks are on record as having worked to both marginalize and denigrate Bernie Sanders while fixating and promoting Donald Trump during the 2016 primaries.
There's more to the Moonves tape that really shows how evil these pricks really are. "...it's gonna be a very good year for us. I'm sorry, it's a terrible thing to say. But bring it on, Donald. Go ahead keep going."
You've really got to listen to the tone of his voice, at about 3:33-6min to get the full gist of just how warped and depraved this guy is over the prospect of continuing to reap a windfall of profits for his company, knowing full well what he was complicit in.
How does it make you feel that this pure scumbag sexual predator, who gloated over his own profit-making at the expense of a further misinformed and over-titilated citizenry, will now probably receive $100 MILLION for it all? Another abusive and greedy older white male knowing not only that he'll never pay any real consequences for his crimes. But he leverages that status to actually go on the offensive to demand HE gets paid, and paid a fucking fortune on top of it. The sheer fucking audacity of it all! As tens of thousands of young black and brown folks wither in jail over the smallest and often phantom offenses.
It’s the rich and powerful rulers who abuse their position who should be vilified remorselessly. Take any societal problem and peel it down through its many layers until you reach the core. You'll find moneyed interests there alone.
But the mainstream media will portray the villains as Mexicans trying to get jobs, or Muslims wearing headscarves, or gay people wanting equal rights. or women wanting freedom to choose what to do with their own bodies.
Once people begin, with some help from people like the denizens of C99 who get it, to readjust their viewpoints, away from the relentless consumer and political propaganda that is beating each of our subconscious into divide and conquer submission and toward this bigger picture, we may someday get the world we desire. Or at least some relative sense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck.
Well, where do people think these politicians come from?
They don't fall out of the sky.
They don't pass through a membrane from another reality.
They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities - and they are elected by American citizens.
This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out.
If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans.
So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck.
Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.'
Because if it's really just the fault of these politicians, then where are all the other bright people of conscience?
Where are all the bright, honest, intelligent Americans ready to step in and save the Nation and lead the way?
We don't have people like that in this country; everybody's at the mall, scratching his ass, picking his nose, taking his credit card out of his fanny pack and buying a pair of sneakers with lights in them!"
These and many other sentiments so brilliantly illuminated by St. George are what I keep near the top of what I believe to be most important. And there they stay so that I can convey such sentiments to these two young, unblemished and innocent souls preparing to navigate a sick world occupied by people like Les Moonves.