In This Post…
- Bullshit: More Damaging to the Atmosphere Than Cow Farts?
- As An Antidote … Go See the Thrive Movie.
- Is It Time to Reconsider Marxism? Take a Look at Swami’s Version
By Steve Bhaerman
“The media has inundated us with so much toxic B.S. that our skeptic system has overflowed, and we end up swallowing huge ironies whole. So here is an irony supplement to munch on: We need a totalitarian police state to preserve our freedom.”
— Swami Beyondananda
Those who insist that all of America’s industries have been outsourced have missed an important one. No, not medical marijuana, although that is clearly one of our few thriving industries.
I’m talking about the bullshit industry.
Here are some jaw-dropping statistics:
In 2009, $4 billion was spent by the fast food industry in advertising.
Big Pharma spends more on advertising than on research and development.
Tobacco companies spend $15.3 billion a year on marketing and promotion.
In 2010, $50 billion was spent on TV advertising alone.
So, starving artists take heart! Simply become a bullshit artist, and you’ll have plenty to eat. If this sounds cynical and negative, that is not my intent. One of the higher purposes of comedy is to “pump ironies” – that is, to bring to consciousness contrasts that we don’t tend to notice in ordinary reality. And … in being inundated with so many skewed messages on a daily basis, our concept of “normal” has been so toxically distorted that we accept pathology as “just the way things are.”
Thanks to what I will heretofore refer to as the “bullshit industry,” we are made to want things that we don’t need, and are in fact, harmful. But that’s not all the bullshit industry does. It also bombards us with trivia, misinformation and disinformation, causing confusion that unhinges us from our humanity and our true self-interest. Over the course of the past sixty years or so, the “citizen” has become virtually extinct, and been replaced by the “consumer.”
While the consumerization that is consuming humanity is a worldwide phenomenon, the United States is a special case. I wonder what those who have fought and died for freedom of the press would say about the article that appeared on the Common Dreams site called Why Americans Are Stupid.
Here is the most recent issue of Time magazine as it appears in Europe, East Asia, the South Pacific … and in the good ole USA.
As anyone who has traveled overseas and watched the news has observed, news for Americans is generally geared to a fifth-grade level. Consequently, we have been “stupidized” into thinking at a fifth-grade level, and have become first-rate consumers, and fifth-rate citizens.
What passes for “political discourse” is a polarizing shouting match that distracts us from what is really happening. So, while left and right have been pushing one another’s hot button “G-spots” (as in God, Guns and Gays) insuring that we stay divided and conquered, a “bipartisan” bill introduced in the Senate by Democrat Carl Levin (Michigan) and Republican John McCain (Arizona) essentially declares the USA a “permanent battlefield” where American citizens can be detained indefinitely and imprisoned without charge or trial. The bill has passed the Senate, and is now awaiting President Obama’s signature or veto.
This is what happens when we’re not paying attention. The good news about such alarming developments is that the purpose of an “alarm” is to wake people up. And now what is required is that we step outside of our tribal comfort zones and see and hear what folks on the “other side” are saying. While it’s easy to dismiss Fox “news” as Fox fiction (Fox News is not able to broadcast in Canada because of a pesky piece of legislation, Canada’s Radio Act which states “a licenser may not broadcast … any false or misleading news”) here is an amazingly clear diatribe by Judge Andrew Napolitano broadcast on Fox Business News that parallels the alarm expressed by the left-leaning ACLU in the paragraph above.
The only way we will overgrow Big Brother is first by acknowledging that the infrastructure of totalitarian tyranny is being installed NOW … and by coming together with those who are awakening regardless of where they align on the political spectrum. Those willing to step outside the matrix of the current political puppet show to expose the “man behind the curtain” are the true leaders of the future. And folks, the future is here now.
I am reminded of a scene in Bringing Down A Dictator (a film I highly recommend renting and showing) that documents the “spectacular defeat of Slobodan Milosevic in October, 2000, by an ingenious nonviolent strategy of honest elections and massive civil disobedience.” In this one scene, the leaders of all the opposition parties – many of them bitter enemies – had to unite around one candidate to oppose Milosevic. As you watch them standing together on the platform, you can feel how uncomfortable they are. And yet, this is what was required to save their nation from tyranny. In a similar way, the American Revolution was broad enough to encompass Alexander Hamilton (who was virtually a monarchist) and libertarian freethinker Thomas Jefferson.
And now an American Evolution is required to call forth the “heart and soul” of who we are, so that we use our energy to learn together instead of falling for the “impropaganda” designed to distract us. Imagine the energy that could be liberated if Americans from all political stripes (not to mention plaids and polka dots) stood together and declared, “No more bullshit! We’re not buying it.”
What if we brought together a left-right coalition like the one my friend Joseph McCormick helped create in April 2006 that included The Christian Coalition and MoveOn.org? Between them, those two powerful organizations shut down the switchboards of Congress in order to successfully preserve net neutrality.
Could we pull together a full-spectrum coalition today to preserve the Bill of Rights and establish a truer balance of power? This is where the REAL 99% needs to show up to completely and utterly “occupy” our political process NOW. While the Occupy Wall Street movement is about the power of money to buy influence, on a deeper level it’s about a system that has become so corrupted, it’s become impossible to distinguish between the corruption and the system itself.
This is what Americans from across the political spectrum are fed up with … and only by addressing these fundamental issues of governance (rather than devolving the conversation into specific policy) will we survive as free individuals in the context of healthy community.
Provide the context … and the content will take care of itself.
Everything else is – you should pardon the expression – extraneous bullshit.
As An Antidote … Go See the Thrive Movie
What We the People are now involved in is a rapid self-education process. Just as a healthy body requires accurate signals to maintain health, a healthy body politic also needs accurate information in order to protect itself and thrive. And speaking of “Thrive,” I highly recommend the movie of the same name produced by my evolutionary co-hearts Foster and Kimberly Gamble.
At a time when threads (not to mention threats) need to be tied together, this thoughtful, well-produced movie weaves together such diverse issues as new energy technology and suppressed inventions, UFO reports by military observers, the overarching multinational corporations and the banking industry, and even “depopulation” agendas, into a narrative that ventures down the deepest, darkest rat hole … and emerges with an encouraging and empowering message: We are here to “thrive,” and we will … provided we evolve from spiritual, psychological and political “children” into caring, conscious and courageous adults.
You won’t agree with everything in this story, and you might find some of it upsetting … but, to quote the Swami, “The truth shall upset you free.” If you find that the “official narrative” more and more questionable, you will find that Thrive provides a much likelier story, and it presents the story with no sensationalism and plenty of artistry. You may find showings in your neighborhood, and the movie is rentable for private shows (and free if no admission is charged).
Finally, you will find that the movie is a “living story” that is unfolding through Thrive’s comprehensive website that offers a clear and deep analysis of the problems, practical strategies for solutions, and includes Barbara Marx Hubbard 12 sectors of human crisis / opportunity stating for each a Vision, the Dangers we face, the Opportunities ahead of us, and the Critical Issues in the field.
I am happy to be supporting this movie, and Swami’s comedy will soon appear on their website.
Meanwhile, I offer one more radical – and some would say shocking – proposal …
Is It Time to Reconsider Marxism? Take a Look at Swami’s Version
When America went through the economic crisis of the 1930s called The Great Depression, it is understandable that many disheartened individuals turned to Marxism. And now 80 years later, is it possible that a Marxist approach can address our current depression? Please click here for an example of Marxist activism from 1941 that might very we be helpful today.
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