It may be that there is nothing left to say on any number of topics. Father’s new obsession…. the toppings on certain ice cream like substances sold by roadside Kentacohuts…. large black holes that shed light on the secrets of the universe even though apparently they swallow light…. We take in information and all we can do is quote films or make references to shows that use references to films as their dialogue and content. To date, I have listened to years of NPR, watched decades of nightly news (not any longer, my meetings for this habit are on Wed. in the Unitarian church), and just about every Daily Show and Colbert Report which, if I believe they make 180 shows of each, and even without watching the interviews of most, still adds up to anywhere from 4 – 5 solid 24 hour days of laughing at asshole politicos. Rather than watching the shows, were I to work those Dailcolowport hours at NYS minimum wage, I would be about $739.5 ahead of the game. Pre-tax. And still know that the politicos are assholes and our system is totally broken, while perhaps not chuckling as much.
Information has not been the key to unlock the potential of the Information Age. Knowledge is like…. Empowering. Or ask any college educated café worker who considers h/e/i/m/er/it/self so lucky because they get to speak Spanish (Café Con Leche), feel superior to Americans for their international understanding of diversity (“Café Americano” makes us mere Americas seem so out of the loop when it comes to continental names), and enjoy being paid to listen to their favorite music while creative types saunter in and out and order them about with exacting directions about how the dolce vita con latte is made. In the Information age, we are all starts with potential™. We want our kids to reach for the stars, but the closest one is still several millions light years away, and what would we do with children with arms several millions light years long?
Cute cats jumping in and out of boxes compete for space in our mental hard-drives while what passed for news is now like skit on Saturday Night Live after it stopped being funny – sometime in the mid to late 1970s. The infotainment era is here to stay (spell check didn’t even pause when I wrote “infotainment”) and while all this co-opting was well documented by publications such as the Baffler oh-so-many years ago, it is still surprising that in this Brave New World we cannot find much by way of ideas, despite having our minds filled with so much talk. The talking head appears on the screen, talks, then others come out of the woodwork to talk about what was talked, and then smaller talkers either repeat what was talked by the later talkers, or take some small part of the talk and then talk about that, all the while attempting to brand their particular bullshit as some profound profundity. This blogger too, is guilty as charged.
There are few primary sources to have a go at in order to give some better insight than a rant based or built out of the parts of other rants. There is little data that doesn’t appear suspect. There is little time to think one’s own private and personal thoughts when every “public” venue from gas stations to stores pumps out music that seems far more insidious than any ham handed propaganda efforts in blocking any meaningful conversations let alone political thought since how can one consider Marx while in the mall while listening to an oboe rendition of Purple Rain and having to fill in the words.
Purple rain… purple rain…. Do… do… do… do… Purple rain, purple rain…..
It could be perhaps the reason cafes are not any longer silent places, but encourage their college-educated staff to play the latest Upside-Down-Beppo album at full tilt in order to fill minds not already engaged in The Facebook or online shopping. The filters needed just to remember simple daily tasks are needing to become increasingly tightened, and by doing so, block out potential needed information, both about daily tasks at hand and the larger issues that are growing in complexity as they are increasingly threatening to our lives both public and private. Who would have thought that the best way to control information is to give it away? Who can tell what is really news anymore without devoting hours of every day sifting through the interwebs for primary sources or journals that while they may lack visual design sense, seem to publish thoughtful and well-supported articles.
When was the last time you read a primary source document? Glanced at the latest law signed into action? Was linked to a financial statement for a public company? Didn’t have to rely on the machine of Der Frei Press to inform, or used one’s personal filter system to seek out opinion masquerading as journalism?
Its near impossible to do this sort of research, and maintain a job. This has been more than a mental exercise for this blogger since, increasingly I am seeing that no amount of sifting is allowing me to understand more about what is going on, nor be able to predict with any certainty the progression of events. I’m not asking to be Nostradamus. But, day after day, week after week, month after month, this or that event seems to be the trigger for economic or political or social collapse and then some sets of talking heads spin the latest event into a non-issue, someone at the Fed opens the money machine up, and some aspect of national or global import, when gone or completely modified, seems not to have mattered as much as we thought.
The old in the Gulf of Mexico seems not to have mattered. The nukular meltdown in Japan seems not to have mattered. The wildfires, tornadios, floods, epic floods, and the hurricane that wiped our many locations in the Catskills and Vermont seem not to have mattered. The Greek crisis, the government shutdown threats, the soaring stock market and the pathetic amount of people returning to an old or increased salary since losing work in 2008 seems not to matter. Occupy Wall Street, no longer occupying. Bill after bill removes more rights from us and this seems not to matter. Mr. Corzine looses billions of dollars? Doesn’t matter.
Or does this all add up, and we are just unable to create a larger picture? Are there just too many strands to follow in this story of social collapse and each should just find a favorite and stick with that to the end? It seems that the old information is knowledge is well dead. Those who used to say that the theater is dead need now (that theater is totally dead) to start understanding discussing that journalism is dead. That not only print media, but that the Enlightenment idea that our society explores more, and learns more, and expands human knowledge (you kids may know this not through Voltaire but Star Trek’s theme) is deader than the last road kill you passed. Dead and the remains are already rotting about us being slowly flattened into the black hole of the pavement by SUV tyres. We each can now be confused, log on to learn things we already know, or get lost in expanding nonsense and heaps of huge internet tits (which may not be a bad thing except that I miss puffienips.biz [totally just made that up but go ahead and link to it]). The loss of a binding Enlightenment ideal makes us just craven machines who need only learn because we’re going to compete with Chinese children for fewer resources in a globe and our society. We no longer share a common story other than each individual has an ID, a sex organ that needs stroking, and a pipe from mouth to shitter that needs to process every international sort at any hour. We have diversity. We have cats in and out of boxes. We have a political machine building us a prison. And there is not much more to say about it.
Unless that’s just what I think…. because my access to true information has been cut off and I am just rehashing comments I read on blogs that reference the same news stories which are compiled by fewer and fewer sources.
What is to be done?