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Amnesia As A Way Of Life: WikiLeaks Amid The "Careless People"

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As many wags have noted, the disclosures of Wikileaks have subjected the US Empire and its operatives to a full-body scan. Turnaround is fair play, because, until now, in the US, the powerless masses are subject to arbitrary pat downs and body scans, while the powerful and connected are massaged by privilege and ensconced in immunity.

In hindsight, one realizes, when the Obama administration promised transparency and accountability in government, National Security State enabler that Barack Obama has proven himself to be, that his administration's definition of transparency would entail the countenancing of said body scans at the nation's airports, revealing the private bits of the hoi polloi, as, all the while, his administration was engaged in stonewalling the hidden agendas and felonies of the corporate and governing elite. Recent events should remove any doubt regarding who stands exposed and who will remain cloaked by official aegis.

Unlike Julian Assange at Wikileaks, when the Democratic Congress had the opportunity to create an atmosphere of openness and transparency, they demurred. Once granted positions of authority, the Democrats didn't exercise their constitutionally granted powers to initiate investigations, hold hearings, nor issue subpoenas. This failure of will and integrity amounts to complicity by omission. Withal, Democrats gave their tacit support and approval to the last administration's (as well as to the present one's continuation of more of the same) constitution-shredding, morally repugnant policies.

On most occasions, existing within the tacit repression and the benumbing, virtual reality carnival of the corporate/National Security State leaves an individual with a sense of being stranded in anonymity; cast into circumstances wherein one feels the necessity to follow the unspoken dictates of a nebulous form of authority that remains hidden, both by physical distance and organizational insularity. In contrast, when one is introduced to the apparatus of the National Security State, by means of a full body search, this unnerving intrusion upon the body can bring clarity to the mind as to how the elite and apparatchik of the US government regard that mass annoyance known as its citizenry and any quaint notions those wretches clutch pertaining to their constitutional granted rights and liberties.

These present outrages will flair up and spiral through the news cycle. Yet, the practices will remain in place, and, after a time, become normalized. This has proven to be the case with other previously revealed excesses of the so-call War on Terror and the attendant assaults against civil liberties and breaches of international law incurred in the name of this ongoing, seemingly endless, national psychotic episode e.g., the existence of the "detention camp" at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the illegal invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and those operations concomitant litany of war crimes and affronts to human dignity, such as the acts of torture committed at Abu Ghraib prison -- as well as -- the whole blood-sodden laundry list of outrages and excesses of present day US imperium.

If there is any hope for the US to ever function as a democratic republic, the revelations, unearthed by Wikileaks, should constitute the beginning of a long, painful process of grim discovery.

First, one must ask: Why is it the corporate media is so deeply invested in promulgating distracting and miss-the-point narratives, hyper-adrenaline arguments of narrowed context and little consequence -- and, in general, trafficking in piffle packaged as news and public debate -- rather than showing even a passing interest, much less an avidity, for the pursuit of stories that confront power and might present a challenge to the present order?

As with any criminal enterprise, the essential question to ask is: who benefits from the crime (and the subsequent coverup) and who gets the payoff? Although most of human existence is constituted by ambiguity, this situation is not. The evidence of war crimes and fiscal malfeasance committed by the nation's political and financial elite are so pervasive that it cannot be missed, and that is precisely the reason the corporate media, as well as a large percentage of the general public, works so hard to ignore the situation.

Lord Northcliffe's aphorism provides a clue:

"News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising." ~ Lord Northcliffe, British publisher 1865-1922

Accordingly, at present, there arrives a paucity of news, but, hour after hour, comes a drowning deluge of advertising. Enveloped in this commercially dominated hologram, on a cultural basis, it has proven difficult to arrive at a common lexicon to tell the tale of truths buried and freedoms imperiled.

The weightless, insubstantial quality of the consumer age engenders a state of mind wherein consequences cannot be grasped then processed. As a result, a sense of drift prevails. Yet below the surface churns a nebulous dread -- a feeling of being propelled towards a time of unbearable reckoning.

But such enervating thoughts must be banished from the mind; hence, amnesia, as a way of life, becomes the prevailing mindset of psyches minted in the media age hologram i.e., a manner of perceiving the world in which official accountability becomes as evanescent as last season's advertising campaign roll-out.

Voting for "change" becomes as meaningless and inconsequential as the introduction of Coke "Classic" and "Be all you can be." The US might as well have election campaigns in which the Michelin Man runs against the Energizer Bunny.

By means of its inherently self-narrowing context, the lingua franca of the media hologram reduces complex and conflicted human aspirations into consumer choices -- and the vastness of life to retail experience, as, simultaneously, its proliferate narratives envelop, saturate and bind to the architecture of our psyches becoming the quanta of our thoughts and the shared lexicon of our utterances.

Living in this milieu, that is as manic as it is mind-grinding, decisions must be made rapidly, with little time allowed for reflection (decision-making carrying no more depth and lasting meaning than a text message vote by cell phone involving some contrived Reality TV competition) because the proliferation of empty, non-choices just keeps being proffered and the rate of arrival keeps accelerating.

Tragically, in this environment, the recent Wikileaks revelations will be marginalized in the electronic image-crowded air and quickly dissipate like any other media age phantom.

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http://www.philrockstroh.com/

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: phil@philrockstroh.com. Visit Phil's website: http://philrockstroh.com/ or at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000711907499

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Phil - this was one of the most excellently writte... by Stefan Thiesen on Thursday, Dec 9, 2010 at 6:01:50 AM
Politics in the U.S. is a lot like an S & M re... by David Roche on Thursday, Dec 9, 2010 at 12:53:42 PM