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Punching a Hole in Bubbles of Denial and Addiction: Late Capitalism and Its Discontents of the American Autumn

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The global designs of the neo-liberal agenda have met the living architecture of a larger order -- a portion of which has taken the form of a still coalescing, yet potent, countervailing consciousness, a global-wide Liberty Plaza of the mind -- an order that is not informed by corporate era public relations legerdemain, hyper-adrenaline media sound bites, rightwing emotional displacements, or "sensible" centrist platitudes -- but the type of order that begins to jell when the structures of an existing system lose touch with the realities of daily life.

A ground-level, global-wide movement is afoot and has announced to the economic, media and political elite that they are on to their schemes. Accordingly, the plundering class and their protectors will no longer be afforded the luxury of insulating themselves (almost absent confrontation) within bubbles of privilege, bubbles of denial, bubbles of insularity.

Late capitalism has proven to be wholly reliant upon, in fact, addicted to, the creation of bubbles: market and media bubbles, respectively, serving to create inflated wealth and the manufacturing of closed narratives that shield the privileged players within from being held accountable for the consequences of their schemes.

The system is analogous to a rigged game in a tawdry, traveling carnival. The carnival barker's success hinges on whether or not his audience is seduced by his unctuous pitch, in this case being the dubious claim that, under late capitalism, illusionary economic success is attainable by pluck and perseverance. ("Step right up, folks, all can play"-- but the house will win.) Of course, the game has been rigged from the get-go, has been designed to fleece credulous rubes who have never glimpsed the larger world, and, when any prize at all is won, it is a piece of cheap, disposable consumer junk.

As Autumn stands before us, it will be helpful to allow illusions to fall away like dying leaves. Summer is kind to fools, but winter insists on clarity. Let the old delusions blaze out in Autumnal splendor, and then be mindful of winter's stark perfection"its demarcations"rendering bare branches against a bleak sky.

Know this: The illusions of the corporate empire can no longer provide shelter; the elite and operatives of economic imperium can no longer raid and plunder the easy pickings of summer"hoard and squander its bounty. Therefore, to quote the poet, at present, "One must have a mind of winter" to navigate the white-out winds of new realities.

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
 Of any misery in the sound of the wind ["]
-- Wallace Stevens, excerpt from The Snow Man 

Yet, with the rise of that wing of the privileged class known as the corporate media, we receive the opposite; instead, we are enveloped within a hothouse bloom of hype, surface-level, adrenaline-activating content bearing misleadingly narrowed context.

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On January 17 1991, at the start of the U.S.'s formal military hostilities against Iraq in the first Gulf War, the "folk rapper"/performance poet Chris Chandler and I were in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House. Chris pounded and thrashed at his battered guitar and recited talking blues protest ditties that we composed on the spot.

We were among a crowd of well over a couple of thousand demonstrators, plus scores of homeless people shared the surroundings as well. Shortly after the bombing of Iraq began, many in the park joined in an impromptu march around the metro D.C. area where thousands more protesters joined our ranks.

As we wended our way back to Pennsylvania Avenue, we were met, a block from the White House, by a phalanx of police i.e., full riot gear-clad storm troopers and mounted sons-of-bitches on horseback who charged the crowd.

The following is a close approximation of the account of the events as reported in the next day's Washington Post:

"A few dozen ragged protesters hobbled up Pennsylvania Ave. throwing rocks and taunting the police""

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Bearing that in mind, here is the opening graph of the account of the events on the Brooklyn Bridge, where on Sunday, Oct 2, 2011, demonstrators were herded, kettled and arrested by police:

"NEW YORK (AP) -- More than 700 protesters demonstrating against corporate greed, global warming and social inequality, among other grievances, were arrested Saturday after they swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge and shut down a lane of traffic for several hours in a tense confrontation with police."

Buyer beware: If the corporate press reports a breaking story with any degree of accuracy, the act is to be viewed as a fluke and certainly not as an act of honest intention by the reporters, producers and editors involved. On a personal basis, I have yet to be part of an unfolding news story in which the version of events created by these courtesans to power do not seem simply cut out of whole cloth, as they truckled to create an inoffensive narrative for the ruling elite.

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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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Lorca limns the situation involved in the rising O... by Phil Rockstroh on Thursday, Oct 13, 2011 at 4:23:31 PM
Great writing, as always. Combined with reporting.... by Ned Lud on Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 7:26:17 AM
The Bubbles are at once, a suckers game to 'strike... by Paul Repstock on Thursday, Oct 13, 2011 at 9:42:42 PM
Love it! Love the elegant use of language, brillia... by Carol Davidek-Waller on Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 9:34:04 PM
learned helplessness as taught by the Alcoholics A... by Kevin Cody on Sunday, Oct 16, 2011 at 1:23:42 AM