Don't reach for that remote, folks: It's already here.
Our journey to fascism began at the end of The Second World War when the tenets of the hyper-commercialized entertainment/military/corporate state became sacrosanct by means of our internalization of it from constant mass media reinforcement. What purported to be only a message from our sponsors metastasized into the twenty-four/seven, corporatized UberCulture of the present day. The Revolution will not be televised ï¿½ because The Corporatist Coup is being continually broadcast.
Commercial advertising is a form of political speech: A very potent one and its effects are far from benign. By means of its cultural dominance, commercial advertising is promulgated, to the point of total market saturation, without any form of effective opposition; hence, by its very nature, it amounts to corporatist propaganda and serves as a vehicle of mass indoctrination.
Carl Rove, Roger Ailes, et al are not evil geniuses. Well, at least, they're not geniuses. They're simply cocktail party-variety, confidence artists of the electronic age. They're media professionals who understand the proto-fascistic fantasies of the populace of the consumer state.
Hitler and Goebels grasped what any advertising copywriter is taught early on: People can be manipulated, if an appeal can be addressed to modern man's yearning to break free from the constraints of his existence as an economic animal ... Whether it's the promised dawning of The Thousand Year Reich or the empty facsimile of freedom promised by the purchase of a new automobile, both provide the feckless sucker with the illusion of shaking up the old order; hence, the quotidian prison will collapse, allowing one's imprisoned longings to escape to freedom over the rubble. But first one must surrender their rational mind to the individuality-destroying agendas of the state and/or corporation.
Enter George W. Bush, a man affecting a massive measure of feigned toughness -- yet, at the same time, riddled with such a high degree of concomitant inner doubts that when he attempts to speak, his words trip and stagger over his lips like drunken dwarves attempting to clear a high curb.
In temperament, Bush is as vain and brutish as any tin-plated dictator. Worse, Bush, more closely resembles an abusive pimp ï¿½ tragically -- Lady Liberty's. Habitually slapping her around, accusing her of holding out on him, and paranoid of betrayal, Bush, a preening caricature of Macho Narcissism, like any run-of-the-dark-alley pimp claims to be her protector, as, all the while, he abuses, exploits, and degrades her. Apropos, Bush's vast collection of outfits for every occasion should include a plum purple pimp suit; accordingly, the presidential limo should be tricked out to sport 1970's style Cadillac El Dorado opera windows, a two tone paint job, and be accessorized with plush, white fur-lined upholstery.
It was the black magicians of advertising who sold us George W. Bush. Bush was initially marketed as a box of detergent (though he's dumb as a box of rocks) -- a cleansing, Christian soap, to be used as directed to wash and scour the stain of Satanic jism left on the fabric of American life by the sinful Bill Clinton. Bush, a former drunk, now "cleaned-up," was ready to lead America to a whiter-than-white future ï¿½ plus provide round-the-clock protection from the offensive odors emitted by the body politic.
But, after the eleventh of September 2001, Bush was marketed as a Humvee. The biggest, most powerful vehicle traveling the perilous roadways of a hostile world ... It's O.K. kids; daddy's at the wheel ... just sit in the backseat and watch your DVDs ... You're safe and protected: anybody or anything stupid enough to get in our way will be crushed beneath us. Challenge us you evildoers and you'll join the rest of the smoking wreckage and pulverized road-kill in our wake.
Although -- after wildly fluctuating gas prices and a series of deadly rollovers on the roadways of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Post-Katrina Gulf coast -- the Hummer presidency of George W. Bush is sputtering: the DVD player is running an endless tape loop of Bush strutting, clad in a flight suit, while Iraq burns and bleeds; in addition, the vehicle's passengers are carsick and road weary.
The fool's gold standard for this form of governance-by-marketing-subterfuge was set by former soap and nuclear missile salesmen Ronald Reagan who was successfully sold as a kind of grandfatherly Marlboro Man. Reagan, whose fantasy-prone hagiographers still believe, by some cryptic act of telegenic alchemy, brought down the Soviet Union ï¿½ somehow -- by simply reading a teleprompter. Later, Bill Clinton was a rock-a-billy cool Elvis who fattened up the economy like it was binging on a round-the-clock, fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches and chocolate cake diet.
At this point, hapless George W. Bush, as was the case with his geeky, hyperthyroid father before him, must be beginning to cause his corporate creators to drastically up the dosages of their respective SSRI prescriptions, because, while they intended to market Bush II as the heir apparent of the iconic, cowboy Ron Reagan, it's clear he couldn't handle the responsibilities of the San Diego Chicken.
Bush should serve out the rest of his term wearing a chicken costume. Such an act would be emblematic of the man, as well as our era: Bush as an emblem of the populace of the United States -- a people who have lost their dignity, by way of surrendering it to the corporatist order.
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