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Yesterday on Facebook, I saw a video of news anchor Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC who went off on a rant that really summed up just about everything that’s wrong in America today.
It was beautiful. It was artful. It was passionate and the reasoning was quite brilliant. It reminded me of the great movie ‘Network’ and the famous “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore” speech that Peter Finch gives, when he has basically had it with the way things are.
If you are a regular person in this society, and by that I mean if you have been looking around and are fairly aware of what’s going on out there, these speeches probably give voice to some of the things you are feeling but just haven’t articulated or perhaps were even afraid to admit to yourself.
The strange irony here is that both of these impassioned speeches were given by ‘media’ people, both of whom had had enough. Seen enough. Mouthed enough empty platitudes. Reported on enough bullshit. Felt enough anguish. And were now bubbling over with anger.
What’s ironic is that if you look closely at the media these days, they have transitioned, by and large, from objective reporting to subjective opining.
And the fact that they are talking to millions, and that out of those many millions, there are a huge number of people who are taking their cues from this rhetoric disguised as reporting, simply because the show they are watching has the word ‘News’ in its title.
The simple fact here is that the news is no longer the news. It is a propaganda tool trying to do the bidding of its owners, who more often than not, are conservative corporate overlords, using the power of the media companies they own to control not just the way things get done, but the way a great many people actually think.
Not everybody falls prey to this manipulation. Obviously Dylan Ratigan doesn’t and he’s right in the middle of it. I know a lot of people who are too smart to be manipulated in this fashion. But there are enough out there to actually be an influencing factor.
There is a fundamental flaw in American capitalism, that this election is bringing to light.
America has always advertised itself as the land of opportunity. And there are millions of people who have benefited from the bounty that America offers.
But at a certain point, The People Who Really Run Things, and by that I mean the owners of the huge businesses that power the American economy, start to realize that building power is one thing, holding onto it is quite another.
In order to hold onto power, they need a couple of things. 1. A docile population and 2. A government they can control.
The docile population part is easy because the majority can be placated with toys like TV, movies, Internet porn, social media and junk food, which are all the things The People Who Really Run Things ‘make’ money from.
The government they can control, however, is the thing they ‘spend’ money on.
Mr Ratigan’s rant makes it quite clear that the current US congress is ‘bought’, meaning that the special interests of The People Who Really Run Things are assured because these congressmen are informed, in no uncertain terms, that they would not be congressmen without the financial assistance that actually got them elected in the first place.
You could argue that it’s actually been this way for a while in America. But every so often you hit a watershed.
In this election it’s being publicized and therefore popularized on both sides of the politician spectrum.
On the left you have Bernie Sanders who really wants to level the playing field by attacking The People Who Really Run Things, by breaking up their financial institutions and repatriating the tax money that they have been avoiding paying though offshore shelters.
It’s no coincidence that the Panama Papers have been released right in the middle of this election cycle. Because they shine a very bright light on how a great deal of the rest of The People Who Really Run Things all over the world tend to operate. And while you may not be hearing much about them right now, the wheels are grinding.
And on the right, you have Donald Trump, the anti-politician. The muck raking billionaire who everybody loves to hate.
Trump is a bull in a china shop. He has no intellectual filter, so you have to put up with a lot of bullshit to understand what he’s actually trying to say.
But despite all the ego and all the negatives (and the list is very long), the one positive thing you can say about him is that he appears, at least, to be operating his campaign without the help of The People Who Really Run Things.
This, of course has the Republican establishment very afraid. Mainly because the bulk of them are themselves or are strongly supported by and beholden to The People Who Really Run Things.
So what you end up with here is a double barrelled shot of “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore”.
What will it amount to? What can it amount to? Well, for one thing, it is reshaping a lot of public opinion. It is opening eyes. It’s shouting in ears. And it’s reviving a lot of the comatose.
Every significant movement in any society starts with an idea. With Bernie Sanders it’s the idea that America should be a great place for everybody to live and work. For Trump, it’s that America should take back its rightful place as the superpower to fear.
Two sides of the same coin in a strange way.
Until the idea for writing this all out in this and a couple of other posts I have done recently, I was really down about the way things are. And not every hopeful about the way things could be.
Today, I kind of feel that what’s happening out there is going to result in some sort of change. I’m not sure exactly what and how dramatic it will be. Because I’m not sure what the world will be like going forward if this change doesn’t happen. It may get worse before it gets better. Or it may just get worse.
But for now, I’m guardedly optimistic. And I hope you are too.
I am a communications professional. Through my own core skills as a strategist, writer & art director and with the help of a select group of insanely talented associates, I work with primarily B to B clients, large and small to create hard working communications in whatever sector of the marketing universe their strategy dictates the need to travel through. I am also a mentor, blog post editor and a pretty decent photographer.
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