In a country raised on blood and reared on myth, the notion that we are victims of a shared illusionary reality seems clear to me. America only likes mirrors when we are forcing other regimes to look into them at gun point. The use of “other regimes” in that sentence was deliberate. This country has been a benevolent dictator, at best, in terms of how the rest of the world views and interacts with us even if the story we tell ourselves is much grander than the truth.
Our illusion also includes political theater at its finest, a point that fails to garner as much attention as it should because most of the players rarely grace our television screens long enough to break through the circus-like cacophony of pimps, prostitutes and pretenders. What little time we have outside of work and sleep is spent in a hypnotic relationship with a tube that reinforces our misconceptions and naiveté with a steady diet of hyperbole and angst.
No matter how profound the offense by The Powers That Be, our sugar- and fat-laden diets ensure the average level of outrage in America is somewhat above a mote of dust and somewhat less than a mushroom with the attention span of a gnat. Whether our subjugation was a deliberate conspiracy or a coincidental one is open for debate, but the negative effect on our society as a whole is as undeniable as it was avoidable.
Our illusion may be sophisticated and subsidized, but it can be defeated with the consistent application of power granted to We The People under the Constitution.
Which leads us to the essential dilemma of all free people who would remain in that exalted and natural state. Representative democracy is a participatory endeavor and left to its own devices will quickly become an intolerable evil. I spoke of Thomas Paine and his thoughts on government and society in my last post, so I won’t repeat those points here beyond the idea that we get the government we permit to exist. I feel like that notion requires a bit more light since it appears central to the dilemma we face as a nation.
Like the movies I linked to before the jump, our particular brand of illusion is well documented and agreed upon and entrenched, yet the very powers that hold us prisoner contain the levers we need to break free. Our cancerous capitalism can be cured by our individual choices as consumers. Our unaccountable political system can be brought to heel by our uncast votes and misplaced demands. We can create an America that delivers the authentically sublime rather than mere sublimation.
We The People can use our illusion to transform America despite the seemingly impossible nature of the task and the forces arrayed against us.
I hereby award you, somewhat late, the Dayly Line of the Day Award for this here TPMCafe Site, given to all of you from all of me.
Very well done Jason.
Sorry, I just caught this.
Thanks, Double D, though I don’t recognize the words as being mine even if they do indeed capture the essence of my blog.
its the wrong quote. Must have screwed up on my cut/paste thingy…
There were many good sentences and phrases here. Let me try again:
This is good stuff Jason. This is a well put together essay.
I am sorry for the screw up, but not the award.
No worries at all. I thought it was funny that the quote you did use perfectly illustrated my point. Literary coincidence? Doesn’t happen that often. Thanks for the kind words and Merry Christmas!
Yeah … I was wondering there DD . . .
That cut and paste came from Richardxx’s fine take on America as the new land of media-centered scams.
That’s something I’ve howled about for the past 5 decades. And even moreso in this day and age. My wife gets tired of listening to me tell her to turn down that damn commercial crap.
As you know Dick, I had posted MLK’s piece from 1967 and the part in his speech that really stuck with me and has never left my thoughts was the part about:
I agree that you have described a big cause of our societal problems and some of the bad affects. You lose me beginning with the following sentence.
“Our unaccountable political system can be brought to heel by our *uncast* votes and misplaced demands.”
Did you mean cannot be solved rather than can. I’m not suggesting that our voting has or will solve our problems but I also don’t see not voting or misplaced demands as solution either. Then you conclude with:
“We The People can use our illusion to transform America despite the seemingly impossible nature of the task and the forces arrayed against us.”
Maybe so, but I would like to see a little evidence for that conclusion and perhaps a hint at a course of action. Am I just misreading what you intend? How does seeing an illusory picture of reality, rather than seeing that what is presented as reality is in fact an illusion, help to change things?
I am saying the votes we don’t cast lead to our subjugation. That the simple act of voting twice a year, every two years would be enough to create a system of government that is truly representative.
Another specific action we can take is to make different choices in our day-to-day life as a way of creating a new reality. not buying crap we don’t need from companies we know nothing about enslaving people half a world a way would be a great place to start.
We being dominated by forces completely subject to our control yet we have convinced ourselves we have no power at all.