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View Diary: What's Happenin'? 5.22.13 (102 comments)

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  •  It is absolutely about intimidation. (10+ / 0-)

    I'm working on a diary to be published shortly, and it touches upon this theme with a reference to Hedges. Since it's relevant to your comment, and will get more eyeballs here :), I'll give a sneak peek excerpt:

    Again, these changes in attitudes and behavior are not accidental. Government and business, directly and through the establishment corporate media, are flexing ever-greater muscles of message and opinion control, and it works well, as Chris Hedges implies during the Q&A of a partially filmed appearance talk transcribed and excerpted below. (video also embedded further along.) btw, there may be another YouTube clip associated talk, I did not spend much time searching.

    Audience Question: "...a culture that is so taken over, whose mind and soul and thoughts are totally taken over by manufactured messages beyond anybody's scope of reference, beyond anybody's knowledge...[snip] Where do you see this trend going when television is brainwashing America...?

    Hedges: "yes, well, I hate..., I don't own a television. And I don't watch it....

    {applause}

    ...because I don't want to speak in the language which they give me. And one of the things that frightens me is [snip] the death of a print-based culture and the rise of an image-based culture. Totalitarian societies are always spectacle and image based. They do it really well. And...you can go back and read Cicero and the arena, and how the Roman Colosseum and the arena and the games poisoned civil and political discourse in ancient Rome. And that's precisely...it's a very powerful form of pacification."

    Previously, responding to a different question, Hedges discusses the extreme measures the state was taking, an effort they openly acknowledged to him at one airport, to watch his movements and activities as not only a form of surveillance but intimidation. He goes on to talk about wider public interventions and control:

    Hedges: I don't pose and there is no threat to the state, but I can you assure that, perhaps, well, I think more than perhaps...I think the reason that the draconian controls were so severe in places like Pittsburgh and Toronto was that they were seeking to deliver a message. They militarized the whole center of Pittsburgh. Turned it into the Green Zone, literally. They brought back a Pennsylvania National Guard battalion from Iraq in full combat gear and set up check-points and roadblocks and infiltrated groups and crashed websites and e-mails and these poor anarchists that brought a food bus, a school bus that converted to make food and that lasted about an hour, although it was parked in a private driveway, before they took it away. I mean most of the protesting at Pittsburgh were retired Quakers in sandals. Um. But the message was "don't try this. Don't try this."

    And I can assure you that the corporate state, which has built frightening internal security apparatus, will use it. They use to say that the Gestapo broke bones, but the Stazi broke souls. And we've become the Stazi, as anyone who has looked at what we do in our Super Max prisons will tell you.

    From this appearance. I think the latter one starts around 1:45 or, and the former immediately follows. fyi, this clip is 5 minutes and something altogether. Earlier, he also discusses some of his experiences with surveillance. He's on "watch."

    Re: "...will the American people notice, or are they dumb as sticks to quote the social historian Morris Berman who blames the culture for our problems." - don midwest. don, I'd like you to meet Woody and Twiggy. ☮ ♥ ☺

    by Words In Action on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:29:07 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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