Don’t trust them, trust us! They’re evil and we’re good! Just believe us and you’ll be wealthy and healthy!
Randall Amster Common Dreams January 7, 2017
We had to know this was coming. It was always here, but now it can be seen more clearly through the unvarnished lens of protofascism. Retrenchment and revanchism arrive with a new pitchman, selling rollbacks disguised as opportunities and promising to reclaim that which has been lost after decades of social progress and cultural liberalization. This isn’t a “new normal” but rather an old one reemerging, and the only sort of normality it represents is that which is perversely defined by a type of mass insanity.
Things have been heading in this direction for a long time now, but the pace obviously has accelerated in the digital age. The lamentations about the demise of truth and the advent of bogus “news” are legion, as are the observations about the omnipresence of technology and the implications thereof. But all this hasn’t happened to us — it has veritably been demanded. Obscured by the handwringing and finger-pointing is the deeper reality of a culture obsessed with on-demand indulgences, no matter the cost.
This is a manifestation of convenient compartmentalization, as if what happens in one realm has no bearing on another. Mass consumption of artificial foods, infotainment tidbits, contrived “reality” fare, and “brain candy” is seen as innocuous or just a guilty pleasure if it’s even thought about at all. Yet when politics are shown to be dominated by artifice, and when sensationalism trumps responsible journalism, suddenly there are waves of consternation and disbelief. How could this happen? Well, how could it not.
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