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20200115

The Problem With Fake News

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Do you know what your problem is, Zhòngní?



Besides the gentleman's distaste for Aldebaran whiskey, that is.




Once in a while a random visitor, who is apparently having a tough day of one sort or another, stops by and just drops a disparaging comment about the quality of the drinks or the performance of the staff and whatnot, and just walks away without another word. It happens. And, mostly, the people here don’t mind. "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!" and all that sort of thing. It comes with the territory and is all part of the spirit of the place.

I am not judging, I just wish the gentleman could have stayed and hanged around a bit, and shared with the people at the bar what had been eating at him—a wise man of the gentleman’s renown.

I am sorry that my idle prattling—and poking fun at the DNC, was it?—offended the gentleman so.

Does the gentleman know what the problem with Fake News is?

State sponsored propaganda is the main purveyor of Fake News.

It is so now. And it has always been so.

But I am sure that surely such an obvious truism is no news to a wise man of the gentleman’s renown, whom History remembers for his concern over personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

Me? I have never been much of a team player when it comes to partisan political propaganda.

This is probably the reason why I became one of the bartenders here at the Wulfshead: To get away from it all.



Looking back at the world, one may wonder how it came to be. I mean, for things to devolve into where they are at, now. Not just the sad state of affairs with the kind of unrestrained militarism that passes for American foreign policy under the current POTUS, or his last two predecessors, or amongst the current breed of Neocon-Democrat, war hawk, interventionist hard liners, but the zeitgeist of an entire nation as a whole.

The USA.

The road not taken.

There are those who say we are not where we are supposed to be, that, somehow, using a familiar metaphor, the Matrix was reset in 2000, or on 911, or in 2016, or, that, if you will, using another familiar metaphor (STNG: Yesterday's Enterprise), ours is a ship of peace, not a ship of war.



But, as I am sure the gentleman knows, this too is State Propaganda—as it is also, at the same time and on the brighter side of the coin, the ingenuous wishful thinking of those who yearn for a better world and who hope in their heart that America is everything it proclaims it is:

"The shining city on the hill."

But America has not changed.

America did not change in 2000.

It did not change on September 11, 2001.

And while it put on a good show at pretending it did at the time, America did not change in 2008, either.

It did not change in 2016.

And it is doubtful whether America will change in 2020, either.

America is staying the course. A course it has been on for a long, long time.

You know how it is:







It remains the case today.

One visitor, someone other than you, asked whatever happened to the peace movement—or, in more recent date, the #Resistance, for that matter.

There was that essay by James F. Moore that tried to capture the 2003 anti-war protest, which went viral: The Second Superpower Rears its Beautiful Head

It took place on February 15, 2003 (way before Obama’s Hope We Can Believe campaign in America), a coordinated day of protests started across the world in which people in more than 600 cities expressed opposition to the imminent Iraq War. Social movement researchers have described the 15 February protest as "the largest protest event in human history." Not so much so in the USA, though. As a point of comparison the 2017 "pussy-hat" march in New York City rallied a greater number of protesters than the Iraq anti-war protest managed to gather in that same city in 2003.

The peace movement is not what it used to be.

And the #Resistance is most certainly not it.

It looks like it is easier (and more safe) nowadays, not to mention, more politically opportunistic to the #Resistance, to mobilize protesters over what was, at the time, some 12 year old recording of Donald Trump talking about women in vulgar terms to the host of Access Hollywood, than it is to make a stance of any kind over disastrous unethical murderous geopolitical military and economic foreign policies—or looming global environmental catastrophe.

In their defense, nothing much of any real significance seems to be happening anywhere else in the world either.
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20200112

Cognition

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There... I fixed it for you:





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20200105

What #Resistance?

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Er... What?

Wait... What #Resistance?



Related Entry:


Disclaimer:
This is a work of fiction—or is it? Names, characters, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is NOT entirely fortuitous.
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20200103

For, isn't it the truth though?

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The unique character of the place does not lie so much in detail as in broad effects.

It's all part of the charm—the all-inclusive quality and unwitting self-reflective veracity of a random comment like this one:





For, isn't it true though?

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.





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20191231

The Force is Female

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Sure.



I mean, why not?



And who am I to disagree?

I am chill with "the force" being "female" and whatnot—whatever it's supposed to mean.



But... Must it also mean that it has to be dumb and boring?

I don't know...

Is it me, or does it look like cosplayers and fans do Star Wars better than Disney?











If you ask me, it would seem that, at the very least, they certainly have more fun.


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20191204

Imagine a world designed by Kafka, Stalin, Orwell, Huxley, Sartre and the Marx Brothers...

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—or the DNC?

Thus did—and did not (I kid the DNC!)—begin the back cover of the 1987 second edition of Paranoia RPG rulebook.

We live in interesting times, and it is an interesting and most fitting time indeed for the release of the first game console official adaptation of the classic dystopian science-fiction tabletop role-playing game first published in 1984 by West End Games





As I said: I kid the DNC.

But then again, "If the shoe fits...," as the saying goes...

May I pour the gentleman another drink?

Why, yes, sir, the 80's have been called the "great decade." This is not for me to say—I'll take the gentleman's word for it.



As for the 90's, well, according to some records, such as the History Channel, I have heard the decade referred to as the "good decade."



But this was then.

And this...

Well, this is "now," sir.

What a difference four decades make.  Thirty-nine little years...

What gave?

I am not sure, sir.

Innocence lost?

There are those who say, it was a slow process and that it had all begun already in those "great" and "good" decades, of which the gentleman speaks, and that people just didn't know better.

Then again, there are those who say that it all began after Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000).

Others say it all happened in a flash after September 11, 2001. Because after 911, "everything  changed."

As I said, sir, I wouldn't know. Whilst I might have been acquainted with the eras of which the gentleman speaks, and many of those memorable personalities of the times, I might even have met in person, I do not judge, sir—why, I would never presume. I only pour the drinks and refill people's glasses when they want a new drink—or even, at times, when, they may think they don't want a new drink, but are really desperately in need of a new drink. How would I know? Why, sir, I just know. It is my job to know about such things. Those are the things I know about. I make no pretense of sociopolitical knowledge, sir.

But I get it...



I have heard the argument before, and the gentleman will correct me if I am remembering this inaccurately, that "there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know," and then "there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know. "

But seriously, now...

Let me ask you:

Would you buy a used car from this man?

Rep. Adam Schiff, I mean.



A visitor of the Wulfshead, a social theorist if I recall correctly, once pointed out to me that, beyond former secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's February 12, 2002 infamous three categories statement, there is a fourth category, which the secretary omitted in his newsbriefing, "the unknown known," sir, that which we intentionally refuse to acknowledge that we know. History has shown—collective History, with a big H, sir, not just US history—that the main dangers to nations, and truly, the species at large, lie in the "unknown knowns—in the visitor's words: "the disavowed beliefs, suppositions and obscene practices we pretend not to know about, even though they form the background of our public values."

But, as I said, sir, this was then...

This is now:



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