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Monday, March 21

The Power of Nightmares

Information Clearinghouse sent a link to a BBC series that you can watch online and/or read the transcript. The Power of Nightmares It's alarming and yet kind of explains what you have been thinking all along about the American Dream... that it is a myth. It's been fabricated. Things are not, nor were they ever as they seemed. But we already figured that out.

One part in particular, about the Leo Strauss philosophy drove home the very message that today's neocons and wingnuts are trying to send to America rather agressively: Be afraid.
"It was for politicians to assert powerful and inspiring myths that everyone could believe in. They might not be true, but they were necessary illusions. One of these was religion; the other was the myth of the nation. And in America, that was the idea that the country had a unique destiny to battle the forces of evil throughout the world. This myth was epitomized, Strauss told his students, in his favorite television program: Gunsmoke.

Strauss was a great fan of American television. Gunsmoke was his great favorite, and he would hurry home from the seminar, which would end at, you know, 5:30 or so, and have a quick dinner so he could be at his seat before the television set when Gunsmoke came on. And he felt that this was good, this show. This had a salutary effect on the American public, because it showed the conflict between good and evil in a way that would be immediately intelligible to everyone."
Humming the theme to the Twilight Zone yet? This stuff works. Look how Americans are digging Ahnold of all people. He's a cartoon character. An action figure. How about bushie himself. He can't even ride a horse and probably can't shoot a gun and probably never even flew a fighter plane. It's all myth, yet Americans view him as a gottdamm good guy in the wild west. American's want their action figures.

Watch this series or read it. There is so much more.

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