fractal ethnography

Month: August, 2011

mad as hell, sure, but yell MONEY IN POLITICS! BOUGHT CONGRESS!

If you watched Dylan Ratigan’s rant and compared it to Albert Finney’s “mad as hell” scene in the 1976 film Network, don’t forget the rest of the story.  Finney’s populist rage makes him a hit on the network, giving its audience the angry mantra we repeat.  But the climax takes place behind closed doors, when Finney takes on the corporation.  As for his initial rage, the network capitalizes on its entertainment value, recruits more zany radicals, and scraps the news altogether.  Watch the movie for the denouement (it’s great), but notice the “mad as hell” catharsis is swallowed into a much darker picture.  It takes the whole plot structure for us to understand how the everyman’s alienated anger feeds the corporate structure that provokes it.

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debt crisis & democratic exhaustion

The Debt Hostage Crisis was loud, tiring, annoying.  The storyboard was tragicomic and absurdist.  In the whole farce, what was there for the public to demand, when it was so apparent the scene was not set with the public cast in any role, on or off stage?  If the national economy was held hostage, it was by a federal government that has been hijacked by special interests and apocalypse mongers.  While these thugs wrestle for control, they play out endemic problems of American democracy.

Big Money in Politics [times] Racism [minus] Sustainable Livelihoods…

(1) I am so angry with Obama for rolling over further right, for gaming with the general welfare in the first place, for selling out at such a low price.

(2) Yet I am so angry with the disrespect shown him and the refusal to let him govern, with the war-talk of would-be secessionists, slashing and burning everything in sight, so incited since we dared to hope.  If hope took audacity, they want to show him his place. 

(3) In the same stroke (and with the deal), they have viciously attacked the very infrastructure through which our increasingly multicultural, multiracial populace should have the capacity to make democratic demands as a public.

…[equals] Democratic Exhaustion.  Mainstream narratives don’t make sense of this nonsense.  Available modes of participation don’t redress problems at the their source.  I’m angry, I’m tired, I’m split against myself.  Left and right are split, the center is exploded.  How do we go forward in the everyday?  Where do we take a stand in such a terrain?  Where do we get the energy to hold ground?