Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Perceived and received reality in an era of reality TV
Perceived reality -- that which we see with our own eyes -- is the only reality we truly "know". Everything else is received reality -- reality as perceived by other people's eyes, and passed down to us via the imperfect tool of language. And in a world where received reality is filled with fictions and lies, finding any grain of truth -- any grain of what actual reality might have been in that wash of images and prose -- is an arduous task, indeed, is a task beyond the majority of the sheeple. Indeed, it is a task that most of them never even bother with, instead deciding to adopt whatever in this flood of lies most fills their need for lies to sooth their animal souls, and ignoring the rest.
In truth, the vast majority of the sheeple are incapable of telling the difference between reality and fiction. All that is real to them -- ALL that is real -- are their immediate family and friends. Everything else is just a "reality television" show, where, at the end of the hour, the corpses rise from their shallow graves and meet in the cast trailer for champaign and canapes. The people in this photo are no more real to them than the characters on the movie they watched last night.
You say that you are different. You say that you have imagination and empathy, that these pictures truly move you. But face it -- even you do not view Mr. Wood or Mr. Ware of this dKos story as human, but, rather, as fictional characters within a tragi-comedy called "The Iraq Disaster". You do not know Mr. Wood or Mr. Ware as people, other than as imagined people inside your head constructed from bits and pieces of other characters and other people that you have encountered in your life. You know this is a tragedy, but you know this is a tragedy not because you are somehow "better" than the sheeple who will never care about photos such as this, but, rather, because you are gifted with a better imagination and are capable of building a more realistic imaginary person in your head of what Mr. Wood or Mr. Ware MIGHT have been like.
Photos like this will never end war. Never. The human animal simply isn't wired that way. The only thing that will end war is if massive numbers of people are killed, and their family and friends who are directly impacted become the majority. That is why we of the Party deliberately have sent too few people to Iraq. By limiting the number of soldiers sent to Iraq, we limit the number of family and friends impacted by their deaths. And since we do not care whether decisive victory is possible -- indeed, victory would be a disaster for the Party, as proven in 1992 -- it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist. In that way, we of the Party give our subjects the bright and shiny lies that they want, the ones that hide the ugly truths from them, the lies that give them an enemy to hate, the lies that make them feel part of the Chosen People, God's people, Americans, the lies of patriotism and pride that give meaning to their pathetic lives of quiet desperation and misery. War is, indeed, the health of the Party.
Karl Rove O'Brien, Bush's Brain
I suppose there would be contingencies in place to reap financial benefit even from a defeat, but wouldn't the party lose political power thereafter?
Or does the party have a contingency to maintain power regardless of defeat?
But of course, in a war of choice like this, we can choose winning or losing at any time. For example, we can choose to remove our soldiers to the desert and embargo the borders with soldiers if the cities become too dangerous, or we can choose to invade a random city if the war has fallen from the news and we need a victory, fresh meat to throw to our supporters, fresh lies of patriotism and jingoistic exceptionalism to feed the incessant craving for lies in the soul of the human animal. We cannot "lose" this war by any definition that counts for our purposes.
That each generation does not learn from the previous generation's party - then the same 'ol bag of tricks can be trotted out. Anyone who recognizes the party's dirty tricks can be dismissed with the label of 'unpatriotic', or 'conspiracist'. The continued ignorance of the populace is key to maintaining the party's dominance.
And I see your point about losing the war; if we lose iraq, the party-controlled media will be quick to attribute the loss to lack of support... and who did not support the war? The liberals. The media is not holding the party responsible for the continuing deterioration of the war, so it is safe to assume that if the war is lost, the media will again protect the party.
The power of the party is impressive indeed. It gains power and wealth despite failure, corruption, lost wars, and the awareness of (some) people of the true nature of the party.
What then, is the weakness of the party? What does the party fear the most? And is the party aware of it's own hubris?
For you see, for a rebellion to succeed, we of the rebels need two things: a savior - a Luke Skywalker, a Neo, a John Connor, etc., and an unguarded achilles heel.