Modern Primitives

In the context of high inequality, all the money and technology in the world can’t buy you rationality. We have never been modern.

On how the Southern religio-fascist right (along with rightwing Zionists and Mormons) steers politics in the US):

Silverstein, Ken. 2007. “Making Mitt Romney: How to Fabricate a Conservative.” Harpers, November: 33-40.

If there were more than 8 or 9 progressives in all of the US, they would look at history and realize the crucial importance and effectiveness of going out into the countryside (and now suburbs) and organizing rural people into a Red-Green coalition. But since there are not more than a handful of progressives in the US, the country has instead fashioned rural idiocy (in its Greek sense):

From P. Mancus:

“I call to your attention that the commander in chief believes armageddon to be inevitable and believes himself to be appointed by god to lead the united states to protect israel against the antichrist, which evangelical christian ministries have, ‘interpreting the bible’ –a supposed non-possibility amongst fundies–singled out as coming somewhere from the arab/persian middle east; ahem, iran. global warming is just more self-fulfilling prophecy to the likes of schmucks who get their counseling from billy graham.

so, under such an expectation of god’s judgement as an inevitability, is it any wonder that news stories like the one below are taken as good signs(?): the world is in climate meltdown and jesus is coming back to rapture the faithful, woo hoo! after all, why do anything about life, or the planet, the natural wild, or scarce resources, when it all belongs to the ‘prince and power of the air’, mr. satan himself. if you truly believe that nature is fallen, then its not worth saving, is it? think about that one for a moment.

and if you think that this is some fringe element mentality, consider the following: between cottage grove, oregon and coalinga, california, on a trip i just took, i found the dominant ‘left’ of the fm dial radio broadcast to be evangelical, bible-thumping, armageddonish, zionist, christian programming. SRN, for example, which stands for ‘salvation radio network’ gives news broadcasts that sound eerily like CNN until the part about jesus as lord and savior comes simmering into your eardrums. only one section of I-5 did i find absence of religious ideology passing as ‘public radio.’ more often than not, i found more than one (at one point, 3) stations pumping out the same crap at the same time, between 87.9 and 91.1 on your fm dial. i’m talking about shit that would have been laughed out of the room back in the 1970s and 80s and has now come to be one of the multiple, necessary to respect perspectives on cultural and political discourse. at least among sociologists. do i need to say these developments reflect the current means by which the dominant power structure maintains its hegemony?

remember when lebanon was being bombed by israel and the fundies were celebrating, hoping that armageddon was coming and the rapture was nigh? with people like this deciding foreign policy, global warming and the increasingly rapid and violent firestorms we are seeing (not only southern california now, but recall what greece went through this summer) will be cause to jump for joy. the only two historical agents in their melodrama are god and satan, and of course the self-appointed faith-based ‘leaders’ with their militarism, patriarchy, nationalism, and religion…a boiling cauldron of self-righteousness and destruction.

so, the big question: what makes religion any different than religious fundamentalism, if it tells you that someone else is in charge (i.e., you are not the historical agent) and the events that unfold are part of a divine plan (whether that plan be love or vengeance)?

and why, oh why, must we tolerate fascists whose cosmology personifies existence with a deity who has the worst traits of a spoiled 2 year old brat (‘worship me, i demand it, or i’ll punish you’) and whose ‘faith’ tells them that there’s someone up there (in the corporate boardroom or the heavenly towers?) who must be appeased? what kind of god-the-parent would abandon its children, or desire that they stay in servitude their entire lives? the kind whom you must fear or else, and the kind whom is acceptable, standard american fare, from bill o’reilly to the mighty dollar bill.

so, you think your immune? trying turning on your public airwaves tv, using your antenna and not your cyborg cable cable company, and conduct a simple exercise of content analysis: how many stations have religious fundamentalism affiliation out of the ones you can get in eugene? count them: 3 out of 9, or ONE-THIRD! you too, if you are a grad student or someone whose too poor to afford cable can watch the following claptrap:

channel 23: the one-and-only pat robertson selling his latest product along side his religious ministry, on a station that uses covert dramatic programming about good girls and boys against bad boys and girls.
channel 36: some dude from white horse media telling us about israel in prophecy who cautions us to “be ready for armageddon.”
channel 59: “bible prophecy revealed with grant jeffery” … just ask grant what the bible means and he’ll tell you!

oh yeah, that and 5 stations other with cop/crime scene/detective shows ‘reminding’ us how corrupt, dangerous and dastardly the world is (arousal) paired with commercial programming (tension reduction): won’t that all new gooey cookie dough make you feel better? how many guns, karate fights and antagonist one-liners do i have to endure?

and then there is opb, increasing colonized by the right wing, but still there…

meanwhile, the really, really, really concerned news anchor on abc is telling us about that great refuge for the evacuees down south. its name: QUALCOMM stadium. disaster capitalism in full force–chalk one up for the not-so-stealthy advertisers: cha-ching!

you will be assimilated… unless, of course, you resist.”

–P. Mancus. November 25, 2007.


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