Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Another mugs game

Another mugs game

Triumph des Willens

Gus, I'm pretty sure that's Germaine in the top right-hand corner, and that is worth one frequent flyer point, but I couldn't see her matching badge.

However, from The Presidency Shines  by Tom Engelhardt
... While the administration was pumping up the military and offering up its can-do creds, on channel after channel reporters, anchors, pundits were set back on their heels. FDR comparisons poured out, corners were provisionally turned, hope was expressed, and the President's strange New Orleans bubble world and bubble words were treated as if none of the anchors and reporters had, for the previous weeks, been there, done that. For at least the blink of a media eye, the wrecked Super Dome, the toxic sludge only blocks away, the devastation right beyond TV sightlines, the staggering inability to deliver the goods, the unnecessary deaths, all seemed to evaporate in the glare of those White House lights. For a blinding moment, the media culture of deference we've lived with for the last four years was again upon us at something close to full throttle. ...

From Frank Rich: Message: I Care About the Black Folks
Once Toto parts the curtain, the Wizard of Oz can never be the wizard again. He is forever Professor Marvel, blowhard and snake-oil salesman. Hurricane Katrina, which is likely to endure in the American psyche as long as L. Frank Baum's mythic tornado, has similarly unmasked George W. Bush. ...
... But even now the administration's priority of image over substance is embedded like a cancer in the Katrina relief process. Brazenly enough, Mr. Rove has been officially put in charge of the reconstruction effort. The two top deputies at FEMA remaining after Michael Brown's departure, one of them a former local TV newsman, are not disaster relief specialists but experts in P.R., which they'd practiced as advance men for various Bush campaigns. Thus The Salt Lake Tribune discovered a week after the hurricane that some 1,000 firefighters from Utah and elsewhere were sent not to the Gulf Coast but to Atlanta, to be trained as "community relations officers for FEMA" rather than used as emergency workers to rescue the dying in New Orleans. When 50 of them were finally dispatched to Louisiana, the paper reported, their first assignment was "to stand beside President Bush" as he toured devastated areas. ...
... What comes next? Having turned the page on Mr. Bush, the country hungers for a vision that is something other than either liberal boilerplate or Rovian stagecraft. At this point, merely plain old competence, integrity and heart might do.

Colonel Tim Collins, in Iraq: This is a Mess...
... It is time for our leaders to explain what is going on. It was as a battalion commander trying to explain to his men why they would embark on a war that I came to public notice. The irony is that I made certain assumptions that my goodwill and altruistic motivations went to the top. Clearly I was naive. This time it is the role of the leaders of nations to explain where we are going and why. I, for one, demand to know.

My American Nightmare: A US...  by Emma Forrest
... So it is a curious dichotomy that in this libertarian time of no 'hand-outs', we nominate a billionaire heiress as the nation's sweetheart. There she is on the cover of this month's Vanity Fair, Miss Paris Hilton, whose ascent from drunken hotel heiress to drunken multimedia star is not the final nail in the coffin of my American love affair. The nail is the celebratory manner in which the esteemed publication portrays her. ...
... Just as the Bush administration's tactic of 'say it often enough and it becomes true' has worked, so the phenomenon of Paris is: 'See it often enough and it becomes relevant.' In another era, Pamela Anderson, the working class girl from Canada, made a fortune on the brilliant lie: 'I want you.' Infinitely more sinister, the lie behind Hilton's dead-eyed gaze is: 'You want me.'

Propaganda must be creative.
It is by no means a matter for the bureaucracy or official administration, but rather it is a matter of productive fantasy. The genuine propagandist must be a true artist. He must be a master of the popular soul, using it as an instrument to express the majesty of a genuine and unified political will. Propaganda can be pro or con. In neither case does it have to be negative. The only thing that is important is whether or not its words are true and genuine expressions of a people’s values.

Nonetheless, we held back at the beginning of our work.