Saturday, May 16, 2020

All is not lost, it is only mistaken. That's small consolation, but I know just how you feel.

 The internet's dropping in and out again. Hasn't done this all week after Momma got the new modem from the telephone company. She thinks it's due to the heat, and hell, I don't know, it might be. It's in the high 80s outside and fairly humid.

 Anyhow, I got the screen open, so we can do what we do. I can always add links or look up stuff later. Since I'm remembering it this weekend, let's take a lot at what we saw with the News this week.

 I'm particularly proud of Friday's offering, a fairly deep dive into the Breeona Taylor execution. Another black person murdered because white shooters had to kill someone, another cover-up by local law, and another killing that went unknown for months until social media raised hell about it. This time, however, the killing was done by the local police in the most murderously Barney Fife way possible. They thought they were hitting a drug den which was actually 10 miles away, searching for a suspect who was already in custody.

 Check out the piece and keep your eye on this one. Wingnuts may raise Cain about how their First Amendment rights are being trampled because they can't post Nazi propaganda on Facebook or gun losers think it's perfectly natural and sane to go to Starbucks loaded for bear, but if the Fourth Amendment gets anymore tattered, none of that will matter. There is definitely a racist element, sure, and the American people as a whole are far too generous to cops who kill the wrong black person when killing anyone wasn't necessary. But if we as a culture keep giving authoritarians more and more leeway, we're going to wake one day wondering how that boot got on our neck.

 Governmental authoritarianism is nothing new. Once nations started actually becoming nations rather than kingdoms, their governments felt the need to keep a close eye on the populace, for good or ill. It is what it is. Read your Roman history. Read about John Dee. Read about the development of the Chinese Empire. I don't know how much we'd fight it, either, as we all carry locator beacons in our pockets as a part of the super computers and Hitchhiker's Guides. Hell, I'm using Google to look up some of this stuff, and they've long since given up on the whole "don't be evil" thing.

 As an aside, I don't fret too much about the "surveillance state", either from the government or Corporate America. I don't like it and know it can be abused, and it is, but I don't have to worry about it. I'm a straight white male, I'm good. I hope the System comes crashing down, but figure since it will do it to itself anyway, there's nothing I can really do to help. But the main reason is I don't think I should have to hide what I say or think from anyone. There's nothing I do that needs to be hidden, I feel. Not my love of mind-altering substances or flirtations with anarchism, I don't see any of that as anything to be ashamed of. The law changes, as the Good Doctor said, but I don't feel I have to.

 Well. I've reached word count. During my constitutional, I thought about writing about the corporate press, the mainstream media, and why most people who complain about it really don't know what they're talking about. I don't really feel like doing a deep dive now, but in a nutshell, the mainstream, big corporate press - CNN, the networks, The New York Times, even the big-time websites like Slate or Politico - are all owned by rich people or groups of rich people who incorporate themselves. Most of them are worth ridiculous amounts of money themselves. CNN is worth about five billion dollars, and Fox recently sold assets to Disney for $71 billion.

 These companies and people have a vested interest in keeping the Status Quo. That is, whatever societal changes (you think) they promote, the cold, hard economics of things aren't meant to change. That's how they got rich and how they get richer; they're not going to change that. If you honestly think CNN or the Times wants to destroy capitalism, you are a goddamn moron. Ted Turner might have wanted to change the world for (what he thinks is) the better, but he doesn't own CNN anymore.

 This is reality, but people don't want to acknowledge it and that's where the problem comes. Everything about it makes much more sense if you can recognize that little bit of wisdom and keep it in mind when using the media. It's easy to rage at Maggie Haberman and her limp approach to the Trump Administration, but her job and The New York Times' mission isn't shaking up the Status Quo. They are the Status Quo, just as Trump is, and both of them have a vested interest in keeping the gravy train going. The mainstream press is still useful, just keep that in mind.

 So, one of these days I'll get deeper into it. I keep saying that about a number of things but I haven't yet. That being said, I would totally do it if someone wants to pay me. I'm getting pretty good at deep dives to explain things, especially when I'm getting paid. Just something to think about. Just putting it out there.

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