Think Piece – American Reckoning
Some stream of consciousness thoughts on America’s body politic, the culture wars, free speech and subliminal signals.
VIVISXN is a dogged defender of free speech. Despite a week-long gush of ghastly homicidal spectacles and dim-witted demagogues hurling hysteria and dropping highly emotive depth charges into America’s frazzled psyche, we’re still big fans of freedom. And we’re still keen on that Constitution thing and the First Amendment. But it’s high time to call out the bullshysters and political pirates, especially with the angst machine in full churn as the midterms draw closer and the fear mongering flares up.
This past week, Cesar Sayoc, a lunatic with a penchant for political violence and plastering anti-left decals (“CNN sucks”) and garish pro-GOP graphics all over his big white MAGA mobile (he had been living out of a man van near Miami for months before being arrested), managed to mail umpteen ‘non-hoax’ pipe bombs to leading lefties, including muttonheads Maxine Waters, Robert DeNiro, Cory Booker, and hedge fund guru-cum-big swinging d^*k influence peddler George Soros (below).
Sayoc himself is a sad specimen – a grifter, shoplifter, strip club perv and ballz-out Trump champ with a fetish for bombastic flapdoodle and beefing up on roids. Like our fave sassafras senator and daft cultural appropriator, Liz ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, Sayoc even claimed to have some Native American ancestry in him. Doof. But never mind the bollocks – we’re just happy those IEDs didn’t detonate!
In the wake of Sayoc’s evil transgressions were the bizarro and rather predictable responses from multiple conservative bigwigs and their rightist ilk. These prating politicos managed to dream up mind-bending conspiratorial cockamamie (‘the Dems did it to drum up anti-GOP fervor’ and ‘Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz pulled this prank,’ etc.) before settling on the default scapegoat: Soros & Co.
Soros has become shorthand for the highfalutin ‘global elite’ and the token whipping boy for populist xenophobes and reactionaries the world over (especially the Bannonites). But the false flag/’self punk’ theory stems from the old ‘righteous victimhood’ polemic – the view that the American left relies on a perpetual motion machine of systemic oppression to rev up its base, and that a faux pipe bomb was an attempt to rally fallow voters.
Many aspects of America’s ‘politics of umbrage’ – the seething and exothermic ‘culture quake’ (epicentered around PC fascism) sending shock waves through college campuses, institutions and organizations – are irksome perversions of a legit plea for recognition and a need to buttress the backs of minorities and easy marks who exist on the margin. Sadly, last Saturday’s pogrom at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh left less room for supposition when 11 innocent people were gunned down by a ‘white nationalist’ (better characterized as ‘white trash’), hastening an already febrile national debate on civility, society, and freedom of speech.
VIVISXN cringes at the virtue signalers and ‘word police’ that progressives love to champion. But let’s get real: both sides are guilty of slinging ‘agitprop’, pushing out torrents of propaganda and uploading terabytes of newspeak. The flipside to the left’s over-zealous identity politics is a racially conscious nativist right – equally extreme in its raison d’être and deftly skilled in the art of semiotics and war-mongering semantics (despite the POTUS’ lack of savoir faire). They, too, select seditious slogans, weaponize words, and bait their adversaries into a dangerous brinkmanship. The ‘Doomsday Clock’ is ticking. Locker room ‘banter’ and nationalistic ‘bro’ sprache has turned ‘working class angst’ into fire, fury, guns and blood. The ‘fulcrum of history’ and ‘adverse feedback loops’ are at work and all that. Subliminal signals and dog whistles abound.
The right to free speech is essential and protected by the Constitution – no matter how grotesque. It should be, despite the impulse to tell people what they are saying is too offensive, dogmatic or violent. Infowars and Gab.com are free to soliloquize about liberal ‘casuistry’ and Orwellian crackdowns. Facebook/Instagram can purge provocateurs Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys on a whim (as they did this morning). And Domain registrars and web hosts have the absolute right to ‘no-platform’ such ninnyhammers and fabulist freaks Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, etc. But freedom of speech, be it online or on the soapbox, must be allowed, no matter how dumb or disrespectful. We adhere to the following rules: Never try to silence views with which you disagree. Answer objectionable speech with more speech. Win the argument without resorting to force. And grow thicker skin.
Anyway, this should be the golden era of free expression. At VIVISXN, we are a wee bit worried about the new intellectual despotism at universities, on the interwebs and everywhere else. Censorship is for suckers and snowflakes.
Radical politics. Social strife. Media manipulation. Trans/intersexual utopias. A war of attrition. Welcome to America’s internecine slaughterhouse. Now make sure you got your ballot in the mail and go vote on November 06. It’s high time to cast aside this primitive tribal crap.
Images Wikimedia Commons
VIVISXN MEDIA – Media + Political Economy + Strategic Thinking + Art + Fashion + Tech + Music + Pop Culture + 深度学习 + AI + Machine Learning + 音乐时尚 + 艺术 + 高科技 + 流行文化 + 大众文化 + 前卫艺术 + America’s Body Politic + The Culture Wars + Free Speech + Subliminal Signals + ‘Agitprop’ + Propaganda + E.B.L. + Geopolitics + Politicized Prose + US Midterm Elections + US News Cycle