It may not be "just for morons and losers," anymore.
(55 words; posted Sept. 24, 1996; not to be read before Sept. 24 1999)
According to de Tocqueville, "The story of politics is
the story of the sound of a mind inside the sound of a
body." Or what Foucault once referred to as "the
dispassionate interchangeability of filling real desires
with bogus objects and bogus desires with real objects."
More contemporary reworkings of Aristotle (Minsky &
Berra, 1975), see it as, "...like baseball. The people
who watch it are all drunk and the people who do it are
all self-righteous, self-important assholes. And on top
of that, they've only got like 2 or 3 tired stories
which get played and replayed over and over again with
only the slightest variation in characters.
But the fans get to be part of something dynamic, and
the winning players get to reward their cronies, mess up
their enemies, and build up political capital for the
time when they too return to being permanent losers
But the best formulation probably comes from the second
line of the preface to LBJ's memoirs: "Issues and people
are like third base -- just something you have to step
on before you can score."
In his recent book, Garbage Collecting the Soul,
de Tocqueville points out that the mythic function
Save(Hero,World) is so strong, and so fundamental to a
human population, that it will demand argument fillers
despite the utter absence of anything appropriate in the
environment. Hence, Bruce Willis, Steven Segal, Sly
Stallone, et al.
And since man's foremost drive (after survival) is to
digitize the world, it's plain why everything has to be
in black and white, though, in the words of Klima and
the Belmonts ("Negations," 1964),"...a cynic is just a
romantic who got mugged watching sausage being made last
n any reasonable society, one of the ways in which brand
preferences will be expressed is through consumer
loyalties to personalities. Personalities which are
built in media through an authorial voice. A voice that
gives you a leverage point to create customer preference
and brand loyalty.
For example, long ago John Locke solved the problem of
programming hundreds of channels of information and
entertainment when he wrote, "Take all the CEO's of the
leading high-tech companies and lock them in a room
together with only water, amphetamines, guns, alcohol,
and psychedelics. Place hundreds of video cameras at
all possible angles around the room, and run them 24
hours a day, and have each one feed a separate TV
channel. This gives the viewing audience at home, well
over 500 choices of what to watch at any given moment."
ut, according to Rousseau, "History is just a million
tired lies, and the better you know them, the more
likely you are to repeat them." He was referring, of
course, to the wide-spread perception of his time that
the business of ideas had become nothing more than the
drive to advance the technology of animating corporate
logos, leaving virtually zero shelf-space for things
like, you know, the self.
Which can only lead, finally, to the state of affairs
underscored by this recent posting to
comes to run the time-out event, it freaks up, and
exist. This, btw, happens regardless."
You can read all about the
original thought that Sam Donaldson once had at The Cokie Roberts
Institute, a site devoted to mediocrity in
journalism. Or read excerpts from George Wills' new
book, "Pomposity for the Hades of It," at the MTV website.
(If the project succeeds, every teen-ager's brain
will be wired by 500-channel fiber-optic cable to Sam
Donaldson's chinchilla farm in Montana, where you can
control feeding times and the irrigation systems from
"The GBN Fanzine
Illustration by Slime on the Family Stove
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