Speculative Fiction Review
Speculative Fiction Review
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
 All Forums
 Current Events
 Foriegn Affairs in the News
 Courageous Leadership--editorial

Note: You must be registered in order to post a reply.
To register, click here. Registration is FREE!

Format Mode:
Format: BoldItalicizedUnderlineStrikethrough Align LeftCenteredAlign Right Horizontal Rule Insert HyperlinkInsert EmailInsert Image Insert CodeInsert QuoteInsert List

* Forum Code is ON
Smile [:)] Big Smile [:D] Cool [8D] Blush [:I]
Tongue [:P] Evil [):] Wink [;)] Clown [:o)]
Black Eye [B)] Eight Ball [8] Frown [:(] Shy [8)]
Shocked [:0] Angry [:(!] Dead [xx(] Sleepy [|)]
Kisses [:X] Approve [^] Disapprove [V] Question [?]


T O P I C    R E V I E W
specfiction Posted - 09/12/2007 : 13:15:48

After the elections of 2006, when the house and senate were realigned to Democratic rule, both the media and an amorphous public waited for some major change in the conduct of the Iraq war. The Iraq war, it was assumed, was the major reason for Congress returning to Democratic control after more than a decade. Well, everyone waited, their arms folded across their chests in anticipation of something happening. Almost a year later, nothing of any consequence has happened--why not? Part of the surprise has to do with how we perceive GW Bush--not very intelligent, lazy, inarticulate. How could such a man, sandbagged by more than six years of abject failure, provable lies and distortions, and flanked by legions of incompetent hacks, possibly retain control of US foreign policy?

The answers to many of these questions are so obvious that one wonders why they are not spoken more often and with more force. Quite simply, many of those elected officials who have truly tried to nudge US policy in a more sane direction are not more assertive for two very good reasons:

1) They do not trust the media.
2) They do not trust the general public.

Why not--after all, look at the poll numbers of public opinion. The president is polling in the low thirties, high twenties--the country wants a change. Yes the country wants change, but it will not tolerate any inconvenience, nor will it tolerate the consequences of change that will surely be the result of any serious redeployment of forces in Iraq. The same media that left the public believing that 9/11 was somehow a result of an Iraqi plot, or left unchallenged the notion that Iraq was a haven for Al-Queda, or destroyed Howard Dean, who was completely right on just about everything concerning Iraq, but yelled at a pep-rally, or made Michael Moore seem like an extremist while he too was right, or made Al Gore to be a liar in his 2000 campaign, will surely destroy the architect of any serious movement in Iraq policy if there are any negative consequences. At the same time that the media were asleep at the switch, or actively promoting scandal and hype, the public, who wants to be entertained rather than informed, bought into the Bush administrations lies: Cheney was shown on TV, in two interviews years apart, lying about knowing about WMDs, Cheney and others lied and distorted the facts on Al-Queda in Iraq, being greeted as liberators, and even who we were fighting in Iraq. But given all that, Bush was reelected in 2004.

It is no wonder that elected officials are timid, and US policy stumbles along. If we want to blame someone, we should look in the mirror for not facing the consequences of the mess that we ourselves have helped make.

1   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
specfiction Posted - 09/13/2007 : 08:36:36
Here is a response to my editorial from a Prof of Lit at a Cal College:

Notra Culpa? Your conclusion is, of course, the bedeviling issue.

A couple generations ago, the lament was over how the working class (then much more unionized) had been bought out with 3 BR stucco homes and Chevies. Ike, Nixon and then Reagan were what they wanted and deserved. Now, with only a vestige of an organized labor movement to invoke the category of "class" or suggest an internal (not to mention "dialectical") principle of social development, we're a heavily marketed, segmented consumer society that at ground level feels guided from outside. Grassroots populism seems impossible where political polling, corporate media control, workplace personnel policy, not to mention Steve Jobs' latest iPhone discount, have so thoroughly channeled and metered the collective desire. From outside we must look like the pampered mass bin Laden sees from his bunker, but we're also the most productive and stressed workforce on the planet with a strong sense of entitlement to an eroding quality of life. What a mess.

What seems significant about this is the absence of a collective sense, except in the rare moments like 9/11. "We" exist in very precise senses to marketing interests (as particular demographics, viewing publics, and so forth) but in almost no sense is this a shared, subjective experience. I see only me in that mirror, enmeshed in my own interests (funny how guys never change their look, what's with that 70s porn-star moustache at my age, are my jowls exceptionally droopy for a 50-year old?). As you say, "we" are to blame, but how do you appeal to collective shame or guilt?


Speculative Fiction Review © 2000-05 Snitz Communications Go To Top Of Page
Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05