Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Redneck Rambler

I would love to share a small piece of honesty; a glimpse of reality from the viewpoint of one of the most entertaining and real people I've had the privilege to meet on the web. In his own words, "Please don't paint my ridiculous political and philosophical flatulence as "advice". I have no advice for anyone. Just a big mouth and a lot of opinions." Joe Bageant is a ray of sunshine in the middle of the ever present storms of oppression we working people currently find ourselves. I can't be sure if it's the redneck in me that I see in Joe, the mirroring of my radical 60's and 70's lifestyle, or the memories of my youth below the Mason Dixon Line that his writing rekindles, which draws me into the weave of his stories and philosophy, and transfixes me to this computer screen. It's probably a little of each of the above, but above all, I believe it's the recognition of the truth in his words that draws me back for more from Winchester, Virginia. Thanks Sharyn for the turn on! Pun intended!

I read an interview of Joe by Richard Oxman, who writes extensibly on practically everything that is interesting, and it is one of the best interviews I've read in, well, just about forever! Joe talks about his experience in the magazine industry and what he calls the "paint-by-number garbage" of the media.

I have published hundreds and hundreds of magazine articles in my time, but have published nothing but paint-by-number garbage since the mid-1980s. That is all you can sell. So now I say, screw the money. Give me the web. Any time I want to speak the truth, as I know it, I do it on the web...

Like I said, give me the web. There may not be any money in it, but by god that's where the big dogs run these days. That's where the real balls and ideas are, and that's where ALL the young talent is today, if you can wade through the tripe to find them.


Joe has a book coming out this year and I for one look forward to adding it to my library (coffee table). The book, Drink, Pray, Fight, and Fuck: Dispatches From America's Class Wars, I'm predicting will be an absolute bestseller among us downtrodden, working class, media misinformed, dysfunctional rednecks!

Please don't paint my ridiculous political and philosophical flatulence as "advice". I have no advice for anyone. Just a big mouth and a lot of opinions. As for “bringing someone around,” in this bitter age of hardened political battle lines, I don't think that is about to happen. At least not very often. The business of productive political dialogue between opposing views is mostly capitalist state generated illusionary horseshit. That doesn't happen any more. Yet the illusion is maintained that it is still part of the process. The lines are drawn, the neo-conservatives are slipping on their brass knuckles and hoods, while the left is playing dialectic games at Starbucks and weeping like a bunch of mock turtles about the elections. It was all over long before the elections.

We have to ask ourselves how in the hell can the classes in America live in such parallel universes? The rich liberals and neoconservatives, the West Coast lefties and the massive unacknowledged working class in this country? How can we remain so oblivious and unconnected with our fellow Americans? Answer: Americans, rich or poor, now live in a culture entirely perceived through, simulacra -- media images and illusions. We live inside a self-referential media hologram of a nation that has not existed for quite some time now. Our national reality is held together by images, the originals of which have been lost or never existed. The well off with their upscale consumer aesthetic, live inside gated Disneyesque communities with gleaming uninhabited front porches representing some bucolic notion of the Great American home and family. The working class, true to its sports culture aesthetic, is a spectator to politics -- politics which are so entirely imagistic as to be holograms of a process that has not existed for decades in America, if ever. Social realism is a television commercial for America, a simulacrum republic of eagles, church spires, heroic firemen and "freedom of choice" between holograms. America’s citizens have been reduced to balkanized consumer units by the corporate state’s culture producing machinery. We are all transfixed on and within the hologram and cannot see one another in the living breathing flesh.


There is hope yet, and it's our watch people! Thanks Brother Joe! :)

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