This morning on my way to work I had the car radio tuned to the local classic FM station. It’s a safety precaution more than anything. Keeps me (relatively) calm in the traffic and safe from the media commentary of the day, mostly. On this morning’s playlist was Sibelius’ Karelia Music Overture, apparently rich in nationalistic imagery, a recurring theme in Sibelius’ music at a time when the Russians were busy hacking the Finnish elections, or annexing Scandinavia, or doing whatever it is that Russians do. You see, even on Classic FM the gaslighting is inescapable.
Tonight an ‘expert’ on the telly was going on about how ‘professionally’ organised the Hong Kong riots are. The most professional he’d seen in all his 30 years as a security analyst, apparently. Rapid, coordinated, and perfectly timed to cause maximum disruption. Just the kind of paramilitary precision you’d expect from a bunch of random student activists. The waving of British and American flags in protest against the oppressive ‘colonial’ Chinese communist regime didn’t seem out of place at all; in fact it fit right in with the incredulity of the whole shitshow. Have these people even read a history book?
In other news, One of Trump’s top senior advisers insists that it’s time for all nations to join the US in holding Iran to a new level of accountability for its “lawless pursuit of ballistic missiles”. Of course there was no mention of what law, treaty or international convention Iran is said to be violating in exercising its right under the UN Charter to develop missile technology for defensive purposes; In a recent intelligence bulletin the FBI has determined that conspiracy theorists pose a serious domestic terrorism threat. Apparently there are “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” who would have us believe that certain high-profile politicians and celebrities might be involved in child trafficking and paedophilia. Scandalous! It’s enough to make you want to smash your television. To be fair I turned mine off years ago, but it seems wherever I go the corporate media finds a way to shine its gaslight in my face.
I often find myself asking how we got to here. Was there an historical pivot, or just a slow decline? How did we come to the point where a handful of corporate monoliths control ALL access to information; where any alternate information source is deemed ‘conspiracy’, and ‘conspiracies’ are officially labelled ‘terrorism’? It must be said that even the kookiest conspiracy theories seem more credible today than the approved talking points echoed by publicly sanctioned channels: Carbon dioxide, an invisible gas which which gives life to plants and trees, is thought to be causing catastrophic climate change and the only way to stop it is to deprive poor countries of any realistic path to development (conveniently maintaining their status as cheap resource and labour markets); A man can be a woman just by saying so, and refusing to wax her balls in a private salon is blatant misogyny; Babies under six weeks old must be injected with mercury and other lethal substances in the name of epidemiology, and four year olds who like to play dress-ups should be given puberty blockers to prepare them for gender reassignment. And of course there are the usual stalwarts: America is a beacon of liberal democracy; Mass murderers and terrorists are humanitarians and freedom fighters.
Cheerful stuff. Meanwhile France’s gilets jaunes are in their 40th week of protest, repelled by gas and live ammunition; India just repealed article 370 of its constitution concerning the special status of Kashmir, which it now seems determined to annex – creating a potential flash point between two nuclear-armed powers, and of course another excuse to slaughter Muslims en masse; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has broken the record for child abduction previously held by Nigeria’s Boko Haram; Italy will impose fines on anyone caught rescuing migrants at sea to the tune of €1m; Global currency markets have begun falling like dominoes, the Dow has dropped 800 points and it looks like we are entering a global financial meltdown worse than 2008. All mere distractions of course. We need to stay focused on what really matters. Gender identity, stopping CO2, and choosing the next sock puppet to replace the oh-my-god-he’s-so-racist orange buffoon in the White House.
Oh by the way, that guy Epstein – the one who supposedly had all the dirt on the elite paedophiles the conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists were going on about – he strangled himself in a Manhattan prison cell on Saturday, breaking his neck in several places. Craig Murray writes: “There are a number of royal palaces and grand residences of former Presidents and Prime Ministers where the inhabitants have a little bit more spring in their step following the death of Jeffrey Epstein.” Jared Beck frames the issue more succinctly: “Someone sent a loud and clear message to Americans today: “We control you, and if we want to traffic your children to control your pathetic, puppet politicians, there’s nothing you or anyone else can or will do about it.” I wonder how Julian Assange is feeling right now…
I guess there’s really not much more to say. Rather than run the risk of any further media gaslighting I think I might retire and enjoy some vintage Shostakovich on hipster vinyl, or better still wind up the old Victrola in the basement – pretty certain the mind control rays weren’t designed to work with 78s. Better make it one of his pre-Soviet cantatas though – I wouldn’t want to die from polonium poisoning in my sleep.