Thursday, 4 February 2010

Psychedelic Dungeons Popping Up on Every Street




I've recently been reading quite a bit about the 60s and 70s. One thing that really seems very odd is how Nixon has become 'a monster' in popular culture, though by today's standards, he doesn't seem that bad.

Whilst there was much that was odious about him, he did nonetheless bring the Viet Nam war to an end and found accommodation with China. The former, incidentally, was actually a fairly popular war, which like Iraq had no 'perfect solution'.

Despite the people in plastic masks protesting Nixon's regime, he was pardoned everything in the end. Could this be because the protests against a popular politician were as fake as the masks? What became of these protestors? Are they the core supporters of neo-Conservatism?





I'm partially reminded of the anti-Nixon protests by the current hoo-ha over the Chilcot Inquiry. The Iraq war was a popular cause in 2003. A lot of Blair's critics are supporters of the illegal state of Kosovo, where Christian Serbs are being ethnically cleansed. Bliar may well be a messianic nutter with a disturbing intensity, but he was only on the top of a pyramid. Beneath Blair there were politicians of all parties supporting war, and beneath them there were the majority of British journalists. He certainly didn't drag Britain kicking and screaming to Iraq.

This very same media-political institution is still deafeningly silent about the bombing of sovereign Serbia. The message of those attacking Blair for Iraq but not Serbia seems to be: by all means invade foreign nations if you think there will be a net gain for life, but not otherwise. 'Anti-war' is a nebulous term.

I'm no fan of The Joker, but I think we Brits have to realise if he is a monster, he's our monster. It's interesting to look back on his history. He was once a member of a rock band. Then he was on the left of the Labour Party, opposing the Falklands Conflict. I'm actually with him on that one, but it does seem pretty weird to oppose a war for Britain whilst supporting deploying British soldiers for American aggression.

Anyway, I'm digressing. It's no feat of the imagination to think that Blair would have been part of the 'impeach Nixon' carnival if he'd been born on the opposite side of the channel.

I myself love a lot about popular culture. I think it was a fairly organic progression of 19th Century culture, and helpfully discarded a lot of its pietistic middle-brow kitsch.

But did it give us a real direction and idealism? Or was there always something phony about hippies? Take it away Frank.

The baby boomer generation was strongly behind the McCain/ Palin circus: calling for war against Iran and Russia, even as Iraq and Afghanistan continue hemorrhaging. (And indeed as the Kosovon Serbs are terrorised). Television gave the world a medium with vast potential for innovation and reaching out to other countries and cultures. Yet it has been effectively used to keep people frightened and ignorant about foreign nations.

As wealth inequalities expand and the US seems set for even more wars, we Brits seem poised to elect neo-con fanatic, David Cameron. Needless to say Cameron voted for the Iraq war,but now claims he was misled by Tony's fibs. If so, then his naivety should disqualify him for running as PM.

Personally, I feel very cynical about the Chilcot Inquiry and arresting Blair. It's like cutting of a hydra's head and seeing others coming out. His ridiculous dossier just demonstrated how stupid and cliquish our politicians and media are and our need for real change. Arresting him wouldn't change anything.

I notice that yahoonews and other 'news sources' keep saying that Ahmedinjad called for Israel to be 'wiped off the map' though this is a debatable translation of something he said in one speech several years ago. I find it likely that there will be war with Iran. We'll get exactly the same cliches we had during Iraq, then ridiculous mea culpas afterwards.

Just look at how idiotically our media acted in supporting Saakashvilli. For some reason writing op eds seems to be magnet for insecure men who feel potent by calling for bombs to be dropped on others. The exceptions usually go on a downhill course.

But, as a sinister gentleman once asked, what is to be done? Whilst a Christian myself, I am not especially 'religious' in a socio-political sense. Maybe we need to go back to the Ancients of Athens for guidance. Or maybe we need a generation of Tlonists. ;-)

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