B Rant: Je Suis (You Tell Me Pal)

by Brantly Martin

19 March 2015

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 B = me 
Rant = declaim violently and with little sense; rave

The Emperor’s New Flat Screen

If one’s patron saint is Contrarius, as it appears mine is, simply observing the never-ending film, Global Hypocrisy (now in 2D!), looping on a small screen near you—(both handheld and large! switch carriers now and upgrade your resolution gratis!)—results in willfully hypnotizing yourself via visual-mainline to believe the truth! can be deciphered from the inside of a neuro-kinetic ad-driven pinball machine jammed into screens that demand you process then mainline a retort back through the binary overlord, bang your head against the wall, and wait for another manifestation like a deformed-and-flat version of the Philip K. Dick short The Preserving Machine. Only we’d have to call it The Boomerang Vacuum. 

We are all hypocrites to varying degrees (anch’io): this may be our unifying force. Contemplation and changing one’s mind is where it’s at, my man. Although … I gotta say … most people I know who “have it all figured out”—(religion, the economy, politics, gun laws)—seem to be much happier than those that re re and RE examine. Maybe I should …

So much noise racquetball-ricocheting around Cubeland. Is there an album in there somewhere? A single? A beat to sample? You know: something danceable? 

What ya sayin B? I’m saying I have zero answers amici. Just one subjective Trastevere-alley-circuitous deciphering of My Own Private Solipsism. 

“And I am, whatever you say I am / If I wasn’t then why would I say I am? / In the paper, the news everyday I am”

Eminem might as well have been talking about We American News Consumers. If We are what We believe and what We believe is based on what We’re sold—I mean told—and We call that knowledge then We are fucked.  

The Charlie Hebdo tragedy that took place in Paris on January 7th was horrific enough to speak for itself. The only thing We Americans needed was transmission of facts. In theory that’s what these corporate spokesmodels are supposed to be doing. Why is that so difficult? (It’s not.) And I’m really really not referring to minutia or subtle political leanings (at least in this example). There is no better opportunity for (ever more recent—almost “real time”) historical revisionism via US media than tragedies. It’s a remotely-controlled-by-TPTB boulder of emotion careening downhill toward the screen-hypnotized village of Americana as it waves the flag of Temporary Outrage and waits to swallow whole the latest invented-from-above comfort food con exposition.

When I heard what was happening in Paris I turned on CNN. The last time I had turned on CNN, or any “news” channel, was when I heard about the Boston bombings. I usually reserve turning on my largest black mirror for a show like Black Mirror—or the Houston Rockets come playoff time. My guess is I’m not alone in this behavior. I’d like to think I’m tuning in during these moments for “a higher purpose” than tragedy porn. I’d like to think that I’m tuning in to see what lies and omissions are being regurgitated. But I’m not a machine. 

The controlled conversation—part of The Controlled Conversation—on CNN (live from Paris!) delivered by Anderson Cooper and Chris Cuomo the days after the attacks was so pitifully lacking in veracious gestalt that it may very well be used as corroboratory evidence if ever those two are tried in the ensuing (albeit likely algorithmically) Who! Was! In! On! It!? court of “expanded-consciousness” (namaste stronzi). 

(American Nepotistic Drift alert in 3 … 2 …) When Cooper (a Vanderbilt) and Cuomo (a Cuomo) are tried for being well-trained and well-recruited shills, their “reporting” on Charlie Hebdo (live from Paris!) may actually be the evidence that saves them. Of course they’d have to admit, “We were just following orders. We are just one level higher on the pyramidal echo chamber than our viewers. In short, your algorithmic honor, we do what we’re told, although we didn’t realize this at the time.” Specifically, of course, I’m talking about their massive contribution to the narrative that Charlie Hebdo was an—as Anderson Cooper propagated—“Equal opportunity offender.” 

In 2008 Maurice Sinet—the then 79-year-old cartoonist—was fired by Charlie Hebdo for a cartoon that insinuated that Nicolas Sarkozy’s son was converting to Judaism ahead of his marrying an heiress for financial gain. The caption read: “He'll go a long way in life, this lad!” It became known as l’affaire Siné. My first thought when I read about this, long before the Charlie Hebdo massacre, was “And, what else did Sinet do? That can't be it.” 

My favorite comedian is Don Rickles. One of my best friends is the nephew of Henny “The King of the One Liners” Youngman. Lemme tell you something: That Sinet joke would not have even made the mental cutting-room floor of either one of them. It just wasn’t that original or funny. (And if you think it’s about offending “power” you don’t know Rickles.) It’s right up there with “Texans have accents! They must be dumb!” Before Sinet was fired he was asked to write an apology. He declined. Then . . . not only was he fired he was charged with “inciting racial hatred.” (A crime the fashion lot might be familiar with via John Galliano’s drunken rant.) The crime part of this interests me less than it does some others I know. But it’s worth repeating: There is no free speech in France: There is no free speech in France: There is no . . .  

“Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”—Lo Que Sea Amigos  

You gotta say one thing about the US government: they really enforce that whole Free Speech(gnr-guitarist)First Amendment thing when it’s “out there.” The biggest stronzi in America—the Westboro Baptist Church—are allowed to protest outside the funerals of fallen soldiers. That’s some real vile shit. But they are given (blessed with) the right to do so. However . . . do Americans really have free speech? Of course not. This is the land of (so called) Capitalism.  That (sshhh) said: say the wrong thing, don’t agree with the right opinion, laugh at the wrong joke, wear the wrong shirt, be non PC … and you are screwed my dudes. Dunzo. Hai capito? Only here it’s a corporate/social hit. Odd that, no? Odder still that the country founded in part by separation of Church and State will only elect presidents who blah blah blah about their religion while one of the countries We peaced from (and stole “common law” from) still has the Church of England but doesn’t wanna hear from their “leaders” about religious doings. Odder (still?) still that France has no freedom of speech on the government approved level but has some freedom of living on the government endorsed level. All this noise is meant to divide and confuse (“the natives are restless—call in the reinforcements”). 

Back to l’affaire Siné and its importance via omission in the yarn that was spun—“equal opportunity offenders”—at the height of a very real attack on free speech. 

France’s collective behavior leading up to WWII was sordid, at best. After the war France passed a law limiting free speech in order to avoid history repeating itself. One can debate whether or not this was wise. 

Here in the US we have our own sordid history with race relations. The US has passed Affirmative Action laws to avoid history repeating itself. One can debate whether or not this was wise. 

Maurice Sinet has admitted in the past to being an Anti-Semite (let’s take him at his word). He published a questionable cartoon and was fired and arrested for it. One can debate whether or not this was wise. But . . . why was this fact more than ignored? 

Imagine the doings at CNN:  

1. The Charlie Hebdo tragedy begins to unfold. 

2. CNN rounds up their “news team”—To the private jet boys and girls, we’re going live from Paris!

3. On the way over they do some research: their Google searches reveal that Charlie Hebdo was involved in one of the biggest censorship/free-speech trials of the 21st century. (Assuming they didn’t know this beforehand. I mean, it’s only their job to have some knowledge of major doings in the Western World.)

4. They decide the whole l’affaire Siné thing doesn’t fit their narrative: It’s “too complicated” for our audience. Let’s skip that bit of exposition and go straight to the reprinting of the illustration from 2006. 

5. They make a list of French “co-signers” they can have on air: Sarkozy is out, too close to the “story to be avoided”; Hollande is too busy acting Presidential; Michel Houellebecq is crossed out for being too much of a wild card, a free-thinker (and he just published that book); Bernard-Henri Lévy! 

So BHL makes like DHL and shows up right on time and perfectly packaged. He says all the right things—French history, freedom of expression, democracy, Voltaire!—only they fly in the face of his pubic outcry during l’affaire Siné. Hey, maybe he changed his mind. 

CNN echoes the Voltaire! bit—“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”—and skips over l’affaire Siné and the general fact that there is no free speech in France. 

I do wonder where the “equal opportunity offenders” slogan came from. Was this a directive from above? Is it possible that a news company valued at around $8 billion didn’t know about—didn’t research—the recent history of the publication at the heart of this tragedy? Did the on-air folks choose to keep it simple? Did they really not know? Was it just the same migratory groupthink that has infected all corporate media/art/politics? Even when a tragedy is not a false flag it doesn’t mean The Powers That Be don’t move in to dictate which way the wind blows. It happens every single time. 

There’s a lot of talk these days of “raising consciousness.” So ask yourself: Do I accept the programming that flows downhill from … (______ to ______ to ______ to ______ ) to …  moi?  

  more from Brantly Martin

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