THE YINS and the YANGS of a very STRANGE YEAR

 

the-birthmark

On the one hand, 2016 was the year that killed off a dense cluster of our favorite Avatars of Popaganda. There died Bowie, who not only created a couple of masterpieces (Station to Station, Scary Monsters) and some very strong minor masterpieces (Lodger, Low, Heroes, Ziggy Stardust) and lots of painstakingly-choreographed and terribly silly super-shit that people seem to have forgotten… but who also, notably, helped the Reaganite 1980s bring back the Nazi Fantasy Aesthetic to wipe away a brief, sweet interval of brown-eyed American Romantic and Neorealist heroes (B. Lee, A. Pacino, R. Roundtree, E. Gould, P. Grier et al). Bowie was a bit schizoid, wasn’t he? He meant well.

There died Prince, whose career did so much to popularize the middlebrow, middle class, middle-aged and mid-Western preoccupations of guilty sex and dirty (dreams of)  money that keep so many Americans oblivious, shrinking the cosmopolitan coasts to slivers and grossly expanding the Ideological Flyover; Murrkka is almost 100% Flyover now, in the corniest and tackiest and funkiest way. All those Human Resources Officers and Clerks at the DMV in split-crotch panties…  thanks, Prince! But any notion that Prince was sort of hip had to fly out the window when he started pounding doors as a Jehovah’s Witness; again: schizoid… is that how we like them?

And there died Leonard, whose case was way too complicated to go into here without derailing this essay… (but I’ll bet you didn’t know that LC was a Reagan-loving conservative who had joined the IDF)…

On the other hand: 2016 saw the end of a 15-year winning streak for whoever it was that benefited most from 9/11 and the “Liberal” Cover provided by the BHO regime, which was surely meant to pass the neoliberal torch to an HRC regime that miraculously never happened. Neither did Syria… not the way They (What consortium? Which families? How many of the Croesuses seen and secret?) obviously wanted. So now we know how much time a stunt like 9/11 can buy these people: 15 years. 15 years that we started believing, right before it changed, would last forever. Not invincible, after all! Remember that before they manage to slam the barn door shut again.

2016 IN SUPERLATIVES

MOST SHOCKING DEATH OF A NOVEAU RICHE DRUG ADDICT FROM THE ’80s

Prince

CLASSIEST ASSISTED SUICIDE IN ADVERTIZING CAMPAIGN TO BOOST  CHART POSITION

Bowie

MOST SATISFYING BUCKET-OF-WATER TOSSED ON WICKED WITCH

Clinton pipped

MOST CARTOONISH RISE OF A MINOR FASCIST TO POWER

Trump

OUCHIEST BOOMERANG

“Deplorables”

SLOPPIEST  PROPAGANDA AIMED AT THE MOST CREDULOUS AUDIENCE BY THE MOST CYNICAL BULLSHITTERS USING THE MOST POWERFUL MEDIA

“Syria”

CLEVEREST DEFLECTION OF A MAJOR STORY BY SPINNING IT WITH A GOOFY NAME

 “Pizzagate”

CRINGIEST EMERGENT ALT-NEWS-BLACKWASHING MEME

“Flat Earth”

MOST POIGNANT CELEBRITY EXIT THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADONNA

George Michael

MOST PERSUASIVE  EVIDENCE SUPPORTING PARALLEL UNIVERSE THEORY (FOR THE SECOND YEAR RUNNING)

Cosby

MOST DECEPTIVE END OF AN ERA (aka THE DEATH OF THE SELF-APPOINTED GOVERNOR-FOR-LIFE OF THE USA’S TOP SECRET 51st STATE)

Castro*

MOST REGRETTABLE UNMASKING

Sia

FUNNIEST SOUR GRAPES

MGTOW

WITTIEST PLEONASM

“Fake News”

MOST COST-EFFICIENT COINTELPRO, BASED ON FLIMSIEST FAUX AUTHORITY,  WHICH CAUGHT ON FOR ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD REASON

Snopes**

MOST EMBARRASSING RECYCLE OF A TIRED OLD JINGOIST TROPE

Liberal McCarthyism

MOST REFRESHING PARADIGM SHIFT

“Russian” is the new Black

BEST NEW WAY TO SUBVERT SOCIAL MEDIA’S ORIGINALLY ASTONISHING  POTENTIAL TO  CONNECT AND UNIFY THE MASSES BY DIVERTING ITS USERS  INTO  ADDICTIVELY FRIVOLOUS EDDIES OF PUBERTAL NARCISSISM

Snapchat

MOST POWERFUL UNSUNG DRIVERS OF THE NEW ECONOMY

12-16 year old white girls

MOST OBVIOUS PLANE CRASH

Russian defence ministry flight from Moscow to Syria

CHEEZIEST SWEDISH ATTEMPT AT GETTING A COMMAND PERFORMANCE

Nobel Prize for Lit

BEST METAPHOR FOR THE WHEELS FLYING OFF THE NEO-LIBERAL BULLSHIT-JUGGERNAUT OF DEATH

MOST URGENT TOPIC OF STUDY THE YEAR’S DEVELOPMENTS (not to mention those of the century preceeding it) NECESSARILY  LEAD US TO

Propaganda

*Do read the amazing research done by meticulous parapolitical commenter Paul Rigby
**The Snopes story links to the dodgy Daily Mail, however, the story (though strangely under-reported on MSN) is verified
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8 Comments

  1. … (but I’ll bet you didn’t know that LC was a Reagan-loving conservative who had joined the IDF)…

    You are right. I had no idea. But then I’m not surprised, either. For art, de-contextualized, can be made to serve pretty much any point of view, even the opposite of its intentions. Furthermore, who hasn’t been taken in by most of the cultural deformations and inversions foisted upon us by the brainwashing industrial complex?

    BTW: and this may detract somewhat from this particular item about LC, although not necessarily — but nevertheless a fascinating piece by a guy who goes by the name of Paul Eisen, titled But how could the Holocaust not be true?

    I emphasize that Eisen is a self-identifying Jew, by the way, and that I myself am for the time being withholding judgement on the question of whether or not the war atrocities that were committed by the Germans were exactly as the ‘official account’ — that of the victors, as it happens — would have us believe.

    Certainly, Eisen’s piece, in its methodology, that is to say, as a schema for analyzing and understanding the social-psychological precursors for the propagation of any ‘belief’ whatever as ‘consensus’ or even collectively held ‘myths,’ is in-itself noteworthy ( — if only in my humble opinion, of course).

    In the hope, then, that you will find Eisen’s piece as interesting and unusual as I did.

    Kind regards,

    –N

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Furthermore, who hasn’t been taken in by most of the cultural deformations and inversions foisted upon us by the brainwashing industrial complex?”

      Indeed. It was about a ten years ago that I noticed, with hackles-raising frequency, that one supposedly-Lefty figure after another… heroes of my “youth”… turned out to be of the Right. Harvey Keitel! Dennis Hopper! And so many like Walt Whitman, Gandhi, Lincoln, Marx… racists! And Gertrude Stein revealed as a collaborator during the Vichy days! The Paris Review founded as a CIA front! Slowly but surely I reassembled a coherent and *accurate* (unromantic) picture of the “cultural world” I had been raised into and it wasn’t pretty… but ripping the curtain(s) off was exhilarating.

      Will check out the Eisen link! (we are busy getting Daughter to bed….!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, that was refreshing! I actually diden’t know any of that stuff about Bowie, Prince or Cohen. I do recall hearing that Bowie was a supporter of the National Front around 1976. StAug, you really can paint a picture. The bit about Prince is so …. real.
    And Norman thanks for the the Eisen recommendation. I’ll look at it when I get a bit of time. May I also make a recommendation? “This Way For the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen” by Tadeusz Borowski. Fiction, of course. But when you look at his life story you realize he might not have made up a fantasy world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The really interesting thing about Prince (beyond the precipitous decline in the quality of his songwriting after the late ’80s) was how he was able to preserve the image the record label crafted for him long after the image no longer really fit… most of the big pop acts from the 1980s faded in relevance while Prince faded, conversely, into his Iconitude (like James Brown) and Pop Apotheosis. Part of that is just “reverse” racism, of course (being Black already confers some kind of authenticity… I should know… laugh) but it’s not as though LL Cool J retained all of his original aura. I guess the Greta Garbo thing was a wise move on Prince’s part, eh? But imagine if Johnny Rotten had come out as a Mormon! How did the JHVH’s Witness thing not damage Prince’s Hipness Quotient? A miracle.

      I remember hearing of Borowski’s “This Way For the Gas, Ladies and Gentleman”… I’ll find it and read it, Doug! Thanks for the recomm.

      Like

      1. Don’t thank me yet. It is no pleasure to read.
        I think I noticed you refer to Lamarck in a comment at Off-G. Since my days in high school I have awaited his redemption. Now it seems epigenetics is offering that possibility. Maybe Trump will tweet an endorsement of Lysenko next!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes but and then, Leonard also retreated to a Buddhist monastery for 10 years. I, in my ever-so-long lifetime have been a Republican, a Democrat, a Pacifist, a Trotskyite, a Communist, a Liberal, and a Marxist. And I might have missed a few. Not for grabbing the latest fashion, but for wanting something to totally believe in, to no longer have to read through. It never worked. The point is, it works for some, if not many. Oh, and another I think of: a Catholic. Oops, and Buddhist. And…and…and

    Like

    1. Hullo L.E.!

      Yes, Life is a beat with many dances! LC’s attachment to his Roshi was another interesting facet. But he was consistently conservative through the bulk of his run, apparently… which is only interesting to the extent that his image was always anything but. As insatiable consumers of Endless Images we seem to be wandering in a vast hall of mirrors and prisms!

      Liked by 1 person

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