Monday, July 15, 2013

Edward Snowden is a Show-Off…And Al Gore is Fat!

There are interesting parallels between the liberal disgruntlement with Edward Snowden (typified by  Melissa Harris-Perry’s anti-Snowden screed on MSNBC) and the right’s beatdown of Al Gore’s physique and carbon footprint on the global warming issue.

The argument seems to be, unless the bearer of unwelcome tidings can demonstrate 100% plaster sainthood to his or her most dyspeptic critics, the message is not worth heeding.

Or, in a somewhat more generous framing, if somebody is trying to tell us about behavior that is immoral and short-sighted, the messenger must meet our personal standards of rectitude in order to be taken seriously.

Maybe, if someone threatens to discredit a worldview, they have to offer—and exemplify—something better.  More pointedly, if you are going to discredit my worldview, you are going to have to prove to me that you are better than me.

I can see how global warming presented a challenge to the conservative worldview that had to be beaten back by any means necessary, including disparaging Al Gore.

After all, if it was accepted that unrestrained human activity could ruin the planet,  that was a pretty striking indictment of god and the free market and made a pretty good case for running the global show through science and government intervention instead.

As for Edward Snowden, I don’t quite get it.

Maybe if it was accepted that unrestrained US government activity could ruin the planet,  that was a pretty striking indictment of neo-liberalism and globalization and made a pretty good case for running the global show through a class-based adversarial critique of global and national elites instead.

Or maybe Edward Snowden simply revealed some whacked-out surveillance shit that everybody should be happy to know about.

I’ll leave that question for the philosophers.

While I’m going Andy Rooney on the blogosphere, I am also struck that I have not seen any discussions of the interesting parallels between the collusion of the Egyptian military, deep state, and business and popular opponents of Morsi to foment a coup through a manufactured economic and political crisis…

…and the infamous Venezuelan toilet paper shortage.

The Venezuelan TP shortage always had a whiff of opposition/US psyops to me: an economic/market glitch that would humiliate and discredit the Madero regime in its relationship with the people of Venezuela in the most fundamental (yes, I said, fundamental), intimate, and potentially infuriating issue of all: the pressing, inescapable need to get crap off one’s ass.

How about it, American media.  Care to expose some neoliberal skullduggery against a disliked regime before the coup happens?...or is it too difficult to confront (cue fiendish laugh)……… inconvenient truth?


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