Monday, April 16, 2012

Justice, distraction and entertainment - delivered at digital speeds

Writing at his SunltanKnish blog, Daniel Greenfield assesses George Zimmerman's status:
George Zimmerman has been chosen to serve as a gladiator in the circus that distracts a bankrupt nation from the criminal folly of its leaders, large and small. He has been assigned white team colors, had an NRA badge pinned to his lapel, and is being shoved out into the stadium while the lunatic mob howls for blood. The Emperor of Hope and Change has already made the thumbs down gesture, the courtiers are rushing out to fix the match.
Greenfield paints a vivid scene. Seize the bigger picture: It's not about what Zim did or didn't do. It's how circumstances can be manipulated to distract from real problems that are destroying, or threatening to destroy, our society at core levels. Distractions can be spun out of incidents arising by chance, or they can be strategically planned months in advance (along the lines of Occupy or American Spring). Somewhere along the line, an agenda may be attached, other times a distraction is useful simply because it pulls attention away from something else.

We live in an age where bigger masses are more susceptible to manipulation on ever widening scales. We don't need a Coliseum to stage politically charged gladiator games (though we do have plenty of stadiums and arenas), and we're well past using a soapbox platform to rally our mobs. We have perfect technologies to spark and feed a frenzy.

Civilizations have bouts with mob mentality and societal depravity from time to time. But today's activists, agitators and manipulators have unprecedented levels of outreach, command and control with social media and wireless technology allowing for direct mass mobilization. Most involved likely perceive themselves as having no evil intent. But they may also be unable to control what they set in motion.

If things break bad, traditional media may also throw in with the frenzy. Feeling pressured by competition from instantaneous social media, traditional media have seemingly abandoned their traditional gate-keeper, cooler-heads approach; and by recent examples, appear to embrace the role of cheerleader as they seek to get their own share of social media buzz.

In some ways, we appear to be in a scenario oft repeated in history. But in other ways, we're seeing that scenario staged with new, and greatly amplified, technology. What remains to be seen is if enough people are willing to engage organized distractions long enough to be effective. Short attention spans and home entertainment centers are powerful forces to counter those who want massive demonstrations or seek social unrest. If Occupy Wall Street showed us anything, it's a lot easier to blog or tweet mass movement than it is to consistently or effectively put feet in the streets.

Regardless of what pans out in the media or in the streets, vet what you see and hear. Is it really an issue that lives up to presentation. Or is it just hype and spin intended to keep you looking left when you need to be looking right. And don't be lulled into thinking just one ideology or political party plays the distraction game. It's a universal strategy now. Even when it comes from entities considered aligned with your own outlook, dig in and ask if facts line up, if real change can be documented. Or is spin that sounds so good on first pass just another round of go-nowhere theatrics.

Things have been on a corrupt path for so long, it's hard to get bearings what is right or true. Test everyone and everything. Corrupt forces have vested interest in maintaining a corrupt status quo. But they may also be so corrupted, they can't see how close to the edge they've taken things, or sense how many outside their inner circles have become wise to their games.

There's no quick fix on the horizon, neither is the course of events irrevocably cast. I wish I could outline a precise course of individual action, but there are too many variables to even try. So I'll simply pose two questions: Will you be active in seeking restoration of a sustainable America as envisioned in the Constitution? Or will you succumb to distractions, and drift with the crowd (or run with the mob)?

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