... not about conclusions but on a purpose, a process and a plan
Tereza, thanks for this video. It captures so much of my angst. As the idea sinks in (over mainly the last five years) that almost everything we’ve ever formally been taught is a lie, and that really respectable educated people are willing to make successful careers by knowingly perpetuating and defending lies, and that vaunted institutions are just criminal syndicates in the latest disguise, and that “elites” have twisted and manipulated history and journalism to suit the imperial narrative, I distrust more of my own beliefs every day. I’ve been an environmental activist focused mainly on global warming, and now even that starts to seem dubious. I find myself rooting for Russians to wipe out Ukrainian nazis, and (aside from believing that rooting for anyone's brutal death is heinous) then I realize I don’t even know what a nazi is or believes because that topic is prohibited, except for The Holocaust part. And then I look at Israelis literally murdering Palestinians and I wonder how that differs in any way—except scale perhaps, and, given time, maybe not even that—from behavior that might fit perfectly into the intentionally vague notion I have been taught of nazi philosophy, which then makes my head explode because that’s what such powerful inconsistencies do to rational minds. A friend of mine says his way of finding certitude on any topic is to simply study The Narrative and then take the exact opposite viewpoint. This, in fact, does seem to be as good a technique as any, but it isn’t perfect. I’ve tried to abandon identitarian ideologies and labels because they all seem to have limits or they have flaws. And then I have to reassess, syncretize what I want to keep and abandon the rest, and I end up feeling like one of those sculptures of welded-together nuts and bolts and scrap metal machine parts that ingeniously looks like a peacock but is really just a clever assembly of junk.
Lately, I try harder to find common ground with everyone (partly because I’m running out of friends and relatives who will talk with me about anything but the most trivial “safe” things). I’ve only recently become aware of the narcissism of small differences—an idea that has played out a million times before my very eyes, and which seems so key to keeping us at odds even with those whose intellectual DNA is 99.9% similar. It’s really an astounding psychological exploit for the psyop engineers. Maybe I’m going to give up entirely on agreement and go with something like that line—probably imperfectly remembered—from the Wendell Berry poem: “We must love our neighbors. Not the ones we want, but the ones we have.”
I've noticed the "conventionalization" of DemocracyNow! too. Amy Goodman shared so many outstanding, renegade reporters during the Iraq war whom we couldn't hear anywhere else. Remember Dar Jamal? I have been disappointed to see the direction the outlet has taken in the last 3 years.