The Mechanism

The Mechanism

We’re looking for a strongman. Someone to not only make the trains run on time, but to take care of us, give us a leg up, opportunity, even though our prayers will never be answered.

Blame the internet.

But it started before that. The rich spreading inaccurate information while they pay the politicians to make it all go away. Can you say Timothy Geithner? Can you say Wall Street? How many bad actors who blew up the economy went up the river. NONE! Why? It would be too detrimental to society, to our nation, business must go on.

At least that’s what they think.

So Trump gets elected and the left wing is jumping out of its skin. But if you notice, it’s primarily the educated left wing, those living on the coasts, who are angry that a system working for them might be broken up, might leave them with less. Meanwhile, these same people never cared about those left out as a result of globalization, and those profiting from globalization are making bank.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The Wall fell. Communism faltered. Democracy was gonna reign. But it didn’t. Putin not only runs Russia, his countrymen approve of him! Sure, it might have been a sham election, but citizens like that he makes things work, eliminated the chaos, makes them proud to be Russian.

And now you’re apoplectic, telling me how wrong I am.

But I’m not sure that’s the case.

I just finished watching “The Mechanism,” a Brazilian mini-series about corruption on Netflix. I did because it has the same producer as “Narcos,” but I cannot recommend it, it’s slow and confusing and it doesn’t add up until the end, with a cliffhanger leaving answers for another season. But at least it’s not HBO. The lauded “Barry” began tonight. If you think I’m still up for appointment TV you’re dreaming, just like the movie studios. Nobody I know goes to the movies, I’ve been quizzing people, but every Friday the paper is laden with reviews. Meanwhile, the major outlets didn’t even review “The Mechanism,” and I doubt there will be word of mouth, so you won’t see it.

But the message…

It’s about corruption in Brazil. The good guys versus the bad, the cops versus the corporations. And then you realize, it’s just like here.

Sure, the cops shoot and beat up innocent people, but that distracts us from the fact that if we can’t depend upon law enforcement, the laws themselves are worthless. Which is why the firing of Comey and McCabe is such a big deal, why Trump’s denigration of the CIA and other agencies is so important. What we end up with is chaos.

And the only person who can eliminate the chaos is a strongman, we have to put all our faith in this individual, otherwise we’re screwed.

As for the internet, it was supposed to give everybody a voice, out the truth. But what has happened is we’ve ended up with cacophony, with everybody following their own news, and few knowing what is really going on. I woke up this morning and checked all the outlets, they all led with the Parkland protests, the anti-gun marches, the NYT, the LAT, even the WSJ. But not on FoxNews, if you went to their site you had to scroll down to nearly the bottom to see a line about the protests, without even a picture. Later in the day a story appeared further up the page, saying that the estimate of attendees was way off. So if you were relying on Fox for your information…

You didn’t believe what everybody else did.

But it gets worse.

Used to be there were very few news organizations. We trusted them.

But now everybody is a newsperson, and they’re spreading their stories, and there’s a plethora of places to get them. Not only the aforementioned biggies, but Apple News, all the other online outlets, like Facebook.

Will Facebook get a penalty or pay the ultimate price, destruction?

It almost doesn’t matter, because the truth is the Facebook-owned Instagram is bigger than its older brother now anyway. You could wipe Facebook from the face of the earth and Instagram would only grow, enriching the same damn people. They can’t eliminate Facebook anyway, because too many people love to share. To their ultimate detriment.

So right now, the corporations paying the politicians has never been more visible. Can you say THE NRA? Which is a lobbying organization for gun manufacturers? Congresspeople are afraid to go anti-gun, meanwhile, years of right wing diatribes have the same ignorant people voting for a strongman believing if they just have a gun, or maybe twenty, they can protect themselves from government overreach, ain’t that a laugh. The truth is these people are powerless, and as long as the string-pullers keep demonizing immigrants, people of color and gays, they’ll stay in their pocket. Kinda like this trans debate. Is that the biggest issue, trans people going to the bathroom of their choice? I’d say a much bigger issue is finding a public bathroom at all, but that’s been lost in the obfuscation.

The game was always rigged, but now it’s gotten worse. The rich live a completely different lifestyle from the poor. And the so-called middle class, the college-educated, don’t want to see the rich penalized so much as they want to be rich themselves! And if you’re poor, you don’t want your illusions shattered, life is too hard at your minimum wage job to believe this is all there is. Meanwhile, they play the lottery, a tax upon these same players, for a chance to make it. Even though the wealthy, those who institute this gaming, never play, they know the odds are prohibitive, better to hoard your cash. But they were the beneficiaries of the best schools, whereas the rank and file are victimized by a nation that believes taxes are bad, unions are bad, and it all comes down to the teachers, and if we could just privatize all this, everything would work out. Yeah, like the Austin bomber who was home-schooled.

Now way back when they made a movie about an honest politician, “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.” Hell, it wasn’t that long ago there was a movie about unions, “Norma Rae.” But the only senator speaking the truth was Bernie Sanders, who was undermined by the Democratic machine and Reagan fired the air traffic controllers and Scott Walker gets recalled and still wins, after eviscerating union power. Because people sit at home and believe the problem is everyone but themselves, if they were just left alone to live their lives without regulation everything would work.

Like the buildings collapsing in third world countries, like dying from pollution. We need government, we need roads, we need safety, but it’s been demonized to the point it no longer works.

Except for those running it.

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