Here I propose a two-part strategy in our rhetorical onslaught of the neocon agenda. I will use Fox News as a fulcrum.
Aspect 1: See the present in historical terms.
Aspect 2: Focus on individuals, not groups.
Fox News is a strange phenomenon. It’s not “state press” in the traditional sense, but it is in a more complex, modern sense. There is a certain inevitability to its existence as a propaganda organ of the neoconservative agenda, which, in itself, is an equally strange yet inevitable phenomenon. It is always difficult to compare contemporaneous forces with the historical record, because we see the present for what it is, while we see history for what it merely appears to be. In other words, the present never looks like the past, because of our inability to see both time frames with the same pair of eyes. The past tends to be amplified in importance, while the present is trivialized as so many daily minutiae. With each history book written, with every document declassified decades or even scores of years after the fact, the past looms larger and larger. So odd it is that the farther away we get from a historical time frame, the bigger it appears. And how poignant it is that the more recent a thing is, the less important it seems. Is it possible we fundamentally fail to “see” what is happening before our very eyes? I would say the answer is yes. Some call it myopia.
Therefore, it might be worthwhile to posit that our ongoing critique of Fox News is worth even greater force on our part. I think we should be taking some kind of quantum leap of perception into the present. Our psyches seems to exist in the past, while our criticisms tend to exist solely in the present. We need to marry those two elements. We need to dig deep into the recesses of our social underpinnings, dig out whatever feelings we harbor towards Nazi Germany, the Roman Empire, the Egyptian Pharaohs, and apply that same “historical” feeling to the present.
Therefore, it would perhaps be a wise gambit to begin to refer to Fox News in the same way the historians of the future will. We should amplify our alarmism. We should denounce Fox News as a Joseph Goebbels-type institution. We should not fear to extend our denunciation to PNAC, to every news outlet that insists on embracing the myopic justificationism of our present atrocities. We mustn’t shrink from explaining, to anyone who is able to listen, that, while the employees of Fox News may or may not know what they are doing to humanity, they nonetheless are 100% complicit in our likely premature demise.
Certainly we could opt instead to take the road of explaining it all as “sociological forces”. That would make sense on a cognitive level. But what then, is the agent of change? What remains?
The answer is accountability. Too many people feel their innocence, while in fact they are guilty. Too many people know they are right, when in fact they are wrong. The thing that allows them to do this is the blending of the individual into the mass. It is the merging of the human sole into the corporation, the governing body, the organization, the movement. It is the surrender of the individual to the group.
We must reclaim our own individuality, and never shirk pointing out individuals who may be guilty. We must not let them hide behind the cloaks of their parent body. We must see the trees for the forest. That is where you get people. You shine a light on one person at a time. You embarrass them. You make a sacrificial lamb out of them.
Therefore, I propose that we spend less time blaming Fox News, the Bush Administration, the Republicans, General Electric, the terrorists, the conspiracy theorists, the Neocons, the New World Order, the masses, the organizations, the sociological forces. There is no accountability in groups.
Instead, we should blame each and every person on the Fox News programming board, each and every person in the Bush Administration, and so on down the line. We have to take a “sniping” approach. We have to pick off their reputations, one individual at a time.
Only then will we transcend the present, so that we can heal it.
I hope I’ve spoken clearly here.