We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Posts that I especially recommend for Thursday, May 13, 2021

... when it comes to Western power, I think something more fundamental is taking place than normal biases and differences of opinion. Indeed, it is standard – even when it comes to the most vicious applications of British and American foreign policy – that Western mainstream media simply ghosts pivotal critical content that is staring it right in the face.
(Note: You will need to know what "ghosts" (def. #3) mean as used as a transitive verb.) My reaction: Alford doesn't elaborate on his implication of "something more fundamental is taking place than normal biases and differences of opinion". Let me explain what the "something" is: it's blatant censorship.
From the beginning of the twentieth century until 1929, purveyors of record players, radios, sheet music, and musical instruments had made large fortunes and proved useful in forging a culture with which people in the United States could identify. In many ways, the music industry was a nation-building force, which the country’s rulers needed to legitimize and propagate their claims. Now, after almost total collapse during the depression, the industry reestablished itself with new instruments, new sounds, and, above all, a new public attuned to bright lights and the big city.
In this context, the revival of folk music—that is, music derived from rural southern sources, unamplified, and, to a large extent, comprised of old songs of anonymous origin—was more than just another fad. Folk music encapsulated longings for an idyllic past, for a time before crass commercialism turned music into a commodity, and for relationships between musicians and audiences that were egalitarian and holistic. Folk music continues to have an appeal for these reasons today. 
My reaction: This post provides a real history of a cultural movement that was a threat to the ruling class which decided to launch an empire combining their military dominance with what was left of the British Empire. They smeared this folk music movement as Russian-Communist inspired. These folk musicians were hounded and persecuted by the FBI in an effort to destroy it. This cultural phenomenon flourished in the post-WWII years when the fascist coup began with the use of the atomic bomb in Japan and continued with the McCarthy attacks on anyone who dared to voice opinions different from what the ruling class coup-leaders allowed. But they could not destroy it until the conclusion of the Vietnam War when this folk music movement and their influence also ended. After that, youth devoted themselves to "turning-on and dropping-out" to the Beetles tunes and rock-and-roll music. Now we see the same ruling class, which owns nearly everything and able to censor at will, able to pull-off successfully 9/11, the Iraq invasion, and the current pandemic with its lockdowns, shutting small businesses, and vaccines which hugely profits the pharmaceutical corporations with the latter immune from prosecution when their vaccines harm people. (I added to this reaction at 8:38 PM CT.)