Saturday, April 15, 2017

An Alternative to Being Angry at the News

It happens so often: you see a couple options on some issue, and you're not happy with either of them. So, where is the third choice?

With all the depressing news these days, the two obvious choices are:

1. Sit in front of the television, and passively allow yourself to be brainwashed by the spin and lies from the corporate media and the American War regime.

2. Read the alternative media, and try to maintain the integrity of your own mind, as you spew anger out your ears or stew in sourness. It becomes exhausting after awhile.

As an alternative, I have praised reading history as a way of escape.

The other day I accidentally hit on another alternative. I happened to listen to Richard Rodgers's musical theme for the 'Good War' myth-making classic, "Victory at Sea." In fairness, this documentary wasn't nearly as narrow and jingoistic as you would expect.

The music sounds so noble and uplifting. It had just the right balance of optimism and gravitas. It was a musical expression of the great foundational/creation myth of the War Regime in Washington.

Like any memorable movie score, it combines synergistically with the visual images. The subject matter of "Victory at Sea" was drastically better at myth-making than a realistic depiction of infantry war would have been.

In "Victory at Sea" you see the most powerful weapons of the Age, blasting away at each other. You don't see any human bodies that got in the way of those 16" shells.
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I don't know why, but it soothes me to wash my hands of the daily ephemera in the News, and run off to something timeless and classic. A calm detachment. As if lies aren't bad enough, there is something degrading about a human being's 'soul' being caught up in daily trivia.

11 comments:

  1. Right. Whatever alternative one finds sure beats getting bent out of shape. Bottom Line.....it's all out of any individual's control. There isn't a blessed thing you can do about it. Or that Anonymous can do about it other than raise his blood pressure and look like a fool.

    I can see you're a fan of #2 both by your links and the books you read and I'm sure it's interesting to get away from the mainstream which is ultimately run by the money machine. But even the alternatives are just speculation....playing the "what if" game.

    My way of dealing with all this is to always ask myself what is in my control and what isn't and the only thing in my control, ultimately, is my own mind.

    George

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    1. George, one of these days I am going to have Bertrand Russell and John Stuart Mill take you to task for this radical inward-looking psychologizing you've been selling lately. (grin)

      Let's give Anonymous the benefit of the doubt. He reads a blog that he disagrees with and takes the trouble to comment, so he might see himself as more fair-minded than me.

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    2. Works for me but can you point me to something specific in regard to Russell and Mill...I'm open.
      Anonymous is entitled to see himself as more fair-minded if that is his wish. It's not what he said but how he said it. Actually I've always thought of such people as their own worst enemy because with ranting like that he doesn't present any clear logic as worthy counter points to the discussion.

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  2. Good plan. A very good plan indeed!!! I especially agree with your last paragraph. When you say "16 inch shells", is that the diameter of the shells? Sure would be a terrible thing to see coming in!!
    Have a great day and a wonderful Easter.

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    1. I had to look it up. This would have been the 16"/50 guns on the Iowa Class battleships. They fired projectiles weighing from 1,900 to 2,700 pounds at a maximum speed of 2,690 feet per second with a range of up to 24 miles. That xx/50 in Navy 'talk' is caliber which is barrel length - 50X the barrel diameter or 66'8" from breech to muzzle.

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    2. WOW!! Quite a cannon indeed. Thank you for the info. Very interesting.

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    3. One of the icons of the Good War Myth is the famous photograph in Life magazine of the returning sailor kissing the Red Cross nurse, who was leaning back into an almost supine position.

      Well, why not? The boys were world-conquering heroes, returning to America. As a boy or young man, I used to hear men of the World War II generation talking about how eager those 'Red Cross girls' were to jump their bones. The anecdotes were usually told with a snigger. But there must have been some truth to these stories, when you look at the explosive growth of post-war suburb and the sheer size of the Baby Boom generation.

      But Ed's comment on the projectile and the length of the ship's barrels combines with that famous Life magazine photograph in a more explicit way.

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  3. I wish I had a count of dead bodies seen in "VAS," starting with those floating in the surf in the very first episode. Perhaps as combat-gruesome as any is Episode 18, with Angaur/Peleliu action. Episode 26, as well, makes sure we see those who suffered at Hiroshima and in the German concentration camps (not sure which one).

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    1. "Henry Salomon", eh? OK I'll play along and pretend you are the son or grandson of the writer of Victory at Sea. It has been a few years since I watched the whole series on DVD that I bought. It was truly a classic documentary. They treated the Dead on both sides with dignity. Several times, I thought, "This isn't what I thought it would be. This is no John Wayne movie!"

      So I wasn't criticizing the documentary. I was tieing in recent actions by the president, 'Let's drop the big one!', with 70 years of Good War American Triumphalism.

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  4. I have simply stopped watching the news from any source.
    I find Trump too disgusting.

    I just repeat my mantra, " this too shall pass. This too shall pass"

    Ed

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  5. Good advice, Kb. Alternative news instead of alternative facts. IMO the "daily ephemera in the News" has degraded into "daily effluvia in the News".

    Chris

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Comments are appreciated. Feel free to disagree as much as you want with any idea in the post or other comments, but resist the ad hominem approach. Please don't be discouraged if I don't respond to every one of them.