Fortress Of Fear
-H. L. Mencken
Prepare yourselves for the next big thing with the authoritarian right-wingers and the faux Democrats who serve as guardians of the oligarchy for it is coming and coming soon. The wonderful folks over at the RAND Corporation have just rolled out a comprehensive study on terrorism and shopping malls. How fortuitous that a massively publicized Utah mall shooting happened to occur the very week of the report and a blueprint for the transformation of America’s malls into the latest bastion of the creeping fascist police state had already been prepared. Kind of brings back all of those fuzzy memories of the USA PATRIOT Act doesn’t it?
Just when the ghoulish milking of the rapidly cooling gobdobblers of that prematurely deceased sow Anna Nicole Smith had slowed down a bit from the 24/7 circus maximus coverage that drowned out the spiraling Iraqi carnage, rumors war with Iran, the Scooter Libby trial, the sudden case of puppy love that Republican Senators (and that slimy little prick Joe Lieberman) had acquired for the filibuster and the ongoing needless sacrifice of more young Americans we had a winner as America’s next big thing. And even better yet, a story that would have the cowardly lemmings shitting in their pants. The premature demise of the American Goddess of the gauche only served as a warning as to the potential dangers of a bad diet, a neurotic personality, promiscuity, drug abuse and the consequences of a relentless quest to suck the poisoned cock of celebrity (to paraphrase crime writer James Ellroy) but a story that had the potential to once again put the awesome might of the Republican fear machine back online.
Not only did the Salt Lake City shopping mall shootings dominate the media coverage for several days, courtesy the flock of well-placed mockingbirds but the shooter was a Muslim to boot! Talk about the fear pimps hitting the fucking jackpot! If the hysterical overreaction to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force lite-brite style finger flipping boxes that practically closed down the entire fucking city of Boston a few weeks back made a mockery of the quivering leg-pissing culture of anger and anxiety that is so prevalent post 9/11 wasteland of Amerika then the Trolley Square Mall killing spree has propagandists in Der Heimat nearly pissing their own pants in sheer delight. The war on terror can once again be exploited because there are Muslims running wild and the may be coming soon to a mall near you! Be afraid…be very afraid!
The right-wing side of the blogosphere is aflame with anti-Muslim sentiment to begin with and the fact that the killer, a troubled 18 year old Bosnian refugee fits nicely into the Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Michelle Maladong and the rest of the reactionary fascist scum’s convenient catch all profile for ‘terrorists’ and is only going to contribute further to the irrational persecution of all Muslims by the roving army of ignorant shitheads that are an indigenous species in this tragically fucked up country. Muslims have been systematically demonized and viewed with wariness and suspicion as potential sleeper cell members ever since the twin towers went down and the electronic media thugs jump onto every opportunity to incite the pathologically xenophobic knuckle draggers who can’t be fucking bothered to educate themselves in the culture of others in any other manner than turning on FOX or Rush Limbaugh. These bastards won’t be satisfied until they are able to incite mass pogroms and there is blood running in the streets, much like their ideological cousins: Hitler’s brownshirts.
Decades of Hollywood propaganda have successfully imbedded the image of the Arab male as a swarthy, foaming at the mouth, sneaky, America hating savage and therefore the image is all too easily conjured forth whenever the government decides that it becomes necessary to use as a tool for manufacturing consent. The recent rolling out of the insipid slogan of Islamofascism serves to perfectly illustrates this strategy. I came across an extremely interesting little book awhile back called American Terminator which examines the affects of movies in shaping and reinforcing the basis for a mythical American exceptionalism and its desire for empire. The following passage is from that book which I strongly recommend to everybody with an interest in just how celluloid serves as a delivery device that is very useful in the indoctrination process.
Fear is essential: ‘Be afraid, be very afraid’ is the American condition. To live in America is to be beset by fear, anxiety and insecurity, to be surrounded by potential harm, enemies and evil intent. And the wolf is always at the door. A nation of optimists is the more usual self-representation of America. Repetitively, Hollywood films conclude with a resolution, a rescue, and the winners ride off into the sunset or snuggle into a warm embrace that reassures us they will live happily ever after. The formulaic ending, however, is necessary because the plot, the narrative, is founded on and propelled by fear and anxiety, the dark essential underpinning of the American condition. For America fear is an original, natural condition, the inescapable birth rite (and birth right), the inherited condition of a fragile existence that must constantly be defended. Without fear there is no America; constant recourse to fear is the motivating force that determines its actions and reactions.
The ruthlessly authoritarian Republican party has a history of using imagery and insinuation to spread the necessary fear that allows them to hold power. Blacks, gays, liberals, strong and successful women and hippies have all served as important segments of society that the GOP can scapegoat but there is nothing like the constant free-floating dread that a mysterious foreign enemy can evoke and when the Soviet Union disintegrated so did the Republican ability to exploit fear and loathing on a grand scale. That was until 9/11 and the fear of terrorism became their ultimate talisman.I would strongly recommend that any who have not had an opportunity to see Adam Curtis’ outstanding 3 part BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares to do so. It is a stunningly powerful piece that dares to pull back the curtain on the great bogus War on Terror and to call into question its very legitimacy. It will never be shown in this country as long as the neocon elitists need their bogeyman to justify their wars and their elimination of civil liberties but it is available on the internet for download at Internet Archive among other sites.
Then there is the latest Al-Qaida video. Is it just me or has anybody else noticed the different spellings of this most terrifying of all terrorist organizations in the mainstream media: Al-Qaida, Al Qaeda etc….just what the fuck is it or are these all different organizations altogether and we have been jerked around by a ruthlessly efficient propaganda machine for all these years? I can’t believe that such an on-message coordinated media machine would be so incompetent as to consistently botch the spelling unless it is deliberate. And take note that the word “Holocaust” has been inserted into this latest injection of mass propaganda for it’s sheer emotional value as well as a conflation with the comments of George W. Bush’s ideological soulmate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
This word has been popping up with increasing frequency as of late with the doomsday clock ticking towards our rendevous with infamy and a nuclear attack on Iran.Never has the fear been so pervasive than it is today and never has an American political party been so cynical, amoral and coldly manipulative in playing to the most base of instincts to retain their iron fisted authoritarianism as the neocon Bush administration. Our airports have already been transformed into fortresses of fear and checkpoints, bag searches, racial profiling, metal detectors, dogs and heavily armed security goon squads are coming very soon to a mall near you. Fear is their ace in the hole and as Herr Goering himself once so succinctly put it “It works the same in any country”.