The World as it is (Chris Hedges) [2013]

world as it isPoliticians are the public face of corporate power. They are corporate employees.

How can you be objective about human pain? […] in the game of American journalism it is forbidden to feel… journalism in the United States has lost [?] its moral core and its influence. […] The longer reporters spent in Washington, the more they looked, sounded and acted like the power brokers they covered.

”the eternal and sacred”

”lost the gift of rhetoric”

In celebrity culture we destroy what we worship. The commercial exploitation of Michael Jackson’s death was orchestrated by the corporate forces that rendered Jackson insane. Jackson, robbed of his childhood and surrounded by vultures that preyed on his fears and weaknesses, was so consumed by self-loathing he carved his African-American face into an ever-changing Caucasian death mask and hid his apparent pedophilia behind a Peter Pan illusion of eternal childhood. He could not disentangle his public and his private self. He became a commodity, a product, one to be sold, used and manipulated. He was infected by the moral nihilism and personal disintegration that are at the core of our corporate culture. And his fantasies of eternal youth, delusions of majesty, and desperate, disfiguring quests for physical transformation were expressions of our own yearning. He was a reflection of us in the extreme. […] Once fame and wealth are achieved, they become their own justification, their own morality. How one gets there is irrelevant… The ethic of Wall Street is the ethic of celebrity.

[WTO and NAFTA] are the apostles of a dead system. They maintain power through fraud and force. Do not expect them to go without a struggle. But they have nothing left to say to us.

The ties most Americans had to rural communities during the Great Depression kept many alive… But in a world where we do not know where our food comes from, or how to produce it, we have become vulnerable.

”The very notion that on any given story all you have to do is report what both sides say and you’ve done a fine job of objective journalism debilitates the press,” the late columnist Molly Ivins once wrote. “There is no such thing as objectivity, and the truth, that slippery little bugger, has the oddest habit of being way to hell off on one side or the other: it seldom nestles neatly halfway between any two opposing points of view.”

slow-motion corporate coup-d’etat; what was before?

[NF, on NC] Were it not for Chomsky I would have long ago succumbed. I was beaten and battered in my professional life. It was only the knowledge that one of the greatest minds in human history has faith in me that compensates for this constant, relentless and vicious battering.

[This Country Needs a Few Good Communists]: Hope in this age of bankrupt capitalism will come with the return of the language of class conflict.

”they do not grasp” ?

Hamas, he constantly reminded me, began to target Israeli civilians in 1994 only after Palestinian worshipers were gunned down in a Hebron mosque by a Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein. Goldstein was a resident of the nearby Kiryat Arba settlement. He entered the mosque dressed in his army uniform, carrying an IMI Galil assault rifle and four magazines of ammunition. He opened fire on those in prayer, killing 29 people and injuring 125. He was rushed and beaten to death by the survivors.

We will keep working and praying, keep protesting and denouncing, keep pushing up against your navy and your army, with nothing but our bodies, until we prove that the force of morality and justice is greater than hate and violence.

And if these words [the poem ‘Revenge’ by Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali] are what it means to be a Muslim, and I believe it does, name me, too, a Muslim, a follower of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

It will be a rare look at the Egypt few are allowed to examine, one that has been beyond the reach of most of the outside world since November 1997 when Islamic militants armed with guns and swords killed 58 tourists and four Egyptians in the temple of Hatshepsut outside Luxor. The six assailants and three police also died in the attack. The terrorist attack was followed by a severe, nationwide crackdown that largely broke the armed Islamic militant cells… It follows a pattern: Severe state repression cripples the movement for about 10 years and militant campaigns then reappear, with each successive incarnation spawning more radical and deadlier tactics. […] One of the extremist groups that grew out of the brotherhood, Islamic Jihad, did succeed in killing President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Sadat’s successor, Hosni Mubarak, immediately declared a national state of emergency…

The fundamental problem in the Middle East is not a degenerate and corrupt Islam. The fundamental problem is a degenerate and corrupt Christendom. We have not brought freedom and democracy and enlightenment to the Muslim world. We have brought the opposite.

accuses Taliban of opium trafficking

This opium feeds some fifteen million addicts worldwide and kills around 100,000 people annually. These fatalities should be added to the rolls of war dead.

The decline of American empire

“We had clean body bags set up so we could sort the flesh,” she said. “Sometimes things come in with nametags. Or sometimes one is Hispanic and you could tell who was Hispanic and who was the white guy. We tried separating flesh. It was ridiculous. We would open a body bag and there was nothing but vaporized flesh. There were not four hands or a whole leg in a bag. We tried to distribute the mush evenly throughout the bags. We were trying to do the best we could sorting it out. We had the last body bag come in. We opened up the body bag and it was filled with the heads. I looked at four before looking away. Not only did we have to look at them, we had to pick them up and figure out who it belonged to. The eyes were looking back at us. We got used to a lot of it. But the heads worked the other way. They affected us more strongly as time passed. We saw on the heads the expressions of fright and horror. It made us wonder what we were doing here.”

The invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq were our response to feelings of vulnerability and collective humiliation after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Fantastiska härledningar: derives suicide bombings from Leninism, vad gjorde att svarta överlevde lynchningar? ”korset” [interviewee]

[”We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction’]All measures to thwart the degradation and destruction of our ecosystem will be useless if we do not cut population growth.

Gaia hypothesis

lost moral/authority – before?

universal trends, rather than events. interviews only peers and ‘prophets’

Annonser

~ av bookplanet på juli 5, 2014.

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