American Amnesia: What’s Missing From Our Collective Memory?
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by Jason Hirthler
The overhyped but underrated 2006 Christopher Nolan film Inception developed the idea of deliberately seeding ideas in the minds of powerful people in an effort to anticipate, control, and profit by their subsequent behavior. Compelling concept, and applicable to–or drawn from–modern propaganda, which I wrote about earlier this year. Yet there was something missing from the story. Only after watching Amazon’s new series Homecoming did I realize what it was. Starring a vacillating, troubled Julia Roberts, and with an especially loathsome turn by Bobby Cannavale, Homecoming picks up on modern theme of perception management like Inception did. But rather than focus on implanting ideas in an unguarded mind, Sam Esmail’s new series explores the behavioral impact of erasing them.
“Homecoming” is a transition program sold by Robert’s Heidi Bergman as a kind of secluded Brigadoon, a “safe space” where returning soldiers can prepare to reintegrate into society after harrowing experiences on the sand-swept war zones of MENA. The action of the series takes place in this former milieu, a converted office park deep in sandy outback of central Florida. It is fascinating to watch the clinical ‘adjustments’ being made to men’s shell-shocked minds as they ‘recuperate’ in the serene confines of a domestic nowhereland. The quiet psychological action of the story forms a knife-edged contrast with the deafening battlefield histories of the soldiers.
Sound has much to do with the appeal of the series. The aural scenery is exquisitely done: there’s the breezy calm of Floridian suburbs, the whistling of wind through trees in the deep anonymous weald, the chirping of small birds and low growls of stray pelicans. There are the curious accents of auto culture: the low-pitched rumble of an engine ignition; the thwack of car doors; the wind buffeting an accelerating vehicle. Even the dusty noiseless rays of sunlight that come like planks of gold through the window of Bergman’s office, a soldier’s sanctuary of nonjudgmental talk therapy.
Obama was just last week handed the RFK Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award. The organization tweeted an image of the former president in a popular pose: impeccably dressed in an expensive suit of muted blue, his face is a portrait of composure and gentle optimism, as he gazes up at some unnameable dream in the far distance. It is the use of hope as a method of suppression. The ultimate objective of Obama’s infectious optimism is the shuttering of dissent. The public shaming of critics with the magic wand of can-do American optimism. His legacy has spawned a fresh litter of sunny ‘progressives’, often attractive POC with lilting phrases and ‘feel your pain’ gestures. Harris. Booker. Ocasio-Cortez. Allred. Torres-Small. Stevens. Fletcher. Escobar. And O’Rourke. They quickly take their upbeat campaign progressivism in a business-friendly direction. Of course, they do: that’s where the money is. The wages of runaway bribery are a generation of glib sophists, seductive in tone, fatal in policy.
"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" - Aristotle "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK #SurviveAndRevolt
December 28, 2018 at 2:07 PM #5851bazukhovParticipant
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Money is the mother’s milk of politics. Especially, presidential politics. It’s a Catch-22. You have to get it to run a campaign. In order to get you gotta go to where the money is. If you don’t, you don’t win.
The other Catch-22 is that politicians are the only ones who can change it and they aren’t about to.
Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites
December 28, 2018 at 3:16 PM #5874a little weirdParticipant
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He puts Ocasio-Cortez in the same list with Booker and Harris? That’s interesting. Some of the other names on the list I don’t know much about but I don’t think he does either since they are political newcomers. They don’t have a record on which to be judged yet.
December 28, 2018 at 5:01 PM #5907peacecorpsParticipant
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to give up.
The Big Lie: "Make the lie big, Make it simple, Keep saying it, And eventually they will believe it." AH.
"Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect." JG
National issues (slavery/racism, income inequality, pandemics and pathetic health care, weak unions) are not solved with more states' rights. Global problems (climate change, migration, trade, war, pandemics) are not solved with more nationalism.
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