Saturday, December 01, 2007

Alex Jones Interviews Naomi Wolf, Blows Her Mind

On Thursday I posted a bunch of links to interviews, lectures and articles by author Naomi Wolf, whose book End of America I've been writing and talking about a lot. Last night I came across an interview Wolf gave on Thursday to radio talk host Alex Jones. Neither of them had to convince the other of anything, and it was amazing to hear them sharing information the other didn't know. There was mutual admiration and respect and Wolf will give Jones a longer interview in the near future.

Meanwhile, the historical echoes and direct connections between the Bush family and the Nazis grow ever more concrete as Jones talks about visiting the National Archive, the official treasure trove of our nation's forgotten memories. If you didn't click on any of the links I provided the other day, listen to this interview. And if you did click any of them the other day, still listen to this interview.

This Jones/Wolf interview came to my attention via this thread at Democratic Underground. Commenter tom_paine responded, seemingly in frustration, that "99% of the American People see nothing" even as this info becomes increasingly abundant and clear. It was obvious to me he was exaggerating, prompting my reply:

There are way more of us who are awake than we give ourselves credit for. It is not really a quantifiable figure. We each have a sense of it, and I suspect that for most of us it can even vary over time, influenced by circumstances. So for example, someone feeling cut off from like-minded people wanting change, or someone who is burned out from activism that hasn't produced change, or someone who goes to a new community and experiences an intense disconnect with people; any of these situations could understandably tilt a person a little towards the pessimistic side.

On the other hand, today Peter B. Collins did his syndicated talk radio show live in my town (.mp3 archive). I work with a group called the Voter Confidence Committee and we had a table in the lobby of the theater. Two of us were guests on the show for the whole final hour. Afterwards, I drove to the community center in the next town and the Peace and Justice Center was having its annual holiday dinner. It was held for the first time this year in an enormous gymnasium, having outgrown the venue of the past several years. I'm buzzing so hard from the good vibes of today. That might tilt me a little towards the optimistic, but I won't claim there is 99% of us who are awake and ready for the revolution.

For whatever it is worth, I think we have passed the turning point and the numbers are on our side. Our challenge, all of us in this country, is to learn to be better community organizers. Think global, act local. This is how we build the peaceful revolution.
* * *
A few other postscripts from yesterday's events, starting with humblest apologies to Jimmy Durchslag, who I didn't immediately recognize when I saw him in the Eureka Theater lobby. Jimmy co-founded KMUD and participated in the media round table discussion I organized following Peter B. Collins' live Humboldt broadcast last year. Most notably, Jimmy subsequently met me for coffee to discuss the Project-Based Format.

At the Redwood Peace and Justice Center dinner later in the evening, I also at long last met Marcy Burstiner, an assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at Humboldt State University who also writes the Media Maven column for the North Coast Journal. Her column began last year on my suggestion that local election coverage be compared across various local media, as viewed through the dozens of articles assembled in my scrapbook. She never talked to me prior to writing her first column and for reasons that no longer matter I never contacted her about the issues I had with that column.

Much later, and actually quite recently, I did begin to correspond with her by e-mail and felt frustrated that she declined or refused to make the connection between election conditions that inherently guarantee uncertain results and the irresponsibility (corrupt complicity, really) of media that print such outcomes as if they are fact. When we were introduced last night, the first thing she said to me was that she liked my OpEd in Thursday's Eureka Reporter. Tom Pinto had introduced us and the three of us talked for several minutes after that. I wasn't totally surprised when Marcy said she believes our elections are a "sham." But I also didn't get the opportunity I was looking for to ask her to reconcile this with the dilemma above. A little more ruthless honesty is in order here.

One really interesting thing that Marcy brought up last night was her expectation that something major was about to happen with the Eureka Reporter this Sunday, tomorrow. Each of us agreed there had recently been some unsettling signs for the paper, including eliminating distribution to some outlying areas, changing the paper used for printing, and the addition of a new editorial page editor named Peter Hannaford.

I shared something then that I haven't blogged before. I told Tom and Marcy that when Stephanie West from the Reporter called me to confirm I wrote the OpEd that ran on Thursday, she said that the decision to print it was now up to Peter Hannaford. I asked if he was the one responsible for the sharp change in tone in the paper's recent editorials. Yes, said Stephanie. I then said that I was compelled to offer her the feedback that his writing is juvenile and lowers the level of discourse this community is accustomed to as a result of having so many print publications. Here are three (one, two, three) examples.

Something about that third example really stuck in my head. I was astounded at the absurdity of referring to the "MoveOn.org-Code Pink wing of the Democratic Party." I am not a member of either group, having abandoned MoveOn long ago when it was obviously not effective at creating the real change I seek. If you ask any member of either group whether they feel they are having an influence on the Democrats, I am certain a vast majority will express frustration that the answer is clearly no. This frustration is certainly the prevailing attitude across the country, not just in these two groups. There is no evidence to indicate the Democrats have become beholden to these two groups in any way, especially given the repeated commitment to funding war profiteering, big pharma, etc. So in essence, there is no such thing as the "MoveOn.org-Code Ping wing of the Democratic party", just as there is no such thing as Islamofascism.

So what is this all about? I've been over it a few times. Harken back to this GuvWurld blog post, We Are Being Set Up: The Manchurian Nation (which also landed in my book, We Do Not Consent (free .pdf)). This talks about how Homeland Security and media propaganda combine to brand protest as treason, and dissenters as terrorists. In End of America, Wolf lists this as step nine of ten taken by all dictatorial regimes closing down open societies. How transparent and obvious has this become in America today? This YouTube video of CNN footage from Wednesday night features talking head Campbell Brown referring to MoveOn.org as "American insurgents."

* * *

I mentioned on Thursday that I am currently reading Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. This YouTube video is author Naomi Klein interviewed by Keith Olbermann on Thursday night. Her thesis:
"So there's three kinds of shocks in the Shock Doctrine. The shock of a crisis, then an economic shock therapy program, and then, if people don't behave, a third shock, which is the shock of torture."
Like Wolf, Klein talks about understanding oft-repeated patterns, showing multiple examples of this three shock sequence. Both women believe these patterns are predictive. I say they are right, but the things being "predicted" are as much in the present as in the future.

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