Sunday, December 2, 2012

PSYops

This post, a follow-up to last Thursday's post, is inspired by a comment posted by a delurking commenter (please post more often, Robert!) at the mothership. I will print the relevant comment in full, because it's awesome:


De-lurking, because oh for god’s sake…

I like that this Dennis Prager completely overlooked Asian-Americans in his summing up of groups who have given themselves over to evil. Modern public education? As a Chinese American, I can attest that Asians *love* public education. For us, it’s a major tool for social and economic advancement. And we haven’t failed to notice the fierce and caustic hostility that Republicans have for public education. That’s not all we notice.

We notice the Republicans’ racist assumption that African-Americans are stupid, and their conceit that all it takes to win them over is to serve up a bigger, flashier helping of bullshit.

We notice the patronizing and insulting attitudes that permeates Republican attitudes toward women. Do they really think that women are children, whose concerns about equal pay and equitable access to necessary health care can be waved away like Christmas wishes for rainbows and ponies?

We notice the suspicious and insulting manner by which Republicans treat Hispanics – despite the fact that many Hispanics have family roots in this country that go back for centuries, they assume that anyone with a Hispanic surname is an immigrant, and quite possibly an illegal one at that.

We noticed all that, and guess what? We voted for President Obama by a ratio of over two to one. ‘Cause we see all that, and, at the risk of trading in stereotypes here, we’re supposedly the “smart ones”. Ha ha! Maybe it’s a good thing we Asians have such a low profile – I don’t think I have the stomach to read some wingnut having a fit over some kind of “Fu Man Chu” influence, or some shit like that.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for your attention. Back to lurking.



I've bolded the part of the quote that I'll be riffing on in this post. Of course, the "Fu Man Chu" influence refers to the villain of a series of 1920's pulp "yellow peril" novels in which the eponymous Mandarin Menace attempts to take over the world by using "Fu Music" to enslave the youth of the unsuspecting West. Well, this... uhhhh... fiendish plot, if you will, is eerily similar to the PSY-ops being waged against the youth of America, which aims to drug their minds. Even now, Korean artists are trying to capitalize on the popularity of Gangnam Style to weaken our impressionable American youth by singing songs incomprehensible to most Americans:





I'm going to analyze this song with the same perspicacity as Keith Ablow brought to bear on Gangnam Style:

For Americans, at least, most of the lyrics of Largo al Factotum can't be understood, since they are in a foreign language. Here's a sample: "Tutti mi chiedono, tutti mi vogliono, donne, ragazzi, vecchi, fanciulle." Obviously this song, by a little fat guy from Pisser's Row or some place, is without intelligible words to some extent. It simply conveys you to a distant place, beat-wise, doesn’t try to convince you of anything. It doesn’t try to raise your emotions. It just is sort of like a drug. And that seems to be what most people want right now. Not reality. Not feeling. Not meaning. There’s something wrong with it… It’s the same as getting high, in miniature.

Oh, yeah, now that's some serious PSYchology- I can haz Fox gig nao?

POSTSCRIPT: I'd be remiss if I didn't note that PSY, the character played by Signor Park, is quite a bit like Figaro... both are slightly pompous, though lovable, scamps. Gangnam Style partakes in the spirit of the opera buffa. PSY is to Seoul as Figaro is to Seville- both are self-proclaimed men about town, beloved by all (in his video, PSY even interacts with donne, ragazzi, vecchi, e fanciulle). I think Rossini would "get" him, and wasn't Rossini a hell of a lot more savvy regarding human nature than Bill O'Reilly and Keith Ablow?

POST-POSTSCRIPT: I think O'Reilly is just jealous because his dance single didn't receive as many hits on Youtube (NSFW):

16 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

LOL at that Bill O'Reilly clip.

Will be posting it to MMfA...
~

mikey said...

Well thought out, and, as always, well argued, but honestly, why are we still yelling "The Republican party has completely institutionalized bigotry!"?

It's just a given - and one that has begun to effectively marginalize them as a national political party. Anybody that denies the obvious fact that Republicans are the party of rich old white men and cater to the racial hatreds and tribal resentments of the fascist right wing must certainly have an ideological reason for denying reality.

At some point we need to just move on, and leave them behind...

Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

Robert should de-lurk more often.

Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

It's just a given - and one that has begun to effectively marginalize them as a national political party. Anybody that denies the obvious fact that Republicans are the party of rich old white men and cater to the racial hatreds and tribal resentments of the fascist right wing must certainly have an ideological reason for denying reality.

At some point we need to just move on, and leave them behind...


Can we move this process along, please?

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

LOL at that Bill O'Reilly clip.

Hilarious, innit?

At some point we need to just move on, and leave them behind...

Well, we need to nuke them from orbit, demographically speaking, it's the only way to be sure. I don't want them to have any power post 2014, but they've gerrymandered themselves into their districts so that they'll be harder to dislodge than an inflated chuckwalla. Yep, need to help them disappear.

Robert should de-lurk more often.

Yeah he should!

Can we move this process along, please?

Yes, more of this!

M. Bouffant said...

"How can we miss them if they won't go away?"

Smut Clyde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smut Clyde said...

Obligatory:
'Ugh, ugh, ugh, Rossini, you wretched antique. Why doesn't anybody go to concerts any more? You think it's because of the war? Oh no, I'll tell you why, old man - because the halls are full of people like you! Stuffed full! Half asleep, nodding and smiling, farting through their dentures, hawking and spitting into paper bags, dreaming up ever more ingenious plots against their children - not just their own, but other people's children too! just sitting around, at the concert with all these other snow-topped old rascals, just a nice background murmur of wheezing, belching, intestinal gurgles, scratching, sucking, croaking, an entire opera house crammed full of them right up to standing room, they're doddering in the aisles, hanging off the tops of the highest balconies, and you know what they're all listening to, Säure? eh? They're all listening to Rossini! Sitting there drooling away to some medley of predictable little tunes, leaning forward elbows on knees muttering, "C'mon, c'mon then Rossini, let's get all this pretentious fanfare stuff out of the way, let's get on to the real good tunes!" Behavior as shameless as eating a whole jar of peanut butter at one sitting.'

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

"How can we miss them if they won't go away?"

Yeah, can't they find a suitable gulch?

Obligatory:

It's funny, because that was written after the post-war Jones/Maltese/Stalling driven Rossini resurgance.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I've been idly perusing some of the gerrymandering articles around, and it seems to me they've also painted themselves into a corner on that.

They've created such convoluted districts to protect as many Reps as possible, that they can't protect the ones in the moderate districts anymore. Also, they reverse-gerrymandered Democrats, helping to protect teh more strongly blue districts.

So as the middle-districts change demographics, the Republicans there will either become more moderate, guaranteeing a Tea Party challenge, or a Democrat gets elected.

Either way, the protected districts become more isolated and dwindle.

Like relying on the Chirstopaths and Bigots and Crazies as the base, it gives them no maneuvering room; they can't re-draw anymore districts without weakening the ones they were trying to protect.

As per usual, IANAL, IAAZ, so YMMV.

Smut Clyde said...

mi chiedono, tutti mi vogliono, donne, ragazzi, vecchi, fanciulle

These are all kinds of pasta, right?

El Manquécito said...

Obligatory:

Jeez, next you're gonna tell us that Beethoven just makes you want to invade Poland again.

mikey said...

I fear that Teh Shambling Pundit™ is greatly overly optimistic. If gerrymandering were the core problem, he'd be right, but the problem is actually one of population distribution. Gerrymandering contributes approximately 8% of the Republican institutional advantage in the House of Representatives (Don't bother trying to research that number, it's structured on a great deal of really hard math and such as and is both unrepeatable and irreducible n shit).

But because educated, liberal Americans tend to cluster in large cities and around major universities, any sample with a high level of geographic granularity will result in many more samples encompassing rural and agricultural regions, with their concomitant provincial, fundamentalist, poorly educated and extremely tribal denizens.

The growing republican demographic and ideological disadvantage can only begin to manifest itself when the sample size is large enough to include a more broadly diverse, and therefore representative population.

This is why the Republicans keep losing national elections, struggle in statewide elections outside the South and dominate in districtwide elections even in states as blue as California.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I never said it was the main problem, mikey.

The problem I was getting at is that even in predominantly red districts, the demographic trend is diminishing the Angry White Guy stranglehold; hence, they have reached Peak Gerrymander. Any further attempts to isolate the strongly blue areas will dilute those red areas, putting them into play sooner than they would otherwise.

IMZO, that is why some of those gerrymandered districts have turned out looking like nothing so much as a snake trying to barf up a Slinky. I lonked to an article with illustrations of the craziest examples elsewhere, but can't be arsed to put it up again.

(Don't bother trying to research that number, it's structured on a great deal of really hard math and such as and is both unrepeatable and irreducible n shit).


You've been taking argument lessons from Glenn Greenwald?

If 8% really is the number, I am guessing (using my own Math 'n' Shit calculations), in light of the fact that the Republicans actually EARNED FEWER OVERALL VOTES IN THE HOUSE, it would be enough to flip the chamber. Yes, yes, I know that the House is not elected on overall vote; my only point is that the only reason they are holding on to it is the artificial advantages gerrymandering has given them.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Behavior as shameless as eating a whole jar of peanut butter at one sitting.'

DON'T JUDGE ME.

Aunt Snow said...

It's no wonder Asian Americans are leery of the Republican racism. Although racism is a great American tradition, this country's proud tradition of anti-immigrant bias was first CODIFIED into law in order to specifically keep out Chinese immigrants.

Oh, yeah, we (and I'm speaking as a descendent of Scots-Irish who emigrated here in 1720) tolerated the Irish and Germans back in the 1830s and 1840s, because we figured it would be easy enough to keep 'em down once they got here, but this country finally got comfortable enough with its hatred of The Other to actually write laws excluding certain folks by the 1870s or so. And it was the Chinese they excluded. And when they finally got all the laws they wanted, they could exclude not only Chinese, but other Asian nationalities, too - by law. The fact that the bigots have moved on to hate other ethnicities likely hasn't assuaged the distrust of Asian Americans - and good for them for being wary.