Friday, December 9, 2016

Gonna Have to Re-Post This

It's been almost five years since I put up a post featuring the Dead Milkmen's song Stuart. At the time of the song's release, I thought it was a funny novelty song, a broad farce about a paranoid denizen of rurality, but in this age of fake news that the mainstream media is struggling to cover (where the fuck were they when they could have made a difference?), I have come to see it as one of the greatest political satires ever written, an amazing achievement considering that it is satirizing an age almost three decades in the future. Stuart remains as funny as ever, but there is now a scintilla of horror to the song's humor:

Who'd a thunk that the bullshit peddlers from Pueblo, Colorado would have such a vast audience? Once upon a time, one had to search hard to find the fringe, now it's become 'normalized' (another media buzzword).

Similarly, the comedy Idiocracy has now taken on the status of a horror film, perhaps a documentary:

Fuck, it's that bad... hell, even the days of We Have an Even Bigger Problem Now don't seem so bad.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I find it hard to take the "fake news" meme seriously from the NYT and the WaPo.

I still remember their news stories about Iraq's WMD.

Unknown said...

I've always considered myself sort of a radical that wants to take down barriers.

But although the founders might not have trusted the masses all that much, their idea of setting up a representative democracy - a republic, even - is starting to make sense.

I mean, none of the experts and none of the "right people" would have chosen Trump. They might have chosen Bush, but they wouldn't have chosen Trump.

Yes. My expectations are so low that I am looking fondly on the days when a corporate back room deal would have given us another Bush instead of subjecting us to actual people's misunderstandings of the way the world works.

It's a rough time.

mikey said...

A better example of the ubiquity of 'Fake News' is Fox - The whole idea is to create a specific outcome among people who are inclined to that outcome. By carefully editing videos and using partial transcripts (remember 'you didn't build that?) they can create certain beliefs among a credulous population.

The difference is that today, supported by Facebook and Google, there are websites that can look every bit as credible as the real news outlets. The important thing to understand about the term 'fake news' isn't the implication that the STORIES are fake - although they are to one extent or another - it's that they are presented as NEWS in a way that people are used to seeing (and judging) news.

On another point, I think enough time has passed to stop writing OMG WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE posts and start considering specifics. I don't think it's a given that Obamacare, Medicare and Social Security, for example, are at risk. The political costs are as real as they were when GW Bush tried it. I DO think that there's some real risk to the climate, but the rest of the world can hold the line for four years. Of course, as soon as we get hit with the next mass casualty terror attack, all bets are off and there's a real authoritarian in the White House, but there ARE real limits to what the federal government can do.

But come on - let's start thinking in specifics and considering the limits on Trump's power and authority, and the political contradictions that will be seriously problematic for the Republicans in power...

[I know. Weird that I'm being the optimistic one, but I frankly grow tired of all the vague non-specific doom saying. Time to put our thinking caps back on is all.]