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The Theater of Politics

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posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 06:31 PM
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The cliché that “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people” reminds us of an ancient illusion. Though it is true the politicians are, on the whole, unsightly, this is not the relevant point of this specific phrase. The idea that they are all actors, and we their intended audience, sends the mind in a more troubling direction. Are we being deceived? or is the charade exactly what we want in the end?

With the platitudinous sophistry, the grandiose speeches and the penchant for propaganda, the element of spectacle in politics is blindingly obvious. But when the flaws and cracks in the public relations machine begin to leak, and the top politician himself treats the usual puppetry with utter disregard, there is little rejoice in it among the current orthodoxy save for protest, ridicule, and moral outrage. To abuse another cliché: the emperor has no clothes, but many would prefer he put them back on.

The loudest voices and those with most to lose have found refuge in a conservative position regarding the defence of the entire political spectacle, government opacity, and their favourite form of political play-acting. But when conservative positions of the superstitious sort grind against reality for too long, they risk becoming puritanical and reactionary. In a brief analysis, these reactionaries are now acting out the political version of Footloose on the world stage.

But suppose we accept the impression we are given by the media, the political class, and the parrots who can find nothing better to do than to mimic their ideological handlers. Supposedly the world is in such dangerous times that the doomsday clock is at the closest it has ever been to midnight since the height of the cold war, when the US and Russia were engaged in a dangerous nuclear arms race and were destroying entire islands with ever increasing power. The clock isn’t close to midnight because of any disaster, cold war, terrorism, mass diaspora, or impending doom at the hand of some new super weapon, but in part because of “rising nationalism”, and worse, the comments of a certain candidate in a certain election. Forgetting for a moment the suppression of counter evidence, and the quote-mining of a political campaign, can rhetoric push the world closer to total destruction more so than the Vietnam war, global terrorism or the invasion of Afghanistan by Russia? Reality reveals no such danger outside of the turgid dreams of those who rarely leave the lab, or in most cases, social media, so all we can do is look to the language, because that’s where this nonsense is being smuggled through the intellectual customs.

When a silly and fatuous word enters the political discourse and flourishes among it, a sophistical pattern emerges. The word’s frequency, and how it is picked up and used almost mindlessly, almost instinctually by others, can hint at the rise and fall of an ongoing narrative, and the strained language required to enforce it.

For instance, recall those who used the nonsensical word “unpresidential” to describe a certain candidate as if they were making a point about something outside of their feelings. They have become (or have always been) so inured to the scripted, over-refined, robotic, and Ivy-league deliveries of our plastic politicians—most of whom were the mouthpieces of one of the world’s largest public relations firms—that someone of the exact opposite is completely unacceptable to their orthodoxy: a heretic. However, despite their cries and their burning of effigies, they soon realized their definition of "unpresidential" was outdated. The president is presidential by definition.

Such solipsism reveals only prejudice, never fact. Throw on top of that the notion that a leader must behave according to some archetypical standard as determined by the very people the standard was always meant to placate, helps to illustrate the state of benumbed thraldom many wish to return to. When taking this obsequious line of thinking to its logical conclusions, anyone can become leader, so long as he or she has the acting abilities to play the part.

Our lesson is, never mind the results or the finished product, for such things can only be determined after the fact, never before. How one looks while doing it, and the subsequent feelings of those who see it, is of the utmost importance in a “pre-truth” world.



This is all “optics”, which is another word that has risen to common usage among the political and media classes as of late. You can hear a ring of this piffle when someone proclaims, without evidence, how the world must think about you and your country because of whom you elected. The word “optics” has nothing to do with the study of light, of course, but in the context of politics, and used as it is by journalists and pundits, “optics” describes how things look according to the hostile media and their parrots, who have appointed themselves interpreters of it.

Thus, when the Washington Post or the New York Times dedicate entire articles to the president’s body language, disapproving of how he looks, acts, and behaves more than the content of his diplomacy, we can be sure which type of narrative is going to draw the ire from the ravenous orthodoxy, thereby reinforcing the very same public opinion they have spilled countless ink in order to shape.

That’s why it is not about the climate or the economy when it comes to pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, it is about “credibility”, “persuasiveness” and “dog-whistles”. It is neither evil nor reckless to pull out of an international climate agreement—such a conclusion would require listening to the arguments and comparing them to the results—yet still, ”most of the country and the world see this for the disaster it is”, just as well as they can see how the climate looks in the future.

This disaster the world sees, of course, always lies in some distant future, in some febrile recess of their whim and fancy, but has yet to manifest outside of the polluted minds that imagined them in the first place.

“There is a lot of smoke” as they say. Consequently, there are a lot of mirrors. What they always wanted was a lullaby and someone to sing it to them. They want a security blanket, and a political class who tucks them in at night. They want a bedtime story, without all the trouble of reading it themselves. They want the theater of politics.

Thank you for reading,

- LesMis




posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 06:54 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope



When a silly and fatuous word enters the political discourse and flourishes among it


You mean like "SJW" or "snowflake" or "safe space" or "triggered", etc.?



The president is presidential by definition.


Was Obama presidential in your opinion because I've heard a lot of conservatives call him "unpresidential" over the past 8 years.

You seem to be heavily criticizing the left but kinda giving the right a pass with their "fatuous" words and catchphrases. Funny thing is, you using the cliché of those who criticize Trump as needing to be "tucked in at night" goes to show that even you use the buzzwords and catchphrases you are criticizing.

And as far as "political theater" goes, Trump is right smack dab in the middle of the current political theater. He could even be considered the center-piece of the media's divisive rhetoric that was pointed out in the video. He's the catalyst for their divide and conquer agenda, it's working flawlessly as usual for them.

Trump knows what he's doing and he's being the lightning rod if controversy he was meant to be. He took a step up from television shows to real life theaters and is playing his role well.
edit on 6/2/2017 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 07:11 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1

He went neither right nor left, but simply said it like it is. The filter of right or left is entirely yours.



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 07:13 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I believe that any thinking person understands that politicians are actors. While I could list a multitude of reasons why, I would prefer to make this single point. These actors and actresses can say the things they do (and often defend people and actions that I find to be indefensible) because "THEY" will never, EVER have to deal with the repercussions. It's easy to say something along the lines of, "ALL people in the country illegally are here ONLY to work. There are NO negative outcomes to having open borders." They can say things that they know are lies because they do not live in neighborhoods where they will have to worry about crime. Their children are insulated from schools that get overrun. Their children are safe to walk the streets unlike in parts of Eastern Long Island where MS13 gang bangers have been having a field day.

People also need to realize that regardless of the theatrics and verbal barbs thrown at eachother, "THEY" are all friends. They all receive shady money (often from the same shady characters). They all live in the ultimate safety net that comes with being an elected official. They all know that they are, by default, set for life (even though their greed is limitless so they continue to plot and scheme at the lowly citizens' expense).



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 07:18 PM
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a reply to: FissionSurplus

You must not have read the entire OP then because he takes plenty of jabs at the left (especially at the end) while only casually mentioning the right.

This is a partisan piece and plays on the biases of the right in my opinion.



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1

I didn't mention the left. I even quoted the "Right Turn", the opinion piece of a self-proclaimed conservative, to make my case. In other words, you're wrong.



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 08:16 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

So who were you talking about needing to be "tucked into bed" near the end? We all know who uses these sorts of fatuous catchphrases and buzzwords and we know whom they are directed at.

Are you so critical of conservative buzzwords like "SJW", "triggered", "safe space", etc.? You even used some in your OP about "being tucked in" and "bedtime stories".

You can't even rise above your own criticisms it seems.
edit on 6/2/2017 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 08:19 PM
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originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

So who were you talking about needing to be "tucked into bed" near the end? We all know who uses these sorts of fatuous catchphrases and buzzwords and we know whom they are directed at.


Like I said, a "pre-truth" world. You assume the answer long before it is apparent. It is aimed at folks who operate in the same fashion you operate in, whether right or left.



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Assume? Your stances politically are made clear in every political thread you post in. There are no assumptions, you have made your views quite clear elsewhere.

So it's aimed at people who challenge your narrative? Awfully convenient for you.
edit on 6/2/2017 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 08:30 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope



can rhetoric push the world closer to total destruction -


Manifest Destiny.


Great thread Les, always dropping gem's for the blind in such an eloquent way.




My only fear is some will struggle to keep up with you and lose sight of the gems completely.



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 10:28 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I think you are over analyzing the politicians. I think the audience is a bigger part of the problem. The way you become a leader is you find a parade and step in front of it. Everything in politics is about emotion. The words they use are kind irrelevant.

You need to think about the audience. The audience wants to be angry. The audience wants a scapegoat. The last thing the audience wants is to think about big words like the ones you used in your OP. The audience want's to hear a hook and think, "those god damn effing liberals". Rage is how the media companies make money. Either they want to make you mad or they want to focus your anger.



The propaganda machine plays the American people like a fiddle.

Rage = Ratings = Money



posted on Jun, 2 2017 @ 10:37 PM
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This is probably the best piece of the month, and the crickets.

I feel ya man, I feel ya!!

Flagged right after you posted earlier.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 12:17 AM
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originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Assume? Your stances politically are made clear in every political thread you post in. There are no assumptions, you have made your views quite clear elsewhere.

So it's aimed at people who challenge your narrative? Awfully convenient for you.


And? Attack my views and I'll defend them. They might be too verbose, but I think I make them clear enough. If labelling helps furnish you thinking, go ahead.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 12:19 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

That's the conclusion I was hoping someone would come to.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 12:23 AM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
a reply to: LesMisanthrope



can rhetoric push the world closer to total destruction -


My only fear is some will struggle to keep up with you and lose sight of the gems completely.




That's a good criticism. I would edit if I had the time.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 04:53 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

It wasn't really criticism. Personally I like you're style and don't think you should change anything. Like IIB said, it's probably one of the best pieces we've had in a while, for sure.

Just saying there are definitely people, especially the intended, that are too ill-equipped mentally to fully appreciate your work.


Keep up the good work though, I always look forward to your threads.




posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

The fact that some of the regulars are in here praising your thread, calling it "one of the best in a while" shows who it is aimed at.

That combined with the views you espouse on these boards regularly makes this a partisan piece, unless "tucking people into bed with a bedtime story" has somehow changed into something other than a partisan jab at one side of the the political spectrum?

Don't get me wrong, you're allowed to pander all you want, but don't try to make it out as anything other than what it is.
edit on 6/3/2017 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1

It is "aimed" at truth.

But these days, 'truth' is usually synonymous with 'partisan' when the person doesn't like what they are being exposed to.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: knowledgehunter0986

Saying people need to be "tucked in at night and read a bedtime story" has nothing to do with truth and everything to do with pandering. I don't expect you to see it though because you are the one he is pandering to.

Can you answer why the OP calls out left-wing fatuous buzzwords but fails to acknowledge the ones used by the right-wing much more frequently and obnoxiously? Seems a bit partisan to complain about one side doing it but not the other.
edit on 6/3/2017 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 11:50 AM
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originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

The fact that some of the regulars are in here praising your thread, calling it "one of the best in a while" shows who it is aimed at.

That combined with the views you espouse on these boards regularly makes this a partisan piece, unless "tucking people into bed with a bedtime story" has somehow changed into something other than a partisan jab at one side of the the political spectrum?

Don't get me wrong, you're allowed to pander all you want, but don't try to make it out as anything other than what it is.


That's the strangest logic I've seen in a while. But what does it matter? Your point is pointless.

Yes, I have defended Trump since he said he was going to run. The anti-Trumpers are menaces to society, and calling them out is a responsibility and civic duty.




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