Ideology is a Mind Killer

Ideology is a Mind Killer

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What does it Matter if I Matter? A Perfect Storm of #Hashtags

 By Mel Carriere

The dictionary says that matter is something that occupies space.  If I occupy space, and I do occupy a lot of space, that means I am composed of matter, but it doesn't necessarily mean that I matter. Nowadays trying to convince people that you matter requires putting mind over matter, and this can get you shouted down in a crowded room, especially if you put a smug hashtag in front of your matter.  Lately, people think that slapping a hashtag in front of a word or group of words gives them exclusive ownership to it, so you have to tread lightly, as matter of form.  Hashtags are no trivial matter.

I don't think it's a matter of life or death that we settle this controversy about whose lives really matter, whether all lives matter or just the lives of a select few, but it's important just the same.  No matter how much we argue about it, no matter how much logic, philosophy, or dogma we apply to the situation there are still some of you who are going to say, sure you matter, but you just don't matter enough to get a hashtag attached to your matter.  I was a little glum about this, so my wife asked me "what's the matter?"  I thought it was a trick question, and because I was tired and frustrated from getting shouted down in packed town hall meetings, no matter what I say, I declined to respond.

Hashtags are no laughing matter, and they are not just a matter of taste either, according to some.  If you say #alllivesmatter, for instance, that is considered an inflammatory statement that you better apologize for, and real quickly.  I think it's a matter of public record that, despite all of these belligerent hashtags flying around, all of us matter very little to our elected overlords, but they whip up these hashtag wars into a frenzy to very cleverly get us to unfocus on the real matter at hand, which is that we have crappy jobs, no real democracy, and for that matter, no much hope on the horizon for getting any of those things.  It boggles my gray matter.

As a matter of fact, last night I had a dream that I was trapped in one of these perfect storms of hashtags.  The hashtags from #mylifematters drifted languidly but heavily across the plains from the humid south, and violently clashed with the hashtags from #yourlifematters that were pushing down fiercely from the polar north.  Of course, #yourmatter and #mymatter cannot coexist peacefully, so there were particles of matter swirling dangerously about everywhere.  Hashtags have hazardous pointed edges, in case you have not noticed, and when they get sucked up in a powerful vortex like this it becomes a matter of survival to get yourself to a storm shelter as quickly as possible.

Off to one side of my dream, safely away from the deadly effects of the storm, of course, I saw Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee high-fiving each other, as if it didn't matter to them at all who lived or died after the #hashtag storm came raging through.  A few minutes later the entire GOP caucus then came out and held a giant group hug, on the same spot where all of us little people had been swept away by the horrible hashtag vortex in a matter of seconds.

Maybe part of the problem why we can't agree if you matter or I matter is that scientists cannot even agree on the definition of matter.  There is observable matter, then there is dark matter, and we even have anti-matter, for that matter.  All these forms of matter go straight to the root of the matter and do not claim any proprietary rights to hashtags, from what I have read.  On the other side of the matter, some lady on the radio the other day was complaining that they hijacked her hashtag.  In matters of public policy hashtag hijacking has become a far worse crime than taking your high paying job in the hashtag factory away and giving it to some wage slave guy in Vietnam, or bombing a village of mud huts into microscopic bits of matter because a fellow wearing a turban rode through on a camel a week ago, or exposing the insidious exploits of corporate lobbyists who, as a matter of course, pay off Congressmen and women to keep your wages low.

But still we sit here, incessantly debating the matter of whether I matter more or you matter more, which does not get to the crux of the matter.  Perhaps the only possible solution is to consult the nihilist philosophers, who insist that nothing matters.  Or maybe let's take matters into our own hands and talk about the real matter at hand, which is why the 1% up there matter while we 99% toiling away down here do not matter.  In the meantime, I think we just better put this whole my #hashtag is better than your #hashtag matter to rest, as a matter of principle.

Watch everything that matters on TV, instantly

Make Your Voice Matter - Read About the Wonders of Civil Disobedience here 

 The combustible mixture used in The Truth Bomb includes a generous portion of java from Starbucks and other evil corporate coffee conglomerates, and none of this is cheap.  Therefore, unless the ads to the right and below completely annoy and offend you, please investigate what my sponsors have to say.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Political WIndow Dressing - Distractions from the Trump Confederacy

By Mel Carriere

Before you go into your usual self righteous snit let me just start off by reassuring you that the Confederate battle flag is a racist emblem, and Donald Trump is a douche bag.  I got into a lively discussion on Facebook recently over the proper spelling of the term "douche bag," by the way.  Someone spelled it "dusch," which set off the sirens at spelling police headquarters immediately, because even if a word is not acceptable in polite society you still better darn well spell it right.  Somebody else spelled it "deutsch" bag, which might be something your sweet German GroƟmutter carries her groceries home in, but is definitely not a feminine hygienic device.  Crap - I'm already doing what I'm trying to warn you about here, which is creating a distraction.  No matter how you spell it, Donald Trump is a douche bag, and let's leave it at that.

I've decided to join these two popular distractions together and just refer to it collectively as the Trump Confederacy. I know it's pathetically laughable, but I'm sure there is an army of deluded devotees of an incoherently babbling billionaire that call themselves something like the "Trump Nation," and another doltish assemblage of tobacco-chewing, white hood wearing, third grade dropouts who like to get together and pretend that the Confederacy was something other than a desperate attempt to preserve the institution of slavery in this country (no offense to tobacco chewers, I've found that some of them are actually really smart).  So why not just save time, join the two groups together, and call this unholy alliance of mentally deficient misfits and girlfriendless neckbeards The Trump Confederacy?  What the hell - they've got a lot of the same people in both groups anyway.

Now that I've settled your self righteous fury down with my smug disclaimer, here's the part that you are probably not going to like, because I know you have been wearing yourself out carrying signs and climbing flagpoles outside of the South Carolina statehouse and shouting out basta! at the foot of Trump Towers.  The fact is I'm really truly proud of you for getting out there, not being complacent, and protesting something.  But in reality you are only protesting the distractions, the window dressing, and in doing so you are playing right into the hands of the corporate elite that, whether they deliberately create these distractions or whether just take advantage of them after they happen, are quite pleased that you do so because, in focusing on the distractions you ignore the real issues.

Some Latino advocate I heard on NPR was just full of self righteous piss and vinegar about how Latinos have been insulted by Donald Trump, a billionaire tycoon who, in case you live in your Mom's basement and there's no TV or Internet connection down there, in a recent speech referred to Mexican immigrants as "criminals, rapists, and drug dealers," just to sum it up.  Yes this was most definitely an egregious insult, but since I'm referee of the entire Universe here on this blog I throw the sticks and stones flag.  The sticks and stones rule states that words are not supposed to hurt us, but there are definitely sticks and stones being launched against the Latino community that can most definitely hurt these fine people, and have been hurting them, mostly in quiet secrecy, while they gather impressively there at the foot of Trump Tower in Manhattan, shouting out colorful bilingual epitaphs in hope that the sequestered, pampered billionaire can actually hear them dozens of stories up.

Here's something that NPR Latino activist should really be up in arms about.  While the national unemployment rate stands at about 5.3 percent, the Latino unemployment rate is 6.6 percent.  Census data for the year 2012 shows that the median income for Hispanic households was roughly $39,000, which is roughly $12,000 under the national average.  This gross, unjustifiable disparity is something that the NPR Latino activist should really be getting upset about, instead of wasting time rattling sabers at Donald Trump - who is, at best, just a loathsome billionaire moron who unfortunately has the best soap box money can buy to spew his idiotic diatribes from.

If you are one of the South Carolina flagpole climbers, the numbers are even worse.  In that same distressing 2012 year the median income for African American families was $31,000, a full $20,000 under the national average.  The current unemployment rate for African Americans is an abysmal 9.4%.  Instead of climbing flagpoles and sending the Duke Boys down to Earl Scheibs to get that nasty ornament on the hood of the General Lee painted over, maybe you should be gathering in front of Capitol Hill and shaking your fist angrily at Congressmen, demanding to know why, when nearly 10% of your brothers and sisters are unemployed they are sending even more jobs out of the country with the TPP trade agreement.

The Trump Confederacy is just window dressing people, and it is window dressing that Congress finds very convenient during a time when they seek to enrich their corporate backers behind your back while you get to keep working at McDonalds and Wal Mart for $9 dollars an hour, if you "lucky" enough to even get that.  Good news on the economic front by the way - while your nice manufacturing job is about to be outsourced to Vietnam, I heard a news update today that Wal Mart is getting ready to hire thousands of new greeters!

Corporations feel very relieved when you get mad at the window dressing and not at the store in general, because window dressing is very easy to take out of the window.  Amazon can ban the sale of products bearing the image of the Confederate flag, Univision can cancel the Miss Universe beauty pageant that Trump owns, Macys can abolish its Donald Trump menswear line, and Ricky Martin can go play golf at a course not owned by Donald. It actually turns out to be a positive PR spin for these corporations, which ultimately helps the bottom line that you don't get to share.

Here's another thing about all this Trump Confederacy window dressing.  While you were standing out there on the sidewalk, being angrily distracted by that distasteful window dressing, the store owner snuck up behind you and picked your pocket.

Kendrick has something to say that's not just window dressing: 

Desperation on the Doorstep - More on the Unholy Alliance Between Government and Corporations, on Hub Pages

The combustible mixture used in The Truth Bomb includes a generous portion of java from Starbucks and other evil corporate coffee conglomerates, and none of this is cheap.  Therefore, unless the ads to the right and below completely annoy and offend you, please investigate what my sponsors have to say.

Image composite by carlofabyss