Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Current Reads and TV, Prophesy?

I am into this new SCIFI show called Continuum.  It is about the future being run by corporations instead of governments.  It paints an ugly picture of where we are and where we are headed by using time travel.  It is a Canadian series and producers aren't afraid to tell it like it is.

The last couple of books I have read both have similar themes about corporate power and class divide.  They are titled 'Kill Decision' by Daniel Suarez and 'Existence' by David Brin.

The other day we were talking about who is reading newspapers and some friends say that their kids won't go near them because they think it is all corporate inspired coverage that in the end tries to sell something that really isn't good for anyone.  So, they all read blogs and internet news services.

Case in point, the Albuquerque Journal's continued tirade, at the behest of the Chamber of Commerce, against a minimum wage.  Also, their editorial stand against run off elections which they must feel helps  solidify corporate power.  Although, the front page columns by Wynn Quigley and Leslie Lithicum still are helping them sell newspapers to me.

I wonder if this deeply submerged frustration with income disparity and lack of social justice will erupt into full scale political action soon.  After watching the feeble and leaderless 'Occupy' movement one can only wonder.  But if a real leader and visionary were to come along, that would be extremely valuable and a game changer.


Donald F. Schiff said...

David Brin is one of my favorite authors. Anything he's written is worth reading, including his blog, "Contrary Brin." He's right up there with Malcolm Gladwell, who writes insightful non-fiction.

Ok, then said...

But Jim, I thought this country's government is already run by corporations. The Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court just legitimized it.

Bubba Muntzer said...

Occupy was feeble and leaderless, but it's the reason we're talking about class and income disparity. Right before Occupy there had been that TV drama over the debt ceiling limit. The national conversation was all about austerity and Democrats were competing with Republicans to see who could cut more social programs. That all ceased with Occupy. Then, in the election Obama talked about raising taxes on the "2 percent," and a balanced budget wasn't even talked about.

Whether it's some leader or whether it takes some other form, the people are primed for something. Whether that something comes about is another story. What happened to Occupy might have been the lack of a leader, or it might have been that those people just didn't know what to do. Anything that would have informed them about what to do has been erased from memory -- the 60s, the labor movement, the populist movement. No one under 60 knows anything about any of it.

And collectivity, the idea that we have anything in common, that we have any responsibility for each other, has been deleted from the American psyche. We are all responsible for our own success, our own happiness. If we want more money we work more hours or get a higher paying job or cut out movies and dinners. It doesn't occur to people to do anything collectively. Those Occupy people all went down to Zucotti Park because they wanted to express their pain and anxiety about the future, but then that was it.

It's hard to see someone making it through the process of getting a nomination in the Democratic Party of today, which is conservative and corporatized. Some of your commenters have ruled out anyone running for mayor who doesn't have a ton of money. People can't imagine winning any other way, despite the fact that although they had tons of money the Republicans lost the presidency and seats in the house and senate. One of the primary reason was that the Obama campaign was much better organized. Yes, it took money to do a lot of it, like open field offices, but it was also people in the Black churches making sure people got their new Republican required photo id's, and were registered, and hadn't been kicked off the rolls and had rides, and union members manning phone banks who volunteered for it. Obama had more field offices, so he had that many more volunteers working in them.

I think it will be interesting to see what happens with Elizabeth Warren. The way she has used her new platform in the senate to criticize the banks and Wall Street is beginning to inspire people on the Left, but will the Democratic Party be able to reign her in or not?