One family member and a couple of friends recently asked why I persist with writing this blog. A couple of answers come to mind, none of which provide a complete and thorough answer. I’ll just point out that rather than start a new career in the art of parading around with signs that impart such wisdom as “Most Drivers Have No Idea How To Drive,” “Politicians Are Crazier Than I Am,” or “Due To Religious Beliefs I Am No Longer Paying Taxes,” I choose to vent on this thing called a blog.
Writing is a lonely exercise, but it does allow one to say one’s piece without interference or criticism or accusations of political incorrectness (all that comes later, when someone actually reads what I write….). Another reasons I write.
Today, in addition to attempting to reveal why I write, I offer two observations that practically forced my booty into the chair.
First, an article titled: “Putin’s On-Air Army; The global news network RT is the Kremlin’s main weapon in an intensifying information was with the West,” Simon Schuster/Moscow, TIME, March 16, 2015, page 48.
RT (Russia Today) is a state-funded television propaganda and spin machine that reaches 700 million people in English, Spanish, and Arabic. It generates more YouTube alternate reality showing “…Russia as victim and the West as villain.” (Note that the initials “RT” are much easier to remember as a Russian television network and less confusing for English speakers than “PS,” which would be the initials of Russia Today in Russian Cyrillic. Remember those sweatshirts with CCCP on them? Those were the Russian Cyrillic letters that in English would have been USSR.)
On a Ukrainian talk show eight months before he was murdered, opposition leader Boris Nemtsov opposed firing up Western counterpropaganda. “You can’t do what Putin does, calling journalists to the Kremlin and giving them orders.”
“For now,” Schuster concludes, “the West seems likely to stick to its journalistic traditions – and trust the viewers to decide.”
“We have met the enemy and his is us.” – Pogo (an old comic strip, in case any young-uns read this).
My other thought comes from a classic book: The True Believer – Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, 1951, Eric Hoffer (1898-1983). When Kennedy was President Eric Hoffer was widely known as “the longshoreman philosopher.”
From The True Believer:
“Those who would transform a nation or the world cannot do so by breeding and captaining discontent or by demonstrating the reasonableness and desirability of the intended changes or by coercing people into a new way of life. The must know how to kindle and fan an extravagant hope. It matters not whether it be hope of a heavenly kingdom, of heaven on earth, of plunder and untold riches, of fabulous achievement or world dominion. If the Communists win Europe and a large part of the world, it will not be because they know how to stir up discontent or how to infect people with hatred, but because they know how to preach hope.”
Still searching for any message of hope over in the Mideast.