Monday, November 28, 2005

What Is the Sound of One Brain Cell Working?

Hyman’s recent editorial on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident is a bit confusing in terms of what’s motivating it.

He begins by saying, “The war was started with bad intelligence. That statement is like throwing red-meat to all of the critics of Iraq's liberation,” then segues into recent news stories about intelligence failings surrounding the alleged attacks on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, alleged attacks that provided the impetus for a rapid acceleration in U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.

It’s not clear if the first statement is simply a non-sequitur, or if Hyman is somehow suggesting that Democrats shouldn’t be so quick to condemn the Bush administration when a Democratic president also used shaky and/or trumped up evidence to convince Congress and the American people to commit to a war of choice.

Assuming it’s the latter, Hyman is right: the mixture of poor intelligence gathering and willful misinterpretation and distortion of that intelligence in order to make the case for war was unconscionable. But I don’t know many Democrats who would question that. Given that it was progressives who have been at the forefront of the anti-war movement in both its Vietnam and Iraq incarnations, the implied charge of hypocrisy simply doesn’t stick.

But perhaps I’m giving Hyman too much credit. Maybe that initial statement was just a clumsy way of introducing the topic and of working the laughable phrase “Iraq’s liberation” into a commentary. In any case, it’s at least interesting that the guy
who recently said that there were no similarities between Vietnam and Iraq would invite his audience to draw such a damning parallel.

Sometimes, however, it’s best not to look for any logic (even of the severely twisted variety) behind Hyman’s commentaries. Perhaps we should treat them like zen koans, absurd contradictions that are meant to empty one’s mind of thought.

At least that seems to be the effect they have on Hyman himself.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 1.88


At 3:05 AM, Anonymous hyman's turtle said...

welcome back. i too struggled with the "point" of this commentary. it seems that, as of late, the point is becoming more and more pointless. you may have noticed, they're also much shorter, down from 2-plus minutes to the 1:00-1:15 range. as i undertand, the sinclair affiliates were complaining about the length. i suppose that's a small victory. the less of hyman we have to see and hear, the better.
hyman's turtle

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or do what I do and don't watch the news on those channels.. Since they own the ABC and FOX stations here and the local CBS station is geared to the lowest common denominator, I watch the NBC station for local news.

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anon...

I agree that we have to pick and choose what media we watch, as most "channels" are really poor.

But, from my point of view, that's really part of the problem.

We shouldn't have to "shop" for a channel / network that we like... All major chains should be striving to find the truth and report it.

Alas, the news divisions of all the major networks have been subsumed by their entertainment divisions. News is not news.
So people shop around for the voice they like. Some listen to NPR, others (many others) listen to Rush, O'Reilly, and SpinCentral (Fox). Some networks appeal to the Angry Right (Sinclair and Fox and many radio stations) while most appeal to short attention spans and yuk.

So the various constuencies (the liberals, the religious right, the angry right, etc.) each listen to Their Voice, Their Truth. Gone is the common space. Gone is a sense of common purpose and common identity. These differences amongst us have been rubbed so much that I don't think people know anymore how to actually talk to one another. (We've seen some of that lately on Ted's blog).

With everyone having their own station, fewer are trying to bridge differences. And that only leads to inactivity and paralysis.

And guess who wins when the commoners (most of us!) are so distracted? The very powerful have their fun... too often at the expense of the public good.


Sorry, gotta quit takin those pep pills!

At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted, a fortune cookie:

An old associate will make a request of you that shouldn't
be denied!


At 3:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"These differences amongst us have been rubbed so much that I don't think people know anymore how to actually talk to one another.

(We've seen some of that lately on Ted's blog)."

Look folks,

I'm not sure if the above statement is a reference to my use of the 'F-word' (Fascist), or the slightly less-than-subtle way that I make my points when I talk about Bush and the Neo-Cons. Maybe, it's not about me or my posts at all.

But, the situation that we now find ourselves in is not like a football game, or even multiple seasons of supporting your favorite team like it used to be. The stakes are much, much higher. It is more akin to being a gladiator in the Roman Coliseum surrounded by very deadly opponents, all determined to take your life. The literal end of America and the end of the world (and I'm not talking about the Rapture) as we know it, are the all-too-possible outcomes of our current predicament, and we didn't end up here by accident.

The massive exertion of Orwellian thought-control that has been brought to bear on the people of this country is beyond the cognitive ability of most of those affected to comprehend. For many of our brothers and sisters on the right who did succumb to this onslaught, damn near nothing less than a cult deprogramming session is going to bring them back around to reality. Yes, the brain-scrubbing that the American people have been subjected to for decades now, was just that thorough and severe.

The insidious manner in which our aristocratic corporate masters manipulated the media (all of it), and herded and drove us to the edge of this abyss, proceeded without resistance until the Internet, which Bill Moyers has properly compared to a great public park where we can meet and exchange ideas, came into widespread use by bloggers and gave us a powerful medium in which to germinate the seeds of discontent and rebellion against the cloning of our psyches.

It's kind of like in the old movies when someone was acting hysterically and had to be slapped in order to bring them back to their senses, sometimes multiple slaps were needed. Hysteria is what our fellow Americans are suffering from, but it is a silent form of fascist hysteria fed with large ad-inflicted doses of greed and consumerism. They are being fed Soma in the form of constant justification to allow them to feel good about the bad things they are doing to their fellow Americans and to the world. It's just easier for right-wing cult members to accept the flawed rationale than it is to question their entire programmed value system. Every now and again, a little reality slides in under the radar, like the tragedy in New Orleans, but as you can see, they clean it out of their minds relatively quickly.

But, that doesn't change the fact that the world is on the brink of disaster, and mild-mannered conversation at this point, is like whispering to a raving lunatic, when what they really need is the slap. That's why I call them the Fascists they are, and try hard to upset their delicate sensitivities with a little smack of the truth up-side-the-head! Hey, I'm just about as caustic when I call in to the Neal Boortz and the G. Gordon Liddy shows! I guess if it really bothers anybody that much, I could try to change... Nah, just kiddin'!

Thanks, and keep bustin' Hyman!

Mike B. in SC

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear Mike B,

Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to our pal (Sick) who likes to rant, but falls silent when someone asks a simple question, like:

"So what's your evidence that Ted promoted a personal agenda while at his teaching job at Iowa?"

I see that at least two bloggers asked for that simple courtesy (as in, please back up your smear words, but to no avail). it's an indicator what this country's up against, I'm afraid.

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks anon, I didn't take offense at what you said, I just thought I should explain my position a little bit.

Mike B. in SC

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, yeah, that Point was weird. Can any pro-Hyman voices out there help us to understand what "point" this commentary was trying to make?

At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not a pro-hyman, but let me give it a try, (ahem).

- - - - - - - - - -
You liberals are pathetic! All of your are liars and reprobates.

Why don't you back up your facts? Because you know you can't.

Can't can't can't. Nnnyah!


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