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Funny?

Remember during Vietnam getting some measure of laughter and relief from M.A.S.H.?  Remember recently when Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were the only ones on ubiquitous corporate TV to tell the truth? 
What’s funny is obviously true, but you aren’t supposed to say so.  We laughed at their barbs because they fit.  Meanwhile, what our comedians lampooned has persisted and grown even more ominous.  Funny doesn’t fix it and it isn’t fun.

Not to worry – corporate media is “covering” the news:

“This emergency” includes Hurricane Michael, the strongest ever there, with nary a mention of global warming on the corporate news even as the IPCC announces we have only 12 years to stop making global warming worse.  Corals dying off at a massive rate, the Arctic melting and releasing old anthrax along with even more methane to “positively” reinforce that process, a gyre of plastic waste twice the size of Texas – all these are being addressed by unregulated capitalism and packaging wizards:

You’d think all humanity would join in the noble cause and “live simply that others might simply live” (as Gandhi put it).  Ingenuity and ethics could play into everything we do.  

Or not.

We are poised at a place in history where humanity’s needs could be universally and fairly satisfied in ways that augment Life rather than exploit and exhaust it, but our current leadership and the enabling media will anticipate and create scarcity, strife, and stress instead. We lack a vision of how good it could be as we keep making it worse.  Fear and drama attracts consumers and sways elections, especially with thousands of bots pushing absurd but riling stories.


Did you get Donald Trump’s intrusive text last week, showing the nation he can show up on every phone, supposedly for our security?  Do any of you get the daily email from the White House?  I do.  It blatantly twists every reference and report to show how Great they are making America.  (There is no reply function; they don’t care about our feedback.)  It is more direct than even Fox News, his preferred platform, and is second only to his Twitter.  It is designed to feed the defensive patriotism of his base:

Money laundering, pornography, even chumming up with the world’s new murderous dictators (Dutarte in the Philippines, Bolsonaro in Brazil, and Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia) doesn’t earn him a bad name with his base.  His base is exactly that – base. Our old ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, probably killed and sawed up a man simply for being a journalist.  Did Trump object, or do he and his son-in-law continue to supply the Saudis with weapons to inflict mayhem on the hapless innocents in Yemen?  This is our stance in the world, how Americans are regarded?  Trump’s base is defensive at being called deplorable – because they are.

But not to the evangelical, Catholic, and Zionist religionists who prop him up.  If this is religion, it shows how sick religions can be and are.  They are the snakes in our Garden, the subtle deceivers who fool us into believing their phony advice as to just what is right or wrong.

What were the twin causes of the right-wing, white racist nationalists who provoked the rally that resulted in a car being deliberately driven into innocents?  Prayer and Patriotism.  Does no one see the danger of bowing our heads and emboldening our hearts when such prayers and patriotism are despicable?  Are the veterans who invade and bomb poor innocents in distant lands for corporate agendas really to be always praised as heroes?  Is Trump good because some Christians adulate him?  When he gets such implacable praise, when he hugs the flag as a photo stunt, I want to wretch.  I renounce such religion and patriotism as utterly fake and fallen.

Well, that’s my meager attempt at coping with another week of Making America Great Again. (As in the Great Satan perhaps, what Brother Louis Farrakhan called “white devils,” the same sort of mentality that decimated the natives, bison, and parakeets of this continent, the same mentality that praised Christopher Colombus without acknowledging much less regretting what a murderer he was?)  Another week of the decline of America as Republicans, conservatives, and reactionaries keep us distracted, ignorant, damaged, endangered, and overruled.

Remember the preposterous reports of JFK’s murder, evading the obvious, ominous involvement of the mob and right-wingers in our own government?  Remember the cover-up explanations of 9-11, with Building 7 (housing police and intelligence agencies) collapsing for almost no reason, the unlikely recovery of a hijacker passport, and the decades-old relations between the Bushes and Saudi Arabia, specifically the Bin Ladens (who were allowed to fly out of the U.S. while all others were grounded) all kept unmentioned?  Remember the rush to finalize the vote in 2000, with Enron-sponsored bullies storming the Florida elections office, the Supreme Court counting dimpled chads while hurrying our beloved democracy over to Bush despite thousands of Florida voters being denied their votes?  Remember the subsequent “Hury, hury!” of Bush invading Iraq with actual weapons because we feared their imaginary weapons?  It was Shock and Awe on those who never attacked us. 

I remember.  Being hurried during the Kavanaugh confirmation seemed a familiar con.

What’s their hurry?  

Beyond evading numerous charges of drunken sexual harassment of women, Kavanaugh came out the wronged victim.  It wasn’t a criminal trial, with a presumption of innocence; it was a confirmation hearing where such probing questions should have been asked.  Nor was 90% of his era of lawyering for Bush (including months of haranguing Clinton for his sex indiscretions) allowed to be considered.  It went ignored, hidden, and forgotten.  The FBI “report” of brief interviews with only four people, with neither Kavanaugh under oath nor his main accuser, and then confined to a secret and highly controlled showing to some senators, only shows how contrived this farce was.  Hardly a mention of Republican blatant refusal to let Obama’s Merritt Garland’s nomination go to a vote (a year of denial and blatant obstruction) as they rushed their puppy dog with conservative judicial rabies into lifelong power.  We’re to be hurried at ensconcing a Supreme Court Justice to lifelong power?

Republicans are good at what they do, but what they do isn’t good.  It isn’t good for us, our government, our environment, or world relations, but there it is, in our name and thrust in our face.  They win; we whine.  They rouse up fear and hate as they divide the-us of our U.S. (as in ignoring and demeaning Democrats, blacks, Hispanics, and women) from the-them of their corporate financiers and shallow moralists.  They’re vile cheats; we’re noble losers.  We titter at jokes; they laugh at us while creating needless new wars.

It’d be funny if it weren’t the betrayal of our former civil and just America and the pillaging of our environment.  I wish I had another joke to end this, but the joke is on us and our future, and it’s not funny.

Byron Carrier

Byron has been using his writing and public speaking to engage, challenge and inspire audiences for over 40 years. Reverend Carrier's mission is to rescue and revive our earthly Eden, including our human worth and potential. If you enjoy his work, consider supporting him with Patreon.

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Jim French Jr
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Jim French Jr

Nice piece Byron. You need to add your 2 cents worth on the Sunday morning Talking Heads shows. I feel we are beyond any point of return.

Ronaldo
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Ronaldo

Excellent comments Byron on the state of our collapse. None of it is funny of course, and that’s the sad part.

Aletha
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Aletha

Brilliant writing Byron! ~~Aletha

Teja
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Teja

Very well written article, Byron Bradley. Keep up your great work!

Jim Bronson
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Jim Bronson

A fun compilation Byron. Thanks for tickling my funny (and serious) bone. Much to learn from stuff that appears at first to be said lightly. (Sorry to miss your event for the Jefferson Center – I’m in Canada until 12/3).

Maya
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Maya

Genius…It’s relatable & real…for real! Love this style of writing. Thanks for your intellectual passion in sharing very important world issues that truly needs upgrade! Change is slow to come but change makers like yourself makes a huge difference. Thank you! This article is powerfully crafted & I appreciate your gifted mind to fully express the shadow side of the world we live in, so we can re-awaken to see again in a new light, beyond darkness. Great work Byron Carrier, keep it up!

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