Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Triumph Of "Agit-Prop": The Great American "*Tea-Bagging*"

Much has been made, as much was supposed to have been made in the *SCUM* and in the blogospheres, over the clever propaganda trick rolled out by the GOPuke/CorpoRat Rightards to co-opt that iconic American image, the Boston Tea Party, and turn it into a rally--on Tax Day--against the Obama agenda, which is characterized in an array of instantly recognizable GOPuke/Rightard/CorpoRat talking points (with which I shall not at this time burden my readers, either of them, but which can be recovered by visiting this link).

The sense of grievance on which this astro-turf ‘rebellion’ depends for any sense of legitimacy is real.

We’re ALL pissed at the largesse strewn in the paths of the bankers, and the thorns and adders that BOTH the departing Busheviks AND the arriving Obamanistas have thrown down in front of the Big Three and the Unions–conveniently lumped together by teh Health Insurance industry now as ‘enemies' because of their sympathies for public health care guarantees...but that's another story...We're pissed because the lies we were sold have cost us plenty, and the price to us continues to rise disproportionately with the actual costs to the people responsible for the calamity, the latter being, effectively, "None."

Right now the “People” are beginning to be pissed--not just privileged White folks who feel deprived by no longer being able to publically patronize their inferiors. Now, for the first time in 40 years, the great sweaty inchoate monster of popular resentment is gradually stirring from decades of somnolence. (Bad timing that the "left" should be thought to be in power just this minute, init?)

Of course the demagogues of the Right, sensing the movement, are sharpening their practicing of the arts of disinformation which they’ve so polished and refined over the last 40 years--since the last time they were required to quell acute popular resentment. And if anything, their control over the "press" is greater than when Walter Cronkite could openly dispute with LBJ, oe even when Dan Schorr could make Nixon's enemies list. They still control the public pulpit that is the Press, in whatsoever form it now consists. The “press” is now and forever more, as an institution, in the clutches of corpoRat/State ideology.

The events tomorrow--what the astro-turf organizers call "American Tea Parties" and what critics and snark artists on the left immediately dubbed *'tea-baggings'--will get far more coverage than the participation in them would otherwise deserve because the ‘press’ everywhere, in every town, city, burg and village will be focused on the “tax day” story and will be desperate for material to fit the official propaganda theme of the day: pay your taxes–an ironic admonition from corpoRat entities which ship their cash out all over the globe in search of havens wherein they can ESCAPE taxes.

There is a counter-movement. Small, un-financed, un-planned, un-organized: a typical liberal effort to reply to a Puke meme framed by the corpoRat fascists. They’re doing street-gatherings in some cities. There’s one here in Albuquerque, as a matter of fact. Details at FBIHOP.

But it’s days late, and dollars short of the local, slick, well-funded effort by the teabaggers, set for a middle-brow lounge in Albuquerque’s predictably White, predictably Rightard NE Heights (colloquially known hereabouts as "the Wheights").

They've got enough money to place radio ads on the Clear Channel station that runs the ‘liberal’ radio station here, 1350AM, notably during the Thom Hartmann show, the only time I was listening–yesterday. The ads are boilerplate ‘aggrieved conservative’ issues, but played for the emotional effect of the crudest 'revanchist' sentiment. The only reference to the "teabaggers" is in the last sentence of the outro.

Clever, well-financed, “good” propaganda–good, in the sense of accomplished, and effective; in the same way Limbaugh is "good" at what he does, howsoever detestable and reprehensible, dishonest and vindictive.

There were 60 million folks more or less who voted against “thePrez.” That’s a huge constituency, especially if built on the platform of “betrayal,” and the substantial REAL reduction in living standards that is unavoidably going to follow as the long-feared, international 'great levelling' starts to unfold and entomb the Murkin Middle Class.

Note: Pat Garofalo notes this priceless quote from MSNBC’s David Shuster: “If you are planning simultaneous tea bagging all around the country, you’re going to need a Dick Armey.” If I were going to attend, I'd probably wear a set "Truck Nutz" sewn to my fly.

(Agit-Prop, via Wiki:
"Agitation" meant urging people to do what Soviet leaders expected them to do; again, at various levels. In other words, propaganda was supposed to act on the mind, while agitation acted on emotions, although both usually went together, thus giving rise to the cliché "propaganda and agitation".
; *SCUM* = SoCalledUnbiasedMedia)

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