04 August 2005

Reality Check and the Holy Shit Moment

Comedy Central has speeded up their postings of the headlines from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Last evening, Rob Corddry, Senior World Government Correspondent comments on "A Bolton from the Blue," President Bush's appointment of Joe Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (bypassing the Senate's vetting process). In doing so, Corddry explains Bush's "reality that works for him." Screamingly funny!

But being reality-challenged is starting to go beyond the satire that brings it into sharp focus, and is beginning to indicate a fundamental change to the very fabric of the United States of America. According to CNN,
So how would you feel if police were allowed to stop people at random and ask for your I.D.? Well, that's what we wanted to find out in a new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll for our "Security Watch" series "Safe at Home." Well, about 50 percent of you are in favor of just that. Our CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll also shows that about two-thirds of you favor the idea of all Americans carrying a national I.D. card.
Ten years ago, carrying a national I.D. card, and being asked to produce it on demand by a police officer with no justifiable cause would be considered unthinkable. Before the Reagan era, such a notion would be inextricably linked with Soviet-style communism.

Yes, things have changed. However, the most profound changes are the structural changes in what defines a society or culture that most people do not notice until it is too late, when they look back and say, "Holy shit! When did that happen?"
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1 comment:

Mani said...

The American composer Kyle Gann has a short text called

""We are living in the new Soviet Union":
a credo about censorship and the internet."

which may prove interesting in relation to this post.

http://www.kylegann.com/
http://www.kylegann.com/statement.html

"We are living in the new Soviet Union. I maintain this web site in part to convey information around the censorship I run into on a weekly basis. The only effective action we have left in this context, for the moment, is self-publishing. Suppose you do manage to gain a following, and become well-known enough that your views and ideas interest people. If your work runs counter to the commercial mainstream, any publisher you turn it over to will bury it, tie up your copyright, and prevent your distribution . . ."