News of the American Dream

I listened to NPR News while on my way to work, every weekday morning, through the late ‘80s and then the ‘90s − before the internet became convenient and accessible. I listened convinced I was hearing an alternate viewpoint to the propaganda and drama-laced news being offered through most other channels.  I paid particular attention to national, political, and US war news − always searching for signs of progress, believing that more and more people were becoming aware of the world’s problems and its causes, and were ready to support the right solutions.

In 2001 I quit my regular job and, since then, have rarely driven to work. No more NPR. I turned to the internet to feed my news habit. I started with Yahoo News, but quickly realized it was just a bunch of recycled, waffling BS with misspelled headlines and tons of consumerist plugs. Oh, no… How will this influence consumer confidence? Will it spook the stock market? Will energy prices rise on the fear of energy prices rising? Which famous brand names are likely to be hurt by this? Which famous movie star wore the same dress best?

Notice too how the political articles sound neutral, but then the photo of the politician who the article is about is often selected with a biased intent. Does the politician look stupid? angry? clueless? sad? happy? strong? sickly? handsome? ugly? brave? cowardly? conniving? honest? bigoted? compassionate? This, as I later realized, is a trick used by most other news outlets as well. So slick. The pictures often make a statement which is left out of the text. A lot of people get their news from the picture alone.

I then discovered Huffington Post, and thought, ‘Cool! Here’s reporting with a truly independent view of national news and politics. Well, maybe not ‘truly’ independent, but at least it had a more liberal spin than the heavily right-winged (or left, depending on where you stand in regard to the moral issues) mainstream media news.  Perhaps Huffington was giving me the same cleverly disguised left-over garbage that Yahoo offered. OMG! What happened to the American Dream? …the sacred fantasy of the three car family.

Huffington, in time, started looking like FOX News for liberals. Bought and paid for… the same as FOX.

I explored Alternet, Thinkprogress, Common Dreams, NPR, RT, ABC, CBS, CNN, Mother Jones, Truthout, The Guardian, and so on.  Most news sources are similar to the Republican and Democratic parties. Behind their thin, morally and righteously opinionated outer shell, they are really the same thing. They’re all owned by the same big banks, oil companies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and possibly Walmart. We have a two party system that is really one party.  Fox News and Huffington post are giving us the same BS propaganda, covered over with opposing positions on the moral issues, while peddling fear and selling us the same shit (ipods, TVs, cars, health insurance, life insurance, cosmetics, and crappy food), distracting us from the massive corporate swindles, the greedy exploitation of our resources, and the snipping away of our human rights – all this, happening right under our noses.

The American Dream is a high credit rating, a fistful of plastic, a $75K job (which we look forward to retiring from), SECURITY and freedom… the freedom to buy the stuff we’re conditioned to want. The American Dream is a carrot dangling before us on a stick of phony campaign promises.