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Archive for the month “February, 2013”

The Robotic Self

imagesCADHI070Sitting on a bus we daily observe nearly 2/3rds of the passengers either on their cell phones, IPADS, or plugged into their IPODS and/or playing mindless repetitive games involving killing, speed-racing, or attacking smiley faces. There is hardly any eye contact with other passengers or even the remotest awareness of their surroundings. We are in awe of their ability to know when their stop has been reached.

This culture of dis-association/lack of connection is not restricted to transportation. If you walk down any city block you will find (if you are not plugged in)that the bus experience is duplicated daily as a pedestrian experience. No one seems to be in their bodies hence they do not notice other bodies. These robots expect the non-robots to make way for them. If you don’t you might encounter an enraged, what are you doing in my space?!

A robotic self is an unthinking consuming self. A self that conforms to the authoritarian consumer mandate to buy the latest fad, fashion and widget. We live in a world of apps and absence. We are disappearing as flesh and blood people who have the capacity to relate others and our environment.

Our corporate culture thrives on the robotic self. In fact, our democracy is now defined by our ability to have infinite choices when shopping. Civic responsibility is now all about purchasing power.

We do not think that the founding fathers conceived of our representational democracy as a department store. Unfortunately, since our schools no longer see fit to teach civics or the Constitution much less the Bill of Rights but rather to focus on what’s PC for the moment our children no longer have a clue as what living in a democratic society is all about.

Good citizenship today involves the culture of consumerism. We are trained to be patriotic robots. The more you buy, the more you are told that you are actively supporting the American way of life.

Don’t get us wrong, we like to shop. We don’t like to be told that we must shop in order to preserve our American way of life. When did going to the mall become the epitome of good citizenship?

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When is PC–Politically Correct?

When is 'pc' not PC?

When is ‘pc’ not PC?

We live in an age of political correctness. Every statement we make is a potential land mine that can blow up in our faces if we say the wrong thing. This reminds us of an old Abbott and Costello routine wherein Bud and Lou visit a prisoner who on first appearance seems entirely innocent and reasonable. Lou enters the jail cell and begins to converse with the guy. He talks about various things and then all of a sudden the prisoner attacks him. Perplexed, Lou writes this off as a quirk. He goes on to tell the story and once again out of the blue the man attacks him. This goes on for several takes.  By now Lou is a mangled, befuddled, mess not knowing what has triggered this insane behavior. Bud enters the cell and starts talking to the prisoner about Niagara Falls. Again the man goes berserk. The joke is that whenever anyone says Niagara Falls this guy goes nuts. 

We now live in a society where there are so many “Niagara Falls” that who knows when someone is going to go berserk on you because you said the wrong word!

Currently, we viewed the film Zero Dark Thirty. The movie contains many Niagara Falls. Critics from the left and from the right all have weighted in on the political incorrectness of this film. The left complains that it supports torture and the right responds there never was torture just doing what was required for security. The director, Katherine Bigelow was accused of being manipulative and using subliminal messages supporting a policy of human rights violations. The cultural commissars of Hollywood have now condemned her and the film as politically incorrect !

This week another Niagara Falls exploded involving a conference at Brooklyn College about Palestinian/ Israeli issues. From news reports it appears that this teach-in will include the involvement of B.D.S., a multinational lobbying group that calls for divestment, boycott and sanctions against Israel. In addition, the political science department of Brooklyn College has endorsed this so-called conference and teach-in.

The question that jumps out from the page is how can there be an academic conference wherein only one side is represented?  No groups or individuals have been invited to speak for the Israeli position.

Is this a case wherein ‘pc’ is in violation of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS?

Our understanding of political incorrectness involves the exclusion of contesting points of view. So this pseudo teach-in is trying to be so politically correct that it is incorrect!

Our examples of Zero Dark Thirty and Brooklyn College’s “teach-in” are reflections of our culture’s mass confusion of what the second amendment means–the assurance of free speech for all of us. PC SILENCES FREE EXPRESSION! 

 

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