Midterms, Media & the Ever-Rolling Carnival of Distraction

WARNING: The caption is also just a distraction.

The US mid-terms happened this week – you probably noticed. There were maps everywhere, people talking about a blue-wave or a red tsunami or…something. None of it really made much sense.

And in the end, it doesn’t really matter.

For all the impact it will have on the way the world is run, these elections are as meaningful as voting for who wins Celebrity Big Brother or filling out a customer service feedback form at an off-brand coffee chain.

That’s not nihilism, or cynicism, or defeatism. It’s just the only reasoned response to decades of observational data. The American system can’t be changed from within, because nobody that wants change will ever be allowed inside. It is broken. Cancerous. Corrupt to the point of total atrophy.

Bernie Sanders is the best they have, and even he is an American Imperialist at heart, he just thinks poor people shouldn’t be freezing to death in the streets or drinking toxic water. Such is the face of American radicalism.

Sanders is hardly an extremist, but even then…in the end…the people in charge cheated to keep him away from the White House.

That is documented and admitted and filed away. We all know it happened. we’re just not supposed to talk about it.

There’s plenty of reason to believe both the 2000 and 2004 the Presidential elections were rigged.

So why do we bother talking about American elections anymore? There is no excuse for taking part in this ritual. There is no reason to pretend that it’s honest, or meaningful, or important.

It doesn’t matter whether blue wins or red wins, they’re both preprogrammed NPCs in the same rigged game. It doesn’t matter whether you cheer for Punch or Judy, the puppeteer controls both and he gets paid no matter who wins. It doesn’t matter that there’s more women in congress than ever before, or that a Somali muslim is in the house of representatives now.

None of that matters at all. From a distance any mixture of red and blue will always look purple. From a distance black and white looks like grey.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter.

…and yet it’s all the newspapers and television are talking about.

The Guardian, The Huffington Post, CNN, Fox News…all of them, all over the Angloshphere and beyond…talking about congressional midterms as if they are a battle for survival. Good vs Evil. Why?

Ken Livingstone famously said that if “voting changed anything, they’d abolish it.”

Well, you can apply this model to the news as well – if it really meant something, it wouldn’t be on the news.

The media talk about “Russiagate” as if it means something, they call Trump “Putin’s puppet” and berate him for kowtowing to Moscow…all while the US is pulling out of arms treaties, bombing Syria, conducting huge military drills right on the Russian border, expelling Russian diplomats and killing Russian servicemen.

For the first time in 30 years, there’s a very real danger of a nuclear war. The media won’t discuss it. These elections won’t change it.

The media talk about the “rise of antisemitism” and the dangers of the “alt-right”….while every mainstream outlet and most politicians are happy to sell weapons to Ukraine, where a coup government is using literal fascist militias in a war against people whose only crime is objecting to the removal of their elected president.

For maybe the first time in 70 years, there are men with swastikas on their arms killing civilians in mainland Europe. And they are doing so with tacit approval of Western governments. The media won’t discuss it. These elections won’t change it.

The media talk about Jamal Khashoggi and rebuke Saudi Arabia for their alleged crimes….while real crimes go unreported. Most of NATO still happily sends weapons and trains pilots and enables the slaughter of 10,000s of Yemeni civilians.

The war in Yemen is an extension of US policy all over the Middle East. Fought with our support, and arguably on our behalf, by proxies we train and arm. The media won’t discuss it. These elections won’t change it.

The media talk about a CNN reporter being removed from the approved White House list as an attack on free speech and the free press…while a journalist is unlawfully detained in London for EIGHT YEARS without charge or trial.

Free speech is under real threat, both in the press and especially on the internet. People are deplatformed and victimised and unpersoned. The media won’t discuss it. These elections won’t change it.

The news is nothing but a carousel of convenient fictions, political manipulations, camouflaged agenda, made up statistics and vacuous distractions.

The media will chatter on about which corporate frontman has won which district, what colour Florida is turning, the migrant caravan or China interfering in the vote. We should disregard it.

There is real fascism and real suffering and real corruption and a real risk of nuclear war. These are what we should be discussing, not what colour tie the used-car salesman on TV is wearing.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: featured, latest, Other Media, United States

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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peas
Reader
peas

Totally agree with the article.

But just a little nitpick:

“The media talk about Jamal Khashoggi and rebuke Saudi Arabia for their alleged crimes….while real crimes go unreported.”

Did you really mean to say that Saudi Arabia did not commit any crimes or that their crimes are not real?

John2o2o
Reader
John2o2o

How right you are Kit, how right you are.

I was watching Jimmy Dore last night lampooning the elderly dems Dianne Feinstein (85) and Nancy Pelosi (78).

Credit to their make up and hair stylists though – you do an incredible job guys!

And I don’t mean to sound unkind America, but here in the UK we allow old people to retire. We don’t expect them to run our country. Have you considered introducing old age pensions?

Simon Hodges
Reader

The elections were as meaningless as the concept that the Democrats constituted some form of ‘resistance’ Resistance to what? Resistance to imperialist neoliberal economic policies? No. Resistance to imperialist neoconservative foreign policies? No. Corrupted, crony capitalist neoliberal economics has been a complete bust which has been covered up by central banks printing money and all developed nations massively building up additional debt. The policies of dealing with the great financial drama (which was turned into a crisis) mean that the 1% have been made vastly richer and the rest have had to suffer austerity. Students are graduating with £40-60K debts… Read more »

Hugh O'Neill
Reader
Hugh O'Neill

Bravo, Simon. Like you, my flabber has rarely been so gasted which is why we voted with our feet and emigrated. The fact that 2 million marching through London in 2003 (and 78 million around the world!) achieved absolutely nothing was significant. The CIA have a torture technique called “Learned Helplessness” which causes the victim to become compliant, apathetic, and broken in spirit. I suspect that the technique went from micro to macro. However, in Jim McGregor and Gerry Dougherty’s “Hidden History of WWI”, the phrase “Ignore the Screamers” seems prescient i.e. the screaming will eventually stop, especially if you… Read more »

Yonatan
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Yonatan

“The media talk about “Russiagate” as if it means something, they call Trump “Putin’s puppet” and berate him for kowtowing to Moscow…all while the US is pulling out of arms treaties, bombing Syria, conducting huge military drills right on the Russian border, expelling Russian diplomats and killing Russian servicemen.”

A perfect example of NBE aka TBD syndrome

* NBE – nothing between the ears, TBD – total brain disconnect

Lora Jasan
Reader
Lora Jasan

Nuclear war became inevitable the instant the people decided to allow their governments to keep the bombs they have and to build new ones. One does not build bombs without ever intending to use them.

Kavy
Reader
Kavy

The Guardian banned me twice too. But I learnt my trade and was able to get some radical ideas over covertly, but I doubt if anyone clicked on the links I put out as I could not advertise it loudly. But nowadays they won’t allow comments at all under many of their articles, so I hardly bother with the Guardian now. I remember when they had an article about an advert for the City of London which showed blatant opulence for posh fleets in the Canary Wharf and some people complained. There was all the usual right wingers in the… Read more »

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

Kavy – give us that link to the City policeman please. The comments are harder to keep track of here, as there is no ‘personal’ account where you can see replies. Maybe that’s for the good. I’d like to see that functionality though. There are though the usual guard hounds – not that many yet but you’ll know them by their bark. The only thing I really miss is the non-political bantz on sports/science/misc. – much to the loss of these there, i’d like to think🙄. off-G, is now one of a bunch of indy sites that I now check… Read more »

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

Welcome, Kavy! All of us here know how you feel. You’re at home now …

BigB
Reader
BigB

“There is real fascism and real suffering and real corruption and a real risk of nuclear war. These are what we should be discussing…” Absolutely Kit, so let’s discuss it? It’s easy to be critical (what’s not to criticise) of the merry-go-round of the carnival of the Spectacle …but all that creates is a detached observational merry-go-round of the carnival of the Spectacle …but all that creates is a detached observational merry-go-round of the carnival of the Spectacle …but all that creates is a detached observational merry-go-round of the carnival of the Spectacle… …an Nth order regress of critical (not… Read more »

Admin
Moderator
Admin

Absolutely Kit, so let’s discuss it?

Your suggestion being OffG doesn’t discuss real fascism, real suffering, real corruption and a real risk of nuclear war??! Maybe you should check our archives.

BigB
Reader
BigB

I echo Eddison’s comment: we all recognise the presence of real fascism, real suffering, real corruption and a real risk of nuclear war …and we’ve all discussed them: on a discursive symptomatic level, here, and on other forums. Very few ask the obvious question: “Why?” Why is there real fascism, real suffering, real corruption and a real risk of nuclear war? Recursive application of the question, with a childlike repetitiveness, would reveal root causes right down to the cognitive and perceptual level, as the Buddha revealed 2,500 years ago. From the diagnosis comes the curative remedy, not merely the symptomatic… Read more »

Eddison Flame
Reader

It’s kind of like if the doctors keep diagnosing you with a terminal illness, and in ever meeting (article) they discuss other reasons your illness is going to kill you. If you’ve been aware of these things for some time, eventually you want to discuss treatments.

Eddison Flame
Reader

You’re right, it isn’t enough just to talk about it. We need to to decide what to do about it. In other words, we need a plan. Let me suggest, as a first step, that we get organized. We need to start finding each other. We need to find each other, and then we need to get together. As long as we remain isolated from each other, we are rendered ineffective. What we need is to get organized. Recognize that proximity matters. Ideally we would form groups, even communities. The more we collaborate, the more effective we become. As isolated… Read more »

intergenerationaltrauma
Reader

Once again we in America went to the polls to choose between Democrats and Republicans, and therefore to answer the most basic and important question facing our nation and the planet as a whole:

“Do we Americans want our illegal immoral regime change wars and invasions, endless drone murders, economic sanctions on the entire planet and continued support for our head chopping jihadist buddies in Syria – (“WITH”) or (“WITHOUT”) – “gender specific bathrooms?” Voting to answer that question my friends is “American democracy” in a nutshell.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

In a ‘nut-house’, I would say.

tom197482
Reader

Yes. All the pictures of people weeping, cheering or waving flags in foreign countries always brings home to me how pointless elections in our own country are. Look at Theresa May – humiliatingly rebuffed by the voters, yet two years on still in power as though nothing had happened because it suits her masters. As for mid-term elections in the US – they will make no difference to anyone in the UK but unfortunately promoting the American news agenda has become a cottage industry for our media. I guess it says something about who owns the these outlets, as well… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

I am DISGUSTED that the author quotes that dreadful, ‘antisemitic’, unperson, Ken Livingstone. I will contact Margaret Hodge to complain.

Makropulos
Reader
Makropulos

And the distractions will continue until half way through Strictly Come Dancing and Gogglebox, the big one will land and everyone’s eyeballs will be fried into their tellies.

Loverat
Reader
Loverat

‘For the first time in 30 years, there’s a very real danger of a nuclear war. The media won’t discuss it. These elections won’t change it.’

Nuclear war looks inevitable. It’s simply a matter of time.

Two things which might prevent it though – a godly intervention or something crazy happening in the geo-political world.

An example of godly intervention this, if true:

SAA LIBERATE SWEIDA WOMEN AND CHILDREN KIDNAPPED BY ISIS

Just amazing news: The Syrian Arab army managed, in a valiant and accurate operation, to liberate the civilians abducted by ISIS terrorist organization from …
youtube.com

Let’s all celebrate this great news.

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

“Free speech is under real threat, both in the press and especially on the internet. People are deplatformed and victimised and unpersoned. The media won’t discuss it.” – quibble alert. The media DO discuss this issue – but generally as a means of expediting an era when public discourse is reduced to an approved form of group-think (defined by self-appointed devotees of identity politics, of course). In fact in their quest to stamp out ‘hate-speech’ the censorship lobby find it hard to sleep at night unless comedians are criminalised for teaching a pug dog to perfrom the kind of salute… Read more »

Emily Durron
Reader
Emily Durron

“Ken Livingstone famously said that if ‘voting changed anything, they’d abolish it’.”

Goes back way further than Ken, that quote. Commonly said to have been by Emma Goldman, among others.

Makropulos
Reader
Makropulos

And Emma Goldman may have stolen it from Mark Twain’s “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”

Emily Durron
Reader
Emily Durron

Unlikely, since that isn’t actually anything Twain is known to have ever said or wrote.