Does our understanding of freedom depend on how we respond to two contra cosmological paradigms…namely the interaction between the ‘particular’ and the ‘universal’ …or if you will… the popular versus philosophical narratives that engage us in exercises that shape reality.
Technological innovation…as reality on the trot…did much to ensnare popular imagination in a process that fed off locomotion…as did cinematographic art…by way of focusing us on the ability of science to augur alchemy in action. The process became particularly toxic when Hollywood, as cheer-leader, got into navel-gazing big-time to portray America as a mecca for soliloquies of ‘we-are-the-greatest’ kind who can do anything. Hollywood became the premier media influencing the average Joe and Jane in ways that set standards for them to follow.
Media, rearranging the tectonic plates underpinning the national narrative to suit the moneyed and military establishment soon came into its own in no small order. America was projected as an exceptional ‘something’ moving swiftly toward ‘something’ exceptional. It had God’s blessing and was deemed invincible. To be all-American, it was necessary to get behind the flag, ingest apple-pie and immerse oneself in copious amounts of home-grown hubris.
As industrial thought-bubbles continued to proliferate, choices affecting the capacity to identify in a process that manufactured robotic change for change sake became ever more complex. High-rise buildings, motor vehicles, homelessness, crime, drug-abuse, nuclear weapons, greenhouse gasses, formulaic art forms, billionaires, demonization of people, refugees, injustice, single-issues-politics, predators-and-the-predated-upon, lobbyists rorting the system…all festering and feasting in a survival-of-the-fittest robotic world that the tax-payer kept in place.
But over time, America, the so-called leader of the free world came to be regarded as a pariah state because of its penchant for permanent war…a progressive vector…or wolf in sheep’s clothing…presenting itself as honest broker to a world all too aware of its callow pugilistic pedigree. A diachronous chain of intersecting processes known as American Foreign Policy extending to Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere, revealed to the remainder of the civilised world, how breathtakingly low the criminal actions of the superpower had become.
America with its long history of vigilantism at home and abroad, continues to promulgate ideas relating to its adopted role of vector of all things progressive. Over time, Hollywood became the mask-de-jour ramping up the role of the vigilante protecting the honour of the righteous and their right to administer justice. Superman, Batman, Flash, Spiderman, Captain America and Iron Man etc…all paragons of American virtue marinated in testosterone!
Superheroes in American culture are comic creations used to situate the national psyche in melodramas that run and rerun ‘goodies-and-baddies’ mythology for the masses…narratives that expose America’s penchant for navel-gazing to the whole world. Allowing home grown paradigms to eclipse universal norms of behaviour, Americans identified ever more with the tragicomic figures they had invented for the big silver screen. Basking in hubris, more potent than the Bill of Rights, Thomas Jefferson, love of the flag, respect for the sabbath, their appetite for glory became insatiable.
American superheroes had the necessary social compassion, but were not much interested in fighting poverty. Many of them belonged to the upper classes in their civilian lives. Batman as Bruce Wayne was a billionaire who owned practically the entire city. Iron Man as Tony Stark was a weapons’ magnate. Two other superheroes, Superman and Spiderman worked for tabloid newspapers.
The United States of America was to become the Promised Land for comics! Without any ancient history or mythology of its own, Americans separated themselves from Native American mythology by systematically culling the native tribes and consigning their remains to the national melting pot. From its very beginning…chapter and verse… American hatched a narrative that required an ideological adversary to heft its aggressive appetite for power and glory inside and outside its own borders…by the middle of the 20th.century it acquired a template-friendly protégé capable of living up to its own navel-gazing standards.
The Zionist takeover and manipulation of American vigilantism to achieve its own plan for setting-up another Western-style colonial homeland for Jews in Palestine was somehow inevitable. America, the host with the ‘most’ could be mined for collateral support in the form of selective brokerage, military support and economic subsidies. They both shared manifestos predicated on self-righteousness…expropriation meant consigning the consequences of their actions to a never-never land called Amnesia easy…they had the Lord’s word on it!
A deadly conspiracy involving the entire gamut of technological lethality was imposed on the Palestinian people by a so-called spiritual people who adopted craven means to achieve a most ignominious end…the theft of a country and the suffocation of a culture. The self-righteous plan to separate the inhabitants of that (besieged) place from their right to be free in their own country fitted very well with Christian fundamentalism and Ezekiel’s passage 25;17 which uses the word ‘vengeance’, not once, but twice in the one sentence…like a thought-bubble suspended in static time.
Zionism, once it achieved ingress into American culture, set about retroactively reinvigorating the ancient myth of God promising a country to the Israelites. For the myth to achieve egress into the American consciousness, media had to be coerced into favouring and funding the ‘historic victim’.
The advent of the information revolution had brought into being unforeseen possibilities for truthsayer and propagandist alike to exploit language and social media in the cause of single issue politics. Realising that the road to victimhood was paved with gold, the architects of Zionism set about conflating savagery with civilisation…themselves as clean-white…European…their adversaries unclean-off-white…Arabic…for reasons of eliciting imperial support for their audacious plan to colonize Palestine. In the process, the media proceeded to robotically vilify the Palestinian as terrorists and the Zionists as victims of terrorism…it was Batman at his very best!
William Blake irrecusably takes us beyond the ‘particular’, while Ludwig Wittgenstein… “a thing is what it is because it is not another thing”…flips us back into complimentary essences to reveal a mirror-and- the-mirroring process that engages our psyche in the act of deciphering meaning within information… detail as part of the universal whole; whole as the sum total of its parts.
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand/And a Heaven in a Wild Flower/Hold Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand/And Eternity in an hour”, are words that escape the halter of prosaic time. They are timeless mantra evoking images of eternity in digital time…and they allude to imagination as a context unto itself! His words are throwback to pre-Christian times where context was understood as the concatenation of all things imaginable beyond the ‘particular’…the ‘universal’ as reality beyond monotheism or any other unilateral point of focus.
Popular culture on the other hand, holds up a mirror to the moment by sensationalizing and delineating the character of the ‘particular’ so that it can ground its’ audience in paradigms that speaks to the ‘now’. Finding a way to relate humankind per technological myth-in-motion-frameworks onto the big silver screen…or the one we hold in our hand…is hugely lucrative. Popular culture remains amorphous until it focuses the public on new aspects of their individuality…life of the ‘particular’ is inextricably linked to profit!
But individuality can invade popular culture through other channels. The suffragette movement is a case in point. When Emily Davison, a 40-year-old campaigner, stepped in front of Anmer, the royal racehorse…the incident was captured on three newsreel cameras…running in the 1913 Epsom Derby, her intention was to attach a Suffragette flag to the bridle of the horse. The purpose of her action was to bring attention to the cause of equal rights for women. Tragically she died four days later after being struck down by the horse. The jockey and horse received minor injuries.
Emily Davison had a long history of agitating for women’s rights. She had attended the Royal Holloway College and Oxford University, but being a woman, she couldn’t officially earn a degree from either. Women were prohibited from doing so at the time…universal values didn’t exist in the nursery!
As a militant member of the British suffragette movement, she boldly served the cause of universal suffrage. Queen Alexandra sent Herbert Jones, the jockey riding the kings horse a telegram shortly afterwards wishing him well; commenting on his “sad accident caused through the abominable conduct of a brutal lunatic woman”, adding “poor Herbert Jones and Anmer had been sent flying…on a most disappointing day”.
That ‘disappointed’ Queen Alexandra failed to see how ‘lunatics’ could reset the tectonic plates that underpin the status quo, comes as no surprise. Monarchs like prophets tend to believe that they retain a special position of pre-eminence in a sphere of utilitarian gravitas that allows them the right to continue espousing authoritarian doctrines ad infinitum…unrest among underlings would constitute a disappointing day!
If a new world order comes into being…and there is much evidence to show that the WWW community is more attuned to multipolarity than not, the pontification of a bedecked monarch atop a gilded chair, or religious zealots in strange raiment, are less likely to have their befuddled gibberish influence public opinion in negative ways in the contemporary world. Combatting tyranny, be it in the form of the Suffragette movement or the Palestinian resistance movement are mutually inclusive in the cause of universal justice…women need to be free in general…Palestinians in particular need to be freed from the abominations of scripture-propagated-hatred.
Technology provides us with a culture of nimble ideas at once subtle and sensational, substantive and trite, for the reason of reinforcing the illusion that we are all going somewhere…and fast. As the mirror and the mirroring process relentlessly pivots and swerves off course, new genera is introduced to reinforce the case of necessity-being-the-mother-of-all-invention, providing the locomotion that takes us onward into the unknown.
Queen Alexandra could not understand the reasons Emily Davison’s choice to make her protest on a day when the newsreel cameras were recording the events of that celebrated day. Challenging the status quo then or now would elicit a predictable response; reformers are commoners…or terrorists…breaking the law. But branding and demonology have always existed big time, and assigning oneself the right to have dominion over other people and property accounts for much of history.
The Suffragette Movement, inevitably had to challenge the status quo in its quest for equal rights. The Zionism Movement on the other hand, once embedded in American culture, quickly adopted the “reality-is-what-we-make-up” thinking that pervaded Washington in the latter part of the 20th century. Americans believing because they had the right to impose their own system of law on the world and colluding with Zionist means and methods to occupy Palestine, threw their bias and bulk…as silent partners…behind the enterprise. They welcomed the new poster-boy aboard the gravy train to join Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Thomas Jefferson et al. in deciding who should get what in the world at large.
If technology is the vector that defines modernity, then robotism is the Frankenstein that is rushing toward us. It is myth as endgame supporting the belief that life starts here and now in the modern era… a continuum that will sustain our love of games and toys for ever and ever, if only we trust the new puppet-masters who consummately compute ever more stunning ways to keep us in thrall to the pacifying effects of entertainment as an escape from static time. We need not look to “see a World in a Grain of Sand’ anymore…the looking will be done for us by our digital puppet-masters.
Alas! our new digital puppet-masters have so successfully hypnotized the mesmerised masses in the West that they are unaware that as many as seven wars are happening at any one time. There is little hope that anybody will see-a-world-in-a-grain-of-sand anymore…in Gaza or elsewhere…if we remain caught up in American pap media.
Palestinians experience a culture reduced to a grain of sand/see wild flowers wilting in mounds of depleted uranium dust/suffer impunity at the hands of religious zealots/experience eternal injustice hourly, while the ‘civilised people’ of the West…at comfortable remove from the biggest open-air prison in the world, turn robotically to digital games for cheap thrills and escape from reality.
Wandering traders and spiritualists of a ‘particular’ stripe, upon completing a 2000 year long odyssey, hopping from ghetto to ghetto across Europe…moving east to west…and remaining faithful to their own ‘particular’ ideological profiling to avoid integration in the societies around them, created the political movement known as Zionism.
Ultimately, arriving in America as traders, they became conversant with the ways and wiles of the tech-age, adopting virtual integration as a means of securing a voice in that virtual democracy. To achieve compliance within America for their plans, media had to be coerced into coming-on-side. The logical solution was to occupy media. Doing a U-turn with the aid of dubious mythology, American $’s and tech-know- how, Zionists returned to Palestine to lay their ‘particular’ brand of vengeance on the descendants of their mythological enemies.
The ancient Greeks used mythology to particularize their cosmological vision of life. Their’s was an expanding universe rich in science, mathematics, astrology, philosophy, poetry, drama and rhetoric that continued to expand an indubitable theatre of imaginative possibilities forever pushing against the limitations of the ‘particular’. The pity was that it was destined to be overrun by holy writ, a one -size-fits-all piece of ‘particular’ myopia imposing darkness where once there was light.
The human mind, while capable of perceiving the universe in a grain of sand, is equally capable of understanding the geological value of any ‘particular’ sand that exists in our global habitat. Mind, an instrument that works off the tension of competing dynamics…its modus operandi an exercise in alchemy…functions to achieve critical responses to complex problems that require resolution. But the light within any great idea has its origins in universal principles of justice that extend to every one of the details that make up the whole.
Women throughout history were the alchemists of the underworld, they were forbidden by holy writ to imagine that they could share equal status with men. The net result was that male dominance left the true potential of women aborted within a chrysalis unable to accomplish its complete natural cycle.
The suffragette movement was as powerful an idea as monotheism, but diametrically opposed to the notion of the wearing of the halter that the latter fostered. The movement succeeded in coupling the individual woman with the idea of universal justice…the centre was wherever women were. The rumbling that had commenced with the likes of Louisa May Alcott, Mary Walker, Sarah Moore Grimke, Mary Livermore, to name but a few of the suffragettes who so bravely pursued the issue of emancipation.
The protocols of holy writ as written by men, expected women to keep their intellectual legs permanently closed, while decreeing that they should open their biological legs in the service of procreation. Domesticity delivered women into ineluctable seasons of raw carnality, procreation and servitude that continued for millennia until education enabled strong-minded, strong-voiced women to adopt vigilantism as a means of breaking the chains that prohibited their development as equals.
But stranger than strange is the fact that free men and free women in the West find themselves mesmerised by the so-called information revolution. Seemingly safe in the-eye-of-the-storm, they have failed to notice that militarism has moved on from colour coded combatants confronting each other in battle, to nation-terror-states showering fragmentation bombs on women and children and men, whose pigmentation alone may classify them as terrorists.
Meanwhile, we in the West, good little liberals liberated from our conscionable selves feed on the lie that the Palestinians deserve to rot in hell. Zionist thought-bubbles are memes from antiquity that revere static forms that preserve life through preserving blood ties and rituals that bind them to God. The European ghettoes, the Gaza ghetto and the many ghettoes across the Middle East holding Palestinian refugees overlap as isolationist hellholes of ‘particular’ iniquity…why is that?
Denis A. Conroy,