Obamanocchio’s Mandate Excuse

Obama, in delivering on his campaign promise to the oxymoronic “private medical insurance” corporations, is going to make purchasing one of its defective, extortionary products mandatory for all U.S. citizens.

As The New York Times reported on Sunday:

[I]nsurance companies have never wavered. Starting two weeks after the 2008 election, they have said they would accept greater federal regulation of their market practices if Congress also required everyone to have [private-sector] health insurance.

[Obama certainly delivers for his overclass patrons, doesn’t he?]

This, of course, necessitates a constant river of Reaganesque lying to voters.

obamaliarOne of the latest whoppers came right in Obama’s woeful and patronizing (one wonders what percentage of those who voted for him fit under the belittling label “my progressive friends,” i.e. all those who expected Obama to deliver at least some beneficial, public-spirited changes) “health care” speech last week.  It was this:

That’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance — just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.

This is patently, brazenly, Ronald Reagan-style, false.

Purchasing automobile insurance is not mandatory.  If it were, it would long ago have been turned into the very kind of  public, single-payer, not-for-profit system that was, is, and ever will be the only possible solution to the nation’s medical insurance scandal/disaster.

Clearly, we radicals, progressives, and realists need to find ourselves some actual friends.

Last Hired, First Depressed

grind On what passes for the political left, analysis of corporate capitalism’s radical commercialization of off-the-job life has been atrocious.  Among the disservices performed by allegedly radical thinkers has been their thoughtless habit of adopting the business elite’s “consumer” vocabulary as a legitimate conceptual framework.  From the unjustly famous to the realm of everyday flippancy, examples of this disastrous, careless parrot-job abound.

If you wonder how much violence gets done to reality by not only swallowing the notion that “consumer” is a fair-minded label for product-users, but by the accompanying habit of treating the steeply stratified and deeply divided world of actual off-the-job humans as a pool of undifferentiated “consumers,” take a look at this recent report by Barbara Ehrenreich and Dedrick Muhammad.

Flattery on Wheels: “Motorsports”

earnhardt
High-Octane Schmuck

As part of my ongoing research on automobiles-über-alles, I just watched CNBC’s documentary on the business of NASCAR.

It includes some excellent quick glimpses of the truth behind the scenes of this shameful mega-enterprise/IQ test.  Thinking they’re talking to CNBC and hence other corporate overclassers, some corporate planners briefly tip their hand about their real motives.

For instance, this admission from Tom Murphy, VP of Media and Sponsorships at the Sprint telecom corporation:

This [NASCAR] is a superior marketing asset and we judge it in the ways any marketer would, no differently than when we buy TV advertising and airtime…newspaper or magazine advertisements. This is a giant, giant ad machine.

But, while watching, I also noticed that NASCAR’s major players go out of their way to call car racing “motorsports.”

That’s another great proof of Leslie Savan’s observation that much of marketing’s symbolism is a way of flattering the perceiver.

“Motorsports!” Yeah, driving a car is now a “sport.”

P.S. The photo above is the mega-dolt peckerwood Dale Earnhardt, Jr. standing outside the fake “old western town” he has had constructed on his North Carolina property.

Talk about an excellent advertisement for radically progressive taxation…

Official Face of the Overclass

Hi!  I'm 85!
Hi! I'm 85!

This, my friends, is 85-year-old Gloria Vanderbilt!  Gloria is, of course, not just mommy to the journalistic cipher Anderson Cooper, but also the never-laboring heiress-socialite great granddaughter of railroad robber baron Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the fine figures who helped ensure that rail transport in the USA would be privately owned and widely despised, rather than publicly provided and widely beloved.

I hereby nominate Gloria as the official 21st-century cover-girl for our corporate overclass.  She’s just absolutely perfect!  Way decrepit and long past any pretense to vigor, she epitomizes the de rigueur look of our times:  The dyed, implanted fake hair.  The scramble for each and every possible plastic-surgical denial of reality.  The vapid self-satisfaction and outdated posings in the face of blatant irrelevance and onrushing death.

Sublime, isn’t it?

And Lady Glo isn’t just the perfect looker.  She even seems to be channeling and verbalizing the core thoughts of her social class-mates, young and old alike:  “I’m determined to be the best I can be for as long as I can, and when I’m not, I have my plans.”

Well, bravo, hmm, hmm!  How true-to-life can one possibly be, hmm, hmm?

One catches the general principle at work (and I use that word “work” ironically) here.  It’s a slight adaptation of old Corny’s classic admission about class power and the (non-)rule of law:  Reality?  What care I about reality?  Hain’t I got the money?

Etrade: Selling Stocks With Racism

racismWhile stuck watching the profoundly moronic and outdated Belmont Stakes in my apartment’s exercise room last weekend, I encountered E-Trade’s notorious “black baby” commercials.  I almost fell off my treadmill.

Watch this appalling shit here and here.

As the white baby controls all aspects of the situation and voices all the reasoned thoughts, the black baby sings, trips out, echoes white logic, and makes a sexual come-on.  Can you imagine these ads getting made and aired if the skin colors were reversed?  No chance in hell.

I guarantee you that all of this was carefully planned by E-Trade’s marketing team.  As I documented in my book, The Consumer Trap, big business marketers are extremely sensitive to racial stereotypes, and are driven by the logic of their enterprise to exploit and perpetuate, not challenge, them.

The other important aspect of this blatant neo-racism is that it is targeted at elite audiences, who absolutely eat it up, not least because they think it’s a great thing for they themselves to be willing even to look at and possibly, maybe interact with a black person (both acts they have only recently begun to contemplate).

The truth, of course, is that contrary to long-running claims that Joe Sixpack is the source of all benightedness, our lovely overclass has always held by far the worst and least accurate view of human beings and human affairs.

The Continuing War on Schooling

marie
Let them eat training!

Among the multiple disasters being perpetuated by Obama is the lack of anything but the status quo ante on education. Like basically everything else, schools are clearly in for more of the same under the reign of the 2008 Marketer of the Year.

But let’s stop to ask about the real reasons our schools are “failing,” shall we?

The consensus answer among our overseers is that educational failure is internal, not external to schools themselves.

For those susceptible to this standard Business Party line, I would not only remind you that, in the USA, we spend more than twice as much money on big business marketing than we do on all forms and levels of education combined, public plus private.

I would also refer you to the recent statement of Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Killiam Klinton, and spokesperson for the far left end of the “serious” politicians. Here’s Mr. Reich’s explanation of the inherent limits of education in this, history’s richest and most powerful empire:

Not all of our young people can or should receive a four-year college degree, but we can do far better for them than we’re doing now. At the least, every young person should have access to a year or two beyond high school, in order to gain a certificate attesting to their expertise in a particular area of technical competence. Technicians who install, upgrade, and service automated and computerized machinery — office technicians, auto technicians, computer technicians, environmental technicians — will be in ever-greater demand.

So, why can’t we all go to real college? Because, as Reich knows but cannot say (for fear of losing his cushy, undeserved elite academic gigs and his insider connections), that would constitute a mortal threat to our overclass, which relies on “matching” our brains and expectations to the structure of employment, entertainment, and politics produced by corporate capitalism’s market-totalitarian logic. Too much knowledge and self-confidence is simply intolerable to that order. It literally couldn’t be handled.

The truth, of course, is that this is nothing like an equal opportunity society, despite the frequent incantations to the contrary. Equality of opportunity requires equality of condition, from zero up to the starting line for grown-up life (which brain biology now shows to be something like age 25). We have nothing of the sort, and Obama is making excuses, not answers, for that.

Schools are merely one symptom, not a cause, of our terrible disease. To the extent they could help cure the disease, they are intentionally barred from doing so.