lundi 26 mai 2008

No surprises

The point of continuous outrage capitalism has been to gradually numb the population into acquiesence. No change can be countenanced, no real concession has been granted because that would have the effect of raising expectation and confidence. Those sectors of the electorate not actively collaborating with the system, have nowhere to go. Their active support has long since been discounted - the Crewe by-election was one such reminder of this state of affairs - thus discipline has to be maintained by forcibly reminding us that the winners will win - but more importantly will be seen to win. The nauseating boredom of this centreless psychological operation is most obvious is in sporting spectacles, where the winners increasingly take everything, where coming second is a criminal offence and where inequality is exultingly celebrated, in the putrification of cultural life, take the latest block-buster the Iron Man, for instance, or virtually anything TV based where simulation inverts and replaces even the idea of the real and in education, where so-called academics try to explain class asymmetry in university places as a function of IQ and where league tables count the most. Everywhere in the socio-cultural realm, the message is a continual breaking news that the hyper-minority of winners win by sheer natural and moral superiority and that the losers have only themselves to blame. In the same crude fashion, this psychological offensive also serves to soothe away the consequences and nature of permanent war and mass starvation that the system requires.

Thus, it is announced coyly, as if it were a birth annoucement or a bout of good weather, that city bonuses have amounted to just over thirteen billion so far this year. The government and the elites who control them hope there will there will be no collective outrage, no surprise, not even a shrug. They have faith in their hegemony, their propaganda and their media nozzles. But there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who are not fooled and who are seething with rage.

There was some talk a while ago, that the idea was for governments to 'boil the frog' - that is to gradually turn the heat up until the frog (presumably the population) was cooked - I hate analogies anyway - but it seems that this one is going the wrong way too, it seems that what is hoped is that the frog has been so continually chilled that it has ceased to respond and nothing surprises it anymore - not even stormtroopers on the streets. Like all analogies, of course, this one breaks down under the briefest of analysis.

Frogs cannot endure, hope or smash the kitchen up and take over the house, for instance. UPDATE: maybe I got the frogs wrong.