Hardly On The Up And Up?

America has changed over the last few months. George W Bush had a sobering effect on the American people, subduing the arrogance of many who once strutted their stuff like prize cockerels around the world’s farmyard. Eight years of neocon rule, as well as running the country into the ground economically and politically, caused many of them to retire into their feathers and lie low.

Now, it seems, they’re out again.

It’s most obvious in the mood of the media. Fake broadcasters like Limbaugh kept up their vile rhetoric throughout, of course, but others on the more ‘moderate’ channels acquired permanently furrowed brows and somewhat slumped shoulders from the strain of America’s dive into the social cesspool of world opinion.

The effort of buoying the nation throughout these long, dark, times was not easy for the likes of Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News, or his counterparts at ABC and CBS. The NBC “Making a Difference” segment usually involved only one citizen (out of three hundred million) doing someone else a good deed, so it could be stretched out to cover eight years without much trouble, but the truly nasty deeds being reported for the remaining twenty-five minutes of news coverage were hardly masked by it.

With Bush’s departure and the inauguration of Barack Obama, however, the mood in our newsrooms perceptibly altered. It took a while, but of late an air of arrogant optimism is once more noticeable to the discerning viewer.

One might have hoped a few lessons were learned. Could it, perhaps, have been realized from all the bad world opinion that there really was a planet out there to be taken note of, one sick to death of the arrogance and bully-boy tactics of Bush and his band of outlaws?

No, sorry, nothing’s changed. Already the theme of US dominance is once more humming around the airwaves, only this time the patronising benevolence is back. “American Power” is again symbolized as a Godhead, with all other nations bowing the knee in wondrous supplication at the glory that is the great, resurrected, United States.

Obama’s European tour has been seen in his home country as a vindication. Europeans have such short memories they’ve already forgotten the last eight years, or the ravishing of the world economy by Wall Street neocons. Obamamania has wiped it from their minds as surely as Beatlemania erased the horrors of the Cuban Missile Crisis from the polluted brains of the hippie generation in the sixties.

At least, that’s the sermon being preached by the US media. But, as usual, it’s wrong.

The era of George W Bush taught Europeans once and for all that America is no longer to be revered as the great leader of the world. No-one outside the US desires a return to the old style of United Nations dominance and third world exploitation that led directly to the terror attacks of 9/11/2001. No-one, that is, apart from a few outdated and corporate controlled European politicians.

Only this week, one US news commentator, reporting on the piracy incident in the Indian Ocean, concluded by remarking that “America would now be taking the lead in the fight against piracy”, despite a European flotilla of naval anti-piracy vessels having been in the area for some months, with no assistance from the US navy until finally a American ship was hijacked.

Suddenly, American ‘heroes’ abound, “American Power” is again in the ascendant, and once more all is right with the world.

Except, it undoubtedly isn’t.

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6 Replies to “Hardly On The Up And Up?”

  1. Those commentators and loud mouths remind me of the worst of soccer fans back in the UK – especially those supporting the bigger teams like Man U., Liverpool and Leeds. They’ll shout, brag and yell and get into fights over who’s better and bigger, and yet the lads actually doing all the work hardly ever boast about what they do.

    I don’t recall hearing Obama or Hillary, or Biden getting all excited about America’s supposed renewed power. It’s just the yobbos, and they deserve as much of our contempt as those soccer yobbos.

  2. The US today reminds me of a nation in search of an identity so they are testing out the old bully boy one, once again.
    Times are a-changing, RJA, and the strutting will stop once the bailouts have tapped the piggy bank dry and there is no funding for the military machine. We are in very scary times.
    XO
    WWW

  3. It’s all about inducing an emotional response through simple tales of heroes, villains, celebrities, pets and ego fueling jingoism. If an actual news story is unavoidable they minimize the facts and analysis and place dramatic emphasis on the rhetorical or literal “battle” of the opposing sides. Anything to divert the public’s attention from the institutional corruption and fraud that’s on a scale so large it even includes our major news sources.

  4. I am not surprised that this is the case. Look at the movies made in the US. Each one has a hero theme, the good guy who “has to” kill about a hundred to save the good girl (let’s face it who cares for the “extras”, or the aliens invading nowhere else in the world but the US, etc etc. A nation fed with this crap will always be on the lookout for a hero to save the day for them, instead of trying and finding a hero within themselves, to do the right thing.
    Nevertheless my respect for regular Americans have triplefold (it was non-existent) since the change – voting for Obama was still a good step. Although it was just an effort to find that hero they couldn’t see in Bush … Good thing it took only 8 years that people realised he wasn’t THE ONE.
    How about the stunt by North Korea, btw…

  5. USA is an Empire. As any other Empire in the history of man kind, they will look back and analyze their mistakes and wonder what happened to their glory and might. Ohhh well, such as life…. nothing in life is forever and no one nation call be always on top.

    It is easy to indoctrinate the masses with rhetoric that makes sense to them…. “Change” was a great motto that worked… but for how long? In actuality, the only thing that has changed is the name and the color of the president…. other then that, it’s back to business as usual!

  6. Twilight – at least the soccer yobbos can hide behind braincells unsullied by one iota of intellect or education. Reporters and commentators on TV are expected to have at least a grasp of the subjects they report on.

    WWW – bully-boy tactics are apparently the only course of action known to America.

    Alison“all about inducing an emotional response” just about sums it up. And it works!

    Gaye – I agree Obama was no more than a reaction to Bush. As to North Korea, I just love the way the ‘rest of the world’ assumes their rocket launch was to test a missile, rather than an attempt to join the space race. No evidence is presented to back up that assumption. One can’t blame Kim Jong-il for getting pissed off with the West. After all, he does spend most of his time watching CNN.

    Nevin – perhaps a little more rhetoric than was managed by Bush, but politics worldwide is always “business as usual”.

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