Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Church of Lyin'tology

Y'know, we're all wasting our time writing this hack science fiction! You wanta make real money, you gotta start a religion! 
Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society clubhouse in the 1940s.

"If you don't like what's being said, change the conversation."
-- Don Draper, Mad Men

Eventually even very high-powered, very highly-paid and very public political con men like Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times start to run out of road.  After enough years have passed, a career's worth of public bullshit and bad faith start to roll downhill faster than he can outrun them. And then, no matter how many of his cronies lock arms to protect him and the scam he's running, his past begins to nip at his heels.

Like the ghost of Jacob Marley, over the course of his professional life, Mr. Brooks has forged a vast and heavy chain of absurd claims, asinine pronouncements, outright lies and venomous slanders. He made it link by link and yard by yard. He gartered it on of his own free will and by his own free will he wore it!

And now Mr. Brooks would very much like for this ponderous and inconvenient chain which clanks along behind him to magically disappear (at no personal or professional cost to himself of course.)

Straight-up denial (I never said those things!) has worked for awhile, because there is not one living soul above Mr. Brooks who is interested in lowering the boom on him, and his aforementioned cronies have grown so dependent on the Both Siderist Big Lie he has pioneered that they dare not raise their voices even when the lies get embarrassingly ridiculous .

But flat denial is not a sustainable proposition over the long term, especially since that long and terrible chain is welded to together with names and dates and facts and figures and clearly enunciated positions and predictions.  It is not merely a boo-boo or two or a misstep or two from which Mr. Brooks is trying to separate himself: he is seeking to annul thirty years of well-documented facts.

He is filing for divorce from his own past, and factual reality does not grant such requests.

And so, like Henry VIII, Mr. Brooks has had to invent a brand new church which would grant his divorce.  A church from which history and causality have been excommunicated in favor of cheerful fairy tales.  (from Mr. Brooks today, "Goodness and Power")
Maybe once upon a time there was an environment in which ruthless Machiavellians had room to work their dark arts, but we don’t live in Renaissance Italy. We live in a world of universal media attention. Once there is a hint of scandal of any kind, the political world goes into maximum frenzy and everything stops.

We live in a world in which power is dispersed. You can’t intimidate people by chopping your enemies to bits in the town square. Even the presidency isn’t a powerful enough office to allow a leader to rule by fear. You have to build coalitions by appealing to people’s self-interest and by luring them voluntarily to your side.

Modern politics, like private morality, is about building trust and enduring personal relationships. That means being fair, empathetic, honest and trustworthy. If you stink at establishing trust, you stink at politics.
Three words: Bengahaaazi!Bengahaaazi!Bengahaaazi!

Also death panels and birth certificates.  

Also Vince Foster and "It's been pretty well confirmed..."

Also a thousand other very real atrocities which Mr. Brooks' Conservatism has committed against the common good but which have been exiled from Mr. Brooks' new church for unrepentant cowards and con men: a church which purloins the language of morality and humility from honorable faiths in order to cobble together an infinitely flexible dogma of ouchless redemption without confession or atonement for Mr. Brooks and the rest of our loathsome media elect.

The Church of Lyin'tology.


Neo Tuxedo said...

I can't remember if I've posted it anywhere, and Google's no help since I'd have to think of the exact wording I used, but I used to think there were two real operational differences -- differences of substance, rather than the accidents of ideology, if you get me -- between the Republican Party DBA Fox News and the Church of Scientology DBA the Religious Technology Center:

1) The RTC is only a danger to those who walk away from it (and, these days, more of an annoyance than an actual danger), whereas the GOP, through its no-longer-deserved-even-a-little-bit grip on the levers of power, is a danger to every codder and shiggy and appleofmyeye on this green Planet of the Clocks.
2) Unlike Republican policy, the Scieno "tech" occasionally provides genuine help to ordinary people.

These days, of course, with the release of Going Clear, we can add:
3) The major media feel comfortable going after the RTC in a way they still don't feel comfortable going after the GOP.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I forget where I read this, but someone gave an excellent definition of the operations of the Corporate Media:

Billionaires hiring millionaires to explain to the middle classes why all of the things going wrong in their lives are somehow the fault of the poor.

Gene Oberto said...

"Please don't dominate the rap, jack, if you've got nothing new to say…
…One way or another, one way or another,
One way or another, this darkness got to give."


B Terramorse said...

I really love the graphic at the top of the piece! Brooks as pope of the NY Times.

Did you do it yourself?

driftglass said...

B Terramorse,

Thank you,
Yes I did.
I do most of my own graphics.

Daro said...

Driftglass is famous for his graphics. I've seen them everywhere. I recall I've seen Max Keiser use them occasionally.

Daro said...

Oh, and Booman sent me here for this article although I have Driftglass bookmarked...