The Free World now has proof! That dastardly Suburban Geek has admitted the ugly truth. – he doesn’t just want to sell you T-shirts, he wants to take over the world! Fortunately or unfortunately – depending upon how you see Life’s Cookie crumbling – the generic US president (with apologies to the present President, Barack Obama) isn’t going to take the Geek’s outrageous aggression lying down. He’s gone and got himself worked up into RED BUTTON mode and while the Geek’s talking about a metaphorical battleground of ideas, the Prez hasn’t quite caught on. Hold the drones!
Louvre photo: Benh Lieu Song
WHY AN OCTOPUS?
The Suburban Geek “take over your minds” poster is actually an adaptation of a pamphlet from the 1938, depicting then-USSR Communist dictator, Joseph Stalin, as an octopus, whose tentacles are terrifyingly encircling our world. If you’ll click THRU, you’ll notice that on the original illustration, there are only two European countries named, Russia and Spain, with the latter then in the grips of the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.
Interestingly, that original poster was made and distributed by the Catholic Library Service. Undoubtedly, in 1938, the Roman Catholic church placed Godless Communism as the greater threat to world peace, not Fascism. While it’s tempting to classify the Civil War as Left versus Right – the situation was actually far more complex than that. History sees it more as a battle between, on one side, Modernity & an optimistic pan-European-ism and on the other, Tradition, the weak monarchy & an accepted poverty for the majority. The Church (with numerous exceptions, admittedly) sided with the latter, fronted by Spanish fascist leader General Franco, who allied with other European fascist leaders of the time. Italy’s Mussolini provided Franco with 40,000 Italian troops and Germany’s Hitler, provided several squadrons of state-of-the-art war planes from the Nazi German Air Force, the Luftwaffe.
The latter’s most famous sortie was at Guernica, in April 1937, the first known use of aerial bombing against civilians in the World War 2 era. Guernica was a small, country town that was known to sympathize with the Left and was leveled within a few hours, resulting in more than 1600 deaths. There had never been an attack like that, from the air and few could have imagined anything so utterly devastating. Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, until then, notoriously apolitical, was to be capture the world’s horror in his epic painting, Guernica, considered to be the first Modern Art historical painting of note.
[Incidentally, Art Historian, Simon Schama’s Power Of Art BBC TV series devotes an entire episode to Picasso’s Guernica – it’s well worth catching!]
And so the Octopus pamphlet, printed for the USA, hints at how the Church – as an international organization – colluded with the Fascists and tacitly encouraged their murderous excesses. The Church’s hope was patently, to defeat Communism in Spain – note the octopus’ tentacle circling Spain on the original – but in allying with the Fascists, she has to accept her responsibility in legitimizing Fascism and ultimately, her part in the deaths of World War 2’s 50-85 million victims.
NOTE: Suburban Geek certainly doesn’t champion Stalinist Communism – indeed, the opposite is true. While it’s factually accurate to plot the rise of Nazism with many tacit approvals from both the West and the Church, the bigger, geopolitical picture proves conclusively that Western democratic governments fully believed that Hitler intended to only initiate a war against Stalin’s Communist Russia.
Stalin was a monster, known to have killed millions, including the imposition, during 1932 & 1933, of a famine in the Ukraine – then possessing the most admired farming land in Europe – as a means of suppressing anti-Soviet nationalism. A second means of control was to attack the churches, who answered to an authority beyond the state. He brutally attacked the Roman Catholic Church, the Ukraine Orthodox Church & the Ukraine Greek Orthodox Church, killing or imprisoning many priests and clergy.
The West was aware of this but believed that a coming war between Fascism & Communism would exhaust and subsequently, annihilate both the extreme political persuasions. Ultimately, they were correct – they just hadn’t envisaged that Hitler’s plan was to attack the West first, invade and gain control of their collective industrial base and then attack Russia.
The Real Threat To Democracy
We’ve used the octopus to represent Suburban Geek, not as a flailing anti-Western rant, but to highlight that the octopus represents the general concept of vilification by propaganda, arguably, the present greatest threat to Democracy.
NOTE: This article was written in October 2016, before the allegations of Russian influence on the 2016 US Presidential Elections. My uninformed view is that such interference was entirely likely – but that if it was so, it was either tacitly encouraged or entirely facilitated by the CIA. Let’s face it, the USA has been “influencing” elections around the world, quite often, even in my homeland, Australia, in 1975. That was the backdrop to the 1980s movie, The Falcon & The Snowman, 1985.
It would appear that the Hawks now want war with Iran, Russia’s ally and the public, tragically, are going along with it.
Vilifying Putin: How The Press Has Prepared Us For War With Russia And Possibly, World War 3
If you follow the news in Australia or the UK, you may have noticed that the press i.e. “quality newspapers, tabloids, commercial TV & state-sponsored TV”, has put in several years of groundwork, preparing us for the inevitability of war with Russia. Metaphorically, Stalin’s head on the propaganda octopus has now been clearly replaced by Putin’s. [I don’t wish to comment directly upon other Western countries, including the USA – but from downunder, it appears similar].
#1 Denigrate Putin
The first step was to denigrate Putin. This has been in progress for many years and the most blatant has been to portray this intelligent, astute man as a macho buffoon. He was once pictured, barebacked, riding a horse and that image has metastasized into a global meme with Putin now seen riding a bear, a shark, a T-rex etc. Amusing as it is, the cumulative effect has been to make Putin seem unbalanced.
#2 Champion Pussy Riot
The second step has been to detail Putin’s attacks on Western-type of freedoms within Russia, such as the championing of “Revolutionary art” performances by the anti-Putin anarcho-feminist collective, Pussy Riot and our “outrage” at the subsequent arrest & imprisonment of two of its members. Ironically, while I’m long past the age of finding Pussy Riot’s deeds revolutionary, their “art” – while insulting and derogatory – was pretty innocuous (see: 2.1 for details & 2.2, for video footage, below). The subsequent 2 year jail sentences handed out to two of its members was ridiculous, undoubtedly making both Putin and the Russian court look very small, internationally. Nevertheless, before passing too harsh a judgement on Putin, it might be worth checking the facts:
#2.1 Here’s an English translation of Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer, which was delivered at Christ the Savior cathedral, in Moscow, in February 2012, and which led to their arrest. Patently, it’s more of a criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church’s conservatism, than Putin, himself
NOTE: You can see some of Pussy Riot’s 2012 performance at Christ the Savior cathedral at #2.2, @4.52) & the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, (@7.22) + local police assaulting them.
#2.2 However, while there’s no doubt that Putin’s reasonably dismissive view of Pussy Riot (9.06) is authoritarian, it’s worth pondering what sentences African American performance artists might have received for such “blasphemy” in the Deep South. And it’s not unfair to say that if female Sunni Punk Anarchists were to attempt a similar “performance” in the Shia Great Mosque of Mecca, the king of Saudi Arabia – America’s great ally – would probably have had them executed without a second thought.
#2.3 Perhaps the final word on Pussy Riot should come from its two charming members who were jailed, Nadya & Masha, interviewed by the very well respected, Jon Snow, of Britain’s Channel 4 in November, 2014 (4.42). Despite Snow’s insinuations about totalitarian Russia, the pair confirm that they have led a fairly free life since release and Snow’s pushing and prodding ends up making him look like a bit desperate.
By the press not having a more balanced appraisal of Putin & the Russian court, in relation to Pussy Riot, they have foolishly shown their cards. Patently, we do not have a Free press, we have a press with a very obvious agenda!
#3 Repeat That Putin Is Anti-Gay
The Western press has also been pushing that Putin is anti-gay (see also, video above, #2.1). In a CBS September 2015 interview with Emmy Award-winning journalist, Charlie Rose, Putin counters the accuracy of those attacks (duration 2.50).
#4 Build Up The Putin/Trump Bromance
The press has been nurturing the idea of a bromance between Putin & renegade Republican US Presidential candidate, Donald Trump…
4.1 …which has now seeped into Social Media culture Trump/Putin Meme
4.2 although Putin is putting up a fight. He refused to be bullied by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, who claimed the bromance as a fact in June 2016.
[NOTE: Quotable quote from Putin @ 4.00 that Americans should be aware of – “The world needs a strong super-power like [the US], perhaps we need it too.”]
The Press utilizes this bromance to denigrate both Putin and Trump, by mutual association. See also: #1 (above).
#5 Keep Pushing The Probability Of War With Russia
Lately (August 2016), there has been a steady trickle across most “quality” newspapers and TV, reporting on the increased possibility of war with Russia. Putin addresses this subject, talking to a collection of global journalists, June 2016, duration 1.32) but his pleas go unheard and instead, we hear about Russia “belligerence” and her intention to invade Poland, the Baltic States &/or Ukraine. While the sources for these stories are not usually from Western governments, per se, it’s clearly a theme being distributed from the highest level of governments via proxies, such as retired generals, to build a case for Western “retaliation” to Russian “aggression”. The implications keep turning up:
Putin is crazy.
Putin is a dictator.
Russia is bad.
Russia wants to invade Europe.
Don’t believe it, please.
Russia’s Defense budget is 10% that of the USA & European NATO members. Would any sane person believe that Russia would start a war that she had no hope of winning?
No! The case being built is pure propaganda and based upon laughable logic. Further, in June 2016, NATO launched a full-training war games exercise in Poland (which adjoins Russia) with more than 30,00 troops from 24 nations. One has to ask, attempting to keep a straight face, “Who is intimidating who?”.
Has The Case For War Been Convincingly Made?
When I first attended university in 1976, I started an admittedly-quixotic Arts degree that was intended to be part English Literature and part Mathematics. In hindsight, I was attempting to weave two very different ways of approaching Life into one – perhaps even subconsciously attempting to develop two entirely separate parts of my brain. Anyway, one of the joys was discovering Calculus, mathematical problems that would take me about twenty minutes to complete.
When it was good, it was very, very good but reasonably often, I’d go through each logical step and frustratingly, reach an incorrect result. Of course, with Mathematics, there’s no emotion invested in being “right”, no “history” of billions of dollars of War shenanigans, no jingoistic chest-beating, no quasi-religion of political or economic persuasion – there’s just logic. And knowing the required answer, meant that working back to find where my logic was faulty, became reasonably painless.
The world does not have that luxury, now, and I fear that we – as Western societies – are being herded into “logically” accepting a tragically, incorrect conclusion about the inevitability of war. If the West presently fears a few dirty bombs falling into the hands of Islamic renegades, how would we feel about thousands of tactical nuclear weapons falling into the hands of Russian renegades after an official war had concluded and then being used against the West?
And if the pattern of Iraq and Libya continues and former members of Russia’s military forces become “terrorists”, there would probably be millions of highly-trained fighters prepared to carry on a guerilla war against what they perceived as an evil, invading empire.
If that sounds like Star Wars, it’s meant to – because we are facilitating the rise of Evil. In The Return Of The Sith, when Senator Armidala witnesses the always-gullible Jar Jar Binks asking the senate to increase Chancellor Palpatine’s powers and make him Emperor, she says “So, this is how Liberty dies, with thunderous applause.” (0.07)
The Cold War never became a real war because of one understanding, M.A.D., Mutual Assured Destruction. Neither side could strike because both would be destroyed. The case for war with Russia is being prosecuted by the Western press without that consideration – it’s madness! The current PRO-war articles appearing in the press seldom refer to M.A.D. and infer that at the “conclusion” of the war, there will be peace.
A war with Russia will probably result in millions of deaths, widespread famine, the destruction of the Western & Russian civilizations and almost certainly, the contamination of the entire planet for thousands of years. That is the conclusion from the possibility of an ongoing guerilla nuclear war – and any other is either delusional or has been attained through faulty logic!
“We are America, second to none, and we own the finish line.
Don’t forget it.”
Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, July 2016
I am no apologist for Mr. Putin – I don’t have the resources to check the claims of human rights abuses or journalists being murdered in Russia.
Nor can I possibly have any knowledge whether Putin, Russia, Russian billionaires or Russian banks are funding the Far Right in France, Hungary, Greece and other countries, in order to destabilize Western economies, the EC and NATO. Those claims may or may not be true – but if they are, and the Far Right are actually receiving those funds through Western banks, then Putin’s “actions” are being both condoned and encouraged, at a governmental and a pan-European level.
I don’t have access to insider INFO as to which Washington think tank or lobbyist is now open to Russian influence.
I don’t have the knowledge about what portion of the blame – if any – Russia must bear for what is happening in Syria…
…but I do know that the American-led intervention has been going on since 2011 and has mostly led to more chaos. Gee-whiz, it’s almost as if that was intentional. Russian direct intervention began in 2015 and ISIS appears to be weakening.
From the Russian perspective, at least, Russia’s dynamic Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, had much to say in October 2016, about Western media’s reporting (4.15) of the terrible situation in Syria, in response to a press question about Russian “aggression” – a video that I strongly recommend viewing.
So, has the case for war with Russia been convincingly made?
No, not by any means and I put to you, quite seriously, in relation to the US President’s worries in our comic video, has Suburban Geek really attempted to take over your minds or have you been invited to take control of your own?