Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When They Get You to Feel Tremendously Deep Feelings Without Any Thought at All

That is the essence of the purest form of "Glowing Terms" and "Resonant Imagery." You mix that with the ever more resounding drum beat of "Be Afraid" (of any and all things -- change in general; supposed freedoms lost on the one hand, while important practical freedoms are taken away on the other; or simply that you lack in a plethora of personal characteristics: not manly enough, not womanly enough; not sexy enough, not popular enough, etc.) and you get a marketing/propaganda powerhouse that is truly breathtaking in its reach and breadth.

The visceral impact of this is brought home in a very well written piece for the Guardian on the NRA's 145th annual meeting and exhibits show by Ben Fountain. And let me tell you, if ever there were the best mix of consumer expo with political power building, and the orgy of money making underneath it all, this is it.

I really recommend that you give this article a read. The subtext here explains a lot of why money, and the selling of everything, for the benefit of a few, has become so toxic. Something that goes far beyond the mere fact of having a gun or not.

Fear, loathing and firearms: sensory overload inside the NRA's Mall of Death

Guns and wall-to-wall star-spangled patriotism are the National Rifle Association’s way of projecting a rugged image of strength to its members, but they also point to the steady current of hysteria throughout American history
From Tori Murden McClure, MDiv (Harvard), president of Spalding University, and the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean:
US deaths from terrorism, 2001-2015 (all numbers estimated high-end and rounded up):
  • 9/11: 3,000
  • Military personnel KIA, Afghanistan and Iraq: 7,000
  • Military contractors KIA, Afghanistan and Iraq: 7,200
  • Military personnel, postwar trauma (pegged to KIA in the absence of reliable figures): 7,000
  • Civilians, domestic terrorism: 87
  • Civilians, overseas terrorism: 350
  • Total: 25,000
And this:
US deaths in non-terror incidents involving firearms, 2001-2015: 404,496
And also this:
Estimated civilian deaths from GWOT in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2015 (from neutral sources, low-end estimate): 1,170,000