or, Outhouse of Lunacy
1984 came and went without someone strapping a cage full of rats to the metaphorical collective face of general public unrest. A year that had once been synonymous with Big Brother and an overbearing, all controlling fascist state, was now more memorable for big hair and shoulder pads. George Orwell had been wrong, but only by about 20 years. Surveillance cameras on every street corner slipped a watchful eye over the civilian population without a word of protest. Just listen to the announcer as you pull into Arnos Grove tube station, “Cameras are in operation 24 hours a day for your protection.” Yes, my protection. Such as if a group of armed police followed me through a tube station and onto a train before holding me down and shooting several types of shit out of me with automatic weapons. Jean Charles de Menezes wasn’t protected by those cameras in life or death. They didn’t stop his execution and after his death, they were apparently not functioning well enough ( despite claims by CCTV operators, Tube Lines Consortium that the cameras were fully operational and recording ) to vindicate his deputised lynch mob. Well, they were working, but video surveillance is only as good as the people who destroy the tapes, and thus the fundamental flaw of modern ‘protective’ CCTV shows its true face. It’s nasty, manipulative, wears a shiny badge and can apparently get away with murder. This all powerful authority can control the surveillance footage, invent witnesses and have carte blanche to change the details of the past in such a way as to make the present a more convenient place. He who controls the present, controls the past. Sir Ian Warwick Blair tried to cover up the brutal execution of an innocent man, but unfortunately, his efforts came crashing down like a house of cards when his Deadly Assassination Squad were charged with violating Health and Safety procedures. A most severe crime, punishable by a small fine. The family of Jean Charles de Menezes can sleep easily now.
The complicit nature of the general populace will always help the continuation of our Orwellian society. In one of several statements that were later found to be untrue, civilian Mark Whitby told reporters that Jean Charles de Menezes had been wearing a large winter coat that “looked out of place.” Anthony Larkin, another ‘eye’ witness claimed Jean Charles was wearing a “bomb belt with wires coming out of it.” Others claimed that he’d vaulted over the ticket barrier ( he hadn’t, as one of the only surviving pieces of CCTV footage proved ) and that he’d run from the police despite their shouts for him to stop. What motivated these ‘witnesses’ to alter the truth so much? Was it really just their imagination filling in the blanks on what must have been a highly stressful and emotional situation? Was it the public lust for media attention that sent anyone within a mile of Stockwell tube station to the nearest reporter to tell ‘their story’? Was this the same motivation that caused a woman to claim to police a year after the shooting that Jean Charles had raped her several years earlier? DNA from his autopsy cleared him of any such crime.
When George Holliday had finished filming the beating of Rodney King in 1992, he took the footage to his local TV station. The L.A riots that followed the initial acquittal of his police attackers resulted in 54 deaths and over 7000 arrests. Truck driver Reginald Denny’s severe beating at the hands of a mob was shown live on TV, as captured by a helicopter flying overhead. Another lynch mob attack on construction worker Fidel Lopez was also captured on videotape. If CCTV somehow misses the action, you can bet there’ll be a passer-by with a video camera to supply the local TV stations and newspapers. Although taken to new levels of voyeurism with the fall of the World Trade Centre Towers, it’s still hard to find a newsworthy events that hasn’t been captured on videotape. Big Brother and his subservient assistants, are always watching.
In 2006, USA Today reported that many of the major telephone companies were ‘working in conjunction’ with the National Security Agency to monitor phone calls within the USA. Simply ‘watching’ everybody isn’t enough. MySpace pages are checked for social networking, e-mails and Internet browsing is monitored as well as financial records. 1800 people were arrested just before the 2004 Republican conference as a direct result from investigation by the NYPD into groups showing signs of political dissent. Condoleezza Rice defined an ‘Outpost of Tyranny’ as when, “ a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm.” Presumably, protesting against the Republican Party doesn’t count; otherwise Rice may be forced to name her own country as being an ‘Outpost of Tyranny.’ Incidentally, an ‘Outpost of Tyranny’ has a ‘fear society’ rather than a democracy.
A two party ‘democracy’ offers the religious zealots of the United States of America the opportunity to vote for one of two God-fearing neo-conservatives peddling the same agendas with different faces. Maybe the two parties should merge ( becoming the Republicrats perhaps ) and offer a single candidate. A political stooge whose every word is written for him ( Him? Of course him, the US citizens aren’t about to put a woman in the White House no matter how familiar her last name is. ) Previously the Presidential debates that preceded the elections used to be the only time a candidate seemingly worked off of the power of his own mind, but even that has been sullied under the not-so-well-hidden wire running up George Jr’s back at his last debate. Not that it matters. Candidate A is a family man who wants an automatic weapon in everyone’s home. Candidate B believes an invisible omnipotent deity is backing his bid for oil in a middle-eastern country. Candidate A has more money than God. Candidate B represents the interests of big business more than each and every individual of the country he’s trying to assume control of. Candidate A thinks education is the future…for rich white children in affluent areas. Yes, the future C.E.O’s of Exxon Mobil and Chevron must be nurtured at all costs. Candidate B thinks climate change is something that needs some more research into; after all, although every recognised independent scientific body in the WORLD recognises the harmful effects of Global Warming, the Government sponsored ‘Energy Task Force’, run by executives from Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Royal Dutch Shell and BP concluded that there’s nothing to worry about and that we’ll be much happier with this new found good weather. Anyway, why bother telling the truth that this will destroy the world, when you could’ve taken up Exxon Mobil’s offer of $10,000 for any article published claiming that it was all lies and that we should invest more heavily in burning fossil fuels. Then again, with profits that go north of 340 BILLION DOLLARS a year, I suppose they’re protecting more than just the Earth; they’re protecting their bank accounts. Exxon were personally thanked by the White House for their advice over the Kyoto agreement, and subsequent dismissal of it.
Big business funds the Government, who in turn pave the way for obscene amounts of money to be liberated from other countries and pumped back into big businesses. This allows the businesses to pay for the spectacularly high cost of an election campaign. Peter has indeed been robbed, to pay Paul. But big business doesn’t just own the Government. It owns the media. Whilst it runs the country, it’s also working 24/7 on controlling every aspect of your life. It tells you what to eat. What to wear. When to rise and when to sleep. It tells you what this year’s colour is, and who we should emulate in order to be better people. You could worry about life’s problems, and the injustice that permeates through your everyday life, or you could get Jennifer Aniston’s haircut. Why stops there? What great hair! And she’s so funny, the way she recites her scripted lines in a fictional environment where each characters motives, actions and words are pre-conceived! And she advertises L’Oreal. She says its great. Why would she tell us that if it wasn’t true? Would she really accept huge sums of money to trick her fans into buying a product she endorses for cash? Why would she lie? After all Jen’s been through so much recently, the least we can do is buy a range of hair products. Just tell us what to do. We’re very compliant.
Told what to wear. How to do our hair. Unable to even look at the Government in a dodgy manner without reprisal. Subservient to ever expanding TV screens. Respectful of our leaders. Happy to be one of those ‘normal’ people the news refers to when it mentions the crowds outside any Royal event. Under 24-hour surveillance by CCTV. George Orwell’s “Two Minute Hate” is evident through every form of media, as any edition of bestselling weekly magazine “Heat” will tell you. News filtered through millionaires. Abu Ghraib? Don’t they stick cage full of rats to your face there? No, they do much worse.
So when a country run by big business, who flourish on robbing smaller countries wealth, meet an obstacle in the shape of Belarus’ democratically elected leader whose first interest is in the people of that nation as opposed to some far off Western super-power, then what do they do? George Bush Jr, the “President of the Free World” (the words of the internationally recognised BBC ladies and Gentlemen ) and US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice ( a woman so evil, Chevron named an oil tanker after her ) stood up and did what they do best. They gave it a name. OUTPOST OF TYRANNY! As media-friendly as AXIS OF EVIL, and just as likely to spill from the pages of a Superman comic as it might from any large distribution newspaper printed in English. Belarus escaped entry onto the coveted Axis of Evil list by not having any fictional Weapons of Mass Destruction, although this is subject to change depending on the whim of George and Condoleezza as a reason for a future invasion. So, how do you back up the labelling of a country as an “outpost of tyranny”? I mean, outside a comic book. Well, as you’re not neighboured next to the Super-power in question, then you’re an outpost. A distant land. A rogue station, playing by its own rules. And a tyrannous one at that. War pensions? FREE health care? Low unemployment? A hugely popular President? Belarus is a country in much need of being drained of all of its wealth. Why would a country not want to import the culture of the USA? All those TV channels? The haircuts! McDonalds! Starbucks! The Disney Store! A minimum wage that gives new meaning to the word ‘MINIMUM’! You scratch our backs, and we’ll invade your country with our ‘culture,’ or you block us and we’ll invade with a media blanket of dis-information of the kind Winston Smith couldn’t comprehend. Hell, push us far enough and we’ll invade with tanks. After all, CNN have already told us about the opposition candidates that have ‘disappeared’ ( to the USA ) and the angry youths ( paid in dollars and shuttled in from Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine ) who protested the election results. The USA funded O.S.C.E commission were so keen to report your rigged elections that they forgot to oversee them. All those independent watchdog groups couldn’t find a fault with the elections, but I suppose sometimes you just have to take a giant step back and see it all within the bigger picture. That’s why the O.S.C.E results were the only ones published in the Western Press. It’s because they were so thorough, and not because they were merely the mouthpiece for the USA’s official line on the subject. It’s important to get the details right, or the people might not know what’s true and what’s a complete fabrication.
Winston Smith wasn’t alone in 1984. There were others, who saw through the phoney wars, and the double meanings of Newspeak. But they stayed silent. The Government worked tirelessly to keep them down. To keep the truth from them. To constantly present a picture of the world that was media micro-managed to such an extent as to be changing past news as well as current events. But that was fiction. And 1984 has been and gone. Now things are much worse, and the Government doesn’t need to torture the masses to get them to fuck up simple sums like 2+2. They just need to league table schools and start charging for education. 2+2? The answer’s easy, isn’t it? It’s Jennifer Aniston.