Saturday, April 02, 2005

Anatomy of a Meme, Part II


In Anatomy of a Meme, Part One, I described, at some length, my conflicted feelings about using Extreme Spin to do the Right (ie. left) Thing. This led me to a pretty big and, I think, pretty important question.....

"Is there way to work the AgitProp game that allows you to 'Stick it To the Man' while simultaneously 'Sticking to the Truth'?

Not sure if I've found the answer to that question, but one thing I have discovered is that once you've convinced yourself to dip a little toe into the pool called 'End Justifies The Means' it is very hard to keep yourself from stripping naked and diving right in.

Especially when it works.


When the first Email from Citizen Ka(ne)yber Toss arrived, I didn't know what to do.

Not because I didn't think what he was offering up was interesting - because it was.

And not because I didn't think what he was offering up was hilarious - because it was.

It's just that I wasn't sure if it was true, and perhaps more importantly, if it was fair.

Now, as far as I can tell, Citizen K. is a true believer. I see him (or is it her?) around the local bloggodome pretty often and I really enjoy visiting his site, which uses all manner of multimedia manipulations to demonstrate, by interweaving fact and satire, that the BC Liberal Party's real agenda is to 'structurally correct' British Columbia's economy and social fabric such that a new 'Golden Era' can emerge.

Now, of course, spincycle shills like Erin Airton, hundreds of Chamber of Commerce Board Members from Vancouver to Vanderhoof, and even Gordon Campbell himself would probably be ecstatic if they could convince us that that, and only that, was all that they are really up to.
(four thats, that, sorry)

But what folks like Citizen K also make clear is the critical point that, despite how it is being pitched, the New Era will not be Golden for all of us. Instead, it has been designed to smash down all those collective public institutions that actually help 99% of the people because, as has been demonstrated over and over again throughout history, Golden Eras/Gilded Ages can only emerge when greed and exploitation are allowed to flourish such that the rich get richer and the rest of us get, well, screwed.

And that's why I call Mr. Campbell and his Corporate paymasters 'Neandercons' .

Because what they really want to do is turn back the clock to a time when the commoners really were common (and poor, repentant and under-represented). In other words, there is nothing new or 'neo' in their 'con'.

All of which is a longwinded way of saying that I'm on the same page as Citizen K and that I am convinced that he is not an agent provocateur for the other side.

But, still, when his Email came I couldn't quite shake the nagging thought that, in his unshakable commitment to the cause, Citizen K might be tempted to step an inch or so over the line.

Which for me at least would be about 2.54 centimeters too far.

So, I let his offering languish for a while.

Then someone with out-of-the-dome political connections steered me toward Dan Doucette's original post on Indy Media which verified everything Citizen K had said .

"....I saw this T-Shirt for sale at the Wal Mart in Vernon... I did a double take... laughed my head off... then promptly bought one. The shirt is a genuine "MARVEL®" Punisher t-shirt, as the label says : assembled in Mexico on US fabric.....Yes, it's the Gordon Campbell shot."

And that was enough to convince me that Citizen K's montage, which looks like this, was the real thing.

But I still wasn't convinced it was fair

And so, I held back......

Will I get over my squeamishness and, if so, how?

Read all about it in Part III of Anatomy of a Meme..... coming soon to a Bloggodome near you.


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