Freeze Peach | Tech overlords self-medicate inauguration fever
Freeze Peach is an irreverent weekly column dedicated to newsfeed commentary and cultural analysis. The name is a corruption of the phrase free speech. Turn on, tune in, drop out.
As US SNL comedian Leslie Jones says in Charlie Brooker's Netflix comedy special Death to 2020: "I'd say it was a trainwreck and a shitshow, but that would be unfair to trains and shit." Yup. The human experience is a shared one and none more so than the tidal dystopia of 2020's global pandemic.
This week's Twitterverse was ablaze with #InaugurationWeek in #WashingtonDC. Why do we care? Well, because whatever happens in America somehow affects us all. As the once leading, now fading global hegemon, we should try to understand it's unique political madness to inform our own global lives better.
In true US bombast, Lady Gaga is a Hunger Games tribute singer. I a bit cringe.
Meanwhile, surrounding the capitol were up to 20,000 National Guard troops, which the LA Times called "an 'unprecedented' approach to security in DC."
The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal reported from DC's militarized "Red Zone," where 28,000 National Guard soldiers were deployed ahead of Joe Biden's inaugural ceremony. Is this China?
Watch his January 19 report to get a sense of real scenes in the capital before the fireworks started. Crazy.
But the winds of partial change were sown back in November when then-president-elect Joe Biden – whose vacuous campaign signified absolutely nothing other than not being Trump – announced his national security picks, most of which have extensive ties to war profiteers and large corporations.
On the list of connections to these capitalist juggernauts are the usual suspects: General Dynamics, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, etc. As western powers continue to refuse to conclude their influence over the Saudi regime-led genocide in Yemen, one imagines CEOs for these companies, like Lockheed Martin's Marillyn Hewson, bonus smirking at the deaths of innocent children by laser-guided Lockheed bombs.
With more announcements of Biden's corporate cabinet coming into focus, former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges went on the Jimmy Dore Show post-inauguration to discuss the roots of rage in Tinderbox America.
"Biden has always served corporate interests going back to when he was Senator Credit Card in Delaware," he said.
"It's just another species of corporate colonialism... there will be more women and more people of color, but they will serve the machine. And if they don't serve the machine, they are out."
Perhaps President Credit Card goes to bed in a NASCAR onesie with all those corporate logos on, firstly to remind him of his allegiances, and secondly, to keep his ailing mind in check. Uncle Joe, please tell us the story of how corporate lobbyists conquered American democracy before bed again?
Biden's pick for defense secretary, Retired General Lloyd Austin, predictably sits on the board of directors for Raytheon Technologies and is yet another clear example of congress members who profit personally from war.
And like clockwork, last Tuesday, he announced this.
We all know the US loves an imagined "security threat" and that foreign Babadooks have been the los paranoias de jour since WW2. Iraq WMD's being the most iconic Babadookian example of false narrative engineering.
It's all looking somewhat cynical, familiar, and frankly exhausting.
Barely a week into his presidency, as if prepared the moment he was elected and ready to roll, Biden's team is ramping up wars again.
Last Thursday, a US convoy of 40 trucks and armored vehicles illegally entered Syria to reinforce their presence in the North East and continue to "protect" (ahem steal) oil. As Americans further await the debacle of coronavirus stimulus checks – summed up beautifully here.
Meanwhile, actual Syrians Tweet helplessly in the face of the grisly bully-boy nation pillaging (protecting!) a sovereign nation's natural resources once again.
The futility of the "lesser of two evils" argument has never been clearer: "same crap."
Capitol Hill's storming ushered in a new era of chronic cancel culture. As former-president-orange-uncouth got removed from Twitter for inciting chaos on the premise of election fraud, mainstream media and tech overlords took it upon themselves to effectively start controlling accepted narratives, with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitting that while Trump's ban was the "right decision," it has set a "dangerous precedent."
So, what does it all mean? It means that when people are at odds with the status quo – anyone, anywhere – and they get purged for it without a voice for their values and opinions, they'll end up surrendering their interests to support the status quo down the path of least resistance. That's the intention, at least. Self-censorship is a powerfully silent thing.
Questions: Will we all soon get discouraged from discussing our valid opinions in favor of blending in with the rest? Will the more emboldened of us getting thrown out of the conversation entirely? How then can any meaningful change take place if we're afraid to talk about sensitive issues?
Trump's silencing only highlights the unelected authoritarian power of tech giants. You'd think Twitter was a western global company serving anyone and everyone who had access to it. More of this is coming, and trust me, it's not going to be good.
From the Twitterverse to Kamala's converse (and Bernie's mittens) – the Biden-Harris inauguration had little in common with the usual celebratory mood. Yet, mainstream media couldn't help itself devolving into uncritical leadership discourses on fashion and lifestyle.
Regardless, some cheered on from the sidelines.
Others not so much.
But wait, it gets more woke. The LA Times has a new column.
Finally, and perhaps most tragically, Bernie Sanders, a US political figure with real heart and the policies for change for regular Americans, was reduced to an internet meme based on some mittens he wore at the inauguration.
You've probably seen many variations, but this one was the best.
But seriously, why don't people love Bernie's ideas as much as they do his memes? Over and out.
As he would refer himself, J.B. Browne is a half "foreign devil" living with anxiety relieved by purchase. HK-born Writer/Musician/Tinkerer.