America the self-pitying? Or just plain stupid?


Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamTo us foreigners, America’s apparent total refusal to see the obvious from 2016 is baffling. Trump will come and Trump will go. He’s not the long term problem. The problem is America’s total failure to face any kind of tangible reality, or do anything about it, for decades.

It’s a horrible shame. Things could have been so much better. Ignorance and real, applied stupidity have done the damage.

America’s horrible list of failures

America has successfully failed to face:

  • Trashed generations which could have been so much more.
  • Lost, bungled wars of all kinds despite an effective military.
  • Its own deliberately generated hatreds and polarizations.
  • A culture of intellectually bankrupt financial management.
  • The plague-like spread of organized crime and corruption at all levels.
  • The culture of dishonesty which is now poisoning every single fact.
  • The industry of greed which perverts basic daily business at all levels.
  • A truly psychotic business management culture.
  • Ridiculous prices “because we can” for critical basics like health and education.
  • Unspeakable generational poverty and demonizing of the poor.
  • Stunningly talentless maladministration on every level of government.
  • Colossal waste of people and resources on a fantastic scale.
  • Chronic insularity at the expense of all known facts.
  • The institutionalization of the Rust Belt and the mentality of Failure Incarnate that it represents.
  • Serial corporate law breaking in all sectors.
  • Careerism and related life models based on a world which no longer exists, at great expense.

THE great American novel. Should be used as a political primer until 2020.

Arguably worse than all of the above is the unquestioning acceptance of failure in every possible form. Not one damn thing has ever been done about any of it, all the way back to Nixon.  It’s self-inflicted. Whole generations of weak, facile, astonishingly stupid and even more astonishingly untrustworthy people have made it happen.  Others have allowed it to happen. Guilt is shared.

Consider this little litany, which is just a sample:

  • McCarthyism, the All-American mechanism of oppression still used today
  • Vietnam
  • Watts riots
  • Watergate
  • Enron
  • Lehmann Bros.
  • Insolvent banks
  • GFC
  • Sub primes
  • Municipal bonds
  • Hurricane Katrina/FEMA
  • 911

You can’t have this level of constant, unmitigated, catastrophic national failure by accident. The reaction to decades of failure has been equally pathetic. The only visible reaction to 60 years of obsessive failure has been for someone to occasionally pop out like a cuckoo clock and say “O woe is us”, and disappear in a puff of utterly useless self-pity.

America vs its own success?

For a culture based on success, America has totally ignored the downsides of success. Past success spoiled America in a deadly way. The prosperity of the past was a good excuse to let things slide. They slid. Who cared about some war in a country they’d never heard of, or some riot somewhere? Everyone was comfortable, and comforted by the theory of trust in something called America. The future was going to be so much better, too. It isn’t, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Experts by the shipload from 1945 onwards warned of future problems and were unanimously ignored in all practical terms. From Silent Spring to global warming, ignorance is highly paid bliss.  Ignoring experts is now standard practice. (They’re still warning, but at least they’ve stopped expecting anyone to listen, let alone understand a word.)

The bottom line is that Americans wax lyrical about a vision of America and simultaneously bemoan the inglorious actual failures. Absolutely nothing is done, and more failures inevitably emerge. It’s no coincidence. Failure generates failure. Failure evolves, like a new disease. The next big financial crashes and the next political disasters will be created by failures happening right now. Face it and fix it, or fail again.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

SMJ is finally re-published in a sort of reduced form, still a lot to do.



America in times of madness


Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamIt’s election year, 2016. Get up and read the latest totally false insanity. Watch America turn itself in to a hideous joke. Wade through the deranged social media crap. Read some poor bastard who thinks there’s any sanity left.

In times of madness, it’s reality which is made incomprehensible. If you’re prepared to believe anything at all, what use is reality to you? It’d only get in the way.

America’s relationship with reality is a sort of vague acquaintanceship. America seems to go shopping for reality. If it’s not in stock, they get something else, like a matching catastrophe.

America accessorizes catastrophes like some sad little fashion advisory:

  • Wall Street
  • Big Oil
  • Big Pharma
  • Big Education
  • Big Politics
  • List of corporations which budget for breaches of law in the billions
  • Poverty
  • Crime
  • Health
  • “Education” – You think?

It’s one hell of an ensemble. Imagine going to a red carpet event wearing dead kids, rotting garbage, and a large amount of designer diseases. Then imagine proving that your sanity is as good as your fashion sense.

  • In the 1960s, America went from Camelot to Vietnam.
  • In the 1970s, it went from Vietnam to Watergate.
  • In the 1980s, from Greed is Good to turning the country in to a crack house.
  • In the 1990s, to war again, with happy, sparkly contractors and more wars.
  • In the 2000s, from 911 to venal oil companies owning blocs of politicians.
  • In the 2010s, it went to a hysterical nuthouse swimming in massacres, pandemics and toxic waste.

American ValhallaThe fashion sense hasn’t changed much. Wearing nutcases as your national mascots is now top of the line style, with the rest of the baggage.  The most deranged statements are now accepted as fact, with no need for proof of any kind.

The really scary thing is that all those decades of total failure have taught absolutely nothing. Nobody seems to be thinking about how much worse it can get. …And it will. This tired, neglected edifice is already rotting to the core. The big ideals don’t fit in to very small minds. The people who created the problems are expected to fix the problems, when they can barely get out a press release without a major disaster.

The other side of the equation is just as bad. You can’t do the basics when the basics are too hard to understand because you’re too pitifully educated, and too lazy/stupid/pig-ignorant to understand them. The public is its own worst enemy.

Hey!Fresh new disasters are the likely result of this hideous descent in to total failure at all levels. How many gibbering maniacs does it take to achieve total failure? How many absolute fools does it take to destroy a nation? We now know. All these guys do is mass produce failure.

The real worry is 2020. How will they ever top this? Genocide? Nobody would notice, and anyway, they’re already doing that with health. Plagues, ditto. Already have plenty of those. Wars, too. Having made the world safe for plutocracy, they seem to have run out of options, as well as ideas.

It’s going to be hard to beat the rabid lunacy of 2016 with mere mass national self-extermination. The sheer stench of this election will be remembered for a long time. About all they could do is dismantle the country entirely. Don’t be too surprised to see the official rebirth of the Confederacy, (originality isn’t much in demand) a war with Texas (at least it’s closer), and some really crappy talent shows, (what a surprise).

How unexpected. The working theory is this:

  • Freedom attracts greatness.
  • Greatness creates wealth.
  • Wealth attracts parasites.
  • Parasites destroy everything that provides them with their resources.

Here’s another thought:

Screw this.

You have nothing to lose by telling it all to go to hell.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

Yes, America, you’re as dumb as you think you are


American ValhallaSaw in The New York Times today – “Are we unraveling?” Is America unraveling? You haven’t got the social fabric to make a cardigan for a termite.

You’ve gone from Somewhere Over the Rainbow to Somewhere Under the Indictments. Great move.

Screw tact. The time for tact is long gone.

Let’s get down to cases:

  1. You’ve got a virtual domestic war on your hands in terms of crime, race crimes, etc. which is doing more damage than Vietnam every year.
  2. Your health system is a mass murdering, ridiculously overpriced, chaos.
  3. Your education system is now a contradiction in terms.
  4. You have whole cities going bankrupt in the municipal bonds rackets which you’ve done nothing about for years.
  5. Your finance sector is insane beyond the dreams of conspiracy theories.
  6. The whole country is one big overpriced theme park for organized crime.
  7. Not one damn disaster has been properly managed in decades.
  8. You have a collection of unsanitary clowns for whom the only known policy for decades is tax cuts for the rich.
  9. Your media acts like a sort of whining mechanism in which pontifications about disasters take precedence over facts. Forget “Fourth Estate” – You can’t count that high any more.
  10. The most absurd lies can be sold as fact in any American media outlet.
  11. Corruption is the only real growth industry; the maggots just get bigger and more bizarre.
  12. Your political positions are now based on credulity, not credibility.
  13. Pollution and toxins are now endemic and you do nothing.
  14. Your deep emotional need to lose wars matches your total indifference to suffering veterans, and you call yourselves patriots.
  15. Any absolute lie can now be used as the actual basis of policies of all kinds.
  16. The most progressive, forward thinking nation in history now doesn’t even know where either itself, or the rest of the planet, might be.
  17. No ideals are left from the great days. Not one. The poor the sick and the huddled masses are totally screwed, and screwed again.
  18. There is no society. Communities are just groups drawn together by disasters.
  19. You can’t even get clean water in to homes in California and Michigan.
  20. Whatever is proposed will be turned in to a disaster.
  21. Congress no longer even pretends to be able to work at all.
  22. Plagues of serious medical conditions are now normal.
  23. Mass murders are now daily events nationwide.
  24. You believe any damn thing you see or hear from 2D commentators, but disbelieve expert analysis of any kind.
  25. Having destroyed the America that was, you think it’ll be coming back, like some sort of messiah.
  26. Total failure is the norm; it’s just more expensive.
  27. Your pitiful, comatose “leadership” doesn’t even need to pretend to get anything right any more.
  28. You’re told to hate and despise other Americans on a continual basis and you just do what you’re told. Rugged individualism? Shameless gutlessness.
  29. You’re living in a vacuum, and complaining about not having a say in things when you can’t even breathe.
  30. There is no vision for the future, and you’re wondering why you keep blundering in to more problems.

NYFW1Now the good news – I’m pro-American. It’s the most unfashionable, thankless thing to be these days in any kind of media, on any subject. I’m pro the America that actually was great, not this disgusting cretin factory. You think Donny Boy, a few groveling idiots and Wall Street can deliver that? Yes, you’re a moron.

To me America at its best is still a benchmark for national overachievement and real prosperity. The fact that you’ve blown it so thoroughly and so stupidly is the main issue.

Let’s do a scale – If America in its heyday was 100, modern America is about 19, and reducing rapidly. Some of the good things, like the science and occasional genuine individual brilliance remain, mainly because the obsessive morons aren’t involved. (These fields are seriously contaminated with sycophants and executive trash, but they still work, erratically.)

America’s DIY self-obliteration is a sight to see – If you think roadkills are worth looking at.  The micro-intellects infesting every aspect of business, industry and politics are the antibiotic resistant parasites doing the damage.

…And you keep right on tolerating it.

Let’s translate a few statements from America’s history in to modern frames of reference:

  • Government by the people – These are people? Since when?
  • For the people – Sure…When? Not since the Depression.
  • America the Beautiful – America the Brattish and proud of it.
  • Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – None of these, for decades.
  • Freedom of speech – The right to be shouted down and ignored by any subhuman skank jerk on a 9 figure media contract.
  • Home of the Brave – Home of the criminals.
  • Pursuit of excellence – Obsession with the mediocre.
  • We hold these truths to be self-evident – Unless we’re actually prosecuted for what we do with these truths.
2016 US elections, sydney media jam

Who needs reality anyway, when you’ve got American media?

…. So tell me, idiots, how’re you doing? Yes, you are as stupid as that. What are you going to do about it? Absolutely nothing, so far. You’re now experts in blame, rather than achievements. Whatever goes wrong next will be someone else’s fault. Isn’t that nice? Of course it is, you fuckwits. It’s the perfect excuse for failure, and it works every time.

The solution, and you shouldn’t need to be told –

  • Lose the damn system. It’s killing you, every second. Get the important things in to the hands of the talented people, not the deal-making corpses who’d sell their kids for firewood if they could get a decent price for them.
  • Create new things and new accessible useful things that don’t have to be subject to the whims and tantrums of every overpaid nutcase in the country.
  • Give away food, jobs, health services, education and housing. No law against it. If there’s a gift tax, do it as a co-op or something too complicated for the gerbils to understand.
  • Let the 1% gibber and drool on about being rich – Anything which distracts Crazy Rich America and their servile pets and keeps them busy with the Great Vacuum of Life has to be good for everyone else. They belong in care facilities, so keep them happy in their expensive, mindless slums.
  • Isolate the nuts in irrelevant occupations like protecting the interests of dead sectors. They’re used to that; they’ll never even notice the difference.
  • Basically, exclude the stupidity – It’s only dangerous when it’s compulsory.

I’m not going to write this again. I’ve been doing a lot of journalism, and I’ve had more than enough of writing about stupidity, which is the main topic of modern journalism. You have a very bad, but very fixable problem. If you don’t fix it, you get what you deserve.

One more thing, specifically for my own side of the fence – Don’t pretend to be progressive if you never progress. Rhetoric means nothing. Hype is just hype. Facts matter; nothing else does. Get that straight, and you might get somewhere.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books



Making America Great Again – OK, how?



Are we poor enough yet HYFDAY versionThe real greatness of America at its best is a much debated issue. Some point to the rise of the modern consumer society, which is basically an American version. Some point out the century or more of breakthrough technological achievements. Some combine the two and call it the modern lifestyle.

The vast prosperity of America in its heyday of greatness was a fantastic, unequaled, achievement for any society. The country was young, clean, vibrant, and relatively sane. It was healthy. It was better educated than any other country on Earth. The last Lincoln Republican, Eisenhower, enforced civil rights. Migrants wanted to be “Americans”, whatever that word actually means at any point in history. There was no Rust Belt and no Slum Belt. Infrastructure wasn’t a century out of date.

The air was breathable and didn’t kill an estimated 200,000 Americans every year. Toxic waste and pollution by check book breaches of environmental law weren’t so common. Schools weren’t predestined disaster areas. College was more or less affordable with a bit of effort. Not quite Disneyland, but a lot closer than now, comparatively.

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