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