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Writing in No-Man's-Land

Me and The New York Times

Since objectivity is out of the question in these post-modern times, the only way to read something like The New York Times is skeptically. My conservative, militarist father loved to say, “Don’t trust the printed word.” And that goes for every other medium invented by mankind. One should also be skeptical of people; I certainly became that way with dear ol' dad. It especially applies to blogs that grow in the internet like mushrooms and sometimes explain the world in the easy, hyperventilating terms of conspiracy against the good people reading the blog in question. The fact is The Deep State is a metaphor, a formation of the human mind created to simplify and explain things that are either dauntingly complicated and therefore beyond our everyday understanding or things that are essentially unexplainable -- part of The Great Mystery. Metaphor faces down chaos and gives us a handle to grab. Actually, much of language is metaphor. Once a metaphor becomes used enough it loses its metaphoric quality and simply becomes an assumption of reality itself. Metaphor, of course, is instrumental in the creation and maintenance of conspiracies.

For several years, I’ve co-hosted an online radio show every Tuesday afternoon in which we fling jokes and metaphors around like Frisbees. I live in a Philadelphia suburb and Mike Caddell, my co-host and creator of the show, lives in rural Jefferson County, Kansas. He calls the show Radio Free Kansas and Kansas sometimes comes out as "Brownbackistan" -- for its right-wing governor, Sam Brownback. Kansas has a rich back-story of radicalness going back to John Brown, who with his sons terrorized violent pro-slavers in the 1850s. I like to call the show a dialogue between the liberal, decadent northeastern and red-state, rural, fly-over Kansas. To borrow Trump attack dog Stephen Miller's latest assault on the press, for many Kansans on the right I clearly have a "cosmopolitan bias." That is, anti-rural and urbane, in the sense of able to cope with diversity and densely-packed humanity. Jeff Greenfield has done the research on the idea of cosmopolitanism and found out it was employed by Stalin to tag journalists and other threats in his day. On Radio Free Kansas, I contribute information from The New York Times, which for many conservative people in Kansas might as well be called The Hell Times. Kansas is an interesting place. I've begun to wonder: Is it possible far-far-far-right Kansas, now facing bankruptcy issues, might be one of the first red states to crack? Is it possible rays of purple light might escape out of those cracks?

Polls have shown that elements of Donald Trump’s base are more interested in bashing liberals and leftists than they are in any kind of effective, constructive policies for a "great" nation in decline. If these polls are true, is it possible liberals and leftists have become the new “niggers” in the Trump world? Consider this from southern Texas politician Lyndon Johnson:

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

story | by Dr. Radut