Friday, November 15, 2013

The Liberal Media: The Onans they've been Writing For

Most things are a means to some other end, but some things must be ends in themselves, otherwise the whole existentialada falls apart at the seams. Thinking, for example, is always about something else. Most people stop thinking at some arbitrary point and call it a deity.

The materialist, for example, stops his thinking at an abstraction he calls "matter" or "nature." Matter is the end of his cognitive striving, although it is a dead end.

Or, more to the point, it is a logocidal deadened end -- murdered by his prior assumptions, since no one has ever proved that matter is literally dead, not to mention mindless. If the cosmos were either of these things, it couldn't bloody well conjure materialists out of its barren womb, now could it?

In order for there to be an intelligible cosmos, some things must be, as Hart puts it, "autotelic" -- auto meaning self, telic meaning end. Thus, in the words of Professor Wiki, an autotelic entity is something "having a purpose in and not apart from itself."

Truth, for example, is quintessentially autotelic -- at least for a wholesome human being. Truth is never for the sake of something less than itself. Rather, human beings must have a "disinterested interest" in truth, regardless of the implications.

Now, one thing you will have noticed about particularly brazen liars such as an Obama or Clinton, is a peculiar relationship to truth. It is not just that they lie, which anyone can do. Rather, their type of lying is always parasitic on a consciously known truth which must be avoided.

Imagine you are having a deep, passionate, and intellectually honest discussion with another person. In so doing, you don't simply throw out predigested talking points. Rather, it will be as if you are consulting the deepest part of your own nonverbal experience, struggling to put it into words.

Conversely, if you saw yesterday's press conference -- or really, any time the president must speak off the cuff -- you can almost see the wheels spinning inside, as he recognizes a truth and then struggles to find the words to avoid acknowledging it.

There is something fundamentally sick about this. Of course, it is one of the most common tools of the dark art of politics, but for some people the tool becomes the master. From the very beginning (you can look it up), I noticed that Obama wasn't just a liar, but rather, a Lie.

Fouad Ajami has a nice piece in the WSJ that touches on this question. In Obama's case, he was able to conceal the Lie under a veneer of charisma -- at least for the weakminded souls susceptible to such a frivolous appeal:

"The current troubles of the Obama presidency can be read back into its beginnings. Rule by personal charisma has met its proper fate. The spell has been broken, and the magician stands exposed. We need no pollsters to tell us of the loss of faith in Mr. Obama's policies -- and, more significantly, in the man himself."

To quote the Poet, In my beginning is my end, and this end and beginning are always there. Yes, character is destiny, but absence of character is fate. Thus, Obama was fated to this dead end, which will be either a pathetic whimper a catastrophic bang, depending upon how soon his "signature achievement" can be erased from history.

There are deeper layers to the Obama Fail, for reasons alluded to above. Again, certain things must be ends in themselves, e.g., truth, beauty, love, and, most importantly persons.

But think about the pathological narcissist: his soul-sickness revolves around the fact that he is his own end. He is "self-sufficent" or "autotelic." Not really, of course, since the narcissist unconsciously craves the adoration of the crowd.

But consciously he is Above It All. He cannot take in new information, since this is a direct threat to his illusory omniscience. Thus, his is really an "ignorant omniscience," because you have to be rather stunningly ignorant to imagine you are omniscient -- about, say, an infinitely complex healthcare system containing more information than any human being -- or any group of human beings -- could ever master.

Jim Geraghty, in this morning's jolt, writes of yesterday's sad performance, which you will especially want to watch "if you’ve been wondering when the rest of the world would see the same guy you’ve been seeing since, oh, 2007 or so... in over his head, out of touch with the real world, banal in his off-the-cuff remarks, and unable to distinguish between good intentions and genuine results."

This goes to the fact that inside every narcissist is a withered homunculus that has been shielded from reality by a grandiose "false self." Grandiosity is always a primitive defense mechanism against its opposite, e.g., helplessness, absence of control, lack of primary affirmation during childhood -- not to play amateur psychologist, but the very things Obama missed out on in his dysfunctional upbringing. Thus, beneath the nicely tailored big boy clothes and polished babble, we see his "hapless, meandering, slow remarks."

Jonah Goldberg describes the darketypal mask Obama has plucked from the ancient gallery, old Narcissus: "In every tale of hubris, the transgressor is eventually slapped across the face with the semi-frozen flounder of reality. The Greeks had a god, Nemesis, whose scythe performed the same function. It was Nemesis who lured Narcissus to the pool where he fell in love with his own reflection."

So, Obama is indeed drowning, but the liberal media helped construct the pool -- or narcissistic matrix, if you like. The very media that has spent six or more years mirroring and reinforcing Obama's omniscience is now "discovering" that the omniscience is just a fantasy. Some enterprising investigative journalist needs to trace the fantasy back to the autotelic media hacks who made this self-absorbed adolescent president possible.

Speaking of beginnings -- and ends -- what else can "We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For!" refer to but narcissistic autoteleology? Or in other words, political mutual masturbation.

We'll conclude with a comment by Berdyaev: "For Marxism human personality is only a means, not an end in itself. The human soul is not of unconditional value, as in Christianity." Rather, human beings are simply a means to the triumph of socialism, and to this latter divinity "human sacrifice is offered."

How many millions will be sacrificed on the altar of Obamacare, no one can say.


Blogger Kurt said...

Lord, have mercy on our country! How sad to have reached this advanced state of moral decay and it all seems to have happened so fast, too. Is this the end of the progressive movement, as some of our pundits think? I am not so sure, nor do I think that they will go quietly. The societal breakdown is too far along for there not to be violence, unfortunately. Lord, help us to do the right thing during these difficult days...

11/15/2013 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No, I'm afraid omniscience hasn't reached its endpoint, that being single payer.

11/15/2013 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

So, Obama is indeed drowning, but the liberal media helped construct the pool -- or narcissistic matrix, if you like.

At least Narcissus only had a reflection in a pool. Imagine what might have happened to him if instead, he had armies of photographers and others whose sole purpose was to make him as attractive as inhumanly possible, and to throw in a few halo effects for that saintly glow on top of all that.

I get the impression the average fashion model knows that the final results of the photos taken of her bear only a very slight resemblance to her actual appearance. The average politician, on the other hand...

11/15/2013 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Aut'telic, you say?

Hart is our brother.

Bob, it's posts like these that reassure that the book is on the right track.

In our version, Aut’Ponfekt, is the WarDen of a prison camp, and who was long ago seduced and thus "formed" by the Father of Lies. But he believes he was self-made. The Lie will do that to a person. The Guard "crushed-nose" was in turn seduced (infected) by Aut’Ponfekt...and so it goes...

11/15/2013 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Sounds like Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor.

11/15/2013 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

If Dostoyevsky got there before we did that's more good news!

I have The Brothers Karamazov. Now we haves to read it..

11/15/2013 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I refuse to gloat. I've seen too many wounded coyotes make their last stand fang to fang against the hounds. Not that Obama has the integrity or courage of a coyote, but some behind him do.

11/15/2013 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, like I said, omniscient stupidity is down but not out, and it's too stupid to know the difference anyway.

11/15/2013 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Strangely enough the one thing that might keep the left from going full Joker is Clinton. When Bill Clinton can call you out for being dishonest, it's pretty bad. Wild Bill sees this as a huge opening for his dear Calamity to start her bid to be the new savior.

11/15/2013 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Quote of the Decade Award goes to Ace of Spades:

"Oprah claims the contempt directed at Obama is due to racism. Nonsense-- the love directed towards him is due to race.

The contempt is due to his actual performance. To judge him by any other standard than his dismal performance is racial condescension."

11/15/2013 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Beautifully put and Extremely true -- I'm sure most blacks - because of the leftist brainwashing -- have no idea what a reservoir of good will white America has toward them, and how the country would like nothing more than to have a successful black president. And it's only because of toxic left that reservoir is shrinking.

11/15/2013 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, just so. Reminds me of an observation I think I've heard Prager make, that the Jews' best friends are conservative Christians, who would like nothing more than to see Israel thrive.

11/15/2013 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just saw a strangely haunting movie from 1968 called The Swimmer on TCM, starring Burt Lancaster. Anyone else ever see it? Kind of a hallucinatory allegorical dreamscape 20th century myth of everything. Still trying to figure it out.

11/15/2013 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

That's from a famous Cheever story, dir. by the Perrys-- Frank & Eleanor.
--that surreal end, eh??

11/15/2013 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Bob, I remember that film very well. I saw it as a younger man, and was compelled by its haunting imagery. For some reason it reminded me of the series called the Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan that aired around the same time. Different genres but similar tone and style. Wikipedia mentions that Lancaster considered it to be one of his favorite roles, despite lackluster sales at the box office.

11/16/2013 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

ge: the whole thing is surreal -- literally like entering someone's dream. And Ted: I can't believe the movie was even green-lighted, because it has no conceivable mass box office appeal.

11/16/2013 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I wonder if David Byrne was inspired by it to write Once in a Lifetime...

11/16/2013 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

The Perry team had pretty much clout in those freewheelin' chance-takin' auteur-believing '60's--

Dairy of a Mad Housewife, Last Summer...

11/16/2013 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Perry actually abandoned the film halfway through, over "creative differences" with Lancaster. It was completed by at least one other director, Sydney Pollack.

11/16/2013 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Si pero his wife did do the screenplay as she was noted for:

11/16/2013 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Skorpion said...

THE SWIMMER is one haunting little weird-dream of a film. If you liked that one, you might also enjoy SECONDS, where a middle-aged businessman pays a mysterious corporation to give him a new face and life as a young California-beach stud (played by Rock Hudson). Things get very strange, very quickly....

11/16/2013 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

That Canetti book looks fascinating!

11/17/2013 05:10:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Well not so sure now. I see Susan Sontag gave him a cover blurb endorsement.

11/17/2013 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We shall see. Hasn't yet arrived, but I'm sure it will have at least some useful nuggets. I'm surprised I'd never heard of it.

11/17/2013 06:46:00 AM  

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