Monday, June 6, 2011

My Sakes Michael, or, So Many Michaels But So Little Time

Main Stream Media (MSM) has become a catchphrase for basically all media. I think in the beginning it started out as being just the media outlets the name caller didn't like but it has grown to encompass all media.

I was watching a documentary called Collapse this weekend.  It is described by the director:"In the end, it is a character study about his [Michael Ruppert's] obsession." However, one must wonder just how correct Michael Ruppert is in his obsession given his really tight and seamless world view. He is at least more compelling and journalistic than a favorite MSM, Fox News. His world view really hinges on one concept, that of "peak oil."

Actually, the prediction of U.S. oil production peaking was accurately predicted in 1956 to be 1965-1970. While the evidence for peak oil on an international scale is somewhat slim because Middle Eastern countries aren't as open with statistics, we do see them beginning to drill offshore. Why would one be drilling offshore if one had plenty of cheap supply onshore? Wikipedia's article puts the prediction of peak oil at about 2020 or later. Does that seem far away to anyone?

There is a great deal of evidence that we have an economic pattern that is systemic in nature. It is indeed sad to see Michael Ruppert's obsession with what people might call "alarmism." Yet the alarmists just before the great fanancial catastrophe of recent years were correct. Some made lots of money and the book about these guys probably is the single most interesting book about the financial collapse. Michael Lewis' The Big Short.

Michael Ruppert says there are three kinds of people in a Titanic type disaster where there is a sinking ship and not enough lifeboats. 1) those who see the boat sinking but have no idea what to do, 2) those that see the boat sinking and want to prepare and build lifeboats and 3) those who refuse to believe the boat is sinking. Personally, I fall in a different category, how do I get my family and myself near one of those lifeboats. That is actually the view shared by the various businessmen Michael Lewis reports on. It's a selfish view but one based on facts and correct predictions. If we knew in advance (and did due diligence to warn others while being ignored) wouldn't we be sleeping in the lifeboat instead of our cabin? Now the businessmen profiled by Michael Lewis did not warn very loudly but they couldn't believe such idiots surrounded them ignoring the same information they had or the obvious ice on the decking.

Over the weekend, I also watched Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story  This is a very funny documentary and might well be the best Michael Moore has ever made. I guess it is funny unless one needs one's eyes opened about things. It is harsh humor then.

Capitalism has never been truely questioned in the MSM, nor has our system of government (the one with the current unmistakeable veto power given to Senators.) The MSM savaged President Jimmy Carter when he talked of things like sacrifice. How would you feel if people were being asked to sacrifice your advertiser's products? So sacrifice is not popular.

Yet in capitalism's lack of values lies the seeds of our destruction. Other countries are simply better at this stuff than we are. As Michael Moore so aptly points out, the reason we were so far ahead in the 1950's was the lack of competition from a war torn world. Now that these US industries are basically gone because of more efficient competition from the rest of the world, do we still want to swagger around spreading good old loveable unfettered capitalism? We are no longer unique with our form of economics nor our form of government. Absent competition we shone like star atheletes. With competition, we were fat guys drinking beer. 

Blaming the MSM for a lack of understanding of the ice on the decks would be easy. The blame should be shared by people who watch and read the Main Stream Media and just no longer think for themselves.  Really, it's not like Michael Ruppert didn't get his "knowledge" from somewhere. He talks about scanning the MSM although he hates the MSM with all his might. Where else is the knowledge going to come from? Where else is ours?

I can watch this documentary of Michael Ruppert's alarmism and still not be alarmist. I can critically read Michael Lewis' The Big Short. I can watch Michael Moore's tongue in cheek humor with a tongue planted in my own cheek. And I can take the MSM for what it is: advertiser supported news.

The point is that we all need to try to understand. We ARE at a critical moment here. Reading and learning is important and we need to take time for it.