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“Every notion of progress is refuted by the existence of the Iliad.” – Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony
“The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep.” – Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle
It’s still the same old story. The best propaganda places individual stories within a larger framework. The individual is extolled or damned in the service of the controlling myth.
Senator John McCain is a case in point. As an individual, he is not important, except as the glorified stories about him and his own confabulations about himself can be used to enhance the controlling myth. American history is replete with such bloodthirsty, war-mongering individuals, whose lives and stories serve to enhance the American myth of being “God’s New Israel” and Americans being God’s chosen people whose mission is to spread “freedom” and “democracy” around the world with our “terrible swift swords.”
As Bob Dylan put it,
“But I learned to accept it/Accept it with pride/For you don’t count the dead/When God’s on your side.”
Myths are the invisible narrative skeletons of our outward lives. They are limited in number and keep getting reused in different forms. All we do hangs upon their bones. This is true for nations and for individuals. Myths are what people take for granted and do not question. Our lives are telling stories, and myth means story.
We tell our lives by living stories. Then others tell those stories about us when we are dead.
Of course, some control freaks try to manage their myths from the grave, as did McCain, who knew how the game is played, and who got his brothers-in-arms, George W. Bush and Barack Obama to polish his myth as he lay silent before them.
“We Lost a Good One,” blared the New York Times, as McCain was lying in state, and liars of state, Bush and Obama, were preparing to shill for him as they shilled for war and the overthrow of foreign governments for their masters.