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The world changes for Strauss-Kahn

Politics / US Politics Jul 03, 2011 - 05:20 AM GMT

By: Michael_T_Bucci


Perhaps you judge by how much or how little money a person possesses; judge by their national origin or judge by their position in society. Perhaps you judge their character, morality and values instead. In the example of America's "rush to judgment" of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, perpetuated by a media that seems more yellow and sensationalist than ever before in its history, a lone man was singled out for vilification and public humiliation from a pool of such men accused of doing such things on any such day in any such American city.

Strauss-Kahn, charged and convicted without trial in a span of forty-eight hours, became the scapegoat and poster-boy for thousands of other men who, bereft of fortune, position or standing, go unnoticed, unjudged, unhumiliated and unvilified by the press. He was contemptible and condemnable to some because of how much money he possessed, his national origin, and because of his position in society. To others, he was condemned for his character, morality and values, or rather lack of these. All in all, Strauss-Kahn had no defenders in the court of America, where jurisprudence is practiced by corporate media masters and trials go without juries. The thirst for blood and pictures of punitive retribution are greater virtues than is the thirst for truth in this society. Justice often is secondary.

The national psyche possesses animosities that are revealed in such events: animosities toward wealth, toward the French, toward Europe, toward elitism. The decades-old sex wars emerge to castigate male predators. The class-war emerges to defend the servant girl against a dirty old rich baron. The $3000 per night hotel room proves the man's aristocratic contempt for little people and for the law. The media sold plenty of advertising, while power politics of the eurozone (and world) suddenly stood still - a factor completely irrelevant to an American focused on money, sex and maids, and to anyone who never heard the name Strauss-Kahn before, or knew what the initials IMF stand for or what it does.

The immediate events following Strauss-Kahn's arrest revealed a consensual delight by the media in exploiting the plight of a person well-known to them, but virtually unknown to the general public. If portions of the public eventually adopted a "lynch mob" mentality, it did so cued by media headlines, stories and editorials published on this and subsequent days. If media needed to publicly judge Strauss-Kahn last month, it itself needs to be judged today against those very standards it overturned covering this story. If Americans threw the first stone, let it return in equal measure.

"Rush to judgment" calls also had been lodged against those who associated Sarah Palin with the Tuscan shootings in January. Palin had created her own enemies over time, associated herself with hate-mongers, purposely provoked her followers to rage, and championed guns using its imagery in everyday diatribes. Associations made between she and Tuscan were not legitimate or provable, but were predictable. Unlike Palin, however, Strauss-Kahn was an unknown to the American public and the public response was entirely predicated on media's treatment of the story. That treatment uniformly invoked a "rush to judgment" sentiment, but for unclear and unknown reasons. Likewise, NYPD's theatrical creation of a "live crime drama" was cast (if not scripted) for unclear and unknown reasons. At this time, we only know who benefited and who lost in the resultant battle for one of the most important jobs in the world. Sometimes the end of the story can tell us the whole story. But the story has yet to end.

The speed in which the cover story emerged and became uniformly if not "officially" adopted by American media; the "Hollywood style" drama produced by NYPD; and the noticeable silence from Wall Street and Washington provoke many more questions than answers.

Meanwhile, as Strauss-Kahn's personal world has turned, so has our world: The French might have their leading Socialist candidate again; but Americans have lost their latest symbol to demonize. The Wars rage and will be expanded indefinitely. The Trillions for debt service will be taken from empty coffers of the poor, disabled and elderly. The fires of revolt in the eurozone periphery that now burn in the hearts threaten to ravage more streets and thoroughfares. Gun sales boom in American and arms sales mushroom in the U.S. and Britain. Threats of breakdowns, break-ups and break-outs outpace overtures for unity. It is every person for themselves in the States, and every nation for itself in the world. The Right are seizing the moment. The sheep are being called to leave the houses of rationalism and social democracy for the securities of Nationalism and Religious Fundamentalism. The markets portray an inverted image of the real world. The media portrays a false one.

In the matter of Strauss-Kahn, may the truth prevail and may justice be done.

In the matter of the world-at-large, an aside and epilogue:

Privately, I ask myself: Can I change the world one way or the other? Can you?

Can I change it if I join the street protestors in Athens, pray and fast for peace, burn a NATO flag, tell Maureen Dowd of the New York Times she is a female chauvinist, tell Ben Bernanke that he is a Nazi who thinks he is Moses, tell Tim Geithner that he is a fascist who thinks he is Aaron, tell Alan Greenspan that he looks like an old squid who thinks he is Abraham, tell Ron Paul that the Civil War ended 146 years ago, counterfeit my own "fiat currency", tell Lloyd Blankfein that God's next work for him is to go to jail, run for President of The New World Order, or threaten to kill myself unless my conditions are met? Of course not.

Can you or I change anything?

If "that's all there is", as Peggy Lee chimed, shouldn't we just keep dancing instead of bombing our neighbors to steal the energy they own; keep dancing instead of starving our children for "shared sacrifice" to bankers? If that's all there is, why do we want to commit suicide? Because we blew it and think the world deserves to come to end? It won't come to an end! We really won't let that happen, will we?

Maybe we just can be visitors on this planet and enjoy the life given us by a Creator greater than ourselves for however long we are given to live it? (Maybe; Very hard, but possible; highly advisable.)

There is a secret once told me about how to handle a world spinning out of control, where no one has any answers. The secret is this: Be the world you wish to live in. Become that world. And if that world is a commendable one, is one that is noble and true, and is one that is in the interest of all humanity, by your very example, emulated by others, you can change the world.

We can create a Heaven or we can create a Hell. It is in our power to create either. The choice is always left to us.

By Michael T Bucci

Michael T Bucci is a retired public relations executive from New Jersey presently residing in New England. His essays have appeared at The Market Oracle. He is the author of nine books on practical spirituality including White Book: Cerithous.

    © 2011 Copyright Michael T Bucci - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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