The President of the United States gave a major news conference yesterday. The same President who controls the fate of US and British forces in Afghanistan, as well as a large part of the world economy. The number of viewers online was just over 450.

The US spin-machines of infotainment chose to focus on the looney in Florida who wants to barbeque Korans, and kept their spew foaming about how Obama faces a ‘blowout’ in Novermber mid-term elections. The UK, even the publicly funded BBC, continued the farce called blow – reporting the earth-shattering Koran story.

In the meantime, I noticed that Camille Paglia, outspoken editorialist, will have a feature article on Lady Gaga and her societal ramifications in tomorrow’s Sunday Paper. While I have no major quibble with Gaga – she’s just the next in a long line of cloned pawns that will arrive, writhe, then pop – I have been interested in the culture machines that propel such a person in today’s societies.

In advance of Paglia’s article, ( a writer I must say I am not promoting, but read with some interest), I decided to post the anticipated editorial on a social networking site. The results of the conversation, I believe, provide some insights into how the gaga media is able to control the global narrative, and render any real opposition to corporate and right-wing politics essentially useless. And these responses are from people I get along with quite well -which begs the question: are friends creating the enemy?

Camille Paglia to take on Gaga in the Sunday Times

FRIEND 1: I love the GaGa. I really think she’s a genius.
Thursday at 9:52pm

Martin Belk ‎*afraid to respond* I don’t mind her so much. I absolutely abhorr the industry she’s surrounded by and what it’s done to desecrate our culture in just a few decades…i suppose that may be Paglias angle…
Thursday at 10:56pm

FRIEND 2: She’s fucking jealous. I love Gaga…
Thursday at 11:34pm

FRIEND 3: Camille is just attracted to her and since she can’t have her, well you know
20 hours ago

Martin Belk you know what’s funny, no offense all, if it’s Glenn Buttface Beck Sarah Poohead or some other twat everyone’s quick to bash, rightly so, but when it’s a Pop product of the same machines, they’re given latitude. I think, (watch out), that if we really want change in the West we have to allow the entire media machine to collapse…they’ll make Gaga after Gaga as long as we “love” them and consume them.
19 hours ago

FRIEND 2 Martin martin martin martin. Yes— in terms of their lacking substance- yes there may be a comparison… but Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are exploiting people’s fear for financial and political power. It’s just not the same. And for there to be high brow culture there has to be low brow culture.
15 hours ago

FRIEND 2: and a lot of supposed high brow cultural shit is actual shit— disguised as the emperor’s new clothes. I’ve read too much circular utterly meaningless art criticism to think anything else. Leave Gaga alone—There’s nothing wrong with pop music! .. Rah rah ah ah ah / roma roma ma— Gaga ooh la la!!!!
15 hours ago

Martin Belk There’s everything wrong with Pop music – why? It’s not just pop music anymore. It’s out of control. Gaga actually is better than most – but I’m really concerned on the bigger picture – these people they elevate to Gods. I think America is …really sick. I think it’s really sick that Gaga gets more ‘airtime’ than the Presidents news conference today. And I am appalled that so many of the so-called progressive left seem to be as invested in the latest Pop star as they are the future of this troubled world. I do not think the two are naturally linked. The HBO’s and Murdochs of the world are doing just fine while people starve and lose thie homes. I work with young people a lot and most are completely tuned out. There’s nothing progressive about any of this, and I, for the first time, genuinely am concerned that we ain’t gonna make it.See More
12 hours ago

FRIEND 2: I walk AND chew gum sweetpea. It’s not mutually exclusive… one can work hard for substantive progressive social/ political changes AND shake your booty to vapid music. And you’re dating yourself sweetpea when you start decrying how thi…ngs just aren’t the same— they aren’t the same- but they are exactly the same. Past generations certainly venerated to a frenzy the Stones and the Beatles- and you venerated Debbie Harry (I seem to remember)- Eat to the Beat is hardly more substantial than Paparazzi- We have lots of huge problems in the world today. Distribution of wealth and resources- consolidation of the media into large multinationals corporations and massive pushing of pharmaceuticals- not to mention climate change… all rank as greater (if not entirely unrelated) threats to our communal welfare than the pervasiveness of pop culture. All I can say Martin is that “I’ll follow you until you love me… papa paparazzi… 9 hours ago

Martin Belk Point missed. I think we need less gum chewing. Stones and Harry Beatles were before the massive onslaught of media manipulation we now suffer. It doesn’t matter if they’re ‘good’, ‘bad’ or whatever. I’m not talking about quality of music. I’m… talking about the machines that run it, run us, and how people, even if they do ‘walk and chew’, have 50% of their consciousness invested in Pop bull.

Something occurred to me recently…why are the so-called progressive lefties so bad at winning? The right wing has been doing the same things, using the same tactics for years…you’d think after recognizing the patterns, an opponent could defeat them. The money-myth doesn’t work.

Bloom predicted it, heck even Malcolm X talked about it.
I’ll expand: a true progressive shouldn’t be waiting around for some corporate-generated Pop star or TV show to speak for them. There’s a myth that someone might actually make that statement or action on an award show, or some talk show. Wrong. Because while the Rosies and the Oprahs or whoever bring it out, the corporations still profit, and we throw ourselves under their feet for it. Nothing could be more ineffective or inane.

We have nothing to blame but ourselves. We suck, and have continually lost. Clinton was a douchebag centrist. Obama is having a fairyland fuckfest with the word ‘bipartisan’. And while the consciousness of the masses are half-concentrated on Lady Gaga, the world dies.

Nothing personal here directed at ‘you’.

Leary 1967: Turn on, tune in, drop out.
Belk 2010: Turn off, show up, speak out.