There is a character on the cult-classic television show The Trailer Park Boys named Ricky. He is sort of the Homer Simpson character on the show — the lovable idiot.
The best running gags surrounding Ricky are his so-called ‘Rickyisms’
“What comes around is all around”; “supply and command”; “denial and error”; “make like a tree and f*ck off”; “get two birds stoned at once”; “he passed with flying carpets”; and so on.
Perhaps the best example is “atoadaso”; as in, ‘I told you so’; as in “I’m not going to say atoadaso, but I f*ckin’ atoadaso!”
I don’t necessarily want to say ‘I told you so’ this week, or even atoadaso, for that matter. I merely want to point out the repetition and progression of an ongoing mainstream narrative.
Many times throughout this series I have pointed out that the prerogative of mainstream media is to direct and divert attention and energy away from the tangible, towards the superfluous.
People were encouraged to protest the electoral college, while soon-to-be-President Trump loaded his cabinet with the horrific and undemocratic. The Women’s March served as a back-patting celebration for upper-middle-class liberals. Trump’s warmongering was good, and Keith Ellison was an anti-semite. And, of course, there are the constant exultations to oppose racism as represented by a handful of ‘Nazis,’ while ignoring systemic racism.
This week, Trump announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to take effect in March 2018. DACA, created by the Obama administration in 2012, allows people brought to the US illegally as children the temporary right to live, study and work legally in America. (For more thorough information on what DACA is, please click the link).
The announcement puts the lives of some 800,000 “Dreamers” into a state of fear and crisis. These are students and veterans, many of whom have known no home but the United States, now left watching the clock tick down towards their deportation.
The one piece of good news is that the issue now moves to Congress, who will have the opportunity to keep and codify, improve, or, yes, quash the policy.
It seems the perfect opportunity to direct the energy and unrest so prevalent within the population towards something tangible. If as many people took to the streets as did for the Women’s March, if everyone who tweeted “f*ck Trump” over DACA offered their time and effort to immigration groups working on the ground, it is possible or even likely a major victory in the area of immigration could be scored.
And yet, the mainstream media, usually so eager to inflame and call to action around the gratuitous, has taken the opposite approach with DACA.
They continue to repeat Jeff Sessions’ claims that the end of DACA is “compassionate”, and Trump’s assertion that he has “a love for these people [Dreamers].” They are reporting “Donald Trump is right”, that “Trump is right to end DACA,” and that he is “showing compassion.” They are urging people to allow Congress to “work out a compromise.”
Of course, they are keen to report redundant and self-serving opposition from celebrities. They occasionally report flamboyant opposition from congressional Democrats, which at this point has become something between a joke and a poetry jam, and even less often report on opposition from immigration and human rights organizations. But where things should be crystal clear, enraging, they are now muddy.
Here is a quick cheat sheet: When the mainstream media encourages engagement and action on an issue, it is likely that the issue is superfluous and irrelevant in dismantling the establishment which the mainstream media is tasked with protecting. When they encourage patience on something which seems to require immediacy, when they say ‘trust the process’ when the process has failed at every step thus far, when they use the word “compassionate” in place of ‘grotesque’, this should be a red flag. It should be a call to action.
Quote of the Week: