One day. One day I’m sure I’ll get bored of quoting this film.
Barack Obama (on TV): [on TV delivering his election victory speech] … to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one.
Driver: You hear that line? Line’s for you.
Jackie Cogan: Don’t make me laugh. We’re one people. It’s a myth created by Thomas Jefferson.
Driver: Oh, now you’re gonna have a go at Jefferson, huh?
Jackie Cogan: My friend, Jefferson’s an American saint because he wrote the words, “All men are created equal.” Words he clearly didn’t believe, since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He was a rich wine snob who was sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So yeah, he wrote some lovely words and aroused the rabble, and they went out and died for those words, while he sat back and drank his wine and fucked his slave girl. This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community. Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America, you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business. Now fucking pay me.
The US has got to be one of the most propagandised countries in the world. I remember when I learned that the pledge of allegiance was a real thing, for example, and not just some made up sh*t they stuck in American films. That blew my mind. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But it all makes sense. When you live in the heart of a globe-spanning capitalist empire, you’re gonna be subject to a never-ending stream of relentless myth-making and arsebackwards hogwash. That’s just the way it is. Otherwise you run the risk of revolution. When you consider that modern propaganda as we know it—and as we so often call it: ‘public relations’—was invented in the States, then it starts to make even more sense that the country’s citizens have been re-wired to a degree that would make fictional dystopias jealous. As the father of PR himself, Edward Bernays, once said:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.
And on that note, here’s a fun Twitter thread prompted by the question: ‘What’s something that’s clearly a scam but that Americans have been conditioned to believe is ‘normal?’
What’s something that’s clearly a scam but Americans have been conditioned to believe it’s “normal”?— 🟢dev DECKER ™️ ✊🏽 (@dev_decker) December 5, 2020
I’ll start with healthcare “insurance”— 🟢dev DECKER ™️ ✊🏽 (@dev_decker) December 5, 2020
Medical debt— 😺 Boxer🌹🌺 (@angryprog) December 5, 2020
Flying too, where are the trains?— 🦇✨ (@Democracyplz4) December 5, 2020
Working eight hours a day for five days a week. https://t.co/LkQhkVROEp— hellresidentNY (@hellresidentNY) December 6, 2020
A 40 hour work week— Erin Cruz 🌹 (@neuroticnurse75) December 5, 2020
2 week vacation and minimum possible maternity leave (if you're lucky enough to get them at all)— Coco (@cocomittens5) December 5, 2020
Even more insane…look how much the USA govt spends on healthcare as it stands and has the worst outcomes. It spends the most per capita and it's not even nationalised. America is broken. It is literally a failed state.— George Arnold 🇺🇲 in 🏴 (@yankinwales) December 5, 2020
- credit scores— Weston David Pagano (@westonpagano) December 5, 2020
- filing your own taxes
- cops in schools
- militarized police
- guns in general
- no maternity/paternity leave
- pb&j (lol)
When I tell my European in-laws about our family’s healthcare and education costs they straight up do not believe me. It’s inconceivable to Europeans or Japanese to pay $150k/yr for 2 kids in college or $100k to die in a hospital— karl taro greenfeld (@karltaro) December 5, 2020
- American Exceptionalism is not just a scam, it’s a disease— Thad (@will_thad) December 5, 2020
- Viewing poverty as a personal failure instead of a feature of capitalism
- Everything about the criminal justice system
The nonsense belief that poverty is the "natural condition of man" and Capitalism is the only way out of it.— H✩rrison 🖖🏾🌎 (@bigneon_glitter) December 5, 2020
Employment-linked health insurance. Public schools financed by property taxes, so the schools in places with low tax bases always have horribly underfunded schools. Lack of a high-speed train system.— Truly 'Wake Me on Jan. 20' S. (@hotincleveland) December 6, 2020
War on drugs, war on terror, never ending drone strikes, riot cops beating up peaceful protestors in clear violation of our right to peacefully assemble, our government spying on us, etc— Huey Long Dong (@HueyLongReturns) December 5, 2020
strapping 17 year old kids with no credit $50-100k in loans to pay for a degree which doesnt guarantee a job or career— NA🎅MI (@bunnyandfawn) December 5, 2020
Having to break the bank to bury your loved ones— BerningGreen🕊🌹🌻 (@PazJusticiaAmor) December 5, 2020
school lunch debt— Protik Islam-Jakobsson (@ikitorp) December 6, 2020
US outlets keep publishing feelgood stories about how some kid raised enough money to pay off the school lunch debts of a bunch of kids at their school, and it's supposed to make you feel warm and mushy but the entire world is like "wtf is school lunch debt"
Corollary: that people who are rich necessarily did something to deserve it— Tristan Moody (@SWGlassPit) December 6, 2020
The biggest scam is portraying the military engaged in ” Humanitarian Issues” or defending the country. When in reality they are in service to the oligarchs and the greedy corporations .— Eddy (@elsheikh23) December 5, 2020
health insurance, credit scores, funeral industry, student debt, two-party elections, meritocracy, bottled water, cell phone prices, capitalism in general— Eldon's tired (@Eldon_Katz) December 5, 2020
Serving in the military to avoid having to pay student loans— Lapis🌹🦋 (@DegenerateThing) December 5, 2020
That your teeth and eyes aren’t part of the rest of your body and should have separate insurance.— RustBeltRants (@rustbeltrants) December 5, 2020
Congressional lobbyists & major donors give money to congressional representatives who vote against the interests of the American ppl It is legalized bribery & congress calls it "access" The rest of the world calls it corruption— Susan (@sscharf12) December 5, 2020
The idea that barely making ends meet and having little time or energy for yourself is necessary for a functional society— Roxanne 🖤 she/her (@TumbleCrow) December 5, 2020
Pre-existing conditions. Everywhere else that just medical history. Here, insurance companies use it as an excuse to deny you coverage.— ForensicChick (@Forensic_Chik) December 6, 2020
Healthcare "insurance"— Nicole 😷⚜🌻☕ (@GirlyGirl694) December 5, 2020
Dropping the bomb on Japan was the "right thing"
The US is the "greatest country in the world"
Education is elitist and unnecessary
We really need huge portions to feel "full" when eating
There is no reason to speak another language than English
Filing taxes. Other countries just send you a bill. US uses human error to prey on poor people and let rich people game the system. https://t.co/MMwcEaHF2O— Nintendette (@nintendette_) December 5, 2020
I feel like there’s another quote here that is pretty relevant… Oh yeah, of course! Here it is, straight from the one and only:
And hey, lest it looks like I’m being mean by singling out the evil empire for some light ribbing, here’s the same thing but for the old, has-been one:
Zero hour contracts, getting a bonus for doing your job, posh voice and wealth makes you intelligent. The revolving doors to top jobs for woefully inadequate people based on the old school tie brigade.— Vee O'Brien (@VeeBrien) December 6, 2020
That we're a plucky little country which pulled itself up by its bootstraps and didn't plunder, rape and pillage our way around the globe for 300 years to accumulate… everything we have.— bee merry and bright 🎄🐝 (@soapachu) December 6, 2020
That everyone else is an immigrant but when we do it we're 'expats'.— bee merry and bright 🎄🐝 (@soapachu) December 6, 2020
The electoral system. 80 seat majority on 43% of the vote is not “normal”.— Citoyen brexilé 🇪🇺🇬🇧🇫🇷🏴🇸🇪 (@polnyypesets) December 5, 2020
That the BBC and British Press are decent, honest and honourable.— Barrhead Boy (The dream shall never die) (@Scotpol1314) December 6, 2020
Royals living in unbridled luxury whilst people are homeless.— Sara Cureton 3.5% (@SaraCureton) December 6, 2020
500 people a day dying of covid
Corruption in public office
Landlords. Essentially glorified ticket touts, but inexplicably, our country is geared towards their interests.— Shiftz (@ShiftzTrapstyle) December 5, 2020
People with posh names and accents have the right to rule them. The UK and the USA are always the good guys. The BBC is a fair and balanced public service broadcaster.— Frances Naggs (@FrancesNaggs) December 6, 2020
Header Image Source: The Weinstein Company