I pledge allegiance to the flag of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan… does that sound good to you? Yeah, me neither. Unfortunately, it’s one of those all-too-true jokes that we know reaches its audience when it’s met with more winces than laughs. Considering where we’ve come as a society in just five short years, I was recently reminded of a moment in time that occurred back in the fall of 2008. And when I say society, I mean to imply worldwide and not just over here in the United States. We’re all in this together, people, whether we want to be or not. For those of you who’ve been paying attention, the thumb of Big Brother is pushing down harder and harder on all of our heads, whether we agree that we’re playing the game or not. Whoa, whoa there, little warrior. Just where do you think you’re going? Get back out on the field, you’re in the starting line-up and in the real world, there are no time-outs. Although, I’ll be the first to admit, it’d be nice to take a breather on the sidelines once in a while. How about right now? Pull up your chairs and gather round, readers. Let’s take a stab at it and maybe shed some light on what this title, Horror of Babylon, really alludes to.
In November ‘08, I was waist-deep in a little five-figure noiry horror film, now known as Do Not Disturb, and released worldwide just last week by the bad-asses at Image Entertainment. Yeah, sometimes that road from page-to-screen isn’t just winding, it’s a veritable triathlon. Either way, it’s nice to see our baby finally reach its mecca after such an epic trek. Along the way, various moments have been rewarding, galvanising, exciting, disappointing, harrowing and tragic, in pretty much equal measure. Trust me, it’s a book. And while the ship we pulled into port finally got its tickertape parade, it’s nevertheless missing some great crewmen and women. They may be gone, but their contributions will hopefully glitter on screens big and small for all time, and that’s worth something. I think. But this isn’t a column about the film, it’s a column about the turn our world took while we were in the trenches making it. And that’s where the real horror comes into play.
I didn’t vote that year – and haven’t since – but we did take a break on election night to watch the developing polls. Our cast and crew gathered around the prop TV in Don Malek’s bloody hotel room set that cold November night, watching as Barack Obama won the presidency for the partisan thug Democrats. I choose to relay it like a World Cup game, because that’s what it was. All pomp and circumstance, your team vs. their team, good guys vs. bad guys. There were no empty promises, no bait-and-switch tricks, no upper-echelon shell games. Of course not. Political trickery was now a thing of the past, because the good guys won…right? The media likes to dumb our elections down to a simplistic narrative of heroes and villains. They also like to employ sports terminology, letting us believe that the stakes are only as high as W’s or L’s in the appropriate columns. After all, what do we care, so long as we have that new iPhone in our pocket or goofy game system in our living room? I won’t even get into the capabilities of the aforementioned to be used as surveillance devices. If you’re even remotely on the same page, you already know. What’s it all mean? Well, that the administration of our great savior Obama is shaping up to be the most nefarious organisation since the truly corrupt Dick Nixon. It’s more than this column can cover in a few paragraphs, so let’s call this a point-the-way piece.
Back to the narrative. After nearly a decade in the Bushes, we here in the States were pitched a bill of goods in 2008, by a new smiling face, one of us, with careful keywords like CHANGE and HOPE and TRANSPARENCY. It all sounded great and for the most part, we bought into it. I’m ashamed to say I did, although you could argue that after thirteen years in the liberal la-la land that is Los Angeles, where the message is very, very carefully constructed and spoon fed to compliant masses, I wasn’t quite seeing clearly. See, we want to believe. And we hope it’s as simple as the movies say it is: these are the good guys and these are the bad guys. Got it? Okay, vote! Well, we did. And just five short years later, look where we are. Crushing recessions and widespread poverty, 101 million people on food aid and government assistance, home ownership at an 18-year low, skyrocketing rents, major cities in bankruptcy, perpetual worldwide war, rampant and unconstitutional government surveillance (see the crimes of the NSA and unveiled secrets of heroic whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden), new health care bills written by insurance companies, engineered terrorism and street crime, strategic and opportunistic race baiting and tribalism (see the government-run media’s disgraceful handling of the George Zimmerman trial), journalists being censored and/or killed (see Michael Hastings). For the very first time in America’s history, welfare collectors now outnumber welfare system supporters. All those promises? Try the exact opposite. Change? You bet – for the worse. Hope? I hope the world can find its way out of this mess, sure. Transparency? Indeed. Authoritarianism disguised as liberty isn’t as obvious to some as it is to others, it seems.
In parting, don’t buy the lie, people. Freedom’s fading fast, in favour of a world dynamic that’s essentially neocons vs. trendies in a police state. All over the world, global corporations have taken over legitimate government. David Cameron? Give me a break. I’ll let you guys tell those stories. We’ve got to keep our eyes on what’s happening at the top, not quarrell with each other, as co-opted governments run PSYOPS on populations to engineer the reactions they want and create the distractions they need. If we ever hope to stop it, we must first spot it. Their goal is to keep us poor, dependent, sick and sleepwalking. What can we do? Well, barring any of those cool shades like Roddy Piper wore in They Live, we can keep our eyes – and mouths – open. If enough people call attention to tyranny, tyranny will crumble. A well-aimed rock of truth can still fell giants, no matter how unbeatable they may seem. A government that fears the population is liberty. A population that fears the government is tyranny. As of this writing, we’re still free, even if that freedom hangs by the thinnest possible thread. Sure, the way things are going it’ll soon be gone, but like many of our movie heroes have showed us over the years, it’s far nobler to go down swinging than to lay down with no fight at all. It calls to mind DeNiro’s classic line from Raging Bull, “you never got me down, Ray. You never got me down.” When it comes to Big Brother, that sentiment applies. Fight the good fight, people. Don’t let the bastards get you down.
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