Posts Tagged 'false consciousness'

General Education = more to add to the CSU moneybags

I’m sending this to the school student newspaper…

Hey marine bio professor, we know you want to get rid of us general ed students so you can get back to your research, we see it every morning as you rush through the bullshit attendance quizzes and recycled lectures. We know you know/care little about what lies beyond the box of objective marine biology, as your drifting off and evasion of detail in answering students’ questions of application adequately demonstrate.

We know you could give a shit about what we learn, as the BeachBoard readings you “test” us on only show us your scholarly glory and that the larger issues within the box of marine biology are worthless compared to the minute details of the whaling industry and dolphin slaughters that actually appear on our Scantron tests—larger issues that could maybe get a student caring or thinking about this class in a more practical manner, gods forbid. Plus you shrug off the suggestions & comments we try to offer as your students.

You spend sufficient time recounting anecdotes scarcely-related to the topic at hand yet expect us to proficiently recount any of an infinite number of details from an obscure section of the textbook, further proving your apparent lack of objective in “teaching.” We cram your study guide up to the darkest crooks of our assholes yet it’s the previously-unspecified finer details with no laudable purpose that appear on your exams. Why do I want to be taught by someone who doesn’t want me to learn?

I love learning, and I loved a good number of the GE classes I’ve taken in my four years at CSULB—classes of 200 students in large lecture halls full of eye candy are great for the collective anti-wake-up-for-an-early-class vibe—but when fulfilling vain criteria becomes the sole means of taking required courses, and comprehending a larger picture is irrelevant, I realize that the C in CSU no longer stands for California, it stands for Corporate.

Let’s be quite generous and say there are only 200 students overall enrolled in this mandatory GE class—biology—every semester. I’m going to go out on a whim here and, still being quite generous, say that only about a quarter of that hypothetical number a) have a major requiring this course or simply b) actually give somewhat of a shit about the topic at hand. Where does that leave the other 75%– graduating literature students, senior class film/art majors, fifth-year business administration kids taking this last GE class to finally get their goddam diplomas? I’ll leave that question open.

150 students is roughly four laboratory sections. Does the school pay the aquarium for four lab classes’ worth of entry fees when we have our field trip there? What about the gasoline and crew & captain’s pay for that big boat those four lab classes took out into the bay? Drift from the economics—what about the pollution from taking that big boat out and capturing a bunch of sea creatures, four times? Make that eight times, I hear it wasn’t just my class that had to throw the otter trawl out a second time because they didn’t catch any ocean dwellers the first time. Sounds like a great waste of resources on account of the obligatory “education” of 150 kids that don’t give a shit.

Oh wait, I think I know why those 150 students still have to take the class.

Each of those 150 students—that still don’t give a shit about the subject, in case if you’ve forgotten— still pay $40 for a shiny brand-new iClicker quiz-taking gizmo for the professor to be able to babysit and dock you points when you don’t show up to class. That’s $6000. With a rough approximation of each CSU unit costing $150 (also pretty generous), that’s another $22,500 for the school/program. Oh yeah, the book—$130—$19,500. Let’s be fair and only include half of that money paid for the iClicker and the book, since the school doesn’t produce them—so $3000 and $9,750, respectively—and we have a grand total of $30,000. Rough, yes, but this figure is what the school hypothetically makes from forcing 150 students who don’t give a shit to take an arbitrary class (and that’s also not tallying the $25 lab and lecture manuals—the only way to get the syllabus or take notes or complete assignments!)! $30,000 is a lot of money from students who don’t want to be there in the first place. Sure, maybe some good will come out of it one day. But not when your attitude’s in the gutter upon seeing your achieved D after staying up the last two nights studying for the exam.

It would seem, therefore, that students are no longer paying to educate themselves, but paying simply to employ the faculty, who do research in their non-teaching hours that may someday help the school’s reputation. Cool, but I don’t get it. With mandatory GE classes that do not interest a large percentage of the student body, there is no benefit—economic nor academic—to be profited by the student. Wasn’t this whole go-to-college thing about us in the first place?

I sense the CSU system is an effective parallel to that of our country’s management, albeit localized: as long as consumers believe they’re paying towards their own well-being, they won’t stop to question the world they’ve been born into.

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CA to Legalize Marijuana? Why?

As a lawsuit threat letter from Marlboro proves, something like these cig joints were around for a while–until Marlboro got pissed.

There have been stoner rumors for years about how Marlboro has “Marlboro Greens” already patented and tested for the day the green dope is  finally legal, and since it’ll be on the California ballot in a scant half-year, it looks like that day is close since every one and their mother (and in many cases, their grandmother) smokes and advocates marijuana usage.

But I don’t get it. I don’t understand why everyone’s so stoked on it. Look past the whole “it’s about time the government gets with the times” or the “it was never legalized because they couldn’t figure out how to economize it but now we need it to combat the budget deficit” shit, let’s look at it like any other crop (i.e. tobacco) or any other substance (i.e. alcohol) or other food (i.e. beef) law.

Let’s think about it with a few questions I’d like to raise:

  1. Do we as a general public really have any issues with it’s legality right now? Let’s face it, it’s not simply illegal: it’s decriminalized. Meaning get caught with over an ounce and then you’re fucked with something more than a fine that would be like you picking up three sacs from the dude across the 7-11. An ounce is a lot of dope, a lot more than the average consumer smokes–and even then, to the average consumer that does purchase in that high a quantity, how often are they leaving their house with ALL OF IT (aside to deal it). We still smoke our jays in our houses and backyards and balconies, free of heavy worry for adults, and even for kids they know that they’ll be gone by the time the smell is, by the time the cop could possibly catch a whiff of it. At this point a good percentage of cops–I have no evidence for this–are cool with it and won’t even bother if you’re caught with a dub sack. Think about it. No one who wants to smoke marijuana is scared because it’s illegal.
  2. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s free of restrictions. Like tobacco and being 18 to smoke outside only, or like alcohol and being 21 to only drink indoors, or like being in Amsterdam and being unaware of the laws behind the legal dope: technically it’s still against the law to smoke it outside in public, outside of the coffeeshop establishments. The simple case-in-point being that in continental Europe no one generally gives a shit as long as you’re not blowing it in kid’s faces and talking shit to everyone. Plus you still can only buy 5 grams per coffeeshop. Relate it to the ten-foot-pole-up-the-ass United States: you won’t be able to smoke in public, you’ll have to be twenty-one, insert something else here. Think about it.
  3. Tobacco’s legal too. But can you buy pure tobacco anywhere? Of course not, because it’s full of preservatives/chemicals/god-knows-what in whatever form you buy it. Cigarettes, pipe, rolling tobacco… It all has some kind of shit in it, even if it claims organic there’s still some type of regulation on the farming of the crop or the seed the farmer uses… So let’s hypothetically place marijuana in the same category: we may be able to grow x amount of plants in our own backyard and not fret, but where will the seed have to come from? Or where will it come from the easiest? Think about it.
  4. Marijuana cigarettes. Literally. Like that image above, fucking Marlboro greens. Why the fuck wouldn’t this happen– we’d rather smoke a fag than roll one, why would we want to keep rolling our own fat jays if they came pre-rolled? And Big Tobacco companies, as they put it, are one of the biggest in the nation/world… Gods know how much herb would actually be inside one of these cigarettes, and the government wouldn’t require them to tell us either–just like with tobacco. We buy a pack of greens for $10 (taxed for another $3) then smoke one every hour to get our small dosage of THC and nico-chemicals… Then somehow crave a real cigarette. Think about it.
  5. Bye bye dealers. Sure, maybe for a few years there would still remain the same dealers we all knew, but with new restrictions being placed on the cultivation and marketing of marijuana (for economic/monopoly reasons, as we’ve been saying for forty years against its illegality), without the proper papers based on its growing or proper license to sell, dealers would still remain just as underground as before–with their prices going up just like in the now-legalized cannabis clubs. They’ll have to work harder to produce and maintain their crop as well as their sales, how could any price just remain steady? Everything will change. Think about it.

I’ll continue to this list as I get more time, but it seems so clear that this isn’t just to make us happy–they would’ve done that twenty years ago if that were the case. False consciousness, people. Look it up.

My opinion is VOTE NO to this proposition on the ballot in November. It’ll just contribute to making rich companies richer, infecting our bodies further with even more chemicals (through something we all trusted and loved and let our lives change for so long), pleasing the working class by making us all think we “achieved” a victory with democracy, disillusioning us even further. It’ll destroy any hope we have left of our flailing generation to make a change, and completely obliterate our children’s generation.

If you read this and have a discrepancy, or valid research to disprove what I’m trying to say somewhere here, PLEASE don’t hesitate to tell me.

New 9/11 Investigation: A call to thought?

Hungover, tired, not understanding how/what to feel regarding love lives, asking your forgiveness for the crummy metaphors and incoherence and length and attached emotion to the contents of this post that I beg you all to read; yet happy– Yahoo! News reports to us some encouraging news:

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Richard Gage, AIA, architect and founder of the non-profit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Inc. (AE911Truth), will announce a decisive milestone today at a press conference in San Francisco, as more than 1,000 worldwide architects and engineers now support the call for a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. After careful examination of the official explanation, along with the forensic data omitted from official reports, these professionals have concluded that a new independent investigation into these mysterious collapses is needed.Mr. Gage will deliver the news around this major development, accompanied by signers of the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth petition. The press conference will be held concurrently in 38 cities in 6 countries.http://www.ae911truth.org/info/160

These prominent architectural and engineering professionals will discuss the organization’s findings and concerns. A brief presentation of the explosive evidence they have compiled will be followed by Q & A. The presentation is an important update of “9/11: Blueprint for Truth – The Architecture of Destruction,” the DVD produced by the organization, and available on their website AE911Truth.org, which analyzes the scientific forensic evidence concluding that the three skyscrapers in New York City were demolished with explosives on 9/11.  The petition will be delivered today to every congressional representative by AE911Truth petition signers throughout the country.  Government officials will be notified that “Misprision of Treason”, US Code 18 (Sec. 2382), is a serious federal offense which requires those with evidence of treason to act…

If you have two hours, you can watch the talk (or just start it, but it’s actually really interesting and mouthwatering and scary. Skip to minute 21, or minute 46, or minute 70, or minute 76, or minute 91, or minute 94, or minute 103, or minute 110, to get disturbed with irrefutable truth). I’m a bit disappointed in the theme/design of his PowerPoint, as our society needs flashiness and class to be won, but whatever: this will make you nervous. This is not Zeitgeist, this is science. This is an example of how we’re only told what we need to be to believe. False consciousness.

On the other hand, it’s inspiring that non-conspirical (well, almost, maybe) groups are taking action: smart people! Humans are thinking!! And asking us why we’re so passive! Thank you TED (and I apologize for not attending even though Long Beach is your regional home at the moment)! How ironic this surfaces from the depths of the news at the same time it’s reported that Obama will make the final call on the “guilty suspects” of 9/11: by closing the case, could this render this independent research illegal, irrelevant? How ironic and sad that no one will listen to any source of information but those sponsored to reach their eyes. I’ll relate this with a rough draft bit from my academic mind right now (almost done being translated into English, I promise):

Throughout the duration of any type of occupation, we see collaboration above all else. Collaboration begins with a government, where a people is always seen under its direction, despite its own ideologies, perhaps stating that the government itself is merely an extension of the hand of the public. The Fourth Republic of France never tried to escape nor hide the fact that it wanted to simplify its people: the country’s new Tryptique stressed work, family, and patriotism, preaching the return to the earth.  This retour à la terre is more often than not perceived as the return to working with the earth to form communities, more sustainable and less dependent on external sources of nourishment or work. Such memorandum is easy to understand and does not threat with harsh implications to the public; thus from where could the complaints of the complacent come? This Révolution Nationale is a prime example of a government controlling the attitudes and mindsets of its people: to reconstruct the national soul is to rotate the perceptions of the individual.

Please understand the base of Marx’ theory of false consciousness: the material and institutional processes in capitalist society are misleading to the proletariat. To make sure the proletariat is complacent, happy, stupid. Let’s continue with the essay:

One has to look no further than our own war/revolution against terrorism and the post 9/11 battles against whomever we could conjure up reason. Look no further than the influence of the mass media in our lives: from that day on we have been constantly bombarded with advertisements for fear, to be wary of the turban and any spoken Arabic. Generally, with a television in almost every household being used almost daily, the average citizen watches the “news,” listens to it on the radio, or keeps “informed” via an online or print publication. Attributed to an obscure status quo developed by to what we unrealizingly expose ourselves daily, the norm of material desire can be simplified to nothing more than a comfortable amount of money and love, and everything that manifests itself with these: a house, a family, and entertainment. The adventure of travel or goals to change the world seem to have disappeared. “Cultural studies, drawing on a Marxist view of the production of reality, draw attention to the essential role of mass-mediated messages in sustaining the status quo, including the interests and perspectives of media managers and the interests they serve, which often are at odds with the everyday life experiences of audiences who use this popular culture content” **. While this is not a government telling us to “return to the earth,” this occupational symptom is unquestionably of the same psychological nature, affecting how a people believe they should be spending their time, living their lives.

**Altheide, David and R. Sam Michalowski. “Fear in the News: A Discourse of Control.” The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Summer, 1999), pp. 475-503.

This actually really makes me want to continue writing the paper… This really makes me want to flee to France and finish Summer in a Prologue with my amazing new narrator character I’ve created and can live my life vicariously through as I type him out. What a bummer that school has to get in the way of everything. There’s so much to comment on regarding these subjects, but I ask one question (or rather, a handful):

What would the exposure of the truth behind 9/11 do? On whom would the blame be placed, assuming all evidence will have been well & destroyed, and the public doesn’t care to believe anything outside of corporate news? It doesn’t matter who did it nor why–though I do think the concept of capitalism could quite perfectly explain that. We’re discussing the French Revolution in my European History of the 19th century class. It was spurred and essentially passed by the bourgeoisie, the upper middle class. Napoleon needed to keep their interests in the forefront of his mind, keeping them happy so economy and society could continue/flourish so he could spread his modernism. Without their economic/power/etc issues regarding the aristocracy, no revolution would have passed. Sure, he played a big physical part in the revolution, but the truth was that no one gave a fuck about the proletariat. A flying fuck. That’s why the church could keep a part of its power under Napoleon, so the people could remain controlled. The bourg are into that shit. Yes, a mere fifteen years after the United States secedes from Britain (by the way, we’re the only ones who call it a “revolution”), France goes through the same shit we might reach in the upcoming years. Imagine what conspiracy theorists would have had to say back then.

Could this possibly make us realize we’re allowed to think? That the truth isn’t always on television? Could this instigate revolution? People say we need reform, what with the economy and bullshit “two party” system, but reform implies keeping the fundamentals the same. We are people with thought & passion, capable of so much. Why do we not realize this? Why must life be as we’re told? I need to finish this goddam paper. Getting a little too worked up, and my thoughts are hardly coherent.

Keep yourself busy with some articles:

We are complacent, passive tools.

FBI wants to keep records of our internet usage. The NSA is teaming  up with Google. Another terrorist attack is scheduled for anytime within 3-6 months. It could kill, or it could destroy infrastructure (economic?), or both. It’s so fucking succinct, I’m surprised they haven’t told us who we’ll kick the shit out of after. Obama already got that extra money for the military. I’m scaaaarredd!!! cry the Dada-toting little girls, running to hide behind commercial rap artist sunglasses.

Cognitive Infiltration. If the words alone don’t draw you with their delicious tones, the concept will: Obama advisors want to infiltrate conspiracy groups, labelled “extremists,” in efforts to disband them. What the fuck? Got fascism? Got a stupid fucking dumbass population that won’t give a shit if Britney Spears’ mental state isn’t involved? Yes. Some more from my paper:

In the United States, we choose not to look at our government like each powerful empire that proceeded it: a struggle for power. “No more fearsome research frontier exists than the secret and covert foreign operations of governments in war and peace. Fearsome, because hard evidence is elusive… [T]ens of thousands of persons have been engaged in a variety of secret activities costing billions of dollars. Most of this activity has occurred beyond public scrutiny. Indeed much of it has gone forward beyond the span of control of executive, let alone legislative authority.”* Perhaps this is not the subject of this article, nor relevant, nor confirmed true; but could one say that he has never heard the simple idea that the United States invaded Iraq for the oil? I would say, despite the truth that rests below everything, that every North American has heard this accusation, if not believed it. This thought alone creates a feeling of fear from any side that the truth may find itself. What Benito Mussolini had said of Fascist Italy of the early twentieth century of his own fascism, il corporativismo, corporativism, has been compared by economists of our own society to the contracts of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal: “’corporativism,’ an ill-defined industrial policy involving official state sponsorship of industry cartels and labor unions, remained something of a taboo topic… Finally, to the extent that a government systematically delegates such licensing or compelling power to private organizations, it is a corporatist government.”*** Putting aside the United States government’s hiring of private military companies like Blackwater Worldwide to assist in the situation in Iraq or Hurricane Katrina relief (through which, among others, the government has paid over $1 billion dollars in less than two decades), let us pose a hypothetical question: imagine China wanted to buy Boeing, a sizeable supplier of our country’s arms. How would the United States government, knowing this acquisition represents a direct threat to the armed forces of the country, act? As ambiguous at the moment as in Occupied France, such situations cannot be properly defined because it is not possible; therefore, all we can do is ask the question.

Stemming from the events following 9/11, Northern Arizona University’s sociology professor Kathleen Ferraro makes a direct, and thought-provoking, comparison of George W. Bush to Hitler: “Once in office, [both] passed laws suspending constitutional rights: the Enabling Act for Hitler, the Patriot Acts for Bush. Both men generated support for military aggression by control of the media and inaccurate portrayals of threats to national security.”** All the average proletariat knows of terrorism is that it is bad; the word inflicts fear, and the images we see concerning the subject are never short of horrifying. Consequently, this is not so strange to affirm that the media—the news, the cinema, advertisements: our daily exposure—reinforces the government’s regime.  Ferraro continues:

“And both men promoted images of a mythical past of harmony and unity of people that they would restore through purging of both polluting foreign and degenerate domestic elements… It includes the uses of language, film, music, photographs, stories and myths, and the spectacular physical landscapes that influence the kinds of questions and answers that people are able to articulate.” **

James Fallows, news analyst of the National Public Radio and regular contributor to The New York Times and Atlantic Monthly, observes that “all countries fall into two categories: those that are so messed up we shouldn’t waste time thinking about them, and those that are messed up in a way that threatens our security […] We have a system of news media that tells people constantly that the world is out of control, that they will always be government by crooks, that their fellow citizens are about to kill them.”**** Today’s administration has succeeded in instilling fear, not only because we choose not to disbelieve it, but because this invisible status quo has disabled the development of the instinct to see the ambiguous gray within the good white and the evil black.

*“Untitled Review: Gehlen, Spy of the Century by E. H. Cookridge The Game of the Foxes: The Untold Story of German Espionage in the United States and Great Britain During World War II by Ladislas Farago, Project Paperclip: German Scientists and the Cold War by Clarence G. Lasby The Double Cross System in the War of 1939 to 1945 by J. C. Masterman.” The American Political Science Review Vol. 67, No. 4 (Dec., 1973), pp. 1436-1438.

**Ferraro, Kathleen J. “The Culture of Social Problems: Observations of the Third Reich, the Cold War, and Vietnam.” Social Problems Vol. 52 No. 1 (Feb., 2005):  pp 1-14.

***Whitman, James Q. “Of Corporatism, Fascism, and the First New Deal.” The American Journal of Comparative Law Vol. 39, No. 4 (Autumn, 1991), pp. 747-778.

****Held, Virginia.  “The Media and Political Violence.” The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1997), pp. 187-202

I could give a shit about whatever whoever is trying to do however, wherever. I have my own agenda, I have my own passions to fulfill. I do give a shit about, however, being taught to lack thought. Like mice, ready for testing. We have shitty vocabularies that do nothing but slow down our thought, preventing it from reaching new levels. We are human beings that need to be encouraged to live, to create, to fulfill. Okay, I have to go do homework. If you read this, please post your thoughts. Call my bullshit.

Oh yeah, and above all, I’ll still blame everything on the church:


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Another twenty some odd young adult who believes he sees things from a unique perspective. Here be my poetry & prose, short stories, favored school papers, rantings, and "blogs." Comment, critique, and profit.