Caitlin Johnstone: This Is What Dystopia Looks Like

Simpsons characters waving Ukrainian flags; an opera about a drone operator sponsored by General Dynamics; Bono drawing pictures of Zelenksy and Sesame Street working with USAID in Iraq. 

Bono at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos. (World Economic Forum /Valeriano Di Domenico, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article by Tim Foley.

So U2 singer Bono is doing illustrations for the imperialist propaganda rag The Atlantic now, because that’s the sort of thing that happens in a dystopian civilization during the death throes of a globe-spanning empire.

A Washington Post article, “Bono likes to sketch Atlantic covers, so the magazine hired him,” reports that “Bono is into Atlantic cover fanfic — so much so that he was invited to illustrate the magazine’s June cover featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.” 

Bono’s latest contribution to the mountain of cringe-inducing Zelensky moments we’ve been seeing for the past year provides a cover image for an article by lifelong war propagandists Anne Applebaum and Jeffrey Goldberg.

The article endorses a Ukrainian offensive to recapture Crimea, which experts largely agree would be the move most likely to trigger a nuclear war in this conflict.

Here’s a paragraph from Applebaum and Goldberg’s article, just to give you a taste of the infantile “Good Guys vs Bad Guys” framing that Western liberals are being fed by mass media war propagandists these days:

“Sometimes, the war is described as a battle between autocracy and democracy, or between dictatorship and freedom. In truth, the differences between the two opponents are not merely ideological, but also sociological. Ukraine’s struggle against Russia pits a heterarchy against a hierarchy. An open, networked, flexible society — one that is both stronger at the grassroots level and more deeply integrated with Washington, Brussels, and Silicon Valley than anyone realized — is fighting a very large, very corrupt, top-down state. On one side, farmers defend their land and 20?something engineers build eyes in the sky, using tools that would be familiar to 20?something engineers anywhere else. On the other side, commanders send waves of poorly armed conscripts to be slaughtered — just as Stalin once sent shtrafbats, penal battalions, against the Nazis — under the leadership of a dictator obsessed with ancient bones. ‘The choice,’ Zelensky told us, ‘is between freedom and fear.’”

Many Westerners felt their first stirrings of youthful rebellious passions while listening to U2 songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love),” but nowadays Bono’s voice is heard saying that he has “grown very fond” of war criminal George W. Bush, praising capitalism at the World Economic Forum, teaming up with warmonger Lindsey Graham to promote U.S. empire narratives about Syria and  singing “Stand by Ukraine” in support of U.S. empire narratives in a Kyiv subway.

And just when it looks like he can’t become any more of a tool of the empire, he gets hired by one of the world’s worst militarist smut rags to draw a cover image of Zelensky.

Because that’s just how things go in a highly controlled society where mainstream culture is designed to serve the powerful. A society where the minds of the public are continually being shaped by mass-scale psychological manipulation to ensure that they keep thinking, speaking, working, consuming and voting in ways which serve the rich and powerful.

Everything that gets elevated to the top of mainstream attention facilitates this agenda (or is at least harmless to it), and as soon as it becomes potentially threatening to this agenda it is either corrected or marginalized.

This dynamic can cause some truly jaw-dropping flotsam and jetsam to surface in the roilings of our cultural waters, like Simpsons characters waving Ukrainian flags, or an opera about a drone operator sponsored by General Dynamics.

Here’s Responsible Statecraft’s Connor Echols on that last one:

“This fall, DC denizens will be treated to the world premiere of ‘Grounded,’ an opera following an Air Force ace named Jess whose unexpected pregnancy forces her to leave behind her beloved F-16 and join the ‘chair force.’

Throughout the show, the ‘hot shot’ pilot wrestles with the mental impact of firing rockets from a drone in Afghanistan from a trailer in Las Vegas. ‘As Jess tracks terrorists by day and rocks her daughter to sleep by night, the boundary between her worlds becomes dangerously permeable,’ an ad tells us.

The production is brought to you by presenting sponsor General Dynamics, one of the world’s largest weapons companies (and, wouldn’t you know it, the maker of Jess’s favorite plane). Playwright George Brant wrote the libretto, which will be brought to life by mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo and Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori.”

You’ll also see things like “humanitarian intervention” champion Samantha Power enthusiastically tweeting about the collaboration between the Sesame Street franchise and the C.I.A. cutout USAID in Iraq:

You see things like this all the time under the shadow of the U.S. empire, and individually they don’t look like much, but once you start noticing them you come to recognize them as symptoms of the profoundly diseased civilization that we are living in.

One where our heart strings are pulled in the most obnoxious ways imaginable to get us to support capitalism, empire and oligarchy, where we are manipulated into espousing values systems which benefit powerful sociopaths under the cover of noble-sounding causes.

Where we are trained like rats to support systems that are driving our species toward extinction because our rulers gave lip service to humanitarianism and waved a rainbow flag.

This is what dystopia looks like. Like a bunch of thought-controlled automatons mindlessly marching toward ecocide and omnicide to a beat played out by screens who tell them every day and in every way that there is no higher purpose than this.

Like military industrial complex-funded feminist rock operas about drone operators and Cookie Monster helping Samantha Power psychologically colonize Iraqi children. Like Bono coming home from singing a heartfelt number about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr to illustrate a cover for a war propaganda piece in The Atlantic.

It’s like they’re pouring concrete over our hearts. Sewing blindfolds over our souls. Numbing us, distracting us, sedating us, so that the local riff raff won’t interfere in the workings of the imperial machine.

They’re killing off something beautiful and sacred in humanity, and they’re doing it to roll out some of the ugliest visions this planet has ever seen.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

57 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: This Is What Dystopia Looks Like

  1. D.L Sharp
    May 8, 2023 at 12:00

    I don’t disagree with anything written in this article but it is repetitive and nothing new to those of us who have been paying attention for a long time – long before the Ukranian bloody nonsense which while it is unlikely to end in nuclear war will no doubt make a few much richer and leave an unfortunate many in horrible life-changing circumstances. Keep writing of course but don’t pretend that a few clear-sighted comments are likely to make any difference. Only time and horrendous upheaval both social and environmental will change the status quo.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 8, 2023 at 13:33

      It may be repetitive to those of us who follow politics and read independent media, but it is always worth repeating for readers who may be new to Consortium News or any other independent news forum.

    • Valerie
      May 8, 2023 at 14:43

      I don’t know if there’ll be much social or environmental status after the upheaval i believe is waiting around the corner. But the scenarios Ms. Johnstone describes, to me anyway, are simply attempts to appear as advanced and forward looking as possible in the world of “entertainment”.

  2. Christian Chuba
    May 8, 2023 at 11:53

    ‘The Family Guy’ is also jumping on the bandwagon. They depict Russia as a bleak country, filled w/slums, and pollution from a nuclear power plant belching green vapor.

    All the residents are ugly, die young, look old, and are drunks. They have onion instead of apple carts. They eat beets w/every meal, while secretly longing for U.S. cheeseburgers. They are too scared to complain because the secret police will immediately shoot you w/poison darts. The one seemingly nice guy is just a gold digger, using Meg to acquire a marriage visa to leave his god forsaken country. To them, Russia is a crap country filled w/crap people.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 8, 2023 at 13:35

      People need to watch Randy Credico’s videos from his trip to Russia. He went to Moscow and also to Donetsk. Moscow is a beautiful vibrant city, filled with shopping malls, great restaurants, nightclubs, etc., just like any cosmopolitan city. The stores are full of shoppers and the food halls filled with fruit and veg. I recommend watching his reports.

  3. jdf
    May 8, 2023 at 11:32

    Superb and frightening analysis. The American people are not all mindless sheep. Most seem conditioned and confused by the governments’ and MSM’s coordinated pro-war, pro-Ukraine propaganda, by the desire for conformity with the views of friends and family, by collegial pressures, and, of course, a fear of thinking for themselves, of going against the grain of popular opinion when they don’t have a direct, personal knowledge of events being discussed and of having to stand alone against a seeming consensus. And, frankly, the lack of a good education in history, which can take years of concentrated effort. One has to turn to alternative news and opinion sites like this for independent, critical analysis. Thank you Consortium News and Caitlin Johnston!

  4. Kev
    May 8, 2023 at 09:30

    The well trained population who keeps voting for the same two or three political parties is a sign. Why not try something different if you have complaints about those in power? Dems or Reps, Liberals or Conservatives, same old same old.
    Fear, I suppose, is why.

  5. Anon
    May 7, 2023 at 22:27

    Tnx CN, Caitlin (& all the xlnt comments).
    Art is subjective, not objective… contend opposite true for quarterly corporate $tat$.
    $ellout = $ELLOUT!

  6. J. Edward Tipre
    May 7, 2023 at 22:08

    Thank you Caitlin. May you be blessed some day not to have to write about dystopic political cultures.

  7. Robert v scheetz
    May 7, 2023 at 19:10

    Decadent Berlin comes to mind and Leo Strauss. But our pomo Capitalist Imperialism discovers a deeper circle of Hell. Thanks Caitlin.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 8, 2023 at 13:38

      Ah, yes, Weimar. Time for I Am A Camera and a rerun of the film “Cabaret”.

  8. Michael brian Chebo
    May 7, 2023 at 18:27

    You’re the best!

  9. Patrick Powers
    May 7, 2023 at 09:56

    The US government says we are at “information war.” I think they should better call it “bullshit war.”

  10. Gordon Hastie
    May 7, 2023 at 08:39

    Yeats’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem continues to be depressingly relevant. There was a happier time (in retrospect) when many of us thought of Bono as merely a bore and jumped-up pain in the ass. Looks as if the declining relevance of U2 goes hand in hand with Bono becoming an actual menace.

  11. jamie
    May 7, 2023 at 06:59

    of Bono’s expression I would keep “just as Stalin once sent shtrafbats, penal battalions, against the Nazis”, against the Nazis, that seems quite correct; although, it was a unforgivable mistake/crime by our media, politicians, to diminish if not outright deny the existence of ultranationalism/neonazi problem in Ukraine is not even the biggest one. But, who really are the nazis?
    I do not see Nazism as an isolated event in western development, I see it as a continuum idea which stretches from (perhaps even before) Christianity to now the so called “Liberalism/progressivism”. The idea of supremacy, violence as a mean to impose an ideology, social/cultural narcissism, etc are continuously evolving, evil is evolving, and the most dangerous one is the evil that “mimics” good in such manner and perfection that cannot be distinguished from it.
    Today we no longer send ethnic groups to the gas chamber, burning corpses in our front-yard; it might hurt the hyper-emotional/sensitive society), it is no longer politically correct, it might create uprising and fragmentation; instead, we bomb them in faraway places were our population cannot witness the brutality of our actions, where it is much easier to build a narrative, to show the picture we want it to see; we use media to depict them as monsters, we use Hollywood to make those monsters even more real and easier to hate; Hollywood, bring the population closer to the “monsters” in a safe and controlled manner. And of course we silence anyone who dare to challenge their social engineering, who dare to think critically

    I do not even see the Nazi as a right-wing movement, as see it as “progressive” movement that was able to manipulate the nationalists into believing it was a national struggle, about national identity, while the idea of nazis was much more than that, it was about science, about conquering the world (and Russia as of today was the key), vegetarianism, abortion, animal rights, “transhumanism” were elements present in their ideology… it was extremely surprising how progressive forces today supported ultra-nationalist forces in Ukraine, like the nazis, they new they are the best fighters, the cannon-fodders, perhaps for them even a way to clean the society of rubbish…
    I see our ideology, culture as a sect, or at least they act like one, cutting off members/adepts to “the real world information” and often communication.
    To change our society must understand the reasons why our culture is so, the symbolism behind it, the tactics, etc

    The voice of journalist like Caitlin is extremely important, but the effect that it might have on our society will be seen (if everything goes well) at much later time, perhaps decades from now… it takes time for the mind to adjust to a new reality

  12. Robert Sinuhe
    May 7, 2023 at 02:54

    There are few Winston Smiths in the world. I wish there were more. Caitlin fits the description. The sophistication of propaganda is all encompassing. It has its own false inclusiveness as if the rest of us with eyes to see regard the blind who accept their blindness as reality. One gets a taste of this when observing the young, attached to little screens without regard of what is around them.

  13. May 7, 2023 at 00:53

    “Like Bono coming home from singing a heartfelt number about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr to illustrate a cover for a war propaganda piece in The Atlantic.”

    Bono purports to honor Martin Luther King by his music, but actually betrays King’s legacy, by ignoring and overlooking a very important and crucial but widely neglected aspect of his legacy, and thereby not being a threat to the ruling class, and being and staying in the good graces of MICIMATT.



  14. Sick and tired
    May 7, 2023 at 00:32

    I always anticipate Caitlin Johnstone’s latest article with equal parts of fear and pleasure. She’s always right about the mist frightening developments.

  15. May 6, 2023 at 19:57

    Why does anyone look to a pop singer like Bob for moral guidance or wisdom?

  16. nwwoods
    May 6, 2023 at 19:07

    Bono is a despicable fraud, as he has always been.

    Captain Obvious

  17. CaseyG
    May 6, 2023 at 17:38

    I suppose that America won in WW 2 because this nation was farther away from the bombs—and Hawaii was not yet a state—although it was once its own kingdom. Being far away gave America a stronger base as so much of the war was in Europe.

    America got lucky, and so did the ghost of Harry Truman. I did wonder why he felt he had war to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I guess the military wanted a BIG ending to the war? But—you never really ended war , did you American military. After WW 2, some military people just had to have their war—sadly it was a losing proposition —as all of America’s wars since then.

    WW 2 was over. You should have left it there, American soldiers and sailors and flyers. Maybe war is like a drug, and once you start you can’t stop—-but sadly , when you run out of power you start a war within your own nation or in another nation. Ukraine is a loser but sadly, so is America—–and the beat of stupidity goes on and on and on. The 6th extinction appears to be here, and as the poet wrote it comes with a ,” bang—and a whimper.” . : (

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 8, 2023 at 13:41

      The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not necessary to win the war. Japan was already surrendering. The atomic bombs were dropped for the benefit of the Soviet Union, and the beginning of the Cold War. That’s the thanks the USSR got for winning the war in Europe.

  18. Frank McCoy
    May 6, 2023 at 17:21

    Excellent as always Ms. Johnstone. Thank you. I’m in my 8th decade and always sought the truth. My uneducated parents who did not finish high school helped me a little with that venture. Butt leachers of science helped the most. Some Arts and Humanity teachers assisted. Reading in general of course is key. Once one sees the methods of science, you learn critical thinking and start asking questions about everything. I have three college degrees and have picked up lots of truth. When retired I taught myself Calculus and now am studying Einstein’s special theory of Relativity with friends. I wish I had earlier in life seen that “politics” needs that kind of attention and learning that science demands. People like you have taught me the truth there. Keep up the good work.

  19. Realist
    May 6, 2023 at 14:39

    This is what happens when a highly cultivated fear response is conditioned in most of the populace by a ruthless and efficient tyrannical national government. It’s what Kafka told us to watch out for in the aftermath of WWI, long before Orwell ever came to the same set of conclusions, in the aftermath of WWII. Pick whatever wartime aftermath applies in our 21st century, as you have numerous US-instigated wars from which to choose.

    Ever since Vietnam (the War, or maybe it was Korea, the War) our entire standing population–including multimillions of fresh naive immigrants as well as every latest native birth cohort–has been exposed to the same ominous warnings to the old familiar tune that they can never be safe in a world full of foreign villains, unless they pre-approve every bellicose instinct preached to them by every branch of the federal government. They are conditioned to forfeit whatever natural abilities to think and reason logically that nature endowed upon them to give their entire will and accompanying sets of behavioral reflexes to Uncle Sam and the cadre of wealthy, powerful fascists that he symbolizes and serves. Hence egotistical assholes like Bono and the other asswipes you mentioned spewing forth the type of wartime propaganda demanded under the current circumstances by the dying but still vicious-to-the-max American World Empire.

    Ninety percent of the American population are all on board with the absurd warmongering propaganda that makes Zelensky out to be a latter day Churchill and the Hitlerian Nazis of Ukraine to be the Guardians of the Galaxy, none of which stands up to reason or, even more importantly, to the facts of the case, most of which have been twisted beyond all recognition. But most Americans (and Europeans, for that matter), being the reliable herd animals which they have been conditioned to emulate from their earliest days in church, in school, in the Boy Scouts, in Little League, in the family circle, and in the audiences of all our modern mass media, show all the mental acuity of “Clever Hans,” the Vaudevillian horse who could supposedly solve math problems whilst merely discerning subliminal cues from his human handler on stage. At least Hans didn’t have the cognitive abilities to understand what he really was–just one more scam proffered to a gullible public by hustlers like P.T. Barnum.

    Most humans COULD break through the hypnotic state impressed upon their minds by their exploitative “leaders,” but they feel much more comfortable just going along with the con, even if it means they will pay a price much bigger than social non-conformity later, when the body bags start coming home, their infrastructure is destroyed, their homes are rubble and they are aimless migrants. How many times has this scenario been repeated, compliments of Uncle Sam, in our modern world? When will Americans be forced to learn this lesson the hard way, just as they have forced millions of others to do in their own lands?

    [Commence, on cue, next 10-minute hate against specified nation, domestic politician, peace activist or world leader until ordered to stop by the designated keeper of your free will.]

    • JonnyJames
      May 6, 2023 at 17:02

      Good points.

      Back in the day, it was Two Minutes Hate, now what with the Hate inflation, it takes Ten Minutes Hate. (silly humor)

    • DW Bartoo
      May 6, 2023 at 18:11

      Superb comment, Realist.

      • Realist
        May 8, 2023 at 01:03

        DW Bartoo,

        Well, Caitlin made me wonder both “Cui Bono?” and “Cui bono?” Almost always, she simply states the obvious, letting Ockham’s razor cut to the truth of the matter.

    • firstpersoninfinite
      May 7, 2023 at 00:20

      Besides Caitlin Johnstone’s excellent commentary, your comment is as spot on as it gets. Thanks!

    • J Anthony
      May 7, 2023 at 07:33

      I have to say, the percentage of us aware of the whole boondoggle and resisting (to limited extent) is a little higher than 10%, maybe closer to 25%

    • J. Edward Tipre
      May 7, 2023 at 22:07

      Brilliant. Sadly brilliant précis of the American psychological scape. It may be left to the “good” artists working distant from the corporate sphere because they must. Plays, mostly small, everywhere. Encampments, small towns, cities, high schools, universities. Cinema vérité scenes and whole dramas to appear on Smartphones and tablets using the many out-of-work actors. These will be in largely small doses like most messages these days, or perhaps on a Saturday evening, all at once for those with a generous appetite for Truth. Graphic art posted everywhere by stealth or otherwise. Verbal and graphic images must begin to compete on a large scale if we are ultimately to become literate and sane. Otherwise, as you say, we shall learn our lesson the “hard way” like those we’ve destroyed abroad. Difficult to comprehend the chaos that would ensue.

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        May 8, 2023 at 13:44

        Roger Waters is doing the job.

  20. SH
    May 6, 2023 at 14:20

    Great stuff, Caitlin!

  21. Hillman
    May 6, 2023 at 13:40

    Yes, I agree. We are living in a dystopia. Money/wealth corrupts and Bono is no exception.

    • Carol Crown
      May 7, 2023 at 12:08

      If Dylan could do it, anyone can.

  22. shmutzoid
    May 6, 2023 at 13:16

    Johnstone’s gift is writing in such a searingly insightful yet plainspoken manner to describe present day dystopia in society.

    For the rapidly declining fortunes of the US empire, it’s ‘all hands on deck’. Measures of social control and propaganda increase as US influence in the world decreases. ……. a simple equation. The battle for the American mind is key for the US hegemon to press on with its ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’. ……….. It’s only a few alternative sites online one can gain a true perspective of global events/issues. US mainstream culture is an ongoing psy-op to keep us ignorant, misinformed and properly aligned with the state’s imperial objectives.
    ….Johnstone portrays this all so very well.

    I dunno. I had hoped the longer this proxy war against Russia being waged in Ukraine goes on there’d be mounting dissent, with more and more folks seeing more clearly just what this war is really about. ……. but, the propaganda is so thick I’m starting to wonder about that. …….. Supporting Ukraine increasingly takes on a heroic and quasi-religious character, reflecting the empire’s desperation in trying to control its citizenry.

  23. BartS
    May 6, 2023 at 11:52

    Art and Corporations cannot co-exist in the same plane of existence. They are opposites.

    I would think that the current modern dreck from Hollywood would prove that to anyone. If one wants Art, one must leave the Corporate World.

    The Corporate World uses and profits from dreck that is called ‘Art’, but it is not Art. Art requires an artist of independent spirit, and the Corporate World demands obedience. The two do not go together. The Corporate World peddles an illusion of Art, but can not create actual Art. A Corporate Artist is an oxymoron. While the oxymoron’s output might be Marketable, it is not Art.

    If one wants to experience Art, one must first leave the Corporate Plane of Existence. Which of course means turning off your ComedyCentral TV, and your ClearChannel radio station, and the rest of the Corporate Mind Control Machine.

    In a world where a handful of corporations control everything you see, hear, read and for most people think …. Art Will Not Be Televised.

  24. Joh Corey
    May 6, 2023 at 11:50

    Caitlin, Hopefully, your Cassandra warnings will spur 1% of the voters in a given congressional distric to organize, monitor their Rep, and old them accountable.The reform, or we replace them. (See Ralph Nader’s It’s Easier Than You Think.) As Marcus Cicero rigtly observed, Freedom is. Participatioion in Power. I am trying to organize such a People Power organization in my congressional district

  25. JonnyJames
    May 6, 2023 at 11:42

    Dystopia indeed. Classic DoubleThink. Bono’s gross hypocrisy shows that he is a phony, a charlatan. He is clearly a warmongering, racist imperialist dressed up as a celebrity “philanthropist”.

    Samantha Power is a sociopath sycophant, that explains her actions.

    Kennedy Center glorifying murderers of innocent people, no matter who, must be a new low for the dystopian nightmare.

    I recall Barack Obama saying that he was good at killing people, on Kill List Tuesdays.

    Speaking of Iraq, the media and both factions of the political oligarchy love Bush Jr. and Tony Blair – that’s pretty dystopian as well.

    On the other hand, we can look to history and see the similarities of the cruelties of the Roman Empire, while calling other people barbarians. The Emperor can give a thumbs up or down on who to kill, which countries to bomb, who to torture, and who to call barbarians. Plus ca change and all that

  26. Tom Dickinson
    May 6, 2023 at 11:38

    Thank you for your eyes and how they see. Thank you for your mouth and how it speaks. And thank you Consortium News for publishing Ms Johnstone’s thoughts. My teacher said fruit rots under the tree–and we are in a rotten time–but that rot feeds the seeds that bring something new. I feel that optimism in Ms Johnstone’s writing.

  27. BartS
    May 6, 2023 at 11:29

    What do each of these examples have in common?

    Corporations. Each of the ‘artists’ in these examples are corporate artists who have made their fame and fortune with corporate sponsorship Each of these artists would be flipping burgers in a 24-hour diner if they had not been funded in their ‘career’s’ by corporations. Each of these ‘artists’ can be fully and completely described as a ‘corporate tool’. And generally, the ‘tool’ ownership can be traced back to the small handful of corporations that control everything you see, hear, read and for most people think.

    It is thus not surprising that the corporations would use their corporate tools as a part of their effort for complete world domination. A notion that they would not use the tools at their disposal would appear to be so unrealistic as to be worthy of a Homer-esque “Dooooooohhhhh!”

    The interesting bit is that since these corporations play upon fake rebellion in their efforts to obtain total mind control, how much real rebellion got created by accident? We can but hope. But so far, so far, the streets are quiet and the Establishment sleeps comfortably to the sound of baying sheep.

  28. May 6, 2023 at 11:14

    This is just sick.

    The opera reminds me of the movies in Orwell’s 1984 where the audience cheered whenever bombs or bullets killed the enemy – whoever that was.

    Will the audience at the Kennedy Center will cheer when the chair force pilot vaporizes her target? Anyone taking bets?

  29. Herman
    May 6, 2023 at 11:05

    An antidote? Doesn’t exist. A plan to combat? Don’t see one. Only the unexpected consequences where America comes to its senses likely preceded by pain which reaches of shores of the United States and the people cry: a version of “Hell n0, we won’t go!” I hope it is something less painful for the millions of conditioned people in this country and the few who agree with the author.

    Dystopia is a pretty good description.

  30. Aubrey
    May 6, 2023 at 11:00

    And one cannot forget Sean Penn, another bored and tired actor who has been busy making a fascist documentary about the situation in Ukraine.

    Another Hollywood schlemeil.

    Frank Zappa, a musician in the 70’s who turned ‘free market’ said it well when earlier in his life he noted:

    “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion.

    At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

    —– Frank Zappa

    That is what they do for the Kabuki show.

    But this time capitalism may not allow time for the curtains to be pulled back.

    Antonio Gramsci’s observation back in 1930 aptly characterizes the current state:

    “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

    • Valerie
      May 6, 2023 at 18:41

      But surely, Gramsci couldn’t have envisioned the “morbid” symptoms of today. (Or at least, not the severity.) Or the “dystopian” reality. Imagine if things were so bad then.

      • Aubrey
        May 8, 2023 at 13:59

        Imagine just how bad they will get.

        • Valerie
          May 8, 2023 at 16:27

          I try not to Aubrey. It’s pretty dismal now.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 8, 2023 at 13:48

      “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” Antonio Gramsci

  31. Bruce Edgar
    May 6, 2023 at 10:26

    Caitlin is the best truth teller out there. I admire and love her accurate, irreverent analyses.

  32. Dorothea
    May 6, 2023 at 10:25

    R.I.P. to the 23 Ukrainian civilians who were killed in Wednesday’s bombings and missile attack against Kherson, including 8 who died in a supermarket.

    • Daedalus
      May 6, 2023 at 19:21

      How about the tens of thousands killed by the Western Ukrainian bombardment of the Donbas portion of the ‘country’?

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        May 8, 2023 at 13:49

        Nobody wants to mention them.

  33. Susan Leslie
    May 6, 2023 at 10:22

    The US propaganda machine is all encompassing – Most Americans are not able to think for themselves because propaganda has been strategically woven into our DNA since birth. To think clearly and critically means stepping away from social norms which is now taboo. So many are willing to go along with the blatant lies and deceptions rather than considering they are being manipulated into blindly following those in charge off the proverbial war cliff. Violence, war and greed reign supreme – while peace and love are simply words from the past that no longer have meaning. I’m glad to be in my 70s so that I don’t have to watch the charade much longer.

    • Valerie
      May 6, 2023 at 18:09

      So i guess Susan you remember the “nuclear family” of the 1950’S. That was short lived. Except we are probably more than “nuclear” now with all the pollution. The charade, as you call it, is all encompassing. But we have to maintain our love, at least, for the innocent creatures caught up in homo sapiens’ hubris and charades.

  34. Mark Stanley
    May 6, 2023 at 09:55

    Bono’s cover art looks more like a young Adolf.

    • Valerie
      May 6, 2023 at 17:35

      Actually Mark, i thought it was Freddie Mercury.

  35. Henry Smith
    May 6, 2023 at 07:58

    The USA is the defender of democracy;
    Western governments never lie;
    Zelensky is a freedom loving hero;
    Ukraine is not fascist;
    Russia seeks world domination;
    Bono is not a pratt.

    • Valerie
      May 6, 2023 at 17:37

      Sounds more like quadruple speak Henry.

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