[A Screengrab from FOX News in the year 2505]
As an example: Recently, someone close to me sent me the following (somewhat) funny warning about a disease he calls "PIST AWF". As he describes it in his cut-and-pasted email:
I have been somewhat under the weather since my doctors informed me that I have an acute case of "Post Islamic Stress Trauma with Apologetic Whitehouse Fatigue" (PIST-AWF). For those of you who do not know what that is; PIST-AWF is a newly defined disease that is found to be widespread and highly contagious.
In January, 2015 Doctors at the CDC released a statement disclosing a new disease that has already infected over half of the United States and is anticipated to continue to spread. The disease itself affects the cells of a person's entire body then goes dormant. The disease ravages the body and presents serious symptoms. These symptoms have been labeled as PIST-AWF.
· Severe pain of the scalp from pulling your own hair while viewing your president pander to Muslim terrorists.
· Uncontrollable heartburn at 8:00 PM during the O'Reilly factor.
· Loose bowels from swallowing the fact we elected Obama twice.
· Extreme hunger due to vomiting from nightly seeing terrorists murdering innocent people.
· Bleeding from the eyes. This is not Ebola. It is your eyes reacting to accidentally flipping to a channel that shows Al Sharpton as a legitimate news show host.
If you feel you have "Post Islamic Stress Trauma with Apologetic War Fatigue", please notify your local voter registrar and place your name on the list for a cure. It is expected, and sincerely hoped, that the cure will be available in November of 2016.
I think this mildly funny satire does describe a horrible disease that has infected a majority of the US population. But those corporate doctors, I fear, have intentionally mislead us on the correct diagnosis (much like how cigarette companies paid doctors to lie about the risks of smoking in the 1950's, how "experts" have told us how well our foreign policy is working over the decades, and how big petro pays scientists to lie about the causes of climate change now).
I have an alternate diagnosis to the symptoms noted here. The disease is actually called:
"Fear Onset Xenophobia, Negativity, Extremism, and Whitewashing Syndrome"
Commonly known as FOX NEWS poisoning*. It comes from the corporate controlled media constantly catering to the most fearful and prejudiced members of society, in a desperate effort to distract people from the fact that the entire political system, left and right, top to bottom, is completely corrupt, utterly inept and totally dysfunctional. Symptoms of FOX NEWS poisoning are exacerbated when people begin to believe that the bigoted buffoons put forward by the Republican Party will be any antidote whatsoever to the mealy mouth functionaries put forward by the Democratic Party.
(*This disease also has a nearly identical variant called "Corporate Negativity Neurosis" or CNN syndrome. Most experts agree it is the same disease. The difference is that FOX NEWS poisoning disables the right side first, while CNN syndrome starts by disabling the left side. Both are ultimately deadly to the body politic.)
The only cure to FOX NEWS poisoning and CNN syndrome is to realize that neither party has any solutions, and to reject them for a revolution that rises above the fear, greed and hatred that characterize American culture at this time. The therapy includes turning off cable news of any type, and rejecting "news" articles funded by any corporation that is thoroughly invested in business as usual. It includes realizing that not only is huge government a threat to individual citizens, but that we are equally threatened by multinational corporations and their ability to buy and sell the "truth" on international media. To overcome FOX NEWS / CNN, we will have to rely on our own reason, live in connected communities, and reject any scraps thrown to us by the "Military-Media-Petro-Pharma-Industrial Complex" (MMPPIC).
Overcoming FOX NEWS / CNN is painful, but it is not deadly yet. It will become deadly if we allow corporate controlled fascists to goose step into Washington DC and complete the construction of the totalitarian surveillance state that was put in place under George W Bush and gleefully continued under Obama (since they are both, in actuality, bought and paid for by the same MMPPIC corporate masters). So long as the corporate fascist state run by its oligarchic masters is not complete, recovery from FOX NEWS / CNN is possible without shedding of blood. But you have to decide to recover before it is too late. The process of full recovery has five basic steps:
Step 1. Recognize and modify Lord Acton's dictum that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Realize that money is symbolic, potential power, waiting to be spent and turned into actual power. Therefore wherever you find massive amounts of money-- in corporations and in governments-- there you find massive amounts of power and corruption. Do not trust large government nor large corporations and the money, power and corruption they embody. If money and power must be collected in an organization for the common good-- whether governmental or corporate-- it must be completely transparent to public scrutiny and completely open to democratic reform. Otherwise it must be resisted and replaced.
Step 2. Wake up to the propaganda machine that is the media. Follow the money that funds any "news" you happen to see or read. If that money comes from a large corporation heavily invested in the MMPPIC status quo, then completely reject that "news" source. Don't naively accept any source of information, especially if it claims to be "just the facts". Recognize how the majority of information on TV, in the papers, and online is nothing but a massive advertising scheme to siphon power into the hands of multinational corporations and their governmental stooges, especially those that make money from military conflicts (and the militarization of police and citizenry), media consumption, petroleum use, and pharmaceutical addiction. Follow the money and ignore the misinformation.
Step 3. Realize a "new" value system, which is also the oldest and most universal value system. Commit yourself to the common vision of value which is witnessed and taught by the great religions and philosophies of world. Whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or Humanist, each major worldview at its best and most life-giving has told us that we must avoid the poisons of selfishness, self-interest, egoism, pride, lust, craving, desire, gluttony, vanity, hatred, vengeance, ignorance, and fear; And we must embrace the virtues of altruism, compassion, empathy, peace, harmony, honor, respect, mercy, forgiveness, repentance, economic and social justice, self discipline and silent introspection. It is precisely this ancient moral vision that is inverted and corrupted by the MMPPIC system to make us weak and easily controlled, so we "buy into" whatever they "sell" us.
Step 4. Organize locally with rational people of integrity who have also followed Steps 1-3. Refuse to take any money from, or be subsumed into, any political or social organization that is funded by MMPPIC money. Together, in community, practice new value systems together and cultivate new ways to sustain the spiritual, moral, intellectual and economic lives of people. Refuse to "buy into" the system that tells us money is the primary value in life, and the primary indicator of success, ability, intelligence or worth. Love each other and give your lives in service to one another.
Step 5. Wage non-violent revolution on the MMPPIC system. Use your local community organization to petition current law makers, and elect new ones, who are not beholden to the MMPPIC system (in either its Democratic, Republican, or Tea Party variants). Gather in the streets. Protest at the courthouses. Write letters. Use your purchasing power to strangle the monetary life blood of the corporations and reward businesses that make communities better. Make the powers-- both corporate and governmental-- afraid of the citizens again.
This is how to overcome FOX NEWS / CNN before it is too late. Good luck and God speed.