I mean ‘alternative facts’, aka ‘lies. Did we use them first? We currently have a huge bundle of ‘netas’ using alternative facts every day; and in fact the supreme neta has been using them pretty frequently over years and years. Here I am simply enquiring whether the Trump gang has ‘trumped’ us or vice versa.
I think our mob take some beating, after all the Lotus Blossom gang have two names apiece. What better preparation for becoming involved in the racket of ‘alternative facts’ than being two persons in one body. How do they do it? The late Harry Houdini would have been green with envy. Before him the Scarlet Pimpernel swash buckled around defying authority - the authority of the Committee of Public Safety, which was entrusted with getting enemies of the State up the steps to the guillotine. Thank goodness such atrocious times are over: or are they?
Orwell is the pass master when it comes to describing the advance of a bully dictator in taking over a state and its people. With its Ministry of Truth where the cautious Winston Smith ‘readjusts ‘facts in the daily newspapers to fit them in to the ‘naked overwhelming design’ of ‘Big Brother’ who has an eye on everything –through spies, through people bribed with privileges, people cowed by threats of torture, and above all through the ubiquitous TV screens which never shut down and from which at regular intervals the phrase ‘Big Brother is watching you’ is transmitted.
The book, of course, is 1984, written in 1949 after WW2 and during the rise of the Soviet Union, and we might, stupidly, think that the danger of such states is over now. We need not fear the ‘Thought police’ as people in totalitarian states had to, as people of a certain race and colour had to in Hitler’s Germany. When one is weak, one always looks for scapegoats, when a politician wants a quick solution; it often happens that he/she looks for a faction to blame for all the ills he/she claims he/she can fix.
The Christians blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus, leading to centuries of pogroms and reprisals for no good reasons whatsoever. Today scholars claim Jesus may have died in Kashmir-truth or alternative fact? Now the Moslems blame the rest of the world for being ‘haram’, impure. Do we need all this religious rivalry and rigidity to lay down the law about how we dress, eat, and live; and which occupations make us pure and impure. Actually to tell the truth, I’ve always had a gut feeling that God might one day reveal that the most impure soul is an idle one who looks down on the mere indignity of working for a living! We have a powerful warning already. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna declares:
“If we do not work these worlds will perish! “ But many of our ‘leaders’ mouth the mantra that ‘work is worship ‘ when they don’t really mean it. Their intention is to siphon off as much capital as possible and look forward to a time of ’Aram’ for themselves and families. About ‘we the people’ let’s forget it, it’s up to the guillotine and off with our heads. Not too different from the intentions of Big Brother and his close coterie in 1984.
It is such an irony that our North American friends have spent so much time, effort and revenue to liberate the rest of us, to widen our minds to the free-thinking democratic world, and it is now they who are in danger (and I feel this instinctively) of being picked up by the ‘Thought Police’ It’s already happened to members of the Fourth Estate covering the big women’s demonstration after Mr Trump’s inauguration. Who’s to say such incidences will calm down when Mr Trump sent his very own Winston Smith to re-invent the scene on inauguration day; and to persuade people that they didn’t see what they saw but that the ‘alternative fact’ was something else. The most well attended inauguration in history was what people were urged to believe Trump’s inauguration was. It’s debatable whether ‘Sesame Street’ could have drawn bigger crowds, I know, but I’d prefer to put my money on Kermit and Miss Piggy!
I must say, that the first 2 days of action that showed President Trump with his faithful coterie of brown noses (sorry approved Cabinet members) standing around him in a circle as he signed for actions that would affect millions of people negatively. The new US Presidents lack of empathy for the world in general is distressing. He may care about his particular supporters and his particular world. He doesn’t mean ‘America First’ he means everyone in America who supports him first. The vitriolic attacks he leashed on Hilary Clinton, on certain journalists and others lead one to suspect there is something fundamentally wrong with, if not all, certain of his cognitive processes. He spews hatred instead of encouragement. Our fathers and many of their generation gave up their youths and their lives to combat this kind of hatred and the chaos it created in the world. As children we were taught to pray that such hatred would never rise again and to ‘love one another’. Our generation of so-called ‘flower children’ is often viewed by subsequent generations as weak, people who are too accepting and who fail to hold the line on principles.
Mr Trump is not alone; many of our ‘revolutionary’ politicians spewed the same kind of hatred. Sometimes it doesn’t even seem to matter who or what the hatred is for; hatred is enough for them and it has brought our nation almost to its knees. There is much we don’t see, there is poverty yet unaddressed, buildings ruined in the 2015 earthquake and not rebuilt, indeed Nepal Heritage Society claims the government seeks only to destroy, rather than repair historical buildings which have been used for more than 50 years by the government administration. The move to destroy rather than revet is based on hatred of what went before. It smacks of Trotskyism. Claiming to build back better doesn’t cut it, and there are several shabby new buildings that demonstrate this!
Now the world faces another earthquake: President Trump! Fascinated by the sheer incredible awfulness I have followed every pixel of TV and Internet. There was always something familiar about the postures and poses and until yesterday it still hadn’t come to mind. Now I have it! Trump might just as well have been saying “ This is our country, no outsiders welcome, ” and stretching out his small hands for his buddies to kiss. That was it! He was reminding me of Marlon Brando as Don Corleone.
Now, please assure the world that there is some way the real Americans, the native Indians, can take Mr Trump to court for illegal trespass!