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camp australia: the brochure vs reality
are deceptive advertising laws a thing in australia? (asking for 25 million friends)
we start here with the brochure for “everything is lovely” from claire lehmann.
but these are clearly staged. these are members of the olympic team taking contrived shots and posing in (relatively) pampered happiness quite possibly because they’re told to. it is, literally, a set of instagram shots from august.
believing these is like believing that everyone on a carnival cruise ship looks like ryan reynolds and not like a bacon sculpture of a bison from the missouri state fair.
certain question arise such as “why would one feel a need to escape from such an idyll?”
perhaps because, predictably, reality turns out to be somewhat different:
the inmates sound a tad restless…
reality is a creepy duck faced bureaucrat telling you you have to stay in your hutch or face fines and worse.
there is no reasoning. it does not have to make sense. there just have to be lines drawn. and you’d better stay inside them.
(watch the video, hear it yourself. then imagine a world 20 years ago where only claire’s take would ever see the light of day…)
having had a negative test for covid is no defense. you’re sent here, against your will, for possible exposure, and held until released. those chain link fences are not for your safety. there’s no process, no appeal, not even any real standard.
watching these erstwhile jailers act smugly magnanimous as though they are swell folks for not fining her for a first offense is more than a bit uncomfortable. it hearkens to all manner of dark, rotten places in the human psyche where the bad guys cast themselves as heroes.
“we’re all just doing the right thing, yeah?”
this is what the banality of evil looks like.
“it’s not me, i’m just following the rules. the ins and out have nothing to do with me.”
i mean, oh my godwin, does this remind anyone else of some notably unsuccessful past defenses on such topics?
and what are we to make of claire? is she some aussie walter duranty, carrying filthy water and publishing propaganda to hide the truth about the rights records of regimes?
(don’t forget, duranty won the pulitzer for his outright fabrications about soviet success and for masking their famine and oppression while cheering on political show trials as a brave defense of the stalinist state. there is a rich history of authoritarian journalism.)
at least duranty was colorful. claire seems simply bland and banal in her mischaracterization, more amoral advertising intern than mad genius. it’s also possible that she was really just this genuinely gullible and mistook an instgram stage prop for reality.
but it shows you how the media gets sucked into the magnetic field of powerful politicians and how, to curry favor and access, the mediocre and grand alike among them seek to toe and expand upon the party line.
and the edge-lording handwaving of “this is not auschwitz therefore it’s not evil/authoritarian/a fundamental violation of rights/etc” goes on.
this form of strawmanning works very well. this awful thing is not THAT awful thing therefore it is not AN awful thing.
it’s a logical fallacy, but it’s great rhetoric. well, until you get called on it.
the australian camps ARE concentration camps. they are just not auschwitz or belsen. (though boy are they trotting out a similar set of justifications and one might legitimately raise some slippery slope issues here…)
perhaps they are more like what the US did to the japanese during ww2 or 20 other historical examples.
perhaps one might argue “we’re just taking your freedom for 2 weeks!” stop me if you’ve heard THAT one before…
but this hardly renders them benign and to post bikini frolic photos of them to make it look like club med seems the far more misleading and dishonest of the takes.
i struggle to believe that claire did not know what she was doing.
a genuine press should be hostile to politicians. they should challenge and find fault. this is the duty and the calling of the 4th estate.
alas, this sort of muckracking has been deader than disco for decades. we’re seeing the late stage devolution of the media as they regress from being wolves to lapdogs.
but this just opens up that portion of the ecosystem to new entrants to play the same role.
media outlets are playing the propaganda game from decades ago and cannot seem to learn that they are not the only ones who get to speak anymore. and it only serves to hasten their demise as they rush and clamor to set what tattered remnants of their credibility remain on fire.
the dinosaurs die as clever little proto mammals feed on their eggs and grow strong and multiply.
they may stomp around all they like, but they will never catch us. we are too nimble and too quick. we are fruitful while they are barren.
this is why the future is ours.
help push this process along and regain a functioning infosphere because there is one thing that you can know for certain:
when the state and the media start riding around in the same car, it will inevitably and always be driven right over we the people…