Manufacturing Culture

Manufacturing Culture

by Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of “Manufacturing Culture”:

In Hollywood the Pentagon rewrites scripts about the military
to manufacture consent for a globe-spanning empire
to make US soldiers look like good guys
to make US wars look like good wars
to ensure continued recruitments
to ensure a steady supply of young bodies
to feed into the engine of a giant mechanical dragon
that is fueled by human blood.

They pipe our heads full of John Bolton brainworms
and Lockheed Martin dreams.
Our minds are colonized by shock and awe invasions
through a neighborhood in Los Angeles with no soul,
no art, no heart, no life, no love,
just cackling plastic smiles overmasking bestial snarls
and screenwriters with cocaine habits and nothing to say.
An invasive culture that is devoid of culture spreads across the globe
like the metastatic tendrils of a malignant tumor
saying “Isn’t global capitalism working out great?”
and “This is all perfectly normal and sane actually!”
and “Hey maybe billionaires are crimefighting superheroes?”
and “This is definitely the nation that should be leading the world!”
Depicting an America with no homelessness or obesity,
whose streets are clean and whose people are not hanging on
by the skin of their teeth in squalor, poverty and dilapidation.

“Politics is downstream from culture” they say
as they manufacture culture in Hollywood, Arlington and Langley.
Conveyor belt culture.
Plastic culture.
Franchise culture.
Vulture culture.
They funnel death into our minds
so on election day we will vote for death
and we will buy death from our stores
and pump death into our atmosphere
from fuel pumps made possible by orgies of death in the Middle East.

The news man teaches us how to think and Hollywood teaches us how to feel.
They pour death and plastic over our hearts like concrete
to make us more like them,
to make us dim and unimaginitive,
to make us sharp-toothed and stitch-eyed,
to drown out the song of our planet,
the song which grows the trees,
the song which replicates the cells,
the song which swims the fish,
the song which chirps the sparrows,
the song which stirs the fetus in the womb,
the song which moves the energy up the spine,
the song which opens up the eyes.

They pour death and plastic over our hearts like concrete
to sedate our terrestrial intuition,
to silence our song,
to divert our sacred sexuality,
to stifle the thunderclap aliveness of our being,
to keep the holy hominid from opening its eyes,
eyes which do not recognize the authority of the mind mages,
eyes which do not recognize the validity of mind cages.

They pour death and plastic over our hearts like concrete.
But the movement of tree roots can make cracks appear,
and from within those cracks
sprouts emerge.