They Own Us (No, Really)
Written by: Alex Sandell
"My God," I thought to myself, "This is how Hitler got so many to look the other way!" I had thought this before, but never had I awoken, covered in sweat, heart racing in my chest, to know that it was true. To know, deep down in my bones, that not only a country full of people, but an entire planet full of them were living under a Dictator in 2006, but had closed their eyes to the truth, given up, given in and given their rights away.
But not just their rights. They also gave their names, their money, their hearts, their souls, their minds, their passions and their lives. They had given it all away. Not "they" ... but "I" ... "we" ... every single one of us. And we'll never get any of it back. Benjamin Franklin warned us, but we still traded our liberty for security ... for convenience ... to make things easier. And now they are controlling us completely.
We sold ourselves to the corporations. As we said we won't let it happen again, in regards to the monstrosities that were Hitler and Stalin, we were buying right into the entire program. Fighting wars with bombs made by GE. Listening to corporate owned news that relied on corporate advertising to stay afloat. And we didn't bat an eye when one corporation bought another and that corporation bought the next and then another merged into that, leaving us with only a handful to choose from -- and none left to rely upon. It's their news, their way.
The war in Iraq is the first war that is being fought entirely for corporations, because of corporations. No corporate owned major news networks questioned invading Iraq in response to 9/11. The war in Iraq is the first war started by a man who comes from a long and proud line of corporate whores.
You couldn't convince George W. Bush that corporations were bad if you had a lifetime to convince him. On a desert island. With a solar-powered IQ-booster in George's head created by the Professor and able to boost his IQ to genius levels on a sunny day.
Corporations got him elected. They got his dad elected. They made his grandpa rich. Some of his best friends run corporations. More of his best friends ran them. Those that ran them are now running the Government after being appointed by him. They're his bread and butter. They're all he knows and they're just perfect. Evidence to the contrary has been placed in front of him, but he's chosen to ignore it. Not "he" ... "we" ... every single one of us.
As mentioned above, I woke up in a panic prior to writing this update. I woke up knowing what I had known for so long (see the Corporate Bashing section of this page), but somehow never fully comprehended. We are living under a corporate dictatorship. I couldn't keep my eyes closed any longer -- I knew I had to get out of bed at 5:58 AM and write this update.
I booted up my Dell. Waited for my Microsoft Windows XP Operating System to load. Grabbed a bottle of PepsiCo's Aquafina to help me swallow down some Bristol-Myers Squibb Bufferin to get rid of the headache I was having due to eating too much salty food at Darden Restaurants' Red Lobster. We debated going to Darden Restaurants' Olive Garden, but my mom remembered she forgot to take her afternoon Pfizer Lipitor cholesterol med and needed to eat somewhere close to my house, so she could pick up her Buick Lacrosse, which she chose for The GM 100,000 Mile/5-Year Powertrain Warranty, and drive home.
Once my Dell was on and ready to go, I opened up Microsoft Word, but remembered that it hasn't been working since I refused to download the Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage program, which would put my computer on a schedule of calling in to Microsoft's Mother Ship every day with any and all of my personal information (Microsoft swears they don't take any personal info. and when asked for reassurances they say we can just take them at their word. Would they take us at our word? Apparently not, or they wouldn't need our computers to "call in" every day to make sure we don't have any pirated software.).
So I decided to type the thing directly into Microsoft FrontPage. Once completed, I'll have to decide whether or not I should put it on News Corp.'s MySpace and send out a bulletin to my "friends" letting them know it's up to be read. It's the only way to really get anyone's attention anymore.
Isn't this all just fucking spiffy? So convenient!
Someone could have built my computer for me or I could have built it myself, but Dell offered a better price and a finished product in a faster time. I could have used Linux and a bunch of open source software, but there's a learning curve and the Dell shipped with Windows XP and all the Microsoft programs. Generic aspirin would have worked fine, but Lund Food Holdings' Byerly's only sold the brand-name stuff and nothing else was open and I didn't want to wait until the morning.
And this is all of us. My youngest brother announced the death of a mutual friend on his little corner of News Corp.'s MySpace page. My other brother most likely announced his wife's pregnancy on the same site in his space on News Corp.' MySpace. If he didn't, and if I post this on my section of New Corp's MySpace, I'll beat him to the punch by announcing that I am soon to be an uncle.
Remember when we used to feel uncomfortable filling out a few forms? When did it suddenly become okay to announce weddings, birthdays, births, deaths and all other important life events in a space owned by the same company that sends Bill O'Reilly his paycheck? Why would we do that? Because it's easy. Of course we could create a blog of our own (such as I did a decade ago with The Juicy Cerebellum), but it wouldn't be a centralized network of people we could call "friends."
And we've bought into the illusion.
It is called "MYspace," after-all. So many people think it's their own little home online. They forget that their space on MySpace isn't their space at all. They forget that they aren't taking advantage of News Corp., but that News Corp. is taking advantage of them. It's all structured to help the corporations, the corporations don't structure anything to help the user. How long is it going to take us to learn that?
Every new member on MySpace makes MySpace that much more appealing to advertisers. In other words, our spaces on MySpace, which aren't really even ours, are making Rupert Murdoch that much richer. I'm sure an article like the one you're reading will cause Rupert's drones to quickly remind me that my space at MySpace always has, and always will, be his space -- and he can take it away whenever he wants.
But to be fair, this is everywhere. Everything you have belongs to them. But they make you think it's yours. It's your football team until they trade it. Your show until they cancel it. Your house until they foreclose it. Your vote, until they steal it. Your health care, until you can't afford it. Your life until they pull the plug. Face it -- nothing is yours anymore. It's too bad your Senator was bought by them as well, leaving you with no options or way out.
Since the start of The Juicy Cerebellum, I have watched it become okay for legendary artists such as Bob Dylan to sell underwear or Paul McCartney to sell insurance. I have watched the advent of Tivo, the subsequent purchase by News Corp. of Tivo (seeing a theme?) and the way the networks found to get their advertising into people's living rooms, even if they have Tivo. Now they just put it right in the show.
You were able to fast forward the ads during the big game? No you weren't. There are more ads between commercials than there are during them. The Fedex "Air and Ground" Report. The Burger King Whopper Halftime show. The Chili's logo popping up throughout. The NBC or News Corp. Fox logo on your screen during the entire show. The ads in the actual stadium. The name of the actual stadium. The NFL itself.
Trust me kids, you aren't skipping the ads with your digital wonderbox. But you are letting News Corp. know your viewing habits. Just like you're letting Apple know every single song you download and at exactly what time you were in the mood for a sad song, a romantic song, a happy song, or a protest song. Just like you're letting Qwest, Microsoft, Comcast, AT&T know when you are typing, pondering, chatting, or, as is my case, writing an article criticizing Qwest, Microsoft, Comcast and AT&T.
Netflix knows what movies you're renting and how many you're watching per week. Your credit card company knows how many movies you have out from Netflix at a time. The Government knows your buying habits thanks to your credit card company. And you don't know jack about any of them.
Next time you're signing a contract, actually read it and see what you're getting yourself into. And then add a few arrows in places where you don't approve. Get back to the corporation and say you need them to exempt you from having your information given out to other advertisers, etc. See if they'll do it. This is all structured to benefit them.
If your blood isn't boiling by this point, they've succeeded in keeping you placated. If your blood is boiling, maybe you'll want to pop a protest CD released by Sony into your Panasonic DVD player. Or a movie? How about Warner Bros.' V for Vendetta? Are you getting it yet? They're even manufacturing your "anarchy." And when you've had too much, they'll reel it back in, just like they did in the early 70s. Turning a group of peace-loving hippies into money-hungry yuppies.
You can't escape them. There is no escape. We let this happen. We could have done something. We could have stopped it before it went worldwide. But we were too busy watching America's Next Top Model and deciding who deserves the top 8 spots on our MySpace page. What a joke we've let ourselves become. A sad, sick and sorry bunch of babies sucking on the tit of Mother Corporation.
The Juicy Cerebellum will continue to stay independent and from this day forth will refuse all corporate advertising (the stuff that's up will stay, because I don't have the time to go through each page on this site, deleting every ad). Donations will still be accepted. If having one place left online that is independently owned and operated (10 years running) means anything to you, send something in and keep it afloat. I'm starting to fear that I'm running the last bastion of Independence on the World Wide Web.
Oh, and I'll never keep any of your personal information. And I'll never allow "friend lists" on this page. And I'll never, ever sell to News Corp.! If you want to communicate like normal people used to do, way back in 1997, you can send me an email. Thanks.
Back to The Juicy Cerebellum