Posts Tagged ‘dictator’

More on the Cult

September 24, 2012

 

I read this article in Investor’s Business Daily about the Obama cult after I wrote this post on the subject. There isn’t much in the editorial about the creepiness of the cult that isn’t covered elsewhere but I did think the point at the end was worth noting.

But the question is, why are so many Americans so willing to voluntarily buy into Obama’s personality cult?

Remember that will.i.am video from Obama’s first campaign?

Or the equally creepy video of elementary school students signing Obama’s praises:

“Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand

To make this country strong again

Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Barack Hussein Obama.”

Or how about the endless news photos of Obama with his head centered in the middle of a circle in the background, giving him the appearance of being surrounded by a halo.

Anyone want to guess how many times a press photographer decided to snap a picture of Reagan like that?

In totalitarian countries, leaders can force their greatness on unwilling subjects because they own the press, they own the entertainment industry and they own all the schools.

It is true that totalitarian dictators can force public worship in their subjects but one truth that perhaps we don’t want to admit is that their subjects are not always unwilling to support the personality cult. Few, if any, regimes survive solely by the use of force. Most rulers, however tyrannical, do have a certain part of the population who actively support them, whether because they benefit from the regime, or they fear the alternatives, or they believe the propaganda. I have no doubt that if you were to take a public opinion poll of the German population around 1936, you would find Hitler was geniunely popular among the great majority of Germans.

Most people who have seen the videos of North Koreans mourning the death of Kim Il Jong in the most extravagant fashion assume that they are afraid of punishment. That is true, but it is possible that many of these people really did feel grief. After all, if you are told the Dear Leader is the most wonderful person in the world 24 hours a day, you begin to believe it, especially if you have no standards of comparison.

I suppose my point here is that tyrants don’t often force themselves on an unwilling people. Usually, at least some segment of the population welcomes that tyrant and is willing to give up their freedom for some benefit real or imagined. What this might say about the future of out country I am not sure but it isn’t good that a certain number of Americans are willing to subscribe to such a cult.

 

 

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Photoshopping Syrian Style

July 13, 2011

From Yahoo News. Syrian president Basher Assad swore in the new governor of the city of Hama, Anas Abdul-Razzaq Na-em.

See anything wrong with this picture? It looks funky because the whole thing is a crudely done forgery.

Enterprising journalists and bloggers soon spotted key discrepancies–such as the telltale way that the table between the two men appears to cast an improbably glossy shadow on the surface of an oriental rug, and eerie way that Naem (the figure on the right) casts no shadow in his surroundings whatsoever. The UK Guardian solicited an opinion from its “imaging expert” Drew McCoy, who noted further that “two pictures may have been merged to make it seem like the men are in the same room, with the one on the right positioned fractionally higher than the one on the left. This becomes clearer when you look closely at the floor, which is distorted. The right hand side of the picture has been stretched downwards into place to line up with the left side (which is not distorted).”

The Washington Post noted further that one of Naem’s shoes “appears to be sticking out in front of the table leg,” even though the rest of his body is position behind the table leg. And McCoy’s counterpart at the Post, Dan Murano, seconds McCoy’s judgment that a closer examination of both figures shows few of the signature traces that actual humans display when actually captured on film–such as stray hairs. Instead, the figures of both men have perfectly unruffled outlines. The photo, Murano concluded, “looks as if someone selected the the bodies and heads with the lasso tool and then adjusted the contrast and brightness, leaving a black outline at the tool’s selection boundary.”

What kind of a Dictator has minions who can’t even provide good faked photographs?  It’s shoddy work like this that makes it hard for your fellow tyrants to take you seriously.  I guess it is hard to get good help in Syria these days.


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