Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Tale of Two Websites

Facebook gets fellated while Wikileaks goes to jail, but we know the score

His dead, soulless eyes gaze out from the red borders of the magazine with a thousand mile stare; the photograph looks like an android failing the Voight-Kampff test, or the mug-shot of a frat boy baked on XTC; but this is not just another arrogant whelp of privilege and nepotism, this glassy-eyed perp is Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire monomaniac behind Facebook and its 550 million willing victims.

This is TIME Magazine's Person of the Year.

If, as Charles Eisenstein writes in the Ascent of Humanity, the process of capitalism is the transformation of life into money[1], then Facebook's relentless march into the commoditization of privacy[2] and the wholesale monetization of human relationships[3] is at the vanguard of capital's final war against reality.

Zuckerberg is nothing more than a particularly driven and fortunate cynic: like others, he recognized a previously unenclosed portion of the cultural commons, so he malevolently fenced it off and put it up for sale. It seems he also stole his business idea from his Harvard classmates[4], broke into early Facebook user's emails[5], and considers his users to be "dumb fucks"[6], - topics never mentioned in TIME's eight thousand word reportorial blowjob of boy wonder.

It's tempting to dismiss Zuckerberg and his farcical award as just another shadow on the wall of Plato's Cave, meant to bedazzle and distract -- Hey look! billionaire! Harvard whiz kid makes good! -- while the planet collapses into ecological catastrophe and police state violence.

After all, we now live in a Looking Glass world, a world where so-called members of the Free Press call for the death of the greatest source the world has ever seen[7], where a warmongering president can laughingly accept the Nobel Prize for Peace[8], where a stone cold killer whose robot planes openly murder civilians, yet claims that the release of diplomatic cables "costs lives."[9] Against such a backdrop of lies and horror, a frivolous clown like Zuckerberg and his idiot website with its Farmville and its psychopathic interpretation of social relationships -- "You are a friend, or not - you are with us or you are against us - you LIKE this page or you don't" -- is meaningless. Right?

To every thing there are shades and connections, and TIME's choice of Zuckerberg over Julian Assange is no accident. Examining this disgrace is fruitful, for it is symptomatic of a culture that is no longer just dying.

It is dead.

The People's Choice

Julian Assange, the iconoclastic leader of Wikileaks -- currently under house arrest in London for spurious sex charges in Sweden, but also fearing extradition to the American gulag[10] -- was the real Person of the Year. He crushed Mark Zuckerberg in an open poll on TIME's own website, by a margin of 20 to 1.[11] The runner-up was not even Zuckerberg, it was Recep Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, no doubt helped by his strong stand[12] against Israel's merciless attack of a Gaza aid flotilla. And Zuckerberg? The hyper-capitalist punk was a distant tenth[13]. So much for democracy.

Defending his magazine's absurd choice of an Establishment snake over someone dominating this year's news and actively opposing the criminal status quo, TIME managing editor Richard Stengel said: " 'Person of the Year' is something I look at as a choice for the ages, not just a choice for the last six weeks...I think Assange will be a footnote five years from now." [14]

If Zuckerberg's virtual plantation, as Max Keiser calls it,[15] becomes the new model for the ages, then may the merciful gods help us all. It will be just like The Matrix. We're just not entirely in our pods yet.

And if Assange becomes a footnote in history, as Stengel so cravenly craves, it will be because Assange is languishing in prison, disappeared into the black hole built for enemies of the global capitalist police state, the for which Stengel and his ilk, by their deliberate omissions and uncritical propaganda, are willful criminal accessories.

Remember, Stengel is man who ghost-wrote Nelson Mandela's autobiography[16]. You'd think he might be sympathetic to political dissidents, but no. Judging by the general shittiness of his comments and his magazine, one suspects he got the Mandela job just to whitewash out any connections between South Africa's Apartheid regime and its previous sponsors in the Anglo-American-Israeli regime.

Further, we all know Facebook is full of money, as the cover article goes to great lengths to remind us. We also know TIME is one of these dying old media properties, increasingly irrelevant, found only in dentist's waiting rooms and airport bathrooms. It is irrelevant, because the truth on the Internet is crushing Establishment lies to pulp. Would it surprise anyone if money or favors changed hands from Facebook to TIME to make sure this dubious honor went to an accused intellectual property thief? TIME and its sordid masters love unfettered capitalism; by extension, shouldn't its cover stories, its awards, its ethics also be up for sale?

Reportorial Blowjob

TIME's lovingly sloppy back alley paean to Zuckerberg is full of omissions, faint praise, and outright deception ("There are other people who can write code as well as Zuckerberg -- not many, but some" - where in hell did they get that?), but it is instructive on at least two fronts: Facebook's disturbing connections to power, and the Establishment media's reflexive hatred and disdain for the free-wheeling, independent Internet.[17]

To the first point: in the very first paragraph we are assaulted with the noxious nepotism of the elites: "Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO ... used to be Lawrence Summers' chief of staff at the Treasury Department."

Larry Summers! The same misogynistic dick who repealed Glass-Steagal under Clinton on behalf of the criminal banking cartel, then came back under Obama to finish the job? Really? His chief-of-staff is sitting right there in Facebook's executive office, managing things? That can't be good.

A moment later, FBI creature Robert Mueller shows up, fawning over the wunderkind, no doubt for the unparalleled access to personal data privatized data miners like Facebook give law enforcement.

No wonder TIME, an Establishment, CIA-penetrated[18] mouthpiece, is breaking out the lipstick.

Then there's the real agenda behind Facebook and its embrace by the crime state elite: We have too much freedom on the Internet. Opinions should be attached to real names. Comments must be moderated. Criminal speech will be prosecuted. The Bill of Rights is dead. According to TIME:

"Right now the Internet is like an empty wasteland: you wander from page to page, and no one is there but you... Anonymity may allow people to reveal their true selves, but maybe our true selves aren't our best selves. Facebook makes cyberspace more like the real world: dull but civilized. The masked-ball period of the Internet is ending. Where people led double lives, real and virtual, now they lead single ones again..."

In other words, don't speak out or speak up. Don't criticize the government, don't read WikiLeaks, or you may find your job prospects vanishing.[19] Don't resist the inexorable machine of the media-intelligence-military-police state.

Conform. Consume. Obey.

Eliminating Desire

If you've read this far, you've probably sussed out that my article is neither about Zuckerberg nor Assange, but the hypocrisy of the corporate state media's elevating of the first and rubbishing of the latter.

But there was one item in TIME's back-seat trick that stood out, and which I cannot let pass without comment:

"One of the interests Zuckerberg lists on his Facebook page is 'Eliminating Desire.' 'I just want to focus on what we're doing,' Zuckerberg says. 'When I put it in my profile, that's what I was focused on. I think it's probably Buddhist? To me it's just -- I don't know, I think it would be very easy to get distracted and get caught up in short-term things or material things that don't matter. The phrase is actually "Eliminating desire for all that doesn't really matter." ' "

Zuuckerberg, you wouldn't know Buddhism if a tree fell on you in the forest and nobody was there to update your wall with a 'need help' status from your Coltan-powered Blackberry, because all the emergency workers were laid off and the cops have been stop-lossed back to Afghanistan in a country and a world you helped destroy.

Existence is suffering. Suffering comes from desire. And Facebook is nothing but the ruthless exploitation of human suffering and desire, our desire to reconnect in a world where nature, culture, and life itself has been reduced to commodity by those full of the most suffering and desire.

In his concluding chapter toThe Ascent of Humanity, Eisenstein writes:

"In the reduction of reality to number and name, in the program of owning and controlling the world, we have wrought a Tower of Babel, seeking with our finite tools to take the infinite by storm .. The supreme irony in our Babelian quest of attaining the infinite through finite means is that we are actually enacting precisely the opposite. We are liquidating all that is infinite, sacred, and unique, converting it into the finite, the controlled, the generic, standard, and measurable...We are cashing in the earth, selling off our lives, reducing reality to data. Soon there will be nothing left to convert, as all social, cultural, natural, and spiritual capital is exhausted.." [20]

There are some words for the ages, TIME Magazine, something that will endure long after social media fades and government lackeys fade into the footnotes of history, when the likes of Assange and Eisenstein are vindicated and celebrated.

[1] Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity, "Chapter IV: Property and Money"

[2] "Surprise! Your Facebook Data is for Sale", Robert X. Cringely, PC World, Nov 1, 2010

[3] "The latest Facebook fracas: Your privacy vs. its profit", Rob Pegoraro, Washington Post, April 4, 2010

[4] "At Last -- The Full Story Of How Facebook Was Founded", Nicholas Carlson, Business Insider, Mar. 5, 2010

[5] "In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg Broke Into A Facebook User's Private Email Account", Nicholas Carlson, Business Insider, Mar. 5, 2010

[6] "Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg called users 'dumb f**ks'", Ted Thornhill, Metro, 14th May, 2010

[7] "Meet the people who want Julian Assange 'whacked'", Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, December 4, 2010

[8] "Obama's Nobel Peace Prize", Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Oct 9, 2009

[9] "Pentagon: WikiLeaks Endangers Soldiers, Afghans", David Martin, CBS July 29, 2010

[10] "WikiLeaks' Assange says fears U.S. extradition" Avril Orms, Reuters, Dec 18, 2010

[11] "Mark Zuckerberg -- Not Julian Assange? -- Is Time's Person of the Year" Sam Gustin, Wired, December 15, 2010

[12] "Analysis: Erdogan a rising star for Arabs over Israel stance" Cynthia Johnston, Reuters, Jun 8, 2010

[13] "Julian Assange: Readers' Choice for TIME's Person of the Year 2010", Megan Friedman, TIME

[14] "Time editor defends Zuckerberg choice over Assange", Michael Calderone, Yahoo, December 16, 2010

[15] "Keiser Report Clip on Virtual Slavery", Max Keiser,, July 15th, 2010

[16] "Ghost Writer Hired To Speed Way Of Mandela Story", David Beresford, The Guardian, 13 November 1992

[17] "Person of the Year 2010", Lev Grossman, TIME, Dec 15, 2010,28804,2036683_2037183,00.html

[18] "Operation Mockingbird", Wikipedia

[19] "Students warned: Read WikiLeaks and you're out of a government job", Daniel Tencer, Raw Story, December 5th, 2010

[20] Eisenstein, op. cit.

1 comment:

  1. I skim through several alt newsletters everyday, and your article (embedded on uruknet) pulled on the brakes.

    Hands down, the best writing and content I have come across in recent memory.

    Thank you for making my day.