Sick or Psychotic? Bradley Cooper in American Sniper

Published on teleSUR english, by Michael Albert, Jan 30, 2015.

Have you heard the expression “sick society”? I have. Often. In fact most I have heard it often in reference to my own society, the U.S. And increasingly so, of late … //

… Or take a smaller, less dramatic, and yet perhaps similarly revealing phenomenon – “American Sniper.” A lunatic thug murdered, albeit manipulated by social pressure, writes a memoir describing his vile life choices. It is material, for sure, for shrinks to consider. But Clint Eastwood, a national treasure, has his own more profitable idea. He turns the memoir, or parts of it, anyhow, plus fictional filler, all “suitably edited,” into a movie and then tells us it is an apolitical work, so don’t get all agitated. A cursory look at this film, however, shows that it is actually a propaganda hit that Goebbels would have been proud to sponsor but luckily never had the artistry or subtlety to create. Yes, there is plenty to write about in the film’s interstices, in the mindsets of its creators, in the book, and yes, of course, in the institutional and social pressures producing Navy Seals, not to mention the war, and war at all – and so on. But what about the public response?

Record revenues!

Face facts. People are not attending “The Sniper” to boo. Whether audiences think applauding behavior which, if it was carried out by folks not on the America’s allies list, they would deem horrific makes them Patriots, or makes them artistic, or makes anything else admirable, they are, in fact, objectively supporting vile carnage undertaken on behalf of the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and weak, mostly abroad, but also, to be sure, at home – and thus literally the audience itself.

Okay, audiences applauding mayhem in World Wars 1 and 2 were also in the dark and happy to remain there to be part of the crowd. Agreed. Audiences of the Korean war and Indochina did this too – albeit in the latter case, in reduced numbers. So what is different now? Well, one thing is that all that has gone before. And that matters. If you look for your lost keys in the same place, over and over, well, it starts to be nuts. Another thing different is, it now takes about ten minutes to find the truth about the events behind the film. At this point a person can only avoid the facts, in fact, if he or she wants to do so. Yes, the lies are everywhere, flashing into minds endlessly, but the truth is no longer nowhere.

The media is powerful, but really, the slightest effort annihilates the lies – so the ubiquity of falsehood matters, but not only the ubiquity of falsehood matters. What is also undeniable is that the behavior of the bulk of our population makes ostriches seem curious. Overall, the population prioritizes defending self conceptions people have adopted in the past – remember: what one has done, one keeps doing – and one becomes that. Psychotic? … //

… Even past professional coaches, when caught by cameras, now often admit they would not allow their own kids to play in high school, or earlier – even though the game has been at the very center of their own lives from preteens to the present. But the public hears this and yet nonetheless goes out and buys some pads and suits up their kids. And understandably so – it is fun, after all, and if you don’t do it, you aren’t in with the only crowd you can find to relate to.

And here is the thing – saying that society is psychotic is a claim about not just some individuals, means it is hard, very hard, for any individual to step outside the strictures of it all. The problem is that the road to even minimal fulfillment, minimal status, minimal sociality, minimal connection in a psychotic society requires not bucking the psychosis. To buck, much less disdain is to be a pariah. So the pressure is to manifest the psychosis, abet it, and in time become it, so as to have friends, etc. And so we become what we do.

And please, don’t take too much heart if you aren’t a rapid football fan, or even vocally critique it. Not riding shotgun for one lunacy doesn’t mean you aren’t doing it for others.

There are ways out of social psychosis, but they are collective, political, social, and not merely personal even if part of the process is, indeed, personal. My choosing, say, to not watch the super bowl won’t matter a whit, nor will your similar choice. The only thing that can matter is collective action, and everyone knows it. Any personal choice, perhaps momentarily worthy, will be suffocated without being sustained by collectivity. And not watching, or cheering, or ignoring, or whatever various forms of psychosis we have been party too, typically means being isolated, and not enjoying social exchange – and that is a price to pay – and without larger gains to show, in time we feel, for what?

Viva Syriza. If that project spreads, and becomes nourished by informed awareness and not herd appeal, perhaps we can all together start to do something positive, and thereby start to become something positive, and very different than what we are.

(full text).


‘Like Chernobyl’: Millions of unique texts feared lost in Moscow library fire (PHOTOS, VIDEO), on Russia Today RT, Feb 1, 2015;

Une filière «djihadiste» pré-adolescents sévit dans les écoles de la république, 31.24 min, mise en ligne par Ahmed Moualek, le 31 janvier 2015: Site Web:;

Inhumane & contemptible: ISIS beheads Japanese hostage Goto, on Russia Today RT, Jan 31, 2015;

State handouts for all isn’t such a daft idea, on The, by Philip Collins, Jan 30, 2015: From Thomas More to Natalie Bennett, people across the political spectrum have long advocated a citizen’s income;

Charity for now – the Winnipeg Harvest philosophy, an interview with Donald Benham, on The Manitoban, by Craig Adolphe, Jan 28, 2015;

Ghost Ships: Turkey Becomes Springboard for Syrians Heading to Europe, on Spiegel Online International, by Onur Burçak Belli, Manfred Ertel, Hasnain Kazim, Katrin Kuntz and Walter Mayr, Jan 28, 2015  (Photo GalleryTranslated from the German by Christopher Sultan): Turkey has become a hub for human traffickers, with freighters picking up Syrians in the port city and smuggling them on to Europe. It’s a lucrative business built on the hardships of others …;

SYRIZA stands for a better Europe, 1.13 min, (in greek, subtitled english), uploaded by Alexis Tsipras (videos in greek), Jan 23, 2015:
see also: What the SYRIZA Government Will Do, on Return to;

Global Peace Index: on Vision of Humanity; on en.wikipedia; /See also; /External Links;

10 World’s Most Peaceful Countries 2014, on womenosophy;

in german: von wwwKentFMde auf YouTube hochgeladen:

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