USA Trapped in the Pleasantville Vortex

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I saw Pleasantville for the first time last night. Boy, have I been missing out.

It was stunning to see how much post-9/11 Mairka is pummelled into fear and trembling much like the Hitler Youth Monochromes were toward the end of the movie.

It’s sad to see Mairka take part in an anti-post-modernist backlash of reborn conservative, fundamentalism. With a crazy world after the relatively easy Us vs. Them of the Cold War, now it’s Mairka versus all sorts of “folks” [to quote w.Caesar referring to the evildoers]. And since there is no easy enemy to spot, it’s so tempting to act in fear and run for the security of the John Wayne resolute president…to elect him for a second four years of fear and loathing.

And it hit me after the movie last night just how much conservative Mairka is embracing “tradition”. The TV show American Dreams is a classic example of how much they yearn for the good old days when they didn’t have to be self-reflective [just like their philosophically self-alienated president]. Inasmuch as that show deals with social and political upheaval of the 1960s, it starts from a perspective of the good and wholesome god/family/country silliness that posits evildoers as satanic/anti-family/unpatriotic if they criticize the modernist, consumerist, pre-feminist delusion of decades ago.

No wonder w.Caesar won the popular vote. No wonder Fox News is actually accepted as “Fair and Balanced” by so many who are yearning for the plausible deniability that the world is not monochrome that comes from someone in authority [government, media] telling them that yes, being coloured and self-aware is evil.

The PATRIOT Act is thus our salvation.


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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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