Summary: The post about the TV show “Castle” began a new series on the FM website. Before we start, let’s review what we do here. The FM website delivers harsh truths (or guesses at such). It’s a poor business strategy delivering unpopular news. On the other hand, the record shows we’re good at it. Here’s the scoop on our next project.
- What we do here
- Looking ahead to the next theme
- For More Information
- Other posts in this series
- How I feel when reading comments
(1) What we do here
Since November 2007 readers of the FM website have seen 2,700+ posts, most 1,000 – 2,000 words long (totaling over 4 million words), adding up to almost 5 million page views. The FM website has become an extensively cross-indexed machine on which one can find information and forecasts on a wide range of political and geopolitical subjects.
As we (the FM website’s authors and readers) approach our 7th anniversary, let’s take a moment to ask “why bother?” building this.
It’s not for the fortune and glory. I’m often asked how many “likes” these posts get. “Likes” were turned on last month. But I expect few. The 33 thousand comments (most of which I’ve replied to) are an equally valid indicator of audience approval, and they’re overwhelmingly critical. That’s a feature, not a bug. We judge our record by the accuracy of our analysis as seen in the prescience of our predictions (see the correct ones and the misses)
The authors of the FM website post harsh truths about Americas. It’s an unpopular message — especially in our increasingly tribal society (where truth is obeisance to the tribe’s beliefs). Here are a few examples.
(a) These posts by GI Wilson (Colonel, USMC, retired):
- Careerism and Psychopathy in the US Military leadership, 2 May 2011 — Going against today’s mindless flag-waving adulation of uniforms.
- The Psychology of Killer Drones – action against our foes; reaction affecting us, 28 September 2011 — We love our killer drones, not less despite the evidence of their ineffectiveness and harmful blowback on us. Published 3 years, with insights only recently in the news.
(b) Marcus J. Ranum’s prescient posts about cyberwar starting in 2011, with painful insights ignored or mocked in the news media until Snowden’s revelations in Summer 2013.
(c) My posts about a score of subjects. Warnings about the death of the Constitution starting in 2006. Busting the Right’s myths about guns. Showing early on that we were in recession (as late as June 2008 commenters argued that I was wrong). Posts showing the Left and Right misinforming us about climate change (neither is a friend of the IPCC and major climate agencies). About the ineffectiveness and immorality of torture. All with sizelingly hostile comments.
(2) Looking ahead to the next theme
More bad business practices: we drop themes when they become popular. On the other hand, why bother covering ground others are covering better? The first posts here about inequality were in 2008; now that the 1% have become entrenched at all levels of our society, it’s become obvious even to the news media (or perhaps just safe for them to mention).
As the focus for the past year we’ve discussed what might be our greatest problem: the decay of the Republic — and how a movement to reform it can be structured and run. But we have missed part of the equation. What’s the cause of our problem? Accurate diagnosis must precede development of a cure. Understanding why we are as we are might be the key to starting a successful reform movement.
What’s the cause of our apathy, our unwillingness to work the machinery of the Constitution, and our inability to take collective political action (except as small groups in our own self-interest)? You’ll find no answers here.
Where might we look for clues? Perhaps in popular culture. Hit films and TV shows provide a mirror in which we can see ourselves. They project our hopes, fears, and possible futures — so we can watch without involvement. This allows our emotions to freely flow so we can experience different paths.
There’s a dozen posts on the FM website about popular culture (see the next section), but it’s not something explored here. The intense reaction (hostile, of course) to my post about the TV show “Castle” suggests that we should.
Is this a good idea? Do you have suggestions where to look? Post your thoughts in the comments.
(3) Other posts in this series about “Castle”
- (1) Spoilers for “Castle”: explaining the finale & season 7. It’s a metaphor for America.
- (2) What we do here. Why it’s unpopular. And our new theme.
- (3) What the TV show “Castle” teaches us about America, and ourselves, — About our myths
- Intermission: NCIS: Los Angeles – TV adventures of our stylish security police
- (4 ) The TV show “Castle” challenges us to see our changing values. Most fans decline, horrified.
- (5) “Castle” shows us marriage in America, a fault line between our past & future
- (6) “Castle” shows us a dark vision of Romance in America
- (7) Richard Castle shows us the dark reality of justice in 21st C America
- (8) “Castle” shows that many of us don’t defend New America because we don’t like it
- (9) The bitter fruits of our alienation from America — more lessons from “Castle”
(4) For More Information
(a) To learn about the FM website see the menu bar at the top of the page. See this page about comments.
(b) Posts about popular culture:
- Pirate Bay points the way to a new political reform movement, 4 May 2014
- Spoilers for season 7 of “Castle”: who killed Castle, & why., 15 May 2014
(b) Posts about heroes:
- A philosophical basis for the Batman saga, 23 July 2008
- The problem with America lies in our choice of heroes, 12 November 2010
- Robocop is not a good role model for the youth of Detroit, 12 March 2011
- We want heroes, not leaders. When that changes it will become possible to reform America., 11 January 2013
- Our choice of heroes reveals much about America, 2 June 2013
- The Lone Ranger tells us about America, 6 July 2013
- Are our film heroes leading us to the future, or signaling despair?, 28 October 2013
(c) Posts about myths and movies:
- Symptoms of a fever afflicting America’s culture, 5 November 2008 — Hollywood’s hero deficit
- Sources of inspiration for America’s renewal, 23 April 2009 — The Law of Equivalent Exchange
- Their Martyrs and Our Heroes, an essay by John Feffer, 8 August 2009
- Hollywood’s dream machine gives us the Leader we yearn for, 30 June 2013
- Loki helps us to see our true selves, 15 May 2013
(4) How I feel when reading comments