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We could learn plenty from Euro 2016. That's the giant international soccer tournament happening in France. Sport spectacle, amidst the labor protests that involve most of the population of France, since supposed "reforms" there have just increased everybody's work hours, decreased their overtime pay, and touched the third rail of French politics, worker benefits that come with being French.

soccer hooligans

Fat, Naked White Guys and Other Political Diversions—Larry Wines

Yet massive throngs of exploited citizens ready to evoke deja vu all over again and storm the Bastille are eclipsed from tv. Because the drunken soccer fan demonstrations take up all the airtime available for showing shouting crowds in France.

Editorial decision? It's "handled" by auto-default to The Narrative. Made easy by tv's trademark lemming-like stampede to the salacious and titillating — or that failing, to whoever's drunk and naked.

When a few old fat white guys find a way to climb atop something that puts them above the soccer fan crowds — where they artlessly pull off their clothes — they transform into old, fat, naked white guys that command the cameras.

Thus, when a few old fat white guys find a way to climb atop something that puts them above the soccer fan crowds — where they artlessly pull off their clothes — they transform into old, fat, naked white guys that command the cameras. Now they're precisely the right "B roll" to run behind the anchor talking about drunken disorderly hooligan soccer fans as the reason why the peace is disrupted in France.

And the naked guys become the poster children for the story. Instead of the oligarchs' bought-and-paid-for legislators who just reduced French workers' wages and forced them, by law, into additional hours of enslavement to their masters. News? What is REALLY upending the social order and disrupting the peace in France? Labor protestors? Are you kidding? There's old fat naked white guys and drunken crowds of obnoxious soccer hooligans!

Maybe worker rights' protestors need a massive nude demonstration. Because laying bare what has happened in the Eurozone (the monetary Euro, not the soccer Euro) — isn't cutting it. Yeah, sure, corporations are moving manufacturing from affluently stable Western European countries like France and Germany to low-wage impoverished Eastern European countries. And, yes, the oligarchs deem those low wages — unsurvivably low in the west — as the new common denominator for all of Europe. Exploiting Greece wasn't enough. Austerity. In government and at home. Live with it. It maximizes profits for corporocrats and banksters. The important people. The job creators — after they perform that necessary intermediate step as job destroyers.

That isn't making it onto dumbed-down tv. It would influence the Brexit vote. Too many sponsors wouldn't like that.

You want airtime? You need to show us your tits. (And not the old fat white guy man-boobs.) Seems the news has its casting couch.

We began by saying there is a lesson here for us in the U.S. Yes, we know you can't put naked people on American TV. Unless you do the digital fog-out to make them anatomically Ken and Barbie like those escapist naked dating survivor shows. (Bring your tattoo.)

But cable news can ratchet-down one notch from naked drunken obnoxiousness. Instead of the wildly gyrating nude obese spectacle you wish you weren't seeing, but they know you'll watch, they present wildly gesturing verbal obnoxiousness you wish you weren't hearing, but they know you'll leave on.

Ka-ching go the ad rates, being based on ratings that are determined by audience size, measured through your cable box. Oh, and they remind the writers to throw-in a remark or two about small hands and anatomical allusions so the idea that size matters is worth a few more ratings points in returning audience.

Just ask network head Les Moonves, who infamously declared, "Donald Trump may not be good for America, but he's good for CBS."

We don't have abuse of our workers becoming the legally enacted permanent new paradigm that's getting eclipsed from TV, like in France. American cable news never covered it in those terms while millions of jobs were exported from our shores. It didn't fit The Narrative — whatever it was then.

The phenomena is always The Narrative, evolved to accommodate attention spans and suddenly missing airliners. But it's always with us, including by exclusion the diversion and obfuscation from the import and impact of whatever matters that isn't part of The Narrative.

The corporacratic oligarchs aren't always using naked fat white guys to redirect our short attention spans. In half of America's current Narrative, they're using an orange buffoon. Whatever provides the cover needed, so their corporate news divisions won't need to delve into pesky details. Like facts they won't report on their anointed candidate and slam-dunk benefactor of the corporatocracy.

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Thus, their candidate necessarily gets a get-out-of-jail-free card so she can "save us." Notice they skillfully redirect things: it's suddenly about saving "us," not maximizing their corporate interests.

We always have The Narrative. At present, it has these two halves, with the Orange foil and the unexamined anointed champion. Who, of course, remains unexamined because the Orange buffoon requires all the airtime available for examination. That's quite necessary as the backbone of The Narrative, to overcome your nebulous sense of her inability to pass the smell test.

Just "trump" it with fear. Because it is a necessity for the republic. Or the corporatocracy. Which are one and the same, since "Corporations are people, my friend," as Mitt Romney explained, and even Lil' Abner proclaimed sixty years ago that what's good for General Motors is good for the USA.

The USA and the stock market. Of course they're synonymous. Stocks are right on the front page with the little flag icon. All important imagery even though ordinary people have owned no stock since the crash of '08 wiped us out. The crash that The Narrative refused to let us call a Depression, even though it was. And for many among us, still is. But the Dow is up. It's in The Narrative. Esoteric little numbers with an up arrow.

C'mon, now. You can't argue with math. Like the math they created by simultaneously solving for multiple variables at the same time. What's that? Mathematically impossible? Wrong. They use superdelegates. It's the new math.

Didn't you see that in The Narrative? Of course you did. It's the only thing on. AP prognosticated. Everyone else played "me, too." They fed the beast. You must have gotten your portion. Your daily indoctrination of fear-based thinking.

You know you must hold your nose and send the anointed corporate candidate to protect "us."

Otherwise it'll be your fault.

If we get the Orange buffoon. The obnoxious idiot savant with a gift for marketing that he almost exclusively directs into self promotion. Because he's only good for Les Moonves as long as he isn't in charge.

If he can issue Executive Orders he might change libel laws to keep reporters from saying anything negative about his small hands and over-inflated ego. That would be bad for business. Bad for press freedom in crafting The Narrative. We need to think long-range here, Mr. Moonves. Because you sure as hell haven't been. Of course you weren't listening to that. You're busy looking at your 37 share and 48 rating from the last Trump phoner. Hmm. Going down. Need to spice it up.

Fat naked white guys on French TV, meet distraction and obfuscation American style.

We do, indeed, have a common denominator, right there in The Narrative: we have no coverage of the moral and economic crimes against ordinary working people committed by complicit officials. There is no "outing" of politicians who are wholly-owned by oligarchs. No coverage of the deals made to further enrich the increasingly bloated rich at the expense of ordinary people descending into peasantry — deals facilitated inside the halls of government. No coverage of how all that violates vast bodies of established code, policy, and statute law.

No coverage of how any of that is happening right now in France. No coverage of how any of it happened in the U.S. State Department and is systemically infecting the American body politic, with corporate media the vector of contagion.

But, hey, there's plenty of buffoonery for the B roll.

[dc]"H[/dc]ey, Paris bureau. Bonjour. Les Moonves in New York. You think we can borrow those naked fat white guys for the Republican Convention coverage? Great. Tell 'em we'll make it worth their while. We'll cross-promote on the syndicated entertainment magazine shows. Maybe we can get 'em a calendar deal. Hey, it worked for the Full Monty and those British old ladies, didn't it? No, don't send a translator. Nobody cares what they say on air. Long as they grind and gyrate and the blubber ripples. Always sell the spectacle.


Hey, disgustingly unpalatable spectacle sells really well in 2016! Of course that's why we made it The Narrative. By the way, do laugh tracks sound different in French? Better put one in the package. Good. Who says politics is boring?"

Larry Wines