Am I Still in Russia?

I came home from Russia to see a news report of how Joe Paterno is being consigned to the memory hole. His public legacy is being effaced. His memory will not live on: like Leon Trotsky, he’s becoming a non-person in his homeland.

Then I saw a report about how gangsters in suits are running the nation from their big bank boardrooms. Kleptocracy is alive and well and is in Jamie Dimon’s guest house.

The food is better here, but that’s a superficial difference. I still feel like I’m under surveillance by an authoritarian government that maintains the trappings of democracy. And then, just as I wrote that, a propaganda blast from AARP broadcast itself to me. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t bombarded with propaganda in Russia, except in their Victory museums. So I suppose that’s the difference I needed to know about: if I’m under surveillance in a nation run by gangsters in suits where people can go down the memory hole, I could be anywhere. If, however, I’m being bombarded by unlimited corporate propaganda, then I’m in the USA.

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