The first ten paragraphs of
The Great Judeo-Christian Sin, Outlaw, Guilt, Crime & Punishment T.V. Show
from Timothy Leary's Neuropolitique
Federal Prison, San Diego
"I pulled the gun on the President to call attention to Manson"
The Average American watches television seven hours a day. This is a neurological fact so ominous in its implications that it cannot be understood in words. Would it take a year of full time Television explaination and neural demonstration for us to understand how our brains have become addicted to electronic "junk," how television creates, manages and schedules our reality, how tonight's crime show becomes next week's crime wave, how the images and illusions of politics are produced?
In order to package and arrange the flow of "news" our television civilization requires a continual supply of newsmakers . . . reality-actors who play parts in the day-time and prime-time shows which define our existence.
And who, besides the "mad-programmer" of ABCBS, understands how news-events are carefully calibrated to meet seasonal scheduling?
It is no accident, for example, that the Wars on Drugs occur in election years, and that political carnivals usually occur as summer replacement shows. They are scheduled to charge up the boredom of summer programming. It's not the heat, it's the cupidity.
...The essence of "news" is, of course, the modern version of Roman coliseum shows and gladiator combats. American civilization, for certain explicit biblical reasons, apparently requires that its leaders, its political heroes be publicy sacrificed.
An enormous industry, similar to the national projects of pyramid-building in Egypt, cathedral-building in medieval Europe, and prison-camp building in Stalinist Russia has emerged in America--the production of political martyrs, fallen heroes and "concept outlaws."
There is nothing new about the political martyr role. In mammalian politics as in every other competitive game there is a winner and many losers. Martyrs are traditionally produced and exploited by losers to symbolize their resentment against those on top. Dreyfuss, Sacco-Vansetti, the Scottsboro boys, Alger Hiss, Patrice Lumumba, Che Guevara are classic "loser-heroes" all apparently modeled after the guiding sacrifice myth of our epoch--the political assasination of Christ by a gang of Italians.
American television culture has added an ancient twist to the familiar "martyr role." In a religious ritual rivaling that of the blood-letting Aztecs, the American people seem to demand the public immolation of its top officials. This mysterious process has been called "The Curse of the Oval Room" to remind us that, since 1900 (the beginning of the American Empire) the psycho-history of the American Presidency reveals an ominous record of failure, break-down and death.
1900 William McKinley assassinated 1904 Theodore Roosevelt repudiated in 1912 1908 William Howard Taft repudiated in 1912 1912 Woodrow Wilson physical and mental breakdown;
repudiated while in office
1920 Warren Harding died in office 1924 Calvin Coolidge alleged to have died before assuming office 1928 Herbert Hoover repudiated in 1932 1932 Franklin Roosevelt died in office 1948 Harry Truman repudiated while in office 1952 Dwight Eisenhower heart failure while in office 1960 John F. Kennedy assassinated 1964 Lyndon Johnson repudiated while in office 1968 Richard Nixon repudiated while in office 1972 Gerald Ford repudiated in 1976 1976 Jimmy Carter repudiated in 1980 1980 Ronald Reagan disgraced in 1988 continued by deoxy.org 1988 George Bush repudiated in 1992 1992 Bill Clinton disgraced in 1998 2000 George Bush, Jr. coup d’état in 2000
humiliated in 2001
war crimes in 2001
war crimes in 2003
To summarize this wretched record of executive sacrifice: of the last 16 presidents, four have died, ten have been repudiated, and only two, Coolidge and Eisenhower, coasted out of the White House, with any psycho-political rapport. Does some sort of mythic mystery operate here? One is reminded of the "Ritual of the Slain Hero" which, in antiquity, demanded the fall of the leader--Dionysus, Anu, Adonis, Attis, Lao, Jesus, Osiris and which in modern times has cursed the American throne of global power.The rest of the essay is an in-depth analysis of this phenomenon and can be found in Neuropolitique available from New Falcon Publications
The Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson Show