Have you ever really, really thought about story? Have you ever thought about how story is the way we make sense of our life, the universe, and our place in it? The stories we tell ourselves have a real impact. “My dad neglected us, he was never home, and he missed all of my baseball games” paints a very different picture of reality than explaining your childhood by saying “My dad worked incredibly long hours so mom could stay at home, so we could live in a safe neighborhood, so there would be money for college for us kids.”

If you believe the first story is the truth, what kind of relationship do you have with your parents? Resentful, distant to non-existent? While the person who told the second version of her life story to herself might be humbled and grateful to a father who sacrificed for the family. This second person probably stays in touch with that family of origin, maybe even visits often.

Now, imagine similar stories told about our nation. “Greatest Country Ever” or “The Most Racist Place on Earth.” Again, a story told to explain the world… and an explanation that changes how you experience reality.

But what does that have to do you and me?

Ever heard the term “cultural dupes?” It’s an old Marxist phrase. Like many bits of Marxist terminology, it was used/created to identify the unenlightened. There are a lot of definitions of it floating around out there –– hey, where would Liberal-Progressives be without the moral Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card known as relativism?––but this definition is as good as any: Cultural Dupes are those who are blinded to the realities of their lives (politically and socially) by the culture industry.

Pity the poor dupes! Not knowing what’s good for them, they fall short of nirvana class consciousness and because they’re just too stupid to get with the program, they are manipulated into capitalist conformity, meaning the historically inevitable advent of the Glorious Workers’ Paradise continues to be postponed. I know, shucks, right?

Hey, the Commies may be immoral and murderous, but that doesn’t mean they are complete morons… they understand certain aspects of human nature and will exploit them to the fullest for the good of the (capital “P”) people. There’s a reason a 1930s recruiting slogan for the Hollywood Party was “The best looking girls are communist.”

Our Marxist betters realized that citizens who were blind to the political and social reality of Communism would be a wonderfully soft target. So they set out to create a population of cultural dupes. They set out to change the story Americans and the West told themselves about America and the West. Hence their concerted efforts since the 30s to co-opt the myth-makers of our time (writers like Hemingway and artists like the useful idiots who rapped their history of Hamilton). They infiltrated the dream-factory, the national myth-making conglomerate that was Hollywood. And they have been, with the help of their scholastic fellow-travelers in academia, damned successful.

Here at Liberty Island, we are working hard to undo the cultural cancer that has been introduced into our society by Communists and their multi-level-Marxist-marketing franchisees, from the Socialists to the Progressives to the Democrat Party and even entrepreneurial offshoots like “Occupy Wall Street” and the risibly-named “Black Lives Matter.”

How are we going to fight back? How do we counter-act the partial-truths, misrepresentations, and conscious fabrications that are casually inserted into the films we watch and the news that we read; lies which are woven, like a poisonous fiber, into the culture that (mostly) invisibly surrounds us?

We begin the battle by changing the story: we are dedicated to reclaiming the true story of America, the warts-and-all stumbling toward greatness tale, not the “sclerotic society dedicated to oppressing anyone who’s not a white man” fairy tale that is peddled incessantly by the Dupe-meisters in Hollywood, New York City, and any of the places where the “better-sort” of people gather.

As the late, Sainted Andrew Breitbart so cogently phrased it: “Politics is Downstream of Culture.” What we are going to do with this column, Gentle Reader, is take a look at the way that Culture is being expressed. Keeping in mind my (thoroughly-sourced) belief that our fine Red Comrades have dedicated a lot of time to creating a pre-polluted culture that in turn helped grow a more commie-congenial political class, then it should be clear they made nothing less than a wonderful perpetual motion Marxist machine: Misshapen myths to support a diseased political philosophy, which in turn gives more energy back to that corrupt culture.

Wait a minute. That was kind of wordy. Let me try again:

Basically, we’ll be discussing the media products and people who are pissing all over our society’s stories and the many and manifest ways they despoil the nation and the world. Rinse, repeat, weep.

If you’re thinking “Dear God, that sounds as thrilling as a Hillary Clinton speech on the Cotton Tariff Act of 1896,” fear not. Part of this mission is to make you aware of the gems you’ve missed and offer some respectful guesses as to why those stories were not given the positive attention they deserve. If you want to get ahead on the homework, go check out two fine films: Deepwater Horizon and The Finest Hours (on Amazon, but you’ll want the BluRay after you’ve seen that movie), and we’ll discuss next week.

In the columns to come, we will spend a little time on what was once non-ironically called “Journalism,” but mostly we’ll be examining the legends that are constantly being retold/resold and which surround us so ubiquitously they are treated as universal truths, along the lines of “Gravity” or “The Sun Rises in the East” or “Lena Dunham Is Hideously Untalented.” I’ll be giving special attention to the pop-culture punji-sticks that are everywhere: books, movies, television, music. We’ll roam the cultural countryside, from the subtle, Voltaire-worthy witticisms about Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live (which show is prima facie proof that zombies exist) to the more egregious self-fellating films like the Bourne series –– I mean, surely the CIA can’t be the only villainous government organization around? I have it on good authority those KGB chaps can be deucedly impolite. (Say, how about an out-of-control EPA that is actually causing an environmental catastrophe? You want edgy? You want daring? Go there, Hollywood! )

But I digress.

I believe sincerely in this credo: “Change your story, change your life.”

Come along with me and everyone else at Liberty Island, as we change our country and our lives.

One story at a time.

See you next week.



Roy “Griff” Griffis decided he wanted to be a writer when he was ten, and he’s never looked back, writing novels, screenplays, short stories, and dramas. Along the way, he’s worked as a janitor, waiter, bookstore clerk, and was the 61st Aviation Rescue Swimmer in the Coast Guard. Co-creator of the beloved and subversive “Truesbury” comic strip, his gripping thriller series “The Lonesome George Chronicles” is published by Liberty Island Media. (Buy Volume 2, Bringing The Fire, out now at Amazon.) Either a Renaissance Man or a serial failure, you can reach Griff with your comments, suggestions, or pop-culture punji-stick sightings at [email protected] or twitter @rmgriffis.