Archive for Media

The Party Bus

My work rented a party bus for our big day in the city.  For some reason, we got a bus with a stripper pole for crackheads and trainables.

Put on the Glasses

Last week I went on a little vacation with some family who I don’t see as often as I’d like. Where we went on the little trip isn’t as important as the oldies and pop music that we listened to on the long drive. Personally, I can’t stand the newer music that constantly plays over those top 20 channels and see it as more of a dumbed down version of reality but I have to admit some of it is pretty catchy. As the days went by, so did the music but something was missing from my regular listening regiment; this wasn’t just a vacation from home, it was a vacation from politics. It was an amazing experience that once you turn off the television and news radio how pleasant the world becomes.

Spending time with family was always a painful and aggravating experience in my past. They always seem ask you all of those questions about work and offer pointless advice which you pretend to listen to. Seriously, how many people want to talk about work when they’re not there? I know I don’t. Luckily for me, this time was more like spending time with friends and away from the everyday world I’ve become so accustomed too.

The trip was kind of an experiment about how the world would look after I took one or two things (television and talk radio) out of my life. It didn’t take long before the voices of the talking heads faded from my mind and I began to enjoy and appreciate the inherent beauty of the world. Even though the things I did literally cost pennies, there were dozens of other families doing the exact same thing. The people, even though they didn’t know each other, got along and even took care of each other which is a far cry from what we’re lead to believe on the evening news.

Since this was just a vacation, only lasting for a week, until I walked into the door of my house and decided to face the news, Fox News that is. Bill O’Reilly was on defending his position he took supporting gun confiscations of law abiding citizens the night before. Thoroughly disgusted, I changed the channel to the next news channel on my favorites list, MSNBC, where Rachael Maddow was making some snarky comments about the CPAC conference. The night went on as I checked up on what happened in the world while I was away. It didn’t take long before was linked to a video clip of Glenn Beck flamboyantly comparing himself to Thomas Paine, since he was the only person spreading the truth. Sadly my vacation was abruptly over as soon as I turned on the television.

As I watched the most popular talking heads I couldn’t escape the feeling that my brain cells were slowly withering away. All of the news shows were completely inane, defied logic and common sense; surely no one could believe what they saw on them. Could people really be so out of touch with their own inherent sense of the world around them to take the evening news seriously? There wasn’t a single iota of intelligent debate, thought provoking content or artistic merit however there was plenty of false “outrage.”

I think it’s time for the people that read this to take a little vacation. Since everyone is having a hard time with money now days it doesn’t have to be a vacation from work or to some far off place; the vacation I’m talking about is away from television and talk radio. The best part about this vacation is that it’s completely free. Here’s how to do it: turn off the TV, stay offline unless it’s to find something relevant to what you’ll be doing that day and go outside. It really is as simple as getting up and talking to a neighbor, hiking or going to a park. Just make sure when you do go out that you do something that you normally wouldn’t do and see people who you normally wouldn’t see.

As we all know vacations can’t last forever so once your week is over with; turn on your TV, turn on your radio then watch and listen. It won’t take long before you see how pathetic the programming really is. Now I’m not telling you to stop following news and politics, what I’m telling you to do is to observe the world around you and then examine the sources of your information. If what you watch makes sense by all means keep watching but if it doesn’t find a new source of news. If you’re reading this, you have the internet and there’s no excuse not to find news that makes you think. Put on the glasses, what do you have to lose?

Masters Of Reality

The average person thinks of reality as something that is absolutely true based on fact and evidence but the inspection of what is real in our modern life is often neglected. For people the concept of reality is determined by a combination of personal experiences, varying from person to person, and what they’ve been told instead of taking an introspective look at the world around them. The idea in sociology that states there are many different realities based on each person’s knowledge and experience is called “multiple realities.” Generally speaking our perception of what is real isn’t based on those absolute a scientific truth which governs the laws of nature but to our interpretation of the world around us. At best the majority of our perception of what’s real is based second hand and knowing this; the battle over what the perception of what reality is becomes clear. The stability of our society as we know it requires propaganda and manipulation so the public accepts their current reality without questions.

Media’s Role in Reality

Right now, you are quietly being told what to think by me without even knowing it and might possibly be pondering the ideas that I’m presenting to as you read this little article (which is how the media works). The media plays a large role in our perceptions even if it claims to be fair and balanced, truthful or made for the purpose of entertainment. All of the things people see, whether they like it or not, influence how they see the world around them.

Just by turning on one of the many news channels and flipping between them it’s easy to see the fight over perception. Most news channels cover the exact same stories and have the exact same talking points but push a different concept of reality. The difference between the channels is the way the propaganda is sold using positive and negative connotation, emphasis on certain points and, one can’t forget, the opinions that are pushed instead of fact to the viewer. The mainstream media counts on the public’s willingness to believe what they’re told on a daily basis knowing that the majority of people won’t bother to think or research what they’re being told.

Perhaps one of the more covert methods of influencing opinion is through entertainment television. The simplest example of this are T.V. shows like cops or CSI where criminals are denied the right to due process, tortured for information, stating that free speech and guns are illegal. The repetition of ideas like this slowly makes viewers identify and accept how the fictional world operates as people slowly associate it with their perception of reality. Since the stories are mostly fiction most people suspend their disbelief and don’t question the subtle messages behind the shows.

Government Manipulation

Governments have always known that to win a war, they must win the hearts and minds of the people that their forces are occupying or face the possibility of losing control of that state. Psychological warfare is an integral part of the United States domestic and foreign policies effectively keeping reality in a manageable state. For instance, on order to keep the public’s heart in mind under control, the Bush administration created false newscasts designed to push propaganda on the nightly news. After all was said and done, over 20 agencies of the government had created hundreds of false ads and passed them off as fact without being held accountable for the statements in the ads.

Picking up on Dutch news stories, Counterpunch published an article on 3/26/2000 revealing that the United States had infiltrated the news giant CNN with members of the army’s Psyops division. According to the army’s recruitment website the official purpose of a Psychological Operations Specialist “is to alter the behavior of foreign populations in a manner consistent with United States diplomatic, national security and foreign policy objectives. A Psychological Operations Specialist is an information and media specialist who can assess the information needs of a target population and develop and deliver the right message at the right time and place to create the intended result.” What exactly were the Psyops units doing as they worked with CNN and was the integrity of the media compromised? Keep in mind that this was before the Bush was in office. The policy of using the military for the production of news hasn’t changed as officers are still used today as analysts for mainstream news shows.

On July 25th 2008, former White House Press Secretary Scott McCellan admitted that the Bush administration directly gave talking points to news anchors at Fox News. The startling admission is used as an example by rival news networks but it would be a fallacy to believe that Fox is the only news station which is used as political mouth piece. Since McCellan came out with the widely known secret about Fox NBC has come under the same criticisms for its close relationship with the Obama administration.

Sunstein’s Conspiracy Document

Cass Sunstein current Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs wrote a research paper about the nature of conspiracy theories a year before he was in office. The research paper goes into great depth about those people who don’t believe the official government accounts regarding how the world works stating that those people suffer from a “crippled epistemology.” Basically Sunstein means that a lack of understanding makes people believe in so-called conspiracy theories even if their knowledge is based on government admissions. The document combines proven theories with false ones in order to minimize the effect the truth will have on the reader.

Sunstein explains that some theories are true but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t believe government official accounts:

“Of course some conspiracy theories, under our definition, have turned out to be true. The Watergate hotel room used by Democratic National Committee was, in fact, bugged by Republican officials, operating at the behest of the White House. In the 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency did, in fact, administer LSD and related drugs under Project MKULTRA, in an effort to investigate the possibility of “mind control.” Operation Northwoods, a rumored plan by the Department of Defense to simulate acts of terrorism and to blame them on Cuba, really was proposed by high-level officials (though the plan never went into effect).13 In 1947, space aliens did, in fact, land in Roswell, New Mexico, and the government covered it all up. (Well, maybe not.) Our focus throughout is on false conspiracy theories, not true ones.” Conspiracy Theories pg 4

Notice how he compares admitted facts to believing in Space Aliens.

The first half of the document uses basic psychology to explain that conspiracy theories are due to ignorance but he neglects to go into depth about the legit reasons of why such theories are so popular now days; namely the government being caught covering facts up. Instead of citing all of the government admitted plans throughout the years and legit arguments these theorists have he once again attributes them to the idea that most people are retardly ignorant to the facts(which is true in some cases). Sunstein could indeed call a video of himself explaining that the second amendment doesn’t apply to citizens a conspiracy theory, though there’s video of his speech explaining it, since reality is dependent on what the government wants to admit at any certain time.

The second half of the paper is by far the most interesting as Sunstein explains his solutions and how to fight the people who question the official government stances on issues. In order to combat the ideas that may compromise the government’s agenda, sunstein argues that the United States government needs to do the following:

1. “Government might itself engage in counterspeech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories”
2. “Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counterspeech.”
3. Infiltration of groups and discredit them from within.

What this means is that in order to stop people from spreading anti-government ideas the government itself must take drastic steps to discredit those ideas. The government needs to infiltrate groups, we all remember that anti war group who made cookies in that Michael Moore movie, and make them focus on issues that discredit the groups. The government needs to hire people, like newscasters, magazines, Hollywood writers and of course writers like myself to engage in counterspeech. It all sounds like a brilliant plan to stifle thought and debate.

The idea that our thoughts and beliefs aren’t really our own and are subject to covert propaganda is a frightening one. The real question in all of this is: Who’s reality do you live in? If you go through life believing what you see on your nightly news or read in your papers is your perception really yours? In order to really think for yourself you have to be able to observe, question and think instead of passively accept what you’re told. Don’t take my word for it, think about it for yourself.

Insane Rednecks or Prophets

After the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 the mainstream media decided that they would take on the militia movement. The news and government agencies spent countless hours demonizing people who were in militias stating that they were domestic terrorists in an all out propaganda war against the small groups. It didn’t matter that the government’s official story about what exactly happened on April 19th, 1995 was false, even though the original news casts showed evidence that contradicted the official story that there was only 1 truck bomb used in the attack. While I don’t intend to defend the entire militia movement, since there are indeed people and groups who do fit the stereotype of what they are, but what I will like argue is that some of those groups predicted exactly what would be happening in the world today.

When people think about militias in the modern world they like to picture a bunch of fat white men, spewing racist propaganda while they run around in the woods with guns but this viewpoint is extremely flawed. It’s become common knowledge that most of the violent militia groups, animal rights and racist organizations are directly influenced if not run by law enforcement agencies whose job it is destroy legit arguments that these groups may have. In fact the true militias, who aren’t reported on in the news, value education about current political issues, are well spoken and understand that while training to use weapons; violence is a last resort against a tyrannical government.

Considered conspiracy theorists throughout the years, militias predicted years ago that we would be drawn into a one world government, individual rights would be stripped away and the federal government would control every aspect of a person’s life through extensive regulations. Today, as they predicted, the mainstream news is reporting exactly what was once considered a conspiracy theory. The world economy has collapsed by design, the dollar is virtually dead and will no longer be the world currency, behind the scenes a worldwide bank which will control all of the currency in the world is being created; not to mention the massive police state that is slowly building itself up around the country.

The message that the government is out of control is so obvious and widely received by all age groups that earlier this year the government released the “MIAC Strategic Report.” The MIAC Report states that militia members, people who question the federal reserve, people against NAFTA, supporters of political candidates and people who are against global treaties are terrorists. Basically the government is saying that if you dare to question their authority, you’re a criminal.

Were the militias right when they warned America of a one world government and an overbearing police state? Personally I think they were and even if you’re skeptical or don’t agree with my opinion take the time to read your local news or if you’re really lazy, just look up at a busy intersection and see if there are cameras all over your city.

I’m leaving you with a video from 1994 from the Phil Donahue show where he had Militia members on in order to demonize their movement. I’ll leave it to you to judge if they were right.

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Wild Things Have Teeth

There was a shimmer of hope in the mainstream media today as Maurice Sendak, creator of Where the Wild Things Are, told parents that they could go to hell if they thought the movie is too scary for kids. It’s refreshing to see an artist stand up for their work and tell people who are offended by it to literally “Go to hell;” especially in an age where most films are altered in order to make a minority of people comfortable with it.

Let’s take a look at the interview with the people who worked on the movie:

The interview is taken From The Mommy Files at Sfgate

Reporter: “What do you say to parents who think the Wild Things film may be too scary?”

Sendak: “I would tell them to go to hell. That’s a question I will not tolerate.”

Reporter: “Because kids can handle it?”

Sendak: “If they can’t handle it, go home. Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like. But it’s not a question that can be
answered.”

Jonze: “Dave, you want to field that one?”

Eggers: “The part about kids wetting their pants? Should kids wear diapers when they go to the movies? I think adults should wear diapers going to it, too. I think everyone should be prepared for any eventuality.”

Sendak: “I think you’re right. This concentration on kids being scared, as though we as adults can’t be scared. Of course we’re scared. I’m scared of watching a TV show about vampires. I can’t fall asleep. It never stops. We’re grown-ups; we know better, but we’re afraid.”

Reporter: “Why is that important in art?”

Sendak: “Because it’s truth. You don’t want to do something that’s all terrifying. I saw the most horrendous movies that were unfit for child’s eyes. So what? I managed to survive.”

The strange thing about this whole thing is parents who take issue with a movie instead of the all of the propaganda and advertising that their kids see on a daily basis on television. “Here sweet-ums just sit here and watch your favorite cartoons and be sure to enjoy the fast food and anti-depressant ads.” I’m not even a parent and I’m disgusted with children’s shows that are passed for quality entertainment. Take that mind numbing show Hannah Montana, where the actress doesn’t have a problem peddling hate speech legislation to kids, or almost anything on the Disney Channel which only makes anyone watching it lose whatever intelligence they once had. The logic of why any good parent would want their kids to watch mainstream television still escapes me.

I’ve got a novel idea for the parents out there; how about you get involved in your kids lives and the things they do? Is it too much to ask that parents take responsibility for their kids up bringing instead of passing it off on other people? If you have a kid, preview what they’re going to watch on TV and movies that you might bring them to so you’re sure it’s something that’s compatible with the beliefs you want to instill in them. Personally I don’t need a nanny to tell me what I can or can’t watch and I don’t need a incompetent parents, who think the world should accommodate their bundles of joy, to sanitize an artist’s work for my consumption.

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