overall i’m sick to death of news cycles, of the work it takes to pry oneself away from the quickness with which new issues and discussions are presented to us. your twitter feed, no matter how carefully curated, has also been capitalized on in this regard. it largely doesn’t matter who you follow because of how it works to enclose thought. hashtags, trends, etc. old news. we were supposed to have left the old [nightly] news behind with these developments. “i don’t even watch teevee.” it doesn’t matter; we are now TV. we exist in something called the real world, or “irl” — how else could we be algorithmically useful if such a sphere didn’t exist, after all.
if it weren’t for social networking’s amnesiac effects, i don’t know what i’d do if we were still talking about Mad Max next week. that’s only rhetorical; i know i’ll be hammering off some pissed off, half thought out tweet about how sick i am of it all, again. but it’s really got me wired. not because of how “heart racing” the film was, but that every time some new piece of media is once again dragged through the same conversations — even if those conversations have the same meta-narrative i typically follow in how absurd their politicization is — my brain feels as if it is one raw nerve that is twitching from another nip taken out of it. at once i feel like i want to tear down curtains, rip off veils, and ask people what they are missing — for fuck’s sake, why are we here, again?
i don’t want to talk about that movie. i want to talk about the programming that goes into these commodities that facilitates the same tired discussions. with Mad Max, the perfectly greased social media making machine did its job with the utmost precision. MRAs hate it! see how this racist actor hailing from South Africa slides by in donning blackface (no ah no it’s not really, you see) to a clamoring feminist audience! well, ok. that’s the extent of my discussion on it, i swear — at least until i tie this fact that in part makes the Badass White Chick what she is back to competing themes of white supremacist, fascist media. but this programming works to make that simple point something outrageous to suggest.
let me jump back to the regularly scheduled nightly news. today i watched some clips of the coverage on the Amtrak train derailment that happened last week. full disclosure on my opinion before i relay what the programming on this entails: i think there was an explosive involved, i don’t think the train ever got up to the speed it was reported to have crashed at, and by the “experts'” own analyses that one can see by looking at various news clips, there should have been safeguards in place for this to have never happened — what we get in the controlled media is that they were not operational, by the people they even hire to go on air. but you are supposed to be too stupid to think about that at all. you’re also supposed to be too stupid to think about how this conductor who has guided this train ??? times on the same tracks just thought to use the one emergency brake once the train accelerated to double the speed it safely operates at, on that one bend he’s traveled ??? times, only on the locomotive without wondering how the ones on the other cars work, if they do, if they exist. etc etc.
and to make sure you don’t think about how fucking trains work, the immediate coverage all these “different” stations across the country told viewers the same goddamn thing over and over: “investigators are now focusing their efforts on the conductor.” with emphasis. we go from devastated people, the achievements of the few who died — a survivor with a tearful story of being comforted by police officer until medical help arrived thrown in for good measure — to knowing that there is one person that this hinges on.
i don’t have any greater theory as to why this does not add up. i don’t know the motivations. however i always think these train accidents stink to high heaven whenever i see one in the news. i mean, how many occur that don’t get the coverage from an obsequious media whose affiliates all report the same thing? i don’t know that either. and i don’t think i have to present some grand theory of what purpose each train derailment serves to notice this very typical level of programming that is meant to, in this instance, block people from thinking about something as basic as train operation in this section of the colonized americas.
i bring this up as an example because of its normalcy. what is known as dissenting thought itself has been flattened to a degree that being sure, as i am, that things aren’t what they seem in any given news story from the start is tinfoil hattery. there is so much documented evidence of how the media works in shaping these events that has existed for so long it makes me want to cry when we are constantly channeled into the same questions. is 1+1 really 2? are you sure? have you consulted the New York Times on that? more than that — these are thrown at us so much we don’t even know what questions to ask. the late John Judge criticized Chomsky for treating everyone at the top with the same sort of shadowy “badness” without more thorough understanding of what goes into events that create leaders’ images, and i think what we see now largely in the beaten down memory of what a more vociferous western left once was is due in part to this sort of thinking impressed upon us from the establishment “dissenters”. to be clear: it is not enough to know that it is all lies. what are these lies doing to us as conscious beings?
i realize that referring to media conditioning as programming has its detractors. we are not robots. an institution cannot simply input a dataset into a human and expect their desired result presto. what this certain sort of complaint leaves out is the volume of this programming that exists and that it exists in a material realm — the mind is not floating in a special locked away place where the realities of labor, of all material conditions and needs are conveniently placed aside. and the people who own the media own everything else that enters a human body as well. this also tends toward a claim of some pure human essence that is only corruptible and not a social reality of varying forces.
the much scarier reality, to me, is that this ability to program people into believing certain things, carrying out tasks out they wouldn’t otherwise imagine, or robbing them of the ability to ask any questions not only demonstrates individual human capability but what can be carried out on a mass scale. however, on the flip side, it is amazing what people can do when working in concert with each other. as the interdependence of nations works now however, this labor ultimately serves the masters who need a pacified population on all levels, in all directions, and so the propagandistic programming works to confuse all thought. there does not need to be a discernible plot with each instance to understand how this operates. i really resent the people who claim that if you don’t have it all figured out, then this sort of patterning and signaling isn’t knowable either.
when mind control and programming are typically brought up it is still within a very individualized scope. and the sentiment of “television programming you” has been adopted by more right wing conspiracy theorists (often intel plants themselves to dissuade people from taking this too seriously) to make this seem silly to mention on the left, the subject of ridicule. or, it is thought of and realized by those in media studies but i don’t find it considered at its basic level.
even without all the devices that electronics offer today to spy on consumers, television has always been a process of observing the observer. and now with evolution of social media, this is much easier to track. i mentioned that “we are TV” toward the beginning as often our own desires are sold back to as new hip inventions by the tall poppies who believe they are entitled to do so. but this is also a flattening. instead of media serving as a means of education or knowledge, it is owned by people who want to keep us at the basic level, feeding us stunted aspirations for how life should be lived — for the masters. as they envision it, life is brutish and they work to debase anything more meaningful than ruthless domination and competition.
lately when i watch any form of western media, i try to remember to think about what role the performers play in production. i like to think of them as avatars for the ruling class — as they see themselves and then how these stand-ins are used to distribute hegemonic messages, or more specific messaging to certain segments of the population. there are all sorts of symbols used in pop videos, and there are plenty of bloggers out there who read them with usually narrow focus on occult symbology. i don’t know that deciphering these according to stricter codes that lead back to masonry or other secret societies are always the best use of time, especially when trying to work from a materialist point of view. i do think images of duality — black and white, chessboard imagery — are used to continually soften people into simplistic binary views this suggests while they consume and absorb this media. so the desired effect is, like with the news, that there are only a couple of possibilities for one to consider when viewing anything mass produced: “kooky conspiracies” or official versions.
so these observed messages that are thought to speak to whatever role the artist is playing whether they are a singer or an actor are meant to impress upon the viewer ideas about themselves and their own roles in society. examples that are pretty obvious and that aren’t usually up for debate have to do with gendered messages; traditionally women are docile objects for men to keep as their own and possibly learn magical lessons from about their own entitled existence. what is not as accepted are the instances in which ruling class ambition is coded directly to a viewer or listener through this messaging. however it is perfectly possible that simultaneously they are selling entitlement to men — the Badass Woman effect definitely sells this to white women especially of certain class standing as the race to the bottom for everyone continues.
some of the sappiest songs that the Beatles released, for instance, begged women to take a suitor (so the terminology of the time dictated) seriously, to love them despite jealousy or wanting to cut them off from any communication with nearly anyone else. they moved on to more openly misogynist themes at times (“Run For Your Life” comes to mind) as pop culture turned toward embracing drug use more publicly and scenes encouraged and funded by US intelligence agencies. the “edginess” factor was necessary to facilitate the frightening experiments that were Woodstock and Altamont, so there were definitely progenitors of this — shiny faced British boys who supposedly “broke onto the scene” turned “alternative” helped in this programming transition.
at this stage, thanks to the dedication of citizen researchers and journalists using the internet to the best of their ability, it is becoming harder for the ruling class to keep their brutality as hidden as it once was. largely americans are still the last to know or care to know what their masters are doing around the world with great detail, and if they aren’t as economically impacted or fortunate enough to not live in the ghettos of the core, the entertainment complex provides the means to not think about this at all. but since we are well past the time of the heavily PR promoted Beatles crooning about being all that you need, girl, the superficially cutesy messages in pop songs belie a more brutal meaning advancing themes that are well past experimentation. surely these have been lessons learned for the pop culture creators.
it is difficult for one who pays any attention to world events to not take heed of the numerous genocides, war crimes, and various horrors that occur every day. american empire is unparalleled in its ability to exact this murdering and plundering on a global scale. and the experiments keep on coming, especially in African countries, to thin out populations for better “manageability”. the ruling class is more visibly excising those they view as the useless eaters in one form or another, for those who care to see. “depopulation” is sold as an inevitability and not a reality, with the help of well-placed alt media personalities. because it is never an end game until police are openly shooting people in the streets where more whites live in western countries; because the slow starvation via food stamp rationing hasn’t impacted those who can still buy food with worthless dollars yet; and the enclosure of populations into more tightly controlled ghettos aren’t on TV unless they can be crafted into friendly messages of healing and harmony.
with that in mind, i turn toward one of the young darlings of the entertainment industry presently, Ariana Grande. like many of these young stars are, she was groomed by a children’s entertainment franchise, this one being Nickelodeon. her image is made to project a sort of “naughty innocence” — old enough for whatever desires that can be cast upon her, doe eyed and carefully crafted to fit a Lolita fantasy. in this video, we are presented with impending doom brought on by a comet. Ariana’s name is flashed in the introduction as well. her male companion who tries to convince her to stay in the car fails in doing so and she looks back longingly as the camera follows her as she goes about her exploration while the unavoidable catastrophe nears. although the “One Last Time” video has come out since the next one up, “Problem”, i think there have been some themes carried over that express the more brutal intent of her masters.
quite a lot going on here from the start. first we have a song named “Problem” whose video has our Lolita star centered in a black and white spiral. a black dancer scurries across the floor in an insect-like fashion, because that is totally necessary to then showcase a contemplative yet cutesy faced Grande in the next few frames, and then the insufferable Iggy Azalea shows up surrounded in full color with a hairdo a la Nancy Sinatra. to reiterate the messaging we are subjected to in seconds:
Azalea, in all her glory, names “you” as the problem, girl. who is the problem here and what is this video and song relaying on different levels? how does this affect young people who are drawn to the contrast and the colors like anyone else is? Grande expresses she doesn’t want to admit to ever having the problem, but there is one less problem without you — you who, it doesn’t seem to matter in her immediate surroundings, she doesn’t seem to be speaking to anyone in particular. the dance scenes Grande leads are so amateurish to be laughable. to keep everything properly diverse, in other scenes a black woman counts off men as the problems and Grande poses a finger gun at a white man. when Big Sean is around — who doesn’t even have a credit on the Vevo channel — she is seen as both in agreement with him and then whispering the hook again into his ear. she and the production team had one less problem without naming Big Sean for backup vocals, i guess.
many people jump at readings i have such as this which i don’t think are that deep or reading too much in because this fluff serves a purpose. she first performed “Problem” at the Radio Disney Music Awards last year, and if there’s anything the Disney empire holds dear, it’s their fascist visionary whose legacy lives on. it should go without saying that the world’s second largest broadcasting company is going to be in league with other terrible people who view humanity expressing itself as the problem. if your imagination is captured, you are less of a problem. fascist entities produce and promote fascist commodities. americans have been living under the illusion of democracy for so long that it is imperative that these products are read in their historical context, with the tools we have for promoting readings that are closer in line with reality. refusing to see it for what it is does not negate the underlying fascist, supremacist messages people receive and do not largely question.
in my next post, i will be looking at what messages are being portrayed in Nicki Minaj’s videos (and possibly those of other performers). i will explain how reactionary the presumed anti-racist defense of her is, as some standalone individual without a major production team behind her, and how this is in fact needed to bolster the marketing of the Badass (White) Woman.