Event “Trump”: Lessons 1 and 2
Was there anything that Greg could learn from recent developments in the USA, namely the election of Mr Trump to be the next president of that mighty land?
Well, a few valuable lessons…
Greg is not an American, which he openly admits, somehow with relief. He cherishes the fact of belonging to the Polish clique – almost uniform, homogeneous, one would say standardized clan of white Catholics speaking an unpronounceable language (considered one of the most difficult languages in the world – our key weapon against intruders, equally effective as walls, alternatively moats, along the borders). As a born non-cosmopolitan, he should refrain from sticking his rural nose into some other nations’ affairs, especially from commenting on voting for this or that sovereign. He cannot resist though, because the country in question is indeed huge, powerful, armed to the teeth, hawkish, uncompromising and omnipresent (in the form of fast-food chains, news channels, drones and marines), affecting therefore the entire globe. Simply speaking, Americans literally beg for attention, so Greg politely fulfils their wishes.
Observing the presidential race was great fun, comparable to following a favourite sitcom. Both candidates were assaulting each other with incredible amount of filth thrown around arbitrarily. Through that greasy vapour of horrifying accusations Greg eventually sighted a clear winner – the one who was slightly manlier and had more hair. For distraction, perhaps in order to amuse spectators in the finale, the victor-to-be was called a definite, one-hundred-percent loser, whereas the dud one was glorified heavily, incessantly, ad nauseam, to the bitter end and beyond (even after the propped opponent conceded, deserting the battlefield mercilessly crashed, bruised, shell-shocked). That mysterious editorial ballet – performed by essentially all major information tubes without a trace of embarrassment, with the aim to charm audiences into belief that the underdog would unequivocally triumph – urged an ordinary question: what was going on? Regardless of countless of clever, well-phrased, eloquently-sounding explanations of the unexplainable, the Trump-Clinton match taught Greg an obvious lesson number one: mainstream media was not “media” in the common understanding of the word.
He is now sure, as before he was just a suspecting cynic. If he still hypothesised that the colossal broadcasting corporations could furnish any objective message, he would personally advance himself to the ranks of idiots. He witnessed how ostentatiously press and TV bared themselves naked in front of millions: “Look at us, hey! Look at our show lacking impartiality! We offer zero fair judgments, zero engaging statements, zero brain stimulation, zero journalism, zero truth for that matter – we just reiterate whatever is transmitted to us by higher echelons! We are outsourced PR departments for well paying clients, disguised as unbiased opinion sculptors. Putting it bluntly, we are like laminated fliers depicting interests of selected organizations and industries. Our duty is to regurgitate pre-prepared declarations, coming straight from our esteemed patrons. We arrange such announcements into handy portions, thus making them ready to be dished out to you – the enthusiasts of spoon-fed updates – so whatever we serve can be comfortably swallowed, digested and absorbed. ‘Live reports’ are also cautiously planned, therefore do not think that we are where we are by pure chance. Actually, never think, otherwise we would lose our precious income! Cannot you discern our masquerade?! Excellent! We are then brilliant in camouflaging the conspicuous, amen!”
He saw how anchors of apparently respected channels, in masochistic fashion, publicly committed hara-kiri, consequently revealing their devoid of guts insides. He watched them clinging to the approved slogans, robotically replicating false forecasts but ignoring to check on legitimacy of the findings. He experienced the art of staging, when prescribed narratives had to be presented with conviction (hence the occupation is nicknamed “presenter”: intonation, face expressions, persuasive smile, attractive garment, graphic design of zooming slides plus background acoustic effects are of importance, not the substance of the story).
Who are those people? How do they perceive their function in society? Do they have faith in what they communicate, or appetite to analyse the bulletin prior to spitting it out, or desire to protest when they dare to suppose otherwise? How does it feel to be a repeater, deprived of control over context of the distributed worldwide dispatches – those reverberated directives that shape judgements of many? Greg has no right to criticise all of the news hosts harshly – after all, they hold posts, are at work, earn for living, have superiors, conform to protocols… Copying senselessly, without a short break to contemplate the purpose, quality and worth of one’s tasks is widespread, even in his professional environment, so he should probably shut up and stop auditing activities of the already censored individuals, however… Yes, there is one serious “however”, concerning their scope of influence (entire populations), the very fact of instilling the habit of jumping to conclusions (by using the most potent audio-visual technology) and awareness of their bosses’ overall strategy (encoding specific ideas into susceptible crowds). Greg could not peek in the mirror if he realised that he played a role in manipulation on such a vast scale!
Summa summarum, throughout the latest presidential contest, chief media outlets were falling all over themselves to prove their bias: dependence on sponsors, prejudiced coverage, absence of in-depth investigation, pushing indoctrination to the limits of absurdity. They lost credibility as spectacularly as their chosen-to-win competitor lost the skirmish with Supertrump. The phenomenon of proselytising (instead of justly notifying) in the news will persist, as the sentiments of broadcasters are driven by the aroma of cash, not by the odour of mobs. Satisfaction of the target audience is irrelevant as they do not pay for the “services” (otherwise pay very little) – some other principals foot the bill to peddle hidden agendas. With that model of revenue generation there are no prospects of obtaining beneficial information, not to mention education, because all intentions, motives, goals, machinations, collusions etc. remain secretive. In other words, main stream media complex is equivalent to a curtain between the projected illusion and concealed reality, or to an assemblage of reverse amplifiers that augment particular noises while hushing valuable signals, constituting the same an army of cooperative, well rewarded agents who keenly guard confidential manoeuvres of the alleged “elites”.
For Greg, the only compelling message conveyed by those dominant networks was: “Dodge us if you crave a private perspective on ‘things’ – rather restore to the habit of studying books, preferably those fifty or more years old. You know, they don’t call us ‘propaganda machine’ for nothing.”
And they continued the identical rhetoric after the elections, expressing tragicomically shock, demonising innocently looking Trump, televising subsidised riots, predicting immediate crash of the leading market, sensing collapse of international trade with the richest economy etc. Although their presidential forecast had been totally wrong, turning into a farce of a century, they did not lose momentum that was propelled perceptibly by cash pouring from the trampled side. Self-assurance was never replaced by any sort of apologies, admission of mistakes, guarantees to revise data gathering methods, hanging heads in shame, mumbling pleas for mercy or similar signs of humbleness – not at all! The financial backing had to be indeed robust to uphold aggressive advertising of the annihilated rival, to keep on pretending command over the ground that had fallen into the enemy’s hands, to jawbone with no teeth, muscles and bones left. That circus provided lesson number two: any entity, which has grown big enough to accomplish significant authority, will ultimately suffocate in vapours of its own doctrines and never regain the capability to reform itself; it will protect its privileges whatever the ethical cost, disregarding damages to the collective trust; it will carry on crawling and bulling, chocking on its own lies; it will fight to its miserable death instead of giving up, for as long as it can breathe. Oh, yes: it will switch the master it serves in a flash, forgetting about the past associations, but will never alter its credibility-free operational style.
Greg now comprehends that waiting for transformations in deep-rooted structures is as futile as conversing with a hungry lion about dietary plans: one either runs away from it, or kills it, as its demise is the only solution for a better, secure existence.
It is prudent then to revise one’s thoughts on the current situation in Europe: what is really unfolding on the ancient continent?; are circumstances as serene as painted by the moderators on the screens and rewriters in the magazines’ columns?; do German, Swedish and French crime statistics contain figures as marvellous as two years ago, a tad higher, or perhaps a whooping percentage higher?; is it safe there, for example, for a female teenager to stroll on the streets, without fear of being raped by “you know whom”?