This is written in light of the recent Boston Marathon bombing, as well as the innumerable shootings, terror attacks, traumatic natural events and any other thing that periodically captures and holds the minds of the great majority of Americans.
To begin with, I am a fan of empathy, sympathy, caring, and the wish to help people that are suffering in a traumatic event. I think that is a deep-seated human behavior that has kept the only race of men on this planet (the human race) going for untold millennia.
That said, there is a well developed phenomena that pervades the American and Western mindset that seems like it is a characterization of the above descriptors, but is in fact a poorly disguised excuse to do nothing, while convincing one’s self of doing all they could.
Let me explain. Whenever an event of death, dismemberment, mayhem, destruction, explosions, terror, murder en masse and what have you, occur on a scale large enough to light up the mainstream media apparatus, a cycle begins and extends that has the exact opposite effect than most would believe it does.
To begin with, an event happens, and I will use the Boston Marathon pressure cooker bombing as an example since it is the freshest in the minds of people. Once that happened, in an instant (almost faster than the event occurring, a la WTC building 7) the media responded with report after ever more sensationalized report of the “terror attack”. Pictures, videos and text, combined with well designed and emotionally captivating stories, are played over and over in a cycle that requires the viewer to watch, read and listen for hours on end to get all of the details. Getting all of the details is what it is all about. Everything media produced, from TV to squawk radio to the paper rags are all well designed to stretch a story of death and dying out for weeks if it can. None of it is truly about a service to the public, or information that is necessary to anyone’s lives. It is all 100% about capturing the focus of human minds for an extended period of time.
Now many would say, “that’s what keeps media going, a story worth telling.” That’s a laugher. What enables media is advertising, paid for by corporations (soulless corporations), and that advertising sells through stories based on events that are sensational enough to be covered from enough angles to give staying power to the media outlet, and unbridled focus from the viewers, listeners and readers (VLRs).
Contrary to foolish belief, or the well-timed facial expressions and eye-candy theater of the media broadcaster, a media outlet could give a crap about the lives of human beings. If it weren’t for tragic situations that harm, maim and murder multiple people at a time, media would be out of business. Media knows that feel good stories are boring, a turn off, and create short attention spans. Any feel good stories in the media are well planned and well placed to create an emotional fluctuation in the human psyche. The real meat of it all lies in the events that produce fear in the mind of the human receiver, because as media moguls and advertising gurus know all too well, fear opens up mental doors that could not otherwise be opened.
The media, hand-in-hand with tragic, terrorist events, works almost the same as Pavlov’s dog. In Pavlov’s experiments, a hungry dog was trained to respond to the ringing of a bell as a signal that food was on its way. The dog knew this because soon after the bell rang, Pavlov would bring a tasty treat. Thus, when the bell rang, the animal would begin salivating in preparation for that tasty treat.
The media version of this is as such. A tragic event occurs, followed quickly by a media “news flash” informing VLRs that further information is necessary and imminent! The VLRs then begin using their media devices to start searching for new bits of information, because media only knows how important it is to learn every aspect of the tragic and catastrophic deaths of strangers in some kind of slow played horror movie. The talk begins around the water coolers, Latte machines, FB and Twitter accounts, and soon enough everyone that is anyone has the basic groundwork of information to know that something incredibly important has happened that requires complete and total attention and the utmost media centered research.
Once the newly indoctrinated media drones get ahold of a lasting source of continual stories, updates and gruesome details, the real magick begins. The doors of fear, now fully opened, create a scenario where the attention cannot be pulled away, and every single element must be discovered and put into place, like a detective piecing together a puzzle on a reality crime TV show. This is how the VLRs have been trained to react to such dire circumstances. It is necessary to follow the story until the story is no longer broadcast. By knowing everything about the tragedy, the VLRs have done their part in aiding the people of the tragedy. Certainly they didn’t really do anything, like actually showing up and putting all of their skill and effort into the aid of others in need. But media, the institutionalized system, and society have made it the necessary norm to follow tragic events, learn everything one can about the event (that the media provides, but no more), and ingrain it as an essential part of one’s mentality. It is the ultimate lazy man’s disconnect method of doing all they can for the victims.
Yet the true intent behind it all isn’t just keeping the VLRs attention, it is opening the doors of fear, and creating a type of short circuit in the mind, one that is open to all kinds of influence and programming, and then using that situation to sell any number of things. Media plain and simple loves the multiple death scenarios of tragedy. And right behind them - lock, stock and barrel - are the corporations that buy advertising from the media. These corporations are well aware that any high mortality event is a mother lode of advertising and consequent sales. When the mind is fear enabled, opened and then captivated, advertising is a valuable method of programming, greater than a simple message to convince one to buy a product or service. The advertising becomes as necessary a purchase as does “solving the crime” via the news stories sought after by the VLRs. It is the highlight, and mostly undisclosed version of subliminal messaging.
In relation to Pavlov, it goes like this. The bell is rung via a high profile, deadly and catastrophic event, usually within national borders, but sometimes abroad depending on the scope and nation. The animal, always awaiting a new set of meal tickets they can bite into, chew on, and ultimately devour, begins salivating via the ego fear-driven portion of the brain. From there, the animal goes into an uncontrollable mode of continual looping, a quest for further knowledge of the event, as the bell keeps ringing via all kinds of media devices and word of mouth advertising of the event. As the animal reacts and continues to put forth all of its senses toward disclosure of every minutiae of the event, it fulfills a second purpose, which is an opening of the psyche to methods of suggestion, wherein advertisers place well-timed and carefully crafted messages in between segments of data the animal is seeking to nourish its craving mind. The animal will continue to respond to the bell as long as new versions, spins, and small adjustments to the data are served. Once the story has been played out, and the bell no longer has the desired effect, the bell ringers will scrap that story in search of a new one.
After too long a disastrous story dry-spell, events that media can use to get a new bell ringing, it can be presumed that the master corporation will create a new event to satisfy the needs of the media apparatus and its advertising child corporations.
The bell is rung in small tones and monumental bangs all the time. The populace at large responds to both, hoping their salivation and feeding will last, and takes in as much useless junk as they can be fed. Every time, the ongoing satisfaction for the VLRs is that they “did everything they could”. How else could they hope and pray so vigorously for strangers if they didn’t know all of the suffering personally (virtually)?
All of this is only step one in the sales process. The real kicker comes in when grifting politicians appear on the set and the scene to let the populace know that no expense will be spared to bring down the perpetrators, and make sure this type of thing never happens again. Of course, using history as a guide, government has never been able to prevent any crime, or even reduce crime, but instead serves a single purpose of fleecing public monies and then spending them on worthless programs, lining the pockets of already billionaires. But still, we should keep an open Pavlov mind here, and trust them this time with all of our labor value, because monsters are about, and only the divine saviors in suits can spend enough of our money to keep them at bay. Then be prepared to decide between your mortgage payment, grocery bill, or paying off the gun-toting taxman.
All of this happens because of one thing. People believe in it. Despite their better nature, as most people would call the media in any of its guises corrupt if the question were put to them, still trust those media outlets without question the second a group of strangers are harmed and murdered. If Hollywood type explosions and semi-automatic rifles are involved, then it’s time to tune in because those strangers are going to need us to pay attention in full.
Outside of an electronics-ending event, a distinct possibility by the way, there’s only one person that each of us can help to break out of this cycle: ourselves. The method is to turn away. Don’t read further into it; don’t seek out the details, the answers or even the headlines. Don’t engage in conversation about it. None of that is going to do a damned thing for your benefit, the victim’s benefit, or anyone else but the profiteers. It is all a complete waste of time and mental energy. It is all an engagement with a capitalistic beast that wants nothing more than everything you’ve got, and will go to no end to get it. Each of us is a thing to be manipulated into acting in the manner deemed by filthy rich masters.
That is, until we are not. An alcoholic cannot possibly overcome addiction while having a martini. The media-aholic is no different. Turn away, every time, and become your own master. If any of us can truly aid another in need, then go do it. Reading about it and watching it and listening to it isn’t helping anyone but the profiteers of pain and fear.