The propaganda worked... now what?
This post is not for hard facts and details. This is an intentionally fuzzy view of things from my perspective. I won't be trying to change your mind or convince you of anything. I have nothing to sell, and I am not trying to sway you to my way of thinking. OK, let's move on.
I think of myself as a pretty ordinary guy. I identify as Democrat, though I hardly believe that most people in political power are really out for anyone other than themselves and their pet projects. I believe that power begets power, and you have to be willing to play the game to enter into politics. I believe that the President doesn't have much actual power and that the handful of mega conglomerates/banks/etc truly make the decisions that affect the world at large.
How did I get to this point? Well, I grew up listening to George Carlin. The first album I heard as a young adult was "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics." I loved it, and it showed me a world I scarcely understood as a kid. I saw that there were other sides to what was presented to me daily. I saw a different side to the narratives I was fed by school, my parents, the media, and society at large. (Transcript for the interested.)
He lambasted things I was scarcely aware of.. People, government, rape, feminism, language, and a litany of other things. At the age I began listening to this stuff, it was timely in that it provided a unique perspective on the constant flow of bullshit I felt was forced at me. I am hesitant to believe anyone talking political talk or whitewashed corporate bullshit talk. Carlin showed me how words were used to mask intent, to hide the truth, to scare me, to make me feel safe, and again - more than I can even list here. Words were powerful, and he taught me to be skeptical of people who don't speak in plain language. He taught me to be concerned with what's happening around me, and to try to stay awake.
I wish I could say that I did, but my life (as I assume everyone else's) is a series of hypnotization (I'll talk more about this in later posts) mixed with wakefulness. I can look back at moments where I was easily led, and moments where I truly broke free of the mold and saw things as they truly were.
Fast forward two and a half decades and here we are. So let's talk about the propaganda that was inflicted upon the entire world during one country's election cycle. I'm not here to defend this post, but here's a very interesting summary of modern propaganda that popped up on Reddit.
If you weren't aware that propaganda was being used during this election cycle, then congratulations! You fell victim to it, too. The real problem is that I can't even tell you what pieces were and weren't propaganda, but what I can tell you that if the above link is true, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
The propaganda that got me might not be the propaganda that got you. For me, it was that distrust in my government and media button. They hammered that button hard and often. I already didn't trust my government (I'd recommend you brush up on Carlin if you don't understand why - maybe I'll make a future post detailing the things that really caught my attention when I was younger), so it wasn't really that hard to twist the knife, so to speak, and bleed me out on trust for this election cycle. Most people picked a side. I picked no side. I wrote in "No Vote" on the presidential ballot though I voted for all other offices.
There was willful sliding of people at all walks. There was propaganda for democrats, propaganda for republicans, and propaganda for Hillary-haters, and propaganda for Trump-haters, and propaganda for Julian Assange watchers. I trust no media outlet (especially any that point out what is fake and what is real), I trust almost no government officials, and I trust almost none of my peers. It worked wonderfully. I'm completely at odds with everything. It wasn't hard, because my beliefs were already so close to what was pushed in certain circles over the last year.
I'm not saying that this is a bad place to be, per se. Since I was slid from non-believer to anti-believer, I have had to do something new. I have to start from scratch. I have to do this myself, because I don't trust anyone. I have to read more if I want to stay informed. I have to understand what all sides are saying. Only then can I form my own opinion of what is true and what isn't. I have to check sources. I have to source my own material. This is a very daunting prospect that makes me feel like saying "fuck it all."
I'm still trying to figure out what all this means, and this is only a revelation I've come to in the past few days. I'm still very confused and hurt and unsure how to proceed. How do you feel about it? I know I'm not alone in my lack of trust for anyone pushing any kind of agenda, but I hope that I'm not alone in realizing how hard I fell for this round of nonsense.
Every single solitary person on this Earth is manipulable on some level. We all have our likes/dislikes, our hot buttons, our beliefs, and our worries to name only a few. Those are used and abused against us to make us feel a certain way.
I'm trying to figure out where I am and how to get out, but the most important thing I learned is that I'm just as easily manipulated as everyone else. I am not superior. No one is. That's the whole point of propaganda - the right set of information is slated to reach the right set of people to make them feel a certain way. We're all susceptible and we're all manipulable. Every last one of us.
Now I know that, but what comes next? I'm open to suggestions, but staying awake is high on my to-do list.