Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
When a foreign adversary focuses on spontaneity for a propaganda video, it's great when they don't get that they're on slippery ground.
Anyway, for the propaganda video I just received, it's even more encouraging that whoever was the chief of propaganda failed to see the humungous humor in the incongruity of having a few hundred young folks happen to gather at a mountain-top ski-field. Then, to have them so-called spontaneously break into a "flash mob" dance, for some unclear reason, dancing to vintage American music - with the foreign adversary's iconic buildings etc also just happening to be in the backdrop views.
Maybe it was a further "tell" that contradicted the supposed spontaneity that on-site were a helicopter and two gigantically high bucket-cranes used to video the wide-angle shots. Oh yes, this was a big-budget production, worthy of the attention of whoever was the chief of propaganda.
There were many other "tells" in this week's video too. It was brought to the inbox by those fun-loving folks who stimulated the Berlin Wall. What's that about history repeating, and the adoration of walls? But I'm not in the business of listing out all the "tells" that would be obvious to the rest of us.
In the interests of the health of those who were the creative "talent" for the video, I hope they get to transfer soon from the Propaganda Bureau to the Tourism Bureau, or anywhere else - before the failure of this propaganda flop is fully understood in the foreign propaganda bureaucracy.
The philosopher Jacques Ellul, whom I've mentioned once or twice before, warned foreign adversaries to beware of their cultural clumsiness, when it comes to launching propaganda in another country. Gotta admit this video seemed better than the foreign propaganda in Ellul's time, but that's still no compliment.
Maybe the fake in the video I just saw would slip by some folks - like the social media mob who won't pause to think, or busy folks eager for any joy amid the COVID Pandemic.
Still, the "tells" of sleaze-at-work were very many, which is good for "we, the propagandized."
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Continuing the theme, of all people, Woody Allen not just humorously alerted us to the important quality of being first. He pointed out that the world should not be so preoccupied with any invaders from outer space having a technology that's many years ahead of ours.
He claimed it was not advanced technologies supported by plans for world domination that will win. He worried about the invading force that was equipped to be anywhere even ten minutes ahead of us.
He feared that a ten-minute advantage enabled them to "eat all the breakfast cereal, use all the toothpaste, and catch all the taxis... These invaders could paralyze whole cities. Most importantly, they could use even traditional weapons ten minutes before we thought of targeting ours."
It's the same with propaganda. Being first wins, especially followed up with high repetition.
Which is why the bad actor, and just about any savvy politician, likes to give his/her version of bad news first, or at least be quickest to reframe the story after the breaking news. Of course, a bad actor who has lots of bad news sometimes has to take a little longer to weigh up which bad news has enough traction to need response. This delay gives quick-off-the mark counter-propaganda the opportunity for added advantage.
Which is also why breakfast brainstorming sessions to counter anticipated propaganda was so often the advantage that won airtime during my brushes with politics.
Because being first applies to counter-propaganda too. Enough with all the micro-analyses. Just get ahead of the game - ten minutes ahead, at least. Which is why those media people who have long-winded, polite interviews about or with crooks will never really succeed in keeping them accountable. Some media interviewers are very effective at walking bad actors into disclosing themselves. But, you don't need nuanced understanding of someone picking your pocket; you need to stop them.
If you feel this might not be democratic, I'd counter that you're reasserting simple dialogue - which is kryptonite to propaganda with its sole purpose of mindless obedience, as well as to the bad actor behind it.
No time now to be writing instruction books and action plans either. Just counter-propaganda ahead of the continuous stream of drivel is what matters now.