Propaganda

Language patterns, the media and cultural re-storying

newspaper-664513_1280It’s fashionable these days to summon the concept of narrative for effecting change, whether it’s to evoke brand loyalty, to create demand for some product or, on a rather more substantive scale, to persuade humans to live more peaceably on the planet. I’d personally prefer to see its mysterious power deployed in pursuit of a lot more of the latter and a lot less of the former two — if this power actually exists. (more…)

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Telling it like it is: news from the dead centre (2)

towerModern civilization may have no central command (discuss) but it acts as if it does. VIVID thinks it should come clean and set up a reality newswire, which declares in straight-talking, plain-speaking English what is actually being decided at its hypothetical, brain-free centre. This month we’d have:

The ICSANLSMHTL (Institute of Conviction that Science has all the Answers and Natural Life Systems must be Managed by Humans Thinking Linearly) is pleased to announce good progress with its programme of research designed to tell people things they already know, intuitively. This has the ingenious effect of planting in their minds a sense that their ability to know things is entirely dependent on the current state of scientific research. (more…)

Telling it like it is: news from the dead centre

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Flemish painter © expiredThe industrial growth civilization may have no central command — but it behaves as if it does. VIVID thinks it should come clean and set up a reality newswire, which declares in straight-talking, plain-speaking English what is being decided at its hypothetical, brain-dead centre. This month we’d have:

From the DKCTRL (Department for Keeping Children Thinking along the Right Lines): all pupils in UK state schools will be told how to conform more readily to society’s standards and avoid inappropriate use of drugs, alcohol or sex – especially where such use might result in costs to the national economy, e.g. from treating drug addiction, supporting young mothers, and in terms of the opportunity costs of not having these mothers and drug addicts working and contributing to GDP. Chief Minister of the DKCTRL said: “Of course, the DKCTRL would also like to help young people in our society live happier, healthier lives but there is a limit to how much we’d like that. (more…)