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Posts Tagged ‘social pressure’

Crazy Goes Mainstream

June 7th, 2021 No comments

 

There’s an old saying that life imitates art…or is it art imitates life?  In any case, that expression needs to be updated to reflect modern sensibilities, so that now, life imitates a mental asylum.

As is the case with art and life, reality has now blurred sufficiently in modern society that the word ‘satire’ has no relevant place in portraying events. Once the domain of comics and pundits, biting satire has been commandeered by notional journalists to such a degree that The Babylon Bee is as much an information source as a national news outlet such as the CBC, shown in the headline above.

The product of ‘news’ organizations has metastasized from being merely laughable to knee slappingly ridiculous.  And yet, they still have an audience.  I equate this to the consumption of alcohol.  After steady overconsumption of hard liquor, it takes more and more of the stuff to have any effect on the user.  As time goes by and consumption levels increase, the quality of the product becomes immaterial. Thus, we equate modern news with moonshine.  They’re both crudely made and if taken in great quantities, can render you blind and dumb.

I don’t know who the audience is for mainstream news anymore, but they have put lots of comics out of work. There appears to be an internal contest among the industry to see who can create the most guffaw inducing stories.

Despite all that we know of news organizations, people still defer to popular ‘news’ outlets as sources of information.  Social scientists such as Stanley Milgram have demonstrated that social pressure will create conformity, thus, though news stories may be preposterous, if a community absorbs a viewpoint, it becomes very difficult for individuals to push back.

A classic experiment by psychologist Solomon Asch done in conjunction with a TV show, Candid Camera, comically demonstrated this phenomenon. A subject enters an elevator where everyone else is facing the back of the cubicle.  Surprisingly (or not) a large number of subjects also decide to face the back of the elevator upon entering.

In this spirit, news stories are free to publish virtually any kind of preposterous headlines in the knowledge that the chances are good that a segment of the public will accept it as fact.  We don’t have to look too far for examples, since the recent Covid hysteria is the elevator ruse writ on a grand scale.

Even worse, it’s not just actions which are being influenced by corrupted media, it is also necessary to shape thought.  In the example headline above, (and not made up) it is not sufficient to avoid relief from discomfort, it is also necessary to feel great shame if unable to resist the urge for relief.  “Well, I’ll feel better, but I won’t like it”.  This is exactly the same mindset pushed by the white guilt narrative pushed by those pushing “Critical Race Theory”.

So now, we have pressures created by the media to conform to a narrative which is patently preposterous but which is widely propagated.  When pushed, no one actually believes a lot of the narrative, but it’s too much trouble to push back.  This reluctance to push back is responsible for the continuing security Kabuki at airports and will likely engender mask wearing far into the future even after Covid falls into the dustbin of the histories of delusion.

The old joke goes that a man was mopping the floor underneath another man who was hanging by his arms from the ceiling rafters in a mental institution because he thought he was a light bulb.  Two orderlies come to take the man down from the rafters and take him to his room.  The man mopping follows them and continues mopping.  The orderlies ask why the man followed them.  The man replies, “the light’s better here”.