16 Nov Fahrenheit 451 & Misunderstanding Propaganda’s Purposes
Have you heard commentators say that propaganda is necessary because the “other side” (whatever than even means) isn’t guaranteed to win? To me, this either misunderstands or intentionally obfuscates an important purpose of propaganda.
✔️ You get hyped up and wild when you’re supposed to. You sit down and watch the boob tube when you’re supposed to. You ignore conflicts and problems when you’re supposed to. The emotional reactions are carefully orchestrated.
✔️ If you lobotomize yourself, the fat cats and their cronies can do whatever they want without interference. Ray Bradbury explores this concept in his novel Fahrenheit 451.
✔️ IMO, one function of controlled oppo is to convince you that even if things are bad and it appears the hyper elites are plotting something nefarious, fear not – people are waking up. The power brokers are shaking in their boots! 😒 Riiiiiiiight.
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Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host Sara Causey.
Hello. Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today’s episode I want to talk about my recent rereading of Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451 as well as how I think some commentators and analysts misunderstand the purposes of propaganda, whether they’re doing so intentionally or unintentionally, I think there are certain actors out there that are putting out questionable, dubious advice to people. One particular slogan or sentiment that I hear from time to time is the idea that propaganda is necessary because, quote, The Other Side, whatever that means, and water and stir the other side, this nebulous other side is not guaranteed to win, they wouldn’t have to keep churning out propaganda. If you didn’t have people waking up. If you didn’t have people ready to fight against the system. If John and Jane Q Public didn’t really have all of the power, then the powers that be wouldn’t have to continue to make propaganda. Now, to me, it’s just my opinion, and it could be wrong. To me, one of the things that that screams is controlled oppo. The other thing is it either intentionally or unintentionally misunderstands or obfuscates one of the important purposes of propaganda. Yes, propaganda exists to convince people of one particular opinion, and then keep them convinced, or to manipulate them all over the place. And we’ve seen this in recent years, haven’t we, you get hyped up and wild, and you freak out when you’re supposed to. But then you sit down, you shut up, and you comply, when you’re supposed to. Everybody is supposed to care about this cause right now, but then when that cause becomes old hat, here’s another cause. Your era attention span is supposed to be like that of a gnat. You’re just supposed to be flitting around all over the place. And look at how our media and social media caters to that. People can all the time, watch little snippets, there’s YouTube shorts, there’s tick tock, there’s little Instagram videos, people can just get this social media hit over and over again, with these very small doses jumping from subject to subject and thing to thing. You’re supposed to ignore problems, and ignore conflicts, when that’s what the power brokers want you to do. It’s like your emotional reactions are being carefully curated and carefully orchestrated. And in my opinion, the more that you lobotomize yourself, the more that you go down this social media rabbit hole of just sitting for hours on end, looking at the screen, the fat cats, the Wall Street power brokers, their political cronies, etc. They get to do whatever the hell they want, without any interference. And we see, we see that exact theme explicated in Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451. I was thinking about this recently because I think it was either college, or graduate school may have even been high school, but I think it was either college or graduate school, when I read it for the first time. And that has been quite some years ago. But the book was published in 1953. And there are certain elements of it. I guess, just the overall dystopia being in this future world where things are different, but yet sound an awful lot like they are now in reality. It didn’t make me think of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, aka Blade Runner? I mean that, that whole story, the book as well as the film were both incredibly appreciate. And I felt that way, as I was rereading Fahrenheit 451. Now, to make the point that I want to make here about how propaganda is not just I convinced you of this one thing. I’m brainwashing everybody. It’s also about entertainment. It’s also about you sitting the hell down and shutting the hell up. There’s a passage I want to read from Fahrenheit 451. But before I do that, think about Derrick Jacoby’s character in the movie Gladiator. You know, he’s talking to one of the other senators, about communists and how he’s going to bring the gladiatorial games back and, and Derek Jacoby has characters like I think he knows what Rome is Rome is the mob conjure up some magic and there’ll be distracted, take away their freedom and they will still roar. the beating heart of Rome is not in the marvel of the Senate. It’s in the sand of the Colosseum. He will bring them death and they will love him for it. This is this is not new information. Whether we’re talking about staging games of bloodshed and gladiators in an arena, or we’re talking about plunking somebody down in front of the boob tube, same as it ever was. So I have the 50th anniversary edition in paperback. And I am on page 60. Now that character talking is Captain Beatty, he is guy mon tags boss. And so it’s sort of like Guy Montag is the protagonist and the main character who’s a fireman. And if you’re not familiar with the overall concept of Fahrenheit 451 The firemen and the fire departments are meant to start fires. They’re meant to burn books as well as the houses that contain the books because you’re not supposed to be reading. And so Captain Beatty is Montag boss Montag begins to have this sort of crisis of conscience and existentialist crisis. What are we doing? Why is this happening? And so Captain Beatty comes to his home to give him the truth as Beatty season. So, I’m on page 60 And toward the bottom of page 60 on this paperback, 50th Anniversary Edition. Again, this is Beatty talking to Montek and he says you can’t build a house without nails and wood. If you don’t want a house built hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man on Happy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him. Give him one. Better yet give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top heavy and tax man better at be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag give the people contest they win by remembering the words to more popular songs, or the names of state capitals, or how much corn Iowa grew last year. cram them full of non combustible data, chock them so damned full of facts that they feel stuffed, but absolutely brilliant with information, then they’ll feel their thinking. They’ll get a sense of motion without moving and they’ll be happy because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy, or sociology to tie things up with that way lies melancholy. Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again and most men can nowadays is happier than any man who tries to slide rule, measure and equate the universe which just won’t be measured or equated without making man feel best deal and lonely. I know I’ve tried it, to hell with it. So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your daredevils, jet cars, motorcycle helicopters, your sex and heroine, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. If the drama is bad, if the film says nothing if the play is hollow, string me with the Theramin loudly. I’ll think I’m responding to the play when it’s only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I don’t care. I just like solid entertainment in quote. And it’s, it’s amusing. I mean, it’s funny, but it’s sad. It’s amusing because in the book, the TV room is a place where guy’s wife and her friends just seem to live. And they, they get very enveloped in the stories that they watch on the television. It’s like they really have gone into this alternate universe in the boob tube, which of course makes me think about Harare. And how he predicted the rise of the useless class. When AI takes everybody’s jobs and you have this huge amount of people going into the quote, useless class because they have nothing to do all day. How do you handle that? Well, you give them a VR headset, and they go into virtual reality. And then that would be more entertaining and more fulfilling than their miserable little peasant life would have been anyway. It’s just crazy to think about how Bradbury was talking about this back in 1953. So I think that making the argument that the propaganda machine wouldn’t have to continue churning out content. Unless john and jane Q Public were waking up john and jane Q Public really have a dog in this fight. They can really come back against the power brokers and the Wall Street bankers and the politician cronies and all of the fat cats and billionaires, people are really waking it up and they’re really they’re gonna sock it to all of these power brokers blah, blah, blah, right. I think that that misses one of the points of propaganda, which is to keep people enter tained sit down, shut up, be pacified. Here’s a screen look at it, it will provide you a 24 hour loop of endless entertainment if you want it to. But sit down, shut up and look at the screen.
There’s a blog post on MGI entertainment.com titled entertainment is the greatest form of propaganda. In this we read. What if I told you your favorite childhood hero was just a figure for government propaganda? If you ever idolized Superman, Captain America or Rocky Balboa I hate to break it to you this may be the case. For as long as TV and movies have existed they have been used to influence the ideas and opinions of their viewers. During World War Two even DC comic books were used to reassure the public that their own country was the greatest. Superman’s dominance over planet Krypton was all a representation of the ideal American hero during the war and quote, think about how the military had a station there at Lookout Mountain in Laurel Canyon. And they made the 1300 and 52nd Motion Picture Squadron and they pulled in some pretty big name stars of the day. I’ll drop a link to the Wikipedia article, you can read it for yourself. Many of the film reports training films and special film projects were featured well known Hollywood actors and voice over narrators. Among those who have starred in Air Force films shot at the hill as lookout personnel called the studio were read Hadley Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, Robert Preston James Garner, Juliet, Prowse, Gregory Peck, Kenan when Marvin Miller, Kim Novak, Glen Ford, and Lee Marvin. I mean, like, why, why would you have a motion picture studio that’s run by the Air Force situated in Laurel Canyon, anyway, I mean, doesn’t that just on the face of it kind of makes you go? Hmm, that seems a bit odd. Entertainment is an important part of propaganda. And for me, again, just my opinion, and it could be wrong. But whenever I hear these commentators and analysts, oh, we’re people are waking up more and more subscribers, more and more viewers every day. We’re really socking it to these hyper elites. I’m just like, yeah, you have to be controlled, OPPO. In my opinion, okay, my opinion, which could be wrong when I hear that kind of dialogue going on. It just it tricks trips, my antenna, and it makes me think, you know, this person is probably controlled, OPPO because there’s no freaking evidence. Where’s the evidence? is subscribing to a YouTube channel or going to somebody’s website or following them on Facebook? I mean, is that really a sign that somebody is waking up? And they’re really socking it to the system? long pause there so you can answer that question for yourself. I mean, it’s like whenever the latest thing pops up, and you’ve got to put a flag or a sticker or an emoji or something on your profile and what the f is not going to do. When people were putting up Ukrainian flags everywhere. Did that really help anybody in the Ukraine? mean this is somebody posting a picture of a Ukrainian flag really going to help somebody that is in a war torn situation? Oh, well, they put my flag on their profile. So you know, doesn’t matter that I have no place to sleep tonight. Get real. It’s the kind of thing where this armchair activism makes people think that they’ve done something makes people feel which that’s what Beatty talks about in Fahrenheit 451 You You give them the illusion that they’ve really done something when actually they haven’t. And and I’m going to say something controversial, and it is going to make some people mad. I’m not a stranger to that. As I’ve said before, if you want to write your shopping d’oeuvre about how offended you are, I know how to hit the delete button. It’s okay. I think the same kind of thing. When I hear these commentators, analysts are just random people on the internet might not even be somebody that has quote, an audience of some kind, someone who’s a celebrity of some kind. But when I hear this narrative of look at all of the the rednecks and the hillbillies, and I’m allowed to say that, okay, I live on a farm out in the Midwest, I’ve got dirt under my fingernails and calluses on my hands. I’m all I’m allowed to say that. But the commentary is always rednecks and hillbillies that live down in the south or live in the Midwest or they live out in the woods. Nobody would ever come here and be able to perpetrate something, whether we’re thinking about a foreign influence or whether we’re talking about a domestic influence. Nobody would ever be able to come they wouldn’t be able to come down here and do nothing. Because look at Billy Bob and the boys. They all have boom booms and they just wouldn’t stand for it. And I’m just, you know, when I hear that I rubbed my temples and I think yeah, but There’s no evidence of that. get offended if you want to, but it’s like, okay, let’s let’s think about some recent events here, shall we? And, and where we’re Billy, Billy Bob and the boys with their boom booms. And the not gonna take it when these things happen. Let’s think about 911 and the Patriot Act and the formation of the DHS. I mean, just I could stop right there, I could just I could stop right there and not even elaborate any further. Let’s let’s just think about those things. I will read now from an ACLU article. I mean, you have your own opinions about that organization. They’re, I think there’s synopsis here of the Patriot Act is quite good. We read hastily past 45 days after 911. In the name of national security. The Patriot Act was the first of many changes to surveillance laws that made it easier for the government to spy on ordinary Americans by expanding the authority to monitor phone and email communications, collect bank and credit reporting records and track the activity of innocent Americans on the internet. While most Americans think it was created to catch the T word, the Patriot Act actually turns regular citizens into suspects. They have a an infographic here to go along with national security letters, different convictions of uses of privacy. I mean, sneak and peek searches. The DHS was formulated in 2002 under Dubba. Same thing, we need to have this department in order to make sure that everybody is safe. Everything was all about safety. Nothing about your freedom and your privacy. It was all about your your safety in huge, gigantic air quotes, but it’s like okay, well, where was Billy Bob and the boys and the boom booms are not around here. are we expanding for it? Mm hmm. All that happened. All that became law. This is real. Everyone’s just used to it. Now. I know that as I’m sitting here, recording this episode, it’s being listened to before it ever hits the airwaves. I’m not an idiot. And then in more recent history, think about the and the shutdowns and the lock downs and ordinary mom and pop shops going under being told you’re nonessential the big box places. That’s okay. You can go to the super centers you can order from Amazon you can get things from major stores and have a door Dasher, bring it and then leave it on the porch and have no contact of any kind. But mom and pop shops and hair salons and things of that nature. The smaller stores small businesses are non essential and they have to close down. I’m looking around, you know, kinda like John Travolta Pulp Fiction, I’m looking around. Well, where were Billy Bob and the boys then? What what has what have any of these rednecks supposedly stopped from happening? I just find it ludicrous. Like you’re talking about these, these powers that are just so incredibly funded, you know, they can turn on the printing press anytime they want to, and just make more money and buy whatever the hell they want. And, you know, just I’m sorry. So when I hear what I perceive to be either controlled opposition or people who are woefully misinformed, they’re living in a fantasy land, talking about Billy Bob and the boys and the boom booms. They’re not going to take it and propaganda wouldn’t be necessary if it unless it meant that the other side didn’t stand a chance. I’m like, whatever. And when you think about the occasions when somebody has tried to draw a line in the sand, it doesn’t go well for them. Case in point, Waco. If you are I have listeners all over the globe. So if you’re not familiar with with what happened there, or maybe you were too young to remember what happened there. I mean, I’ll drop a link to the Wikipedia page, but I would highly suggest that you take take a look at the information about what happened. I mean, it’s easy to say well, I mean cuckoo bird cultists, okay, sure. But that doesn’t give you a license to go in and do away with men, women, children, pets. That whole thing and the way that it was handled by the Alpha Tango Foxtrot. And the foxtrot, bravo, India is so shameful, so shameful. But it’s like you. You expect me to think that just ordinary john and jane Q Public, they’re they’re really socketed to the system. These powerful hyper elites and they’re banker buddies and their politician cronies. Oh, they’re just quaking in their boots because of John and Jane Doe. I am really sure.
That’s the thing. I mean, I know this sounds sour and dour and terribly cynical, but I’m just telling you the truth as I see it. And I think that people will go further and further into things like agenda 2030, and you’re not seeing a TV be happy. And virtual reality and AI and the useless class, eating cricket burgers, I think you’ll have plenty of people that just go along with it. Hey, as long as I have my boob tube, I’ve got my devices, I’ve got my streaming platforms, and I can just sit and be entertained. I’ll do it. I think you have some people already, that if they were told, we will give you UBI we will we will put you in an apartment the size of a closet and give you cricket burgers will give you UBI. But we’re gonna load you up on entertainment. You can sit and watch streaming and play on social media all day, no job. You don’t have to go anywhere you have no obligations anymore. Just sit here in this hovel and go into virtual reality and be entertained. 24/7 you would have takers? You absolutely have people right now today, that will take you up on that. I just I think we’re past the point. We’re living in a different world. And I think we’re past the point where anybody with a straight face could say, well, the propaganda is only there, because the quote, other side is losing i I’m sorry, I don’t think so. I think that that is leading you down a path where things are way too black and white. It’s ignoring the purpose of propaganda as a tool of entertainment, of distraction of appeasement, and frankly, of dumbing people down. Making people have such short attention spans and a lack of critical thinking that whatever they see, oh, I saw something on tick tock and I believed it. I have talked about this in a Tuesday night special that I recorded, where it’s like these people who get laid off there in a company closure or they quit in a moment of anger and then they’re like, wouldn’t think it was gonna be this tough to find another job. Well, who the hell have you been listening to? Where have you been? Where have you been getting your information? Some influencer that is telling you they know all about recruiting because they’ve done it for six minutes. To use the phrase does Euro Come on, man, wake up. But most people are not going to okay, they’re not. And so for me if you want to tune into control Dapo telling you that though people are waking up and John and Jane Q Public or socking it to the man, okay. Hey, it’s your choice, man. It’s totally your choice, if you want to believe that. In the meantime, if you have not read Fahrenheit 451 Or it’s been a while since you’ve read it, I highly recommend it. It’s kind of like Childhoods End, by Arthur C. Clarke. And in regards to being like, Well, damn, I feel like we’re way closer to this dystopia than we are farther away from it. But still very much worth reading. And the 50th anniversary edition also features a conversation with Ray Bradbury, at the back of the book, sort of talk about society as it was then. And then as it would have been so 53 Plus food in 2003. Interesting stuff, highly recommend it. Stay safe, stay sane, if you choose to stay entertained. Okay, up to you. And I will see you in the next episode.
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