Many people, browsing through the NZ mainstream media recently, have thought to themselves: “This is absolute crap!” And it is – but not because the editors of the mainstream media are incompetent or stupid. To the contrary, they know precisely what they’re doing.
In order to understand what they’re doing, one must understand the sociological concept of ‘normalisation’.
Although it’s usually denied, a people’s main concerns and desires are not always organically and naturally generated, but are often implanted in their minds by the controllers of the apparatus of propaganda. These controllers consciously decide which ideas they want implanted in the minds of the masses and then use the apparatus of propaganda to normalise those ideas through repetition.
There are, therefore, understandable and logical reasons why the mainstream media runs thousands of articles and segments about utterly inconsequential issues.
By constantly promoting trivia, the mainstream media normalises the idea that the nation has no pressing concerns; everything is running well, and there’s no cause for any alarm. If journalists can be sent looking for Chris Hipkins’s favourite pie, or tasked to write 2,000 words about the finer points of pineapple lumps, then it’s natural to assume that they have nothing more important to write about, and so one shouldn’t complain.
The trivia promoted is usually one of a few common types. Celebrity trivia is the most common of these. Sporting trivia is also very common. Particularly common right now is drama about transgenders and transgender rights, hence the shitstorm over Posie Parker’s planned visit to New Zealand. When transgender rights become boring, the media will move on to some other issue that affects less than 0.5% of the population.
The total effect of pushing all this trivia is the normalisation of the idea that there’s nothing important to complain about, so we should just march happily to work, then back home to watch television and to consume pies and pineapple lumps, before another day of the same, every day for the rest of our lives.
The mainstream media’s normalisation of trivia serves the purposes of the ruling class in two major ways.
The first is by filling the minds of the people with garbage. This is a deliberate strategy to make people unable to come together and build a resistance movement. The more trivia in people’s minds, and the more trivia in their general conversations, the less they can build deep and true bonds of friendship.
To that end, the mainstream media employs the strategy of “flooding the zone”. They produce so much garbage that it floods the social media feeds of people on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, TeleGram, Reddit, SnapChat, Discord, InstaGram and anywhere else people gather to discuss current events. Now, no serious person can get talk of revolution started because everyone’s constantly talking about crap.
After a flood of propaganda normalising trivia, anyone who talks about serious political issues now becomes unpopular. Their seriousness makes them abnormal. That abnormality means that people soon get tired of their heavy vibes. When people become normalised to media garbage, they want more and more of it, the same way a daily McDonald’s eater does.
The second way that this normalisation of trivia is made to serve the purposes of the ruling class is when it prevents the discussion of important issues. The ruling class doesn’t want discussion of housing, mental health, wages or child abuse because all of these issues can only realistically be solved by forcing that ruling class to siphon less wealth from the masses. To that end, the more trivia the better.
Any position that suggests that the ruling class might have to change anything about their own actions is forbidden. The only people obliged to change their ways are the plebs, hence all the talk about how individuals (and not corporations) need to cut consumption. Promotion of triviality pulls things down to the most trivial level, that of the individual.
Anyone talking about anything serious is ostracised as a bore or a fanatic. Who cares about mental health? I want to know what Ed Sheeran thinks of New Zealand! Who cares about the labour share of production? I want to hear from the sexual deviant of the week about how everyone is a Nazi! And so it becomes even more difficult to arrange any true resistance to the ruling class.
There’s no easy way around this. Apart from becoming the Government ourselves and redirecting Public Interest Journalism Fund money, the easiest way is to become the media ourselves: writing and talking about issues of actual importance to everyday people, and laying out a clear plan by which change can be effected.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles from 2021 from Amazon as a Kindle ebook or paperback. Compilations of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2020, the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019, the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.
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Well said. The strategy is so obvious once you're awake to everything that's going on.