Tag - media bias

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False Positives
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The BBC

False Positives

I saw a photograph of a piece of inane graffiti art recently, a stencil work on a highway. It read SMILE. There’s a major difference between encouragement and coercion, no matter how slick the presentation. Being forced to express positivity, even for the sake of art, always sends a cold shiver down my spine.

People seem to need more visual cues every day, what to say, what to wear, where to go and why. It’s a rare sight to see someone follow a hunch, to think off the top of their head, without fact checking their every move, just in case the world thinks differently.

I was planning to write a post on the power of the lie, but it seems I’m in sync with several newspaper journalists at the moment, which is something of a worrying development. I wanted to share a theory I’d come up with, in fact I will anyway, who cares what the papers say.

I get it, research shows that the better the education, the better the liar. But to be honest, the art of lying is a fundamental tenet of a successful society. There hasn’t been a single culture in history worth noting, that hasn’t at the very least dabbled in a little exaggeration.

To be a success one must become a liar.

Great artists fool the eye. Musicians may play with the truth, but sooner or later, if they’re offered the deal of a lifetime, they’re sold on a lie. If authors weren’t writers they’d be some of the most successful con-artists in the world today, asides the politicians, who are the masters of deception, peddling lies great and small to their gullible electorate. Money too, it’s nothing but a sham, printed with a broken promise to pay the bearer on demand. Society itself is merely an aggregate of falsehoods and untruths, ensuring a smooth succession of power, whilst the masses keep living a shared delusion of civilisation.

If there were no falsehoods, if people were incapable of lies, the world would soon tear itself apart, no longer protected from its ghastly self. It’s a shame, but we’re only human, and for the most part we do the best we can to work with what we’ve got. It’s seems that for far too many in the world, the truth doesn’t merely hurt, it makes the difference between life and death, survival and collapse.

So many have jumped on the bandwagon, there’s precious little left beyond the pale. Individuality is dying, as is knowledge, empathy, and anything remotely resembling higher consciousness, is slowly drowning in a sea of glamorised conformity. We, the last remaining individuals of the world, must pretend to play the game. We are forced to speak and behave as those around us, yet we alone have been granted witness to the true deceit of society and its inbuilt redundancies. As for those who say otherwise, those who proclaim to be fighting for the truth in the name of freedom, they are at best martyrs of conjecture, and at worst, the greatest liars of all time.

The BBC

Brits pay the BBC a high price for their TV supper

Most people will recognise the acronym BBC as the ubiquitous British state sponsored broadcaster. Those with more varied tastes might know it has another meaning, and if you’re not quite sure, any adult rated site is sure to clear up that mystery.

As for myself, I’ve watched the BBC for many years, it taught me how to think, and its taken a long time to undo the damage. They present the world as they see fit, or rather their paymasters, the government, and not the viewing public. As the years have passed by and their agit-prop obfuscations have worn thin, I’ve seen others turning away from the screen. Admittedly most turn to another, to text on their phone or watch a funny video, but there are a few who’ll look across the room with the same bewildered expression, as if to say is this for real?

My childhood memories of television should be filled with bright colours and home-made Christmas specials. Instead I remember riots and power cuts, and angry politicians, and awkward, stifled interviews drowning in legalese. I can’t stand politics, the ridiculous arguments, the bizarre spectacle of democracy in action. Perhaps it’s because I used to blame myself as a child, for finding the whole affair something of a rigmarole.

Some decades later I had a heated debate with a local MP, he didn’t care if I voted for him, he just needed to make sure I didn’t vote for anybody else. When I asked him why he’d say such a thing, he made his excuses and left in a hurry. I shouted after him, and he shouted back a string of indistinguishable profanities. He died of a heart attack later that summer, people said he was a servant to the people, I’m not so sure.

Television was my babysitter, it kept me out of my mother’s hair. She, like her parents before her, prefers the BBC, mostly because it doesn’t have any ad breaks. Besides, as far as the middle class believed, at least in the 1970s, it wasn’t as crass as the one independent broadcaster of the time. My father, on the other hand, when he was still around, absolutely hated the British Broadcasting Corporation. He resented paying a tax for a service he’d never asked for in the first place, and usually switched over to ITV. There were arguments aplenty, but television was the least of my parents problems. It wouldn’t be long before they’d separate, and from then on the set was always tuned to the BBC.

On my tenth birthday, some years after the divorce, I asked for a television of my own. It was black and white and had a 14″ screen, but at least I could choose for myself the propaganda I consumed. After some weeks of flipping between three channels, two from the BBC, and only one of which had full service, I came to the conclusion that I preferred static. I’d get home from school and switch on my TV, turn down the sound a little until it was no louder than a whispering breeze. Then I’d stare at the interference, a comforting abstract haze of particular grey.

I might even see something now and again, a face in the shadows, a city of lights, deep space and stars, or simply patterns, like ripples of water and grains of sand. Perhaps I’d learned to hypnotise myself, I’m not sure anymore, it was such a long time ago now. What I do know is that nowadays you’d literally have to drag me to a television screen, and even then I’ll keep my distance.

I see the flicker rate, I feel the alpha wave induction, I watch the love of my life drift away to the sounds and sights of a popular soap opera, and I know that we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. When we are confused we no longer look for answers, we let others do that for us, anything to numb the pain.

Some have a license to kill, they do it quickly and efficiently without hesitation. Others have a license to broadcast, but only the BBC licenses its own audience, the poor saps who must pay to be told how to behave, what to think, and what fake news to avoid.

Once upon a time to make it in this world, you needed guts, drive and ambition. A grand idea fuelled by obsession, to hold a far-reaching vision, a noble ideal, a dream, a belief, something to mark one apart from the rest. Now the key to success is assimilation, to outdo all others by compromising oneself, to meet in the middle and decide that nothing can be done, only undone. All history has become a mistake, unpalatable to modern society, and proof of a barbarism that must be rewritten by the subconscious totalitarian state.

Go watch TV and see how strange it is now. It feels awkward and forced, and the presenters look strange. Television is dying, and eventually so will the BBC, but until then we Brits must keep our eyes and our mouths wide open, and take our medicine like good children of the state. The BBC is a behavioural control machine, but it’s either this or nothing, and that’s always been the British way.

Be grateful for what you’re given, even if we make you pay.

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