Friday, May 22, 2009

Big Lies, Big Liars

Dick Cheney: Liar. BEEEEG LIAR, telling the BIG LIE!

Yes, that "BIG LIE."

The one Hitler so approved in Mein Kampf that it became the center-piece of Nazi informatics; perfected (until Cheney and the Busheviks) by no less an eminence than the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, but which actually was invented by Edouard Bernays (Freud's favorite nephew), the "father of Public Relations," (described by someone once as 'the art of the felicitous falsehood') who probably more than any other single individual was responsible for the entry of the US into "Woodrow Wilsons War," WW I.

The BIG LIE is one of the most--if not THE most--effective, single propaganda strategy ever devised. Of course, it needed the perfection of the mass-media to become REALLY effective. Without the means of spreading lies across all strata of a society, in many locales, simultaneously, political 'lies' must necessarily have been local and, therefore, subject to local remonstrance and rebuttal. That's easy to do, locally, where pretty much everyone lived in a fishbowl, and proven liars were often ostracized. So out-right, knee-knocking, bald-faced lies were not such common parts of previous politics as they have lately become. But since 1900, with the total domination of the information universe by mass communications (and related, evolutionary technologies), no propaganda device has been used more often, or to greater effect, than Bernays' BIG LIE.

Somehow, it seems that folks have managed to 'grow up' wholly immersed in mediated culture without having learned to recognize the patterns and practices of propaganda. Nobody wants to think they've been "propagandized," as if it were somehow evidence of some personal failing. But propaganda is the ONLY media strategy by which States (and other large, cultural institutions, like churches, corporations, etc) now communicate with their constituents, and so it is shameful that those constituents do NOT seem to know they are ALWAYS being propagandized.

Yes, you are ALWAYS being propagandized: If you think there is any objective difference between Fordf and Toyota, between "the Colonel" and "the King," between Coke and Pepsi, between Coors and Miller, between Macy's and Gimbells' (or between Dims and Pukes, of course), then you have been successfully propagandized. And probably you believe--or at least do not doubt--some iteration of the BIG LIE.

The Big Lie works (and how!) quite simply. It begins with the psychological realization that, in general, everyone either lies now, or has lied, or aniticipates the need to lie at some point, but that there is a (rational) inhibition against lying built into the social contracts by which we function as a society. People usually tell only little "white" lies, nervously, and are generally (again) uneasy telling large, egregious lies because the risks and consequences for being caught in such an act are regarded as serious.

The Big Lie exploits this situation. People, mainly being reluctant, minor-league liars, tend to regard public statements of 'respected' public persons as intrinsically truthful, on the basis of their own hesitations about lying in fora where they could be easily found out and condemned for it. So the Big Lie begins in that "presumption" of truth. The Big Lie is NEVER over trivial matters, either. Both the subject and the presentation, the rhetorical act, are BIG.

But the size of the misrepresentation of fact is only one part of the power of the Big Lie. The other--the equally, if not more, vital--component is repetition. The Big Lie must have continuous currency. Its power stems from ubiquity. It becomes the 'conventional wisdom,' it becomes 'common sense,' through unending repetition. It cannot languish, it cannot rest. Right up until the end of the Reich, ordinary Germans blamed the Jews for all their problems. So, of course this is where the SCUM (SoCalledUnbiasedMedia, the corpoRats) comes in.

The SCUM: In a Corporate State, corporate media are the State Media. Under the regime of the Big Lie, corporate media--conglomerated, consolidated and contained under the weight of the Boardrooms of the nation's largest corporations, which constitute the only important influence group on the affairs of State--are the instrument of ubiquity. Cheney's lies are huge. But unrepeated, unheralded, unremarked, they are beneath immaterial.

Cheney's job now is to promulgate the Big Lie, to give it a persona, and supply legs.

And because of who he and they both are, and to whom they both owe their fundamental, primary allegiances (Hint: Not you and me), the SCUM treat him as worthy of respect, and treat his words as essentially uncontrovertible, just for the reason of his having said them.

Our current media environment seems to have been invented JUST for the purpose of spreading the Big Lies, because to be effective, such lies have to be repeated and repeated, until they become common-place, and thereupon join the "common sense," conventional wisdom."

Cheney speaks the Big Lie, Fox (but also all the rest) repeat it.

Even if somebody tries to rebut it, the Lie, having got the street to itself first, always has the advantage, and the critics only serve to enhance its apparent 'truthiness.' At some point--pretty much, now--the Bushevik/Corporat lies have entered the lexicon as facts, and any attack on them merely enhances their status.

There is only one cure for Cheney and his tactics: offal.

Every and anytime he appears in public, for the purposes of spreading and repeating the Big Lies, he must be met by hordes of shouting, jeering, angry people, armed with decaying produce and animal excrement, who must then hurl it at him.

Accuracy isn't the point.

The hurling is.

Because the one thing the Biggest Lies cannot withstand is ridicule. The truthiest truisms collapse under the weight of enough spoiled eggs and rotten tomatoes, and the liars along with them.


GDAEman said...

You have some great commentary. I love the eye candy too.

Liberality said...

Excellent post! One of the reasons I don't submit myself to advertising and try to always question the major media's presentation of "facts". It is also one of the reasons I blog. The only defense I have against Cheney's grievous bullshit is to scream about it on my blog. I can barely acknowledge the man's human status so horrible do I consider him.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

GDAE...dude i'm glad the illustrations seem apt...i worked in newspapers where all we had to manipulate was contrast screens, and pushing the tri-x to 1600...also i am happy that you--and Mme Liberty-- enjoyed the read. If i were allowed to be forgiven one conceit, it would be that I have occasional flourishes of linguistic--okay, prosodic--brilliance. I'settle for that...

Cheney's just the screen.

It's kabuki. Stylized, scripted, costumed, plotted, rehearsed, polished, perfectly meaningless.

You don't wanna know what we're gonna lose when the newspapers go down...