The “Idol” series, “X-Factor,” “[Insert Your Country HERE] Has Got Talent” are created in the Entertainment department of The System. In the 21st Century Entertainment is used as an important psychological tool to manipulate society and keep its citizens balanced. The aforementioned shows provide viewers with an essential means of distraction. While absorbed in the music, the performers, the stories, the presentation, coupled with the elimination process of which viewers can directly participate, one can forget stress, anxiety, frustration, dissatisfaction, and after the series is done purchase the songs on iTunes. The latter is a vital part of the chain. A citizen that can relive the moment is transported back to that happy place of distraction, which is especially important when he or she is in an often unhappy place commonly known as work.
What type of music a person listens to is of course irrelevant to The System. (The same goes for fashion, religion, hobbies, leisure activities, the bulk of mainstream politics and so on.) So long as the tooling of the homogenised Entertainment construct and presentation is not interfered with, the music could be anything, even Gangsta Rap. But there could never be a genuinely rebellious, drug addict, anti-establishment muso or rapper competing on the “Idol” series, not unless that person had in effect joined The System – that is, “over-come” their drug addiction and got their act together. That “back-story” could then be tooled as a triumph over adversity factor to give the contestant leverage in climbing the ladder of success and to the dissatisfied viewer watching at home, stuck in a dead-end job, an “if they can do it I can” element to help them thru any bitter resentment. Likewise, there might be a troubled student whose grades are slipping; at least they were til “I made it thru “Boot Camp” on X-Factor”. The System wants people to study hard in school, hold down a respectable job, climb the status ladder, be a responsible parent, be a nonviolent citizen who goes about their civic duty with a smile. Carefully tooled Entertainment can and does play its part in maintaining the status-quo. In effect, however much these reality talent shows spice up the project with an unruly ingredient, the presentation will be designed to integrate its viewers into The System and make them adopt its values.
To achieve maximum manipulation, modern Entertainment must appeal to metro sexual children thru to gay grandparents while maintaining a multi-cultural, religious, non-threatening persona. Sex is of course used but is never allowed to get too sordid. Defeat is presented in a non-despairing way that portrays the defeated as winners who are all the better for the experience. All this and more while demonstrating to the viewer that if you immerse yourself in this Entertainment you will be able to throw off rational control (because there is no hope of accomplishing anything outside of The System anyway) and be completely transformed by the sensations of the moment. At the very least, next day you’ll have something to talk to your work-mates about.
Most reality based Entertainment shows are about dangling a carrot and weeding out a bunch of average but “talented” people who they believe can be moulded into buying the whole box and dice “Goal,” and then…letting them “go for it.” At the end, the “winner” is largely portrayed as having achieved it all with their talent and autonomy. The army of behind the scene ants are paid lip service by the winner and the “coaches” names may appear as the credits roll. The Entertainment model points to the viewer at home and says: “This could be you.” The System knows that a sizeable amount of viewers are living lives of boredom, dealing with feelings of demoralisation and low self-esteem, have feelings of inferiority, defeatism, depression, anxiety, guilt, frustration, hostility, are dealing with spouse or child abuse, insatiable hedonism, abnormal sexual behaviour, sleep disorders, eating disorders and so on and so forth. It is important that The System imparts to such viewer that the reason their lives are so dishevelled is because (unlike The Idol Winner) you did not set a target. If you don’t set a target you don’t hit anything is the message. This is usually enough medicine to maintain the viewer’s immersion within The System. Like all medicine it will eventually wear off, but by then the new season of “Australia’s Got Talent” will be in post production and due to air.
Entertainment, as it is presented today, helps keep the heads low and the arse cracks high. Music and Film, Television and most Media are under the control of large conglomerates that are integrated into The System. The internet, once considered to be the pathway to freedom thru self-promotion, the information super-highway a road out of obscurity, is no different. It is tooled by The System. For example – and there are many – most people who search for “Entertainment” go straight to the google conglomerate. The majority do not explore beyond the first 10 to 25 listings. Any independent entertainer who has a little money can promote themselves on the internet, but what they have to offer will be swamped by the vast volume of Entertainment put out by the large conglomerates. It will have no practical effect outside of the entertainer’s fan base unless they can match the large conglomerates dollar for dollar. It’s not important to The System that an entertainer make an impression on society thru artistic expression (the opposite is preferred) unless The System requires it be orchestrated into existence. When someone like 23 year old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova upsets The System with her brand of “Entertainment” she is immediately made an example of. Had Nadezhda been singing soppy “X-Factor” songs with Pussy Riot instead of orchestrating politically repugnant commentary she would not be in a Siberian prison today. The System would not have paid attention and neither would the average planetary citizen. As it is, outside of her home state, Nadezhda’s plight has been largely absorbed by the world. The large conglomerates are seeing to that. The message is clear – if you follow Nadezhda’s example you wind up in the gulag. Isn’t it more fun to watch “The Voice” than to listen to a punk rock song with a sober political message and then ruminate on the harsh consequences of such an act? Or course it is…and we’ll be right back after this word from our sponsor.
If Kevin Spacey’s John Doe character from “Seven” had been a self-promoted entertainer, people certainly would have noticed him: “Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.”
Ted Kaczynski was not a self-promoted entertainer either. But in order to get his message thru the invisible force field of The System and to the public where it would make a lasting impression, he created an interesting marketing strategy. Ted Kaczynski didn’t sing (at least, not that I know of), instead he killed people. His marketing methods helped to get his written “Manifesto” published. Ted Kaczynski wasn’t motivated by fame, however. His killings were directly and solely motivated by a desire to see the halt of technology and what he deemed its devastating effect on human and ecological life. It was a one man revolution to initiate the collapse of The System; the side-effects of said System continue to flourish and plague the world to this day. It’s happening right outside of your digital device.
The overarching point here is The System will not notice you unless you do something that profoundly threatens the equilibrium of The System; or you conform 100% to the demands of The System and obey the rules…bearing in mind that the latter is not a guaranteed formula for getting noticed. Many self-promoted entertainers comply to an “industry standard” and still die in obscurity. That’s really because The System doesn’t need you to stand out. It needs you to blend in. It’s why fame is fickle.
So what does one do to “Break on thru to the other side”?
On the one hand there is the Ted Kaczynski model of living “off the grid” in comparative solitude and bringing The System down one death at a time. While it is reasonable that the direct survivors of Ted Kaczynski’s one man revolution might not care to evaluate the underlying principle behind his murderous assaults, the problem for the rest of us is who, exactly, will? Because the other extremity is total obedience to The System, and while you’re rejecting total obedience keep this in mind: In the end, the bedrock of civilisation will remain in our willingness to accept rules and to curb the pursuit of our individual interest out of deference to the needs and interests of others. No one amongst us is seriously against civilisation, are they?
But – “There must be someway out of here, said the joker to the thief.”
Not necessarily, unless “…someway out…” is raising self-awareness and protecting oneself from the constant pressures of The System to bend society towards an even greater “willingness” to homogenise personal freedoms.
“The price of freedom is constant vigilance” – The grid cannot be destroyed. We’ve come too far. Retooling the existing System into a more “user friendly” model is really the only option. But be careful. The Entertainment department is working constantly to distract you. The retooling is important work; it will be accomplished by a comparative few at a slow, rock steady pace. Choose your methods wisely. One slip and The System will give you 15 minutes of fame and then poof! You will disappear.