Monday, 17 November 2003

TV or Not TV? Not!

Written by  William Norman Grigg

In the typical American home, the television set occupies the center of the living room, as if it were the household deity. People immersed in TV’s caricature of reality indulge in a delusional sense of intimacy with people they do not know — and who usually don’t exist — at the expense of relationships with the most consequential people in their lives: their parents, children, and neighbors. Passive consumers of television also submit to the powers of people skilled in the use of fantasy as a means of re-calibrating public attitudes and values, not just about family life and sexual morality, but also about any other moral question of consequence.

"Of all the arts," commented founding Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin, "cinema is the most important." Lenin’s regime pioneered the use of cinematic propaganda as a means of building the total state, and Lenin’s heirs from Hitler to Kim Jong-Il have used his techniques. In his precautionary tale 1984 George Orwell anticipated the use of television as an instrument of totalitarian social engineering: Every hapless subject of Big Brother’s regime was required to commune with the omnipresent "telescreen," a combination television and surveillance device.

Most Americans would disagree that our society has much if anything in common with the dismal despotism portrayed by Orwell. But Russian anti-Communist Alexander Zinovyev, a world-renowned author who actually lived under such a regime, sees America descending into the same nightmare — in large measure because of the influence of our popular media.

"It is enough to switch on the TV set, to go to the movies, to open a best-seller ... to listen to the ubiquitous music," complained Zinovyev in the July 24, 1999 issue of France’s Le Figaro, "and you’ll find them propagating the cult of sex, violence and money. Noble slogans about tolerance and respect for others are concealing those three pillars of totalitarian democracy."

The Devious Dialectic

To be most effective, the peddlers of cultural corruption must work in tandem with change agents who employ sophisticated tactics of psychological manipulation in the service of collectivism. Dean Gotcher of the Institute for Authority Research has spent much of his life studying the ways in which change agents infiltrate and subvert communities in order to undermine established values.

According to Gotcher, one of the most successful ploys used by those cultural revolutionaries is the "dialectic process," in which diverse groups of people, in a facilitated environment, are led to submerge their disagreements through a series of compromises leading to a "consensus." This can be carried out in discussion groups, classrooms, management seminars, or in many other settings.

"The objective of the facilitator is to break down barriers and normal restrictions," observes Gotcher. "The facilitator (sometimes called the change agent) uses the ‘consensus process’ [to] stifle sensible protests. This actually results in ‘induced paralysis’ of the objectors [those who seek to defend conventional social mores and customs]."

"Objectors to the process of ‘consensus’ are made to feel like they are ‘rocking the boat,’" Gotcher continues. "Those who object to the changes are encouraged to alter their standards so that ‘they can get along with others.’ The reason given to get rid of normal standards often is the claim that others are being ‘offended.’" Beguiled or brow-beaten into sacrificing principles for the sake of social amity, those being fed through the machinery of the "dialectic process" are carefully led through subtle but significant compromises intended ultimately "to remake human nature."

"Mama Bulls"?

In a typical dialectical exercise (such as a management seminar), the opening sortie in this assault is something apparently inconsequential, such as an "ice-breaker" routine involving a silly game. One example cited by Gotcher was a supposedly innocuous game involving "a papa bull, a mama bull, and a baby bull." Of course, a "mama bull" cannot exist. But for the purposes of the ice-breaker routine, participants are required to pretend that such a creature does exist, in order to form smooth and amicable relationships with each other.

As Gotcher points out, dialecticians use such "harmless" shared deceptions to lay a crucial predicate: The assumption that there are no absolutes, that reality itself is subjective, and that what really matters is conforming to the consensus, the will of the collective. Exercises of this sort, he warns, are being employed in corporate, professional, healthcare, educational, and management training, as well as in "outcome-based" educational programs.

"Whether promoted by organizations such as the NEA [National Education Association], the local Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations, [the] United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO), or through grant programs such as Goals 2000 and School to Work, this process is having a direct effect upon all our lives," observes Gotcher. The purpose is to prepare the public mind for the onset of the total state, which would by definition be completely emancipated from all moral and legal restraints.

The process described by Gotcher works best in relatively small, intimate settings. But the public at large is also being run through the "dialectic process" through the instrumentality of prime-time television.

Gotcher’s example of a mythical "mama bull" has a real-life counterpart in the case of the so-called married couple that took the $1 million prize in CBS television’s Amazing Race. The couple in question, who won the round-the-world competition staged in the program, are two homosexual men. The decision to refer to them as "married" was approved at the network’s loftiest corporate echelon. After this gesture provoked a smattering of criticism, a CBS executive rebuked the objectors: "They’re gay and they’re married. What’s the problem?"

The problem, of course, is that men cannot be married to each other any more than a bull can be a mama. But just like the small group in the ice-breaker exercise described by Gotcher, the vast national audience for Amazing Race was required to be party to the collective falsehood of homosexual "marriage." And it’s hardly a coincidence that this took place at a time when serious efforts were underway — in Vermont, California, Massachusetts, and at the U.S. Supreme Court — to lay the groundwork for officially recognizing homosexual "marriage."

Redefining Masculinity

The propaganda prep work for homosexual "marriage" continues this fall with a sitcom entitled It’s All Relative. In that program, the intelligent adult daughter of what is described as "a long-committed gay couple" is determined to marry a coarse, indifferently educated, blue-collar bartender whose church-going parents oppose homosexuality. The Advocate — a high-gloss homosexual-themed publication — smugly describes the sitcom as "subtly subversive."

"Just presenting a gay couple matter-of-factly might be the most revolutionary thing we’re doing," comments co-creator Chuck Ranberg. "You see them in bed together in the first episode, and they kiss each other on the way to work in the second one," adds co-executive producer Neil Meron. "It’s just like life."

Yep. Just a typical day in the life of two "mama bulls."

The "mama bulls" ran rampant on television during the summer of 2003. As The Advocate observed with satisfaction, the boob tube has been "saturated with queer eyes and boys meeting boys." The breakout program last summer was Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Each segment of that program, originally broadcast on the Bravo cable network but eagerly snapped up by NBC, features (in the words of social commentator Steve Sailer) "five witty gay men [who] refine … some straight slob’s entire look and lifestyle."

Often this miraculous makeover was intended to help the hapless heterosexual make a good impression for a woman. This fortifies a propaganda point made incessantly on NBC’s Emmy-winning sitcom Will & Grace — namely, that the homosexual male is the ideal man. This conceit has given birth in the media to a new social category: "Metrosexuals," or men of refinement and taste who, defying all expectations, somehow are not homosexual.

To appreciate just how rapid and effective the TV-centric "dialectic process" can be, consider this: Just two years ago, in the aftermath of 9/11, the masculine ideal was defined by the firefighters and rescue workers who heroically perished at Ground Zero, or Todd Beamer and the heroes of United Flight 93.

Assault on the Middle Class

Television emerged as a mass medium in the 1950s and quickly came to occupy a key role in an orchestrated campaign to eradicate conventional middle-class morals and culture.

In his monumental 1966 study Tragedy and Hope, the late Georgetown University historian Carroll Quigley observed: "The period since 1950 has seen the beginnings of a revolutionary change in American politics. This change is not so closely related to changes in American economic life as it is to the transformation in social life.... What has been happening has been a disintegration of the middle class."

While economic factors certainly played an important role in this disintegration, continued Quigley, the most important development was the destruction of "the middle-class outlook … not by adult middle-class persons abandoning it, but by a failure or inability of parents to pass it on to their children." This was partially due to radical changes in the American educational system undertaken for the purpose of using the schools to subvert middle-class morality. But just as important was "the context within which the educational system has operated," noted Quigley — specifically, the popular culture and entertainment media.

"The chief external factor in the destruction of the middle-class outlook has been the relentless attack upon it in literature and drama throughout most of the twentieth century," Quigley wrote. "In fact, it is difficult to find works that defended this outlook or even assumed it to be true, as was frequent in the nineteenth century." The anti-middle-class outlook, which was rapidly absorbed by television, exalted "violence, social irresponsibility, sexual laxity and perversion … human weakness in relation to alcohol, narcotics, or sex, or domestic and business relationships conducted along completely nonbourgeois lines."

Other themes woven into anti-bourgeois propaganda in literature and drama (including television) were "an oversimplified Freudianism that regarded all suppression of human impulse as leading to frustration and psychic distortions … the salutary consequences of self-indulgence … [and a] total rejection of middle-class values, including time, self-discipline, and material achievement, in favor of a cult of personal violence."

The result, concluded Quigley, was "a total reversal of middle-class values by presenting as interesting or admirable simple negation of these values by aimless, shiftless, and totally irresponsible people." The political ascent of Arnold Schwarzenegger presents a splendid example of the reversal of values Quigley described.

The California recall movement began as a revolt by that state’s long-suffering middle class against a state government arrogantly determined to tax them into penury, regulate them into oblivion, and use the power of government to undermine their values and institutions.

California’s rebellious middle class was skillfully manipulated into supporting, as its champion, a novice politician — a product of Hollywood’s depravity-exalting culture, and who unabashedly supports abortion, homosexuality, affirmative action, and the essential tenets of the socialist welfare state. This was possible, in large measure, because California’s middle-class electorate, having passed through the dialectic process described by Gotcher, considered it more important to be part of the winning side than to defend sound principles.

Television is the single most effective means of shepherding the American population through the dialectic process. This is why Americans seriously interested in preserving their freedoms should severely limit or entirely eliminate their TV viewing.