Tag Archives | Television

Psy-Ops and Learned Helplessness

From 2007, Peter Chamberlin writing at the Atlantic Free Press:

For many years, American society has lived under a state of siege. We have constantly been bombarded, every minute of every day, with psychological conditioning that is meant to lead us into a state of hopelessness. We are addicted to the source of this Pavlovian conditioning – television. This medium serves as an extension of the government propaganda apparatus, pumping-up the fear and anxiety levels, until the people become numb, convinced that we are helpless in a roiling sea of great dangers. We are literally being scared to death, so that we will give-up, roll over, and play dead. They want our surrender to be assured before they take the final steps to murder our democratic-Republic.

The people don’t understand that they are the source of all power within this Republic. Our task, as we fight those who seek to force nuclear war against Iran upon us, is to remind the people of their power and their freedom to reject another illegal, immoral war, to be fought on behalf of Israel.

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Finale Prep: Your ‘Mr. Robot’ Conspiracy Theory Field Guide

Are any of you into the TV series Mr. Robot? It’s developed something of a cult following, not least for its conspiracy and hacker culture dog whistles. The show’s finale was delayed from last week due to the live broadcast shootings in Virginia, but if you’re planning on catching the show tonight, Grantland has a convenient “conspiracy theory field guide” to use on your second screen:

Two weeks ago, I hadn’t really paused to think about how idiotic all my passwords are. If you asked me about honeypots or raspberry pi(e)s I’d assume you were talking Winnie the Pooh or sickly-sweet deserts. The closest I’d come to experiencing true paranoia about consumerism and brands was the hell of submitting to a baby shower registry. (Seriously, though: Big Baby is no joke.) And then I started binge-watching Mr. Robot.


If you’re reading this, I don’t have to explain to you what Mr.

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Television Viewing Linked to Higher Injury Risk in Hostile People

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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences via ScienceDaily:

People with hostile personality traits who watch more television than their peers may be at a greater risk for injury, potentially because they are more susceptible to the influence of television on violence and risk-taking behaviors, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis discovered.

The research, published online in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, suggests that a reduction in television viewing and content rating systems geared not just to age, but also personality traits, may reduce injury risk.

“Television viewing is very pervasive, with televisions in almost 99 percent of American households. And injuries cause more than half the deaths among people ages 1 through 44. This means that even modest reductions in television viewing, particularly among people predisposed to hostility, could have major positive outcomes for public health,” said lead author Anthony Fabio, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health.

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True Detective Season 2, Breaking Bad, & Weaponized Memes


Photoshop Art by Jasun Horsley

There were high expectations for the second season of Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, and a lot of people were disappointed by what they got. It became a form of strange enjoyment for many viewers to “hate-watch” the show and then bitch about it afterwards via social media. Why was the show so ferociously maligned? Besides the usual sort of backlash that occurs when an artist (Nic Pizzolatto) gains a too-rapid reputation as a cultural hero, only to have it stripped away by the same voices that gave it to him, there was also something subtler and darker at work.

While discussing the show with an H.P. Lovecraft-exegetist, Heather Poirier, she brought up the idea of the American Dream as a weaponized meme. Poirier suggested that people who pursue their happiness based on unrealistic ideals become carrier of a cultural virus and have to destroy parts of themselves in order to attain their goals—or even just to feel like they are attaining them.… Read the rest

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These Cartoon Conspiracy Theories Will Ruin Your Childhood

Depending on your age, different kids’  TV cartoons will likely have been seminal influences on your childhood. Now if the cartoons were really leeching subversive ideas into the consciousness of those kids, what’s the long term effect? Could we attribute the emergence of hallucinogenic rave culture in ’90s UK to all those acid-themed episodes of The Magic Roundabout?

magic roundabout

VH1’s Christopher Rosa suggests that a whole slew of conspiracy theories might just ruin your favorite cartoons. Maybe it explains the explosion of conspiracy theory stories in all sorts of unlikely places … like VH1!

If you’re a late ’80s/early ’90s baby, then you’re probably familiar with the golden age of cartoons; the RugratsHey Arnold!, and Scooby Doo weren’t just TV shows, but ways of life. But of course Internet trolls have to crap all over our childhoods and publish conspiracy theories that suggest our favorite cartoons weren’t as innocent as we thought.

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Steven Spielberg To Adapt Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ For TV

BraveNewWorld FirstEdition.jpgI don’t doubt that Aldous Huxley’s classic Brave New World is on many a disinfonaut’s list of top novels. Apparently it’s one of Hollywood stalwart Steven Spielberg’s favorites too and now he has the green light to turn it into a television series for Syfy, per the Hollywood Reporter:

The Emmy-winning team behind Syfy’s Taken is reuniting for another science fiction classic.

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television is adapting Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World as a scripted series for the NBCUniversal-owned cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Brave New World — ranked fifth among the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century by Modern Library — is set in a world without poverty, war or disease. Humans are given mind-altering drugs, free sex and rampant consumerism are the order of the day, and people no longer reproduce but are genetically engineered in “hatcheries.” Those who won’t conform are forced onto “reservations,” until one of the “savages” challenges the system, threatening the entire social order.

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LA Times: “If Clinton loses this election, it will not be television’s fault.”

The left oriented press criticized the Republican National Committee in 2013 for accepting a resolution that would ban CNN and MSNBC from covering the republican candidacy debates.

WHEREAS, former Secretary Hillary Clinton is likely to run for President in 2016, and CNN and NBC have both announced programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton; and

WHEREAS, these programming decisions are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election; and

WHEREAS, airing this programming will jeopardize the credibility of CNN and NBC as supposedly unbiased news networks and undermine the perceived objectivity of the coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign by these networks…

RESOLVED, that if CNN and NBC continue to move forward with this and other such programming, the Republican National Committee will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor…

The rhetoric from critics is the same argument we have all heard over the years…”you mean fox news is biased?” “They at least report news, Fox is nothing but bias” and so on.… Read the rest

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David Lynch Doubts Return Of Twin Peaks In 2016 Due To “Complications”


David Lynch has expressed doubts about Twin Peaks returning in 2016 due to “complications.”

Welcome to Twin Peaks has the story:

Worrying reports are coming in from readers of Welcome to Twin Peaks who attended the opening of the Between Two Worlds exhibition in Brisbane and the disturbing news is being confirmed by the Twittersphere: David Lynch last night raised doubts about the widely announced return of Twin Peaks on Showtime in 2016.

During a sold out Q&A event and conversation with David Strattan at QPAC, the director and artist was asked whether “Twin Peaks was definitely happening.” David Lynch, breaking his self-imposed code of silence, responded: “I don’t know. There are complications.

Check out the rest hereWelcome to Twin Peaks will continue providing live updates at their site.

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The Brilliant ‘Black Mirror’

Have any disinfonauts checked out British TV series Black Mirror? A friend recently recommended it to me and a couple of Netflix streams later I’m a true believer (but please Endemol, don’t create an American version as rumored by Variety – it won’t work).

black mirror

It’s a kind of Twilight Zone for the 21st century and has earned an enthusiastic review from the New York Times Magazine:

One of the most disturbing moments in the British TV series “Black Mirror” is what appears to be a passionate love scene. The episode takes place in a version of the future where most people have had small devices, called “grains,” surgically implanted in their heads that can record and replay their memories on demand. As the encounter progresses, it is revealed that the couple are actually having dull and mechanical sex, their eyes grayed out as they both tune into their grains to watch memories of their previous trysts, from an earlier, steamier time in their relationship.

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Welcome to Hollyweed: Why TV Is Going to Pot

Marijuana mania is sweeping the United States, from Wall Street to Hollywood, or “Hollyweed” as the Hollywood Reporter dubs it:

The television industry is catching up with film and learning that pot sells in Hollywood. As more states join the legal marijuana movement and the drug becomes less taboo in the country, entertainment industry insiders say interest in weed-related storylines is at an all-time high.

Showtime series “Shameless,” for instance, which follows Chicago’s dysfunctional Gallagher family and stars William H. Macyand Emmy Rossum, will embark on a major weed arc later this year. The network is also responsible for the mother of all television pot tales, “Weeds,” which starred Mary-Louise Parker as soccer-mom-turned-drug-dealer. The series blazed trails (and spliffs) from 2005 to 2012 and helped put Showtime on the original-programming map.

Showtime isn’t the only pot-obsessed programmer, though; CNBC is in Season 2 of its series “Marijuana in America,” and “60 Minutes” struck ratings gold with a recent pot segment that drew in a whopping 17 million viewers.

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