Gregor Potemkin had two great life passions: one (historically factual) was humping Catherine II, Empress of Russia, while the other (still disputed by historians) was to build carton towns to impress her majesty while showing to her the empire's Crimean dominions --from the comfort of their carriage, of course. Either way, the term Potemkin Village has come to mean any phony montage to create the appearance that everything is honky dory while, in reality, behind the veil the circus is crumbling down or there is no circus at all, mind you.
I have no hesitation, then, to assert that what we have in the West is a Potemkin Media. Let me repeat that for you: Western mainstream media is a Potemkin Media, i.e. a false, cheap carton facade which gives the impression of a nicely oiled, well staffed, and civically functional information dissemination machine; but one that, once you scratch the tinfoil surface, hides a plethora of smelly, dead raccoons, bubbling rivers of fetid sewage, and half-eaten peanuts plucked out right off Satan's feces.
Alright, I got a bit extravagant in the use of language there. Alas, the gist of it all remains. Uh, you get the idea, right?
Banana Republic News
Now, by the above I don't mean to go into the fake news song. That's a dead horse and one beaten even after it has been autopsied. It is a cold, hard fact: There is an actual battle taking place on everyone's TV, smartphone, and monitor, throughout the entire civilized world, where there is no telling off anymore fact from fiction. Once upon a time, the state-controlled screens of banana republics were the laughing stock of the refined people of the West for how crude they were in their portrayal of lies and the depiction of their glorious leaders. I recall, in my youth, seeing images of African, Asian or Latin American gorillas in military gear, their chests crisscrossed by dozens of invented medals.
Do you really think Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedic genius for portraying General Aladeen in The Dictator film? Nah, his mediocre body of work tells you that he got lucky on this one, but he did so by portraying very, very well what was a reality back in the 70s and later, and even to this day though only in some really backward countries. But, who's laughing now? That is why Western media is just a facade: Their headquarters are impressive and sumptuous, their IT and design departments have millions-worth, state of the art equipment operated by hundreds if not thousands of flying monkeys chained to their desks, their social media departments are manned 24/7 by an army of liberal arts grads whose other employment choice was Starbucks or lecturers in gender studies or critical theory, and their anchors have paparazzi following them as they do with any other top notch celebrity raking in millions in salaries, bonuses, and sponsorships.
And yet... where are the news? There are no news. Instead of news Americans get Don Lemon acting like a freaking murderous fascist and preaching to his viewers that the biggest threat to the USA is people of a certain color and gender. Instead of news Swedes get an incestuous porking between the government and the media to literally gag their citizens from even mustering a word about immigrants raping, bombing, and killing. And Brits, just like the vermin inhabiting Brussels at our expense, don't get dispassionate and factual coverage about Brexit but instead a three layer cake of dung. And this goes on and on throughout the entire world. The masks have come off. News outlets are openly partisan and not only they blatantly hide things while overexposing others, obviously with an agenda in mind, but they partake in a cannibalistic feast of proclamations with the vigor and zeal of someone whose life depends on it.
So, who's Gregor Potemkin here? Who is playing Catherine II? And what is Crimea? In a nutshell: what do we make out of this? For starters, let's get the hardest thing out of the way: You are Catherine II. Yes, you. Your eyeballs are connected to your heart and your heart moves the hand that reaches for the pocket, not your brain. Your clicks and your votes and your manufactured outrage are to the media what Catherine II's luscious body was to Señor Gregorio. And, in order to get one more slice of that sweet, sweet attention, whomever profits from the Crimea of the political industry has erected an entire phony media complex to parade it in front of you and make you believe that democracy has matured to the extent that you can just relax. The most dangerous thing about this room of mirrors and fog and trinkets is that, with the candidness of a child, millions of people sincerely believe that the world is at a stage where humans no longer will descend into the murderous ape who is willing to obliterate its fellows when synthetically frenzied to the extreme of paranoia. Nothing more far from the truth.
In order to maintain the money making merry-go-round of the political industry going on and on and on, you have to be shown the bells and whistles of a supposedly professional media that is sincerely dedicated to feeding you the facts, dedicating fair and equal time to all major events and adding a balanced color by unattached experts who can chew down for you complex topics. Instead, you get a crude, amateurish wing of whatever power group is bankrolling the circus. For me, they're paramilitary wings that use cameras and microphones instead of bombs and AK-47s. They push people into an euphoria in which it is totally a-o.k. to spit on the face of those who think differently, in a best case scenario, or, in the worst case scenario, shoot them down. By keeping everyone in a constant state of outrage and forced ignorance, the masses are malleable pieces of clay in the hands of the spectacle of an apparently existing media.
Maslow's Crutch Because Why Not?
Now, if you don't mind, please imagine in your mind a drumroll because this is the moment when you will ask: and why do people put up with that? And, now, please bring the drumroll into a grand finale because here comes the answer: It's biology and, by saying that, I also mean culture --because our culture is not infinitely malleable as the Marxists may want you to believe but it is constrained within the evolutionary limits of nature. You see, humans have been cursed with self-awareness while living in an extremely complex, dangerous, and changing world. The cheetah doesn't think about what is good or where did the cheetah come from or even where do cheetahs go when they die. The cheetah chases antelopes, tackles them, and eats them, and there's no inch of feeling in that. It's simply what the cheetah does. Then the cheetah sleeps, pees, craps, mates, chills out, licks itself like a house cat, and that goes on and on until the cheetah dies. Like a cold, perfect, and precise clock that kicks off in the womb of mama cheetah and ends when Don Cheetah hangs up the paws. You? Not so much. You are mighty as a titan because you walk erect and have an impressive brain mass with a sharp frontal cortex, and, at the same time, you are extremely vulnerable to the certainty of your own mortality and, thus, overflowing with questions about good and evil that cut through the middle of your heart. You, human, have an in-built software on top of which you code and that is called a worldview. You can read more about it here, courtesy of Leo Apostel and truly yours' interpretation of his philosophical model.
So, that matrix of questions through which you make sense of the world around (and inside) you must to glue up, you see? Otherwise, you would be like a car that instead of four identical tires it has a set made of one flat tire, one wooden cart wheel, one concrete square, and one triangular one, i.e. an utter and baffling bad circus disaster. A car that moves forward only at a great cost until it breaks down, destroys the pavement, and wreaks havoc for everyone around. Having one part of the worldview matrix inside you not gluing up causes cognitive dissonance and, thus, crippling stress. It can drive people mad or, worst, socially catatonic. In an extremely complex world, with limited lifetime, and a sac of physiological, safety, social, self esteem, and self-actualization needs, an individual has to cut corners by reaching into his satchel and grabbing pre-coded software that saves time and effort. For example, notice how at the core of the worldview model is a meta question built on tradition. We are not blank slates and any thinker worth its salt knows this --even (instinctively at least) the critical theory charlatans infesting the sociology, English, literature, and gender studies departments at universities all over the world.
When a person subscribes to a certain theology (and by that I mean it in the sense Eliade thought of man as essentially homo religiosus), whether by design or chance, it brings a balsam of calmness to his heart because it makes a bit sense of the world through the lenses of piles and piles of historically compiled "certainties". However, as the individual lives, questions come up with existence that the human has to decipher and, if for some reason there's a glitch and his worldview can't tackle that question, the choices are to discard or incorporate that new bit of information, tweaking the worldview and, by definition, causing it to step one inch closer to entropy.
The Show Must Go On
This is where the Potemkin Media kicks in. It is an observable fact that the news are feeding you not a mere string of facts as they occur but, instead, highly editorialized versions of it. And, by doing so, tweak your worldview to push you into a certain direction. At its most crude, that makes you click, and by clicking you unleash that sweet ad money into their coffers; but at its most sophisticated, that conscious herding orchestrated by the vested interests behind media allows for spotting, analyzing, categorizing, pre-programming, and, ultimately, manipulating their clientele in any way they wish.
Now, how do you spot if you're dealing with Potemkin Media? Here are the Top 10 giveaways that the media you're trusting is balderdash.
The tangible part of the media outlet in question is flashy, modern, and full of bling.
The faces delivering you the news resemble celebrities more than news professionals.
Exercising "journalism" is suddenly extremely safe and profitable for those delivering the goods to you.
One piece of news reads very differently from one outlet to the other, particularly between ideologically opposing (a.k.a. owned) sources.
When getting the news, you get emotional rather than reflective.
The analysis you get is suspiciously bombastic, full of adjectives, and poor in argumentation and supporting data.
"Gregor" shows you the "village" from the distance of the carriage, never up close.
After all collapses, you remember how different the story seemed weeks or months before.
If you're getting the news from a source you "love", you never feel discomfort but, instead, always end up confirming what you already believed.
During the news dump, while your eyes are fixed on the screen, you have that eerily feeling that "Gregor" is behind you and he's humping you.
Give it a try. Next time you open the laptop or the smartphone, or turn on the TV, take a step back and ask yourself these 10 questions. If you encounter 4 out of the 10 giveaways from the top 10, you're Catherine II looking at a Potemkin Media from the comfort of a carriage where most likely you're getting humped.
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