rewiring my brain with nonsensical online jokes so the government can't mind control me :brain4:

this seems like a joke but the problem with the notion of 'mind control' is that people react to same, or only very subtly different (same noise at slightly different volumes or w/e), stimuli at wildly different ways. at the very least you'd have to precondition the targets on the same kind of semiotic language

you can see this as part of the underlying worry about the 'post-truth era' or whatever: the less government and mass media are able to control what kind of stimuli you subject yourself in the normal course of things, the less they're able to predict your reactions when they have something to sell you

this doesn't need to mean cia brainwashing rays: just think of the way newspapers layer in words meant to create a feeling of vague threat in the most innocuous articles about designated enemy nations, or how a huge part of how advertising is supposed to work relies on this dictionary of symbols everyone is supposed to have internalised such that a certain shade of lavender should immediately light up 'dependable, yet affordable' in your brain or w/e

burroughs had this idea of the (nonexistent) mayan 'priest caste' as telepathic 'senders', who used the ritual calendar to exert precise control over what kind of sights and sounds the lower classes would be exposed to at any given time, thus priming them for being controlled. his framing here is absolutely fucking rancid obvs, but you can kind of see this same principle as the function of the mass media landscape

when michael bay shows you first disorienting blurry shapes, then an explosion, and finally soldiers saluting an american flag while uplifting music plays, that's almost comically unsubtle conditioning

most of this isn't by purpose ofc, it's more that this is the shape the media industry — this organism that lives on being able to get you to consume what you've already been consuming, forever — has ended up growing into

surreal memes aren't an antidote in themselves; rather its the breakdown of meaning and the fractal proliferation of subcultures that more and more comes to mean individuals exist as nexuses of mutually unintelligible symbolic languages. what's funny or comforting or threatening to you is no longer what the people who write the news think it should be. ofc culture has never been uniform, merely pretended to be, but currently i think we're seeing the impossibility of the system catch up to it

@esvrld this thread didn't make sense to me until I read @_ 's posts about the role of the artist under capitalism

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!