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Thursday, March 17, 2011

PROPAGANDA AND YOU - Part 2 - THE POWER AND INFLUENCE OF IMAGERY AND WORDS



Have you ever considered how much you are influenced by what a friend or a family member might have once said to you? Or by a television commercial you saw? The power of influence in our daily lives is inescapable, that is to say, the power of the information that you hear and see is inevitably going to shape your thinking and opinion.


This is the natural order for human learning, as there is no other way for us to absorb information, whether positive or negative, except by it being relayed to our consciousness by what we hear, see, or otherwise experience through our five senses. As babies we learn how to walk by seeing our parents and others walking, and as they coax us to emulate them we eventually begin to follow their example, until one day we are walking on our own. In the same manner, we learn to talk by hearing patterns of speech over and over again, until one day our gurgling efforts at forming our own words are eventually successful, to our parents ecstatic delight. Thus the formula for how we learn and grow has begun, beginning at birth and stopping only when our bodies and brains cease to function.


Simply stated, everything we know, everything we perceive to be true and real, is received by each of us through the senses, processed through learned (or perhaps instinctive) reasoning, whereby we either accept or reject the information. When we reject something as false or unworthy of assimilating into our daily discipline we do not discard it mentally whole hat, but we in a sense store it in a mental file somewhere in our brain. Picture, if you will,  two file cabinets in your brain. One file cabinet has the label "Accepted Information", and the other, "Rejected Information". Now realize that every day of your life you are constantly bombarded with stimuli and information, both consciously and subconsciously, which is ending up in either one or the other file cabinets. Now understand that how you process this wealth of information could have a profound impact on every decision in your life.


Before we delve too deeply into the repercussions of conscious information and subconscious information, we may want to pause a moment to consider the enormous power that the media wields in modern times to in effect control our thoughts, actions, and asperations. Some of us may be painfully aware of such attempts at manipulation, while I suspect the majority of humanity may be shamefully ignorant of any such influences.


Have you ever wondered why you want to do some of the things you do? For example, a certain musician says he prefers Fender Stratocaster guitars because his idol Jimi Hendrix played one. Further, a young woman buying her first automobile decides to purchase a Toyota because her best friend drives one and told her how much she likes it. This illustrates the power of influence. Now, perhaps this man and woman may change their opinions with time, as their experience with these respective items may vary. Let's say the woman drives her new Toyota and after a year her car begins to develope constant mechanical problems. She eventually trades it in and purchases a Ford. She has effectively taken the information she once accepted (i.e. Toyota's are great cars) and by her own processes has determined the information to be false, therefore rejected. Imagine the file on Toyota automobiles being transferred from the "Accepted" cabinet to the "Rejected" cabinet. She then continues the "algorithm of influence" by telling everyone she knows that Toyota's are terrible cars, and the power of persuasion goes on ad infinitum. By extension of this hypothetical situation we can determine that any information we receive, whether true, false, or undecided, can easily influence our actions and thereby affect critical decisions in our daily lives.

When we start to think about the possibiliies of manipulation the conclusions can be overwhelmingly disturbing. Propaganda, at it's essential core, is such an animal. Truly, when done correctly, such manipulation is as subtle as it is indiscernable, and therefore diabolically malevolent in it's nature.

The best propaganda has at it's essence a kernel of truth which is then exploited. It is rumored that the Devil is the greatest of liars because in part he manages to weave enough truth into his lies as to make one believe even the false aspects of his statements, the conclusion of the listener being, "Well, he was right about that, therefore he must be right about this". Therein lies the danger.

For more than a century mankind has been using propaganda in various forms to manipulate the masses (that's you and me, folks). In times of war, propaganda exploits our feelings of patriotism to elicit a designed response from us, whether it's enlisting in the military, buying war bonds, or evoking a manufactured hatred against our 'enemy'.


In the next installment of PROPAGANDA AND YOU, I hope to illustrate how propaganda can be designed to 'de-humanize' a faction of the population in order to manipulate a generated bias against them. There are several known and recognizable elements to propaganda, and by the end of this series you will be better prepared to process any information that you hear and see. You'll soon be acutely aware of attempts to manipulate your perception, moreso than you were before. 

For now, just begin to consider the amount of useless or even harmful nonsense that is being pumped into your conscious and subconscious mind daily by the continuing stream of media  --  what you hear on the radio,the lyrics to the music, what you see on television and in the movies, and on commercials especially. Is it all propaganda? On some level, it all is. What do you think? Does it influence you? You may not even be aware of the power of it's influence. How about politics...is political speak propaganda? Most assuredly, friend! Every politician, for good or bad, is trying to influence you to their agenda. Even local and national news broadcasts are controlling what is being told to you in one fashion or another. This is especially evident as one analyzes the differing political bent portrayed from one 'news' channel broadcast to another  --  one channel may pander to the left, while another may pander to the right. Depending on your own personal views, you may prefer one slant over the other, but please understand that each POV is still likely expressing a bias in one form or another. Someone writes the stories that the anchor reads on air...who decides what news story is 'worthy' of being told? And how is that story being told? What of the stories that aren't being told to you? Ultimately, someone other than you has a lot of power and control over what you are being told day in and day out.

Also, as you become more aware, you can then start to consider the many levels of perception, and how elements of the media are trying to tell you something as they are trying to sell you something. That is, the words you hear are the conscious message, while there is likely a more devious message being relayed to your subconscious mind, unaware. It is all real, and we will explore it all, little by little, until the truth becomes exposed for all to see.

I'm asking you to wake up, a little bit at a time.
Let's start using our brains again. That's what they are for.
Not for others to try to control.







Seek the truth, and you will find it.










“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
-- Joseph Goebels


Propaganda: "Persuasive communications directed at a specific audience that are designed to influence the targeted audience's opinions, beliefs and emotions in such a way as to bring about specific, planned alterations in their behavior. The information communicated by the propagandist may be true or false, the values appealed to may be sincerely held by the propagandist or cynically manipulated, and the presentation may be either logically and dispassionately argued or rhetorically tailored to arouse the most irrational emotions and prejudices -- but the message content of propaganda is always deliberately selected and slanted to lead the audience toward a predetermined mindset that benefits the cause of the propagandist."

-- Paul Johnson, Auburn University










Saturday, March 12, 2011

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - "ABE AND THE ALIEN" PRINTS NOW ON SALE!



SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

I've been busy working on a few projects,
one of which is preparing for the sale of my original artwork poster prints!

The 1st prints I'm offering is a two (2) print set containing my original artwork that was published on the cover of SLAM BANG #3, (Fan-Atic Press). These print sets are limited to only 250, and when they're gone, they're gone! So don't miss out! Offered for the initial low bargain price of $29.95 per set, you will receive 2 beautiful high-quality prints on heavy stock, suitable for framing and/or lining the birdcage!

You will receive one large 11" x 17" full color cover reproduction art and one smaller 8" x 10" sized faux photo-look B&W print. These are unique, rare, and hilarious, and you can only buy them from me (the artist) exclusively! Created originally for SLAM BANG's issue devoted to "Mostly True Stories", they depict the slightly skewed reality of our 16th president's final evening, as he is stalked by a most unlikely assassin!

To order your set, click here or on the image above, or contact me at



THANK YOU!

_________________________


...Coming soon...

PROPAGANDA AND YOU  -  Part 2


Please stay tuned!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

TIME TO START DRILLING NOW!!



Everyone complains about the rising gas prices, but nobody does anything about it.



It seems that our leaders do not know how to lead us anymore, except to lead us straight to Hell in a handbasket. The world as we know it, life as we have known it, is disappearing. It is being engulfed in flaming tide of unrest that is sweeping through the Middle East and shows no signs of ending. All the while our President sits indifferent in his ivory tower, content to make calculated soundbites contrived in a way so that he offends nobody and says, in effect, nothing, and does, in reality, nothing.


Meanwhile, as Obama and his cabinet determine the best way to do nothing and to not offend his Muslim constituency without doing anything that may make him look at all like his predecessor Bush, the rest of us, you and me, we're stuck out here trying to put gas in our cars without spending our entire paychecks at the gas-pump in one sitting.


The USA has waited too long to renew drilling for oil at home. We have to do everything in our power to end our dependency on foreign oil NOW!! We cannot waste any more time, we have to act decisively RIGHT NOW!!




It seems apparent that radical Muslim elements throughout the Middle East are not about to stop the unrest and increasingly violent protests that began in Tunisia and continued like so many falling dominoes throughout Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Yemen, and now Libya. Saudi Arabia is now scrambling in fear of growing Shiite protests expected this week, and when the oil supply in Saudi Arabia is threatened, you and I are the losers...gas prices will sky-rocket to unbelievable heights!


Speculators are now saying that the $5.00 or more a gallon gas prices we were expecting later this year are now being predicted to arrive much sooner because of the protests and the dangerous disruption of stability in the Middle East regions.


America, we need to wake up! Our leaders are doing nothing to prevent the inevitable inflation of our imported oil prices that threatens to destroy our way of life! We need oil to operate in our modern world, but we have to do something fast to alleviate the financial stranglehold that essentially leaves us at the mercy of foreign oil! As it exists today, the general population of the USA are slaves to these foreign oil billionares...we cannot continue our daily lives without oil, and if they continue to raise the price of a barrel of oil every time somebody in the Middle East sneezes, where does that leave us? It leaves us at their mercy. And they have yet to show us any mercy.



I am joining with those who say here in the United States of America, NOW IS THE TIME to end our slavish dependancy on imported foreign oil, and one of the first steps we can do is to end all moratoriums on drilling in the United States so we can start drilling NOW! Prices at the gas-pump are determined by oil futures speculators, and the moment we begin to drill, the prices here will drop, to put it simply. If we don't start drilling now, where will we get our oil tomorrow? How can we afford not to drill now?


To those who say it will be 'too little, too late', I say that doing something is better than doing nothing. To do nothing is ridiculous. We have to once again take control over our own future, over our own lives. If we don't do something immediately, we are risking our entire existance. 


We need to raise our voices now! I am asking every one of you to write letters, send emails, call your congressmen, your senators, your governors! Do it today! Don't be like our President, hiding from responsibility, waiting for the looming doom to all to somehow magically go away...we have waited too long already! If they don't know what to do next, then we need to tell them,
LOUD AND CLEAR!! 


USA,
Start Drilling Today!











CHARLIE SHEEN -- WINNING