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  1. Being able to deduct expenses is essential for young upstarts, but unforgivable when Nestlé can put out an add that “delivers what the advert promises” (for crying out loud: it IS ad advert).

    Sports-Sponsorship is all pre-tax, as are the players’ expenses. A billionaire CEO racing yachts for fun: we think it’s his expensive hobby, but he didn’t become a billionaire by SPENDING money!

    Jello Biafra: “Maybe the real losers are those who pay to watch.”
    Bill Maher (1st minutes of “Be more cynical”): “You are not the tenth man. You didn’t win. Ten black guys who would hate you if they knew you won. You are a machine for turning beer into piss.”

    Anyone who believes the sheer extent of spectator sports still has the slightest connection to athleticism, please study all the doping and harm done to the contestants. They are the first to suffer. Then observe reporting in the media. Tabloids have become more right-wing in general ever since advertising got big (one of the many useful Chomsky videos on the net says something along those lines), and now even the sports-pages are focused mainly on the personal life of the gladiators. Similar to the phenomenon of elections being made about the candidates and a bunch of fake/amplified issues that don’t really matter (e.g. gay marriage, or a car tax for foreigners in Germany) INSTEAD OF WHAT THE PEOPLE SEE AS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE, e.g. debt, justice, peace, the environment, alternative energies…

    Superficiality is also a safe bet for stressed-out journalists facing a deadline. One reason I got out of the PR-racket: you spend all day frantic to submit something that twelve people might read, but your boss is paying for it…and he needs it by YESTERDAY…uff.

    More about sports: what really attracts us to it? How much of it is just a blocked wish that we’d rather be doing those activities ourselves? “We can never get enough of what we don’t need!” The real struggle isn’t between Team A and Team B, but between me and my other self that wants to CLOG THE BLOG instead of getting up from this chair.

    See first line of the article above ‘on a personal level’! That (and not physical fitness) is also the essence of succeeding in sports. We all know this, deep down, or it wouldn’t sell so many books 😉

    But it isn’t just elections and spectator sports (what’s the difference?) or ‘lower’ distractions: A major Swiss bank recruited clients for illegal money-tricks at a classical music festival it sponsored, before moving on to auto racing in an Arab dictatorship.

    The price we pay is threefold:
    1.) directly, by using their products (or buying from people who do)
    2.) when they deduct expenses pre-tax
    3.) SPIRITUAL – Only rarely do corporations sponsor activities that could help people start to think for themselves.

    “You’ve been told many times before, messiahs pointed to the door, but no one had the guts to leave the temple.” (The Who – Tommy, a rock opera)

    This bears on a kind of growth that cannot be measured in numbers (Growth Domestic Happiness? Gross D.H. in Bhutan?) and newspapers couldn’t sell if they wanted.
    (a) We are by nature drawn to information on the next natural or man-made disaster, because it could be relevant to our immediate survival.
    (b) What Eckardt Tolle calls Pain Body. Maybe I’d blog less if I had read his book. Something to do with focussing on bad things…a kind of addiction-slash-self-fulfilling-prophecy deal.
    (c) Spiritual growth is something so personal. You can’t package it in a mass medium, hence the Tommy quote above and why organised religion is problematic.

    If it wouldn’t be too ‘out there’, I’d post this in the jokes category. Bill Hicks (I quote from memory): “Today a young man on acid realised that all matter is just energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death…

    …how are we gonna keep building nuclear weapons when we realise we’re all one?
    it’s gonna f-up the economy!

    …the economy that’s FAKE anyway.”

  2. [ct’d]

    I hear the question arise:
    “If someone makes a piece of entertainment with borrowed money, but then ends up turning a profit, how could you possibly object?”

    Response: leverage is power!
    Ask Archimedes (Give me a lever…)

    The topic here is allocation of resources.
    Chomsky (quoted from memory): PR is a very inefficient use of resources.
    (Efficient for the advertisers -mk)

    Jello Biafra, original singer of the Dead Kennedys, thus extends the term ‘censorship’ to “bombarding people with too much [irrelevant] information.”

    Do you see the conflict of interest?
    That’s why pop-punk packs its social criticism in code…if there even is any
    …Triumph of the Swill!

    Someone who already has more money than they need, can finance more distractions, and is less likely to produce something that challenges the status quo. There are no movies about people banding together to fix the system (Chomsky mentions ‘Salt of the Earth’, and there’s some workers’ unrest in ‘Ocean’s 13’). Mostly it’s the ‘Die Hard’ shtick where one lone ranger fixes all. And if the antagonist appears to be part of the current power system (e.g. NSA in ‘Enemy of the State’), it always turns out to be a rogue element within that entity, NOT an inherent characteristic of the system.

    Hard to portray abstract ideas in 120 minutes, at least if you want people to return for more popcorn next week 😦

    Galifianakis jokes “If you liked the movie ‘Sideways’, you’ll love ‘The Corporation'” 🙂

    Bring me ONE soap opera financed through crowd funding, with no adverts.

    That’s the crux: our entertainment machine (which I still love, don’t get me wrong…I didn’t watch all those movies out of a sense of duty!) is very good at finding the Lowest Common Denominator, and credit must be given to the many thoughtful writers who (partly through strikes!) defended their right to say what’s in their hearts. See also upcoming article on our main site re. Panem.

    Sometimes late at night, I find my watching stuff on MTV (not music) that I certainly would prefer it had never been made. Yes, it’s a free country. But what if the majority of people watching it feel that way? What if it’s just some voyeuristic freak phenomenon that would go away in a different system of pre-financing?

    Let’s call a spade a spade: Shows like Jersey Shore hook into a very deep part of our subconscious. We “can’t stop watching it” (Bill Hicks on ‘Cops’) because something tells us there’ll be information about SEX. However, there really isn’t that much to learn. Sex isn’t that complicated. We don’t get what we expect, but our mind is open…FOR THAT COMMERCIAL BREAK.

    Much of today’s private TV (and the media in general) is less about providing the audience with information than it is about selling minds to advertisers. The term ‘audience’ is a giveaway in itself.

    Just think of what would happen if we applied all the technology in MMO (massive multiplayer online) games to politics!

    Or if that fails, at least consider what would be produced if we’d have a democratic vote in advance what will be on.

    There the trouble starts, and that’s what the post above this comment is basically about…INFORMATION. There’s a line in the movie A.I. “In this day and age, nothing costs more than information.” That’s before the two robots get tricked by another robot (Robin Williams lending his voice to a funny computer-Einstein) – just like when we look stuff up on the web: we pay for information by involuntarily consuming more information.

    I’m sure someone’s writing a philosophical thesis on this right now.

    Information is not controlled democratically, but it’s used to influence democratic decisions. (Call me Doctor Mingle!)

    Ever miss a program on TV, and try to check online for any repeats on other channels. I like to think I’m quite web-savvy, but it can take half an hour. You check your epg, teletext, the station’s website, youtube, …before you know it I’m watching a kitten play the piano!

    That reminds me of a great tool to avoid wasting time on TV, incidentally: take half an hour to read the TV Times upfront, marking what you know you’d feel good about seeing.

    Notice how I switched from first to second person it that last sentence…giveaway…so much easier to tell others what to do…I gotta quit blogging for a while, folks!

    minglingmike out

  3. anon permalink

    A man’s life in these parts often depends on a mere scrap of information.
    – Fistful of Dollars

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