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CRITICAL ANALYSIS November 4, 2007

Posted by natasha in PROCESS JOURNAL, THOUGHTS.
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Truth Manipulation.

There are two components here. The ‘truth’ and ‘manipulation’.

The truth can be interpreted in two ways: the facts and the belief. The facts consists of figures, datas, and solid scientific or result of experience, whereas belief usually considered as depending on one’s own judgment and notion. Some people say that you cannot have it both ways, but in the realty world is that, these two connotations are often go hand in hand, one derives from the other. Theories is a waste unless one truly believe in it and walk the talk. Belief can also become irrelevant if it ignores knowledge and understanding.

People often gets confused by what to belief in. We are constantly bombarded with information, news, current affairs and other things in between, everyday. In result, it has become very difficult to recognize what is the truth anymore. This is where the word ‘manipulation’ comes in. Progressively, we have developed into a sophisticated modern society, where everything that we need to know and what we want to know can be obtained at the press of a button. And that press of a button or a click of a mouse generates income.

People used to be interested in the truth. Not anymore. As one of our survey participant says, “Well, sometimes they just drill it on you, I try to watch non-mainstream media. Like ABC and SBS, sometimes it can get about tough though watching serious stuff like that all the time. Sometimes the truth is just too much to handle. I just want to go home and relax with a glass of wine when I get home. But it’s good that you guys are poking fun at it. It becomes more ‘digestable’.”

When we started this project, we assumed that the answer was plain evident in front of our eyes. Just blame the media moguls and their manipulative con artists and spin doctors. However, what we have found out is that they only presenting what the audience ‘want’ to see. Gossip tabloids and reality television flourished in this past decade. Hard facts and news are too complicated, too horrible and too bleak for us to receive. The world is too big and its problems are out of reach for us to answer. Also, maybe we have become too spoilt, in two ways: we live in a very comfortable country and we live in a global world where machine dominates the way we live and communicate to one another. Because of this, we seek things that stimulates our emotions. We want to be inspired and motivated, but on the darker side we also are more willing to act when something taps into our fear and anxiety.

The media and advertisers know this. This is why we respond well to tabloids, stories of everyday real-life heroes, celebrities gossips, reality tv and so on. We also responded to the Iraq War when 9/11 happened. Today, Americans have realized or even regretted the War, and blaming it all on Bush, but they forgot that it was their vote and voices that gave the government the seal of approval to fight the terrorist. Why? Because the problem have arrived at their ‘backyard’ and threatened things that are dear to them,their home and security. That’s funny, because the problem have been brewing for number of decades and no one did anything about it. It was to complicated and to far from their ‘world’. It was someone else’s problem not ours. This is the same as the genocide in Rwanda, and currently the problem in Darfur, the starving African children, the war in Burma, and the melting ice caps in Antartica. The problem is still far away.

Celebrities gossips, fashion stakes and local reality tvs all become more appealing, as they are more ‘accessible’ and ‘digestable’. They’re accessible because they are consumative, we can buy the clothes that these people wear, their lifestyle. By doing so we already feel as beautiful and important as they are. Our real self-worth ties to these materialistic goods, and we are ok with it. This why advertising can become so powerful. They taps into these emotive behaviour. Why beauty and lifestyle industry are booming? We are afraid to grow old, because the tabloids tell us no one wants us anymore when we are old and fat. What we forget is that celebrities are also just human, but what is out there are not real. But they master the use of Photoshop and techniques to manipulate or hide their flaws. So advertising taps into our fear and dream. Digestable, because, we don’t need to think much about it. We don’t have to be faced with ethics and moral dilemmas. Our principals and our belief would not be challenged and questioned. But reality tv in it self are not ‘real’. They are staged and carefully planned to produce the outcome that the producers desired. To generate more viewers, boost up the ratings, bringing in more money. In real life, we are meant to deal with issues, big and small. We cannot run away and shut our eyes from these issues.

However, with the same weapon we can also make a difference. We can make a change. We have seen it. Today’s youth are more pro active than any other generation before hand. No longer we are just marching down the street, shouting our contempt and dissatisfaction. People are actually going to the source of the problem and tackling it one step at a time. We found that people will respond as long that they realized that they too can take part in the solution. They become inspired and the problem becomes manageable. They realized that they too have a voice in the matter. They will act when they realized that it is important to protect their home and their ‘world’. And what’s better than doing it together, as the famous cliche says that ‘together we can make a difference’. But we often forget that ‘the change starts from us’. Maybe this is where the problem is. Maybe we don’t want to change. It is too hard to change. We are comfortable in our own zone. So, we accept what’s given to us on the silver plater or on the silver screen. Even though, subconsciously we know that this is not real, we are being dumbed down or everything is fabricated for our viewing pleasure. The truth is that we only want to accept what we want to believe in and we know this. So each night when we go home from work or at the end our day, and we go to sleep , hoping tomorrow will still be there, as long as our loved ones still there safely in their bed, our ‘world‘ is okay. Everything will be okay.

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