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New Adam Curtis documentary


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Did you actually read the article you linked to?

Ames doesn't dispute much of what Pomerantsev says. His primary issue is that Pomerantsev neglects the American propaganda machine.

It's amazing how quickly you turn on someone when he doesn't hew to your line of the west being the worst evil in the world.

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Century of the Self is another great one - as well as Bitter Lake and Hypernormalisation (the latter of which sort of touches on similar themes to the new documentary)

Bitter Lake is excellent really. it's so focused on the topic. says so much about foreign policy and economic intervention. i like all his docs. they really soak the brain when watched in series. 

This is on my watch list, maybe one for tonight. I like Curtis, despite his faults, I'll always find something useful to pick up and explore. Century of the Self and All Watched Over By Machines of Lo

Did you actually read the article you linked to?

Ames doesn't dispute much of what Pomerantsev says. His primary issue is that Pomerantsev neglects the American propaganda machine.

It's amazing how quickly you turn on someone when he doesn't hew to your line of the west being the worst evil in the world.

lol, nice try. I actually interviewed Mark about his upcoming article before he wrote it and he is probably 99% on the same page as me about all this stuff to be quite honest. Maybe you should take a listen to it? flol (thanks for the cute psychoanalysis that was amusing)

[ above sc link is me interviewing Mark Ames about the article]

 

If you think Peter Pomerantsev is genuine you might want to look up all his appearances starting with the ones at the most infamous neocon think tank on the planet the Foreign Policy Initiative aka Project For a New American Century 2.0 (literally not figuratively, same thinktank, new name). At this point im getting quite tired of these half assed attempts to try to takedown things i've actually spent years researching.

 

if you mean turining on Curtis, i haven't. I just think its interesting that he was a poor researcher enough (or didn't care ?) to use a quite obvious propagandist as a source for his story.

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Taken from that rambling article which hits at a whole host of people:

"Because on the one hand, his [Pomerantsev's] book’s thesis — Kremlin political technologists manipulating a virtual reality via television on a vast new scale — has a lot of truth to it, and is worth studying."

 

and

 

"His descriptions of Kremlin propaganda, and the “political technologists”’ mastery of stage-managing a virtual reality designed to keep Putin in power and project a sense of stability, are important for anyone interested in politics and perception-management. His descriptions of avant-garde art connoisseur-turned-Putin political technologist Vladislav Surkov, “the political technologist of all Rus,” is even brilliant at times"

 

So he's not disputing much of the stuff that Pomerantsev writes about Russia.

 

But then we get this:

 

 

"Pomerantsev doesn’t provide ... broader context, it turns out, because that would get in the way of where he wants to lead us — to alarmist conclusions, and a familiar old neocon agenda, which he peddles hard and crude at the end of his book, where he portrays Putin’s Russia as a direct existential threat to everything westerners cherish.

The real giveaway for me, which got me looking into who Pomerantsev works for, was his choice of heroes in the scary Kremlin information wars: western investors, and western global financial institutions."

 

Ames goes on to detail some terrible people - who made bank doing shady deals in Russia. And why were they able to make these deals? Do you think it might be because of a lack of transparency? Or that the culture of corruption there is so pervasive that it's possible to get away with these kinds of deals? Remember these people did terrible things working with Putin and his ilk.

 

So Ames himself admits that Pomerantsev makes some valid points on criticizing Russia's propaganda machine. It's just that he's doing it for the wrong reasons.

 

Time for my own rambling rant.

Yes PNAC is a shithole, as is the follow-up. And yes the fear-mongering is bullshit. But again - if you think Putin is an angel with no expansionary vision of what Mother Russia should be, you're simply not paying attention. And if you think living in the west is an onerous struggle against "the man", I would suggest it's because you haven't really lived anywhere where it really is a struggle against the government.
Like you, I don't agree with a lot of neocon policies - interventionism (unless there's a clear danger of genocide - as is the case in Myanmar right now with the Rohingya), deregulation of capital markets, stupid wars on drugs and terrorism, and fear-mongering.

 

Unlike you though - at least from what I can gather - I believe that western democracy is the best form of governance, as it's the only one that allows people to have any input at all. Is it perfect? No. Is it an adaptable framework that allows for meaningful change? Yes.

Is some form of market based economic activity perfect? No. Is it better than anything else we've come up with so far? Yes.

I also don't believe that there's some global conspiracy for the control of the world.

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A new one from Adam Curtis to be released on the BBC Iplayer on 16th October, called 'HyperNormalisation'

 

'The film shows that what has happened is that all of us in the West - not just the politicians and the journalists and the experts, but we ourselves - have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all around us, we accept it as normal.'

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/hypernormalisation-adam-curtis-bbc-documentary-to-look-at-why-the-world-is-so-hopelessly-fcked-a7322391.html

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Interesting. Sounds like something similar to what Baudrillard argued in Simulacra and Simulation.

 

wiki:

 

 

Simulacra and Simulation is most known for its discussion of symbols, signs, and how they relate to contemporaneity (simultaneous existences). Baudrillard claims that our current society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols andsigns, and that human experience is of a simulation of reality. Moreover, these simulacra are not merely mediations of reality, nor even deceptive mediations of reality; they are not based in a reality nor do they hide a reality, they simply hide that anything like reality is relevant to our current understanding of our lives. The simulacra that Baudrillard refers to are the significations and symbolism of culture and media that construct perceived reality, the acquired understanding by which our lives and shared existence is and are rendered legible; Baudrillard believed that society has become so saturated with these simulacra and our lives so saturated with the constructs of society that all meaning was being rendered meaningless by being infinitely mutable. Baudrillard called this phenomenon the "precession of simulacra".
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 bitter lake was so pointless that i don't need to know what this guy thinks about the topic that he's purporting to be delving into. I suggest that it will be an insight free zone, filled with a plethora of connections that don't actually lend any weight or credence to his overall argument, but their sheer volume and cavalier use will convince the weak minded whom are easily bamboozled by the bombastic and the fantastic. So it will be those that he is criticizing that will most buy into his argument, an argument which will likely have no point other than the revelation that 'meh, things suck and stuff happened'.

 

 Of course it might be fun, with lots of unseen archival footage and have a nice soundtrack, getting back to a form which he has not regained since Century of the Self. Really though, books and long form interviews with the interesting are the best way to find things out. Documentaries are an awesome medium but the mainstream doesn't make anything worthwhile these days.

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entire doc on youtube:

 

7/10

would buy soundtrack

 

3 points deducted for needless exaggeration: 

 

 

among others: "and everybody (emphasized) was possessed by dark forebodings"

https://youtu.be/-fny99f8amM?t=1h34m48s

good one narrator, now I can't entirely trust everything you say

 

he tends to claim entire societies or religions, or governments all hold some particular view

i'm suspicious of the oversimplification, and therefore suspicious of the whole thing

 

 

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  • 3 years later...

Has anyone caught any of the new film, Can't Get You Out Of My Head?

I'm only finished with episode 1 but wow, he has really firmed up nicely his theory on individualism versus collective action quite nicely in this one. Some very interesting characters even in the first episode. Looking forward to the rest of it.

So far this one feels like a summary of his main arguments drawn from prior/recent works of his but the characters and drama in this one appear to be a lot more exciting and thought provoking.

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6 hours ago, chenGOD said:

already found/downloaded all parts of the series. thank you internet. 

edit: they're all on youtube now on his channel. click title link to go to there. 

 

 

Edited by ignatius
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Fascinating documentary - thanks for the rec. 

Just finished part 3. Really makes a lot of very complex topics about our societies shine clearly. Especially liked seeing the contrast between the historical figures he highlights (Shakur, Ching, Michael X) and the revolution movements they helped lead.

What Curtis docs should I watch next?

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Century of the Self is another great one - as well as Bitter Lake and Hypernormalisation (the latter of which sort of touches on similar themes to the new documentary)

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18 minutes ago, Dale said:

Century of the Self is another great one - as well as Bitter Lake and Hypernormalisation (the latter of which sort of touches on similar themes to the new documentary)

Bitter Lake is excellent really. it's so focused on the topic. says so much about foreign policy and economic intervention. i like all his docs. they really soak the brain when watched in series. 

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On 2/23/2021 at 11:48 AM, Extralife said:

What Curtis docs should I watch next?

Century of the Self and Power of Nightmares are probably his best. I found Bitter Lake to be a bit simplistic in its take, it felt rushed and without the rigor of the two I mentioned. Same for All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.

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11 hours ago, chenGOD said:

Century of the Self and Power of Nightmares are probably his best. I found Bitter Lake to be a bit simplistic in its take, it felt rushed and without the rigor of the two I mentioned. Same for All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.

i thought bitter lake was the most conceptually focused but perhaps i don't know enough about the history to dispute anything he said.  there was a lot of new information there for me. i should rewatch it and see how it goes. 

 

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I think I would agree that it’s the most focused, but I think that’s where the “accusation” that it’s too simplistic comes into play, ironically. The international relations Curtis talks about in Bitter Lake arose as part of a complex web of discrete yet interdependent events, and by focusing the documentary on that one small event it gives the impression that it is primarily responsible for much of the geopolitics in the region after. 
I’m definitely not an expert in the Middle East (because I’m not a masochist), but it’s easy to see that while the  topic of the film is an important event, there is a lot that goes on around it that is just as important, and I feel like Curtis is a skilful enough documentarian that he could have brought more of that into the film. 
It’s still well done and worth a watch, but just something to keep in mind when watching it, IMO bbq thnx

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