One important impact of the scum-floating-to-the-top phenomenon that is the Trump Presidency is its addlepation of the political left.
Here, for example, is the meat of an email I just received from Truthout:
“We live in an age where lies can be used to justify pretty much anything: revoke a press pass, deny thousands of people asylum, change laws affecting people’s basic rights. This is somewhat ironic, considering that we live in an age of technology more sophisticated than ever before.”
The proposition here is that, with Trump’s election, we have entered an “age of lies,” with the features listed above.
This is multiply precious.
First of all, the triumph of Trump has been foreseeable, if not predictable, since at least 1987, when The Art of the Deal consolidated this megalomaniacal rentier cretin’s Reaganite fame. Certainly, the thesis that government should be run like a business has always been at the heart of the ongoing Great Restoration/Reagan Revolution.
Et voila, this knownothing TV terminator.
Meanwhile, what kind of age do Truthout‘s people think we lived in before the wonderful Electoral College seated this mentally ill, proudly ignorant election-loser?
Here at TCT, we have always been impressed with the power of this observation by the late Robert L. Heilbroner:
“At a business forum, I was once brash enough to say that I thought the main cultural impact of television advertising was to teach children that grown-ups told lies for money. How strong, deep, or sustaining can be the values of a civilization that generates a ceaseless flow of half-truths and careful deceptions?”
Finally, how cute is it that Truthout supposes that modern technology somehow supports, rather than clashes with, truth-telling? Has the climate for realism and democracy ever suffered a more fateful blow than the one struck by the continuing ascendancy of electronic audio-video machines? That a lefty operation with “truth” in its name can possibly miss the deep importance of the old tech of print literacy and direct human conversation is, I fear, a true sign of the times — times which did not begin in November of 2016.
One question raised by the nature of the totalitarian behavior management discipline that is big business marketing is how its practitioners live with themselves. Here is some verbiage from a comment on today’s Advertising Age site that sheds light on that matter:
“Everyone keeps talking about the consumer. But since when are ads anti-consumer? Ads can be pro-consumer. They can be wonderful, creative stories with an arc and feelings and resonance.”
The author of this revealing comment is (you can’t make this stuff up) one Scott Portugal.
Despite his own breezy justifications, the marketing practitioner is indeed bothered by himself, to the point of paranoia, in fact. “Everybody” is attacking his work.
Next, notice the convenient definition of advertisements. Ads, Portugal tells himself, are what they can be, and what they can be is inherently valuable stories. You know, like Beowulf, The Grapes of Wrath, or your favorite podcast?
And, of course, the real question for everybody not living in a state of self-imposed idiocy is since when are ads pro-consumer (and what the fuck is a “consumer”)?
The level of delusion here is simply spectacular. And, thanks to corporate capitalism, it is the bedrock of the planetary culture. We’re in huge trouble here, folks…
“If anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses, let me know,” Mr. Obama said. “Let me know.”
Obama lied his ass off to us rubes who voted for him. But he sure keeps his promises to the overclass owners of “politics,” doesn’t he?
Today’s delivery, with its typical confirmation of the “bipartisan” [translated from the Doublepseak: non-partisan, one-party] nature of the system, requires no further comment. Even The New York Times can’t disguise this one:
White House Pares Its Financial Reform Plan
The Obama administration on Wednesday abandoned a…significant provision [of its alleged reform plan] in the face of widespread political and industry opposition.
At a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner announced that the administration had dropped one provision in its plan for a consumer financial protection agency — a requirement for banks and other financial services companies to offer “plain vanilla” products, like 30-year fixed mortgages and low-interest, low-fee credit cards.
Mr. Geithner’s decision followed a wave of criticism by Democrats and Republicans, some with close ties to the industry, that the plan was the first step toward a new regulatory regime in which the administration would be handing new powers to government bureaucrats approving and disapproving a wide array of financial products.
When you subscribe to insider business rags, you not only get access to some of the truths behind the lies, you also get a better sense of what’s really newsworthy to the minions of Mammon.
Today’s news flash comes via Advertising Age, which broadcast to its subscribers the word that “P&G Social-Media Strategy Increases Tampon Sales,” with the subhead “Marketer Conclusion: Much More Effective Than Advertising.”
Turns out the big news is that the Procter & Gamble conglomerate has created a website called www.beinggirl.com as a Trojan Horse for boosting tampon sales to girls entering puberty.
The site is described as “subtle” by marketing researcher Josh Bernoff.
Take a look, and see what’s considered subtle by our chief cultural engineers.
The only thing I see that looks subtle is the deceptions advanced on the obligatory “About Beinggirl” page, where P&G passes off its vampirical exploitation of pre-teen girls as a form of genuine human concern. While the two and only two true purposes of Beinggirl are 1) boosting P&G sales, and 2) harvesting extremely high-quality marketing data on a key “market segment,” here is what P&G alleges to Beinggirl users:
Being a girl is like being part of a club where everyone knows what you’re going through…at least on some level. Girls have fun. Girls have opinions. Girls have a lot of questions about stuff like PMS, dating, their bodies and even serious subjects like addiction and abuse – just about anything you can think of that has to do with being a girl.
That’s why we created beinggirl – a place where girls can come together to learn, share, communicate with each other and have loads of fun with games, quizzes, polls and lots more. It’s also THE place to be for the hottest free samples from Always and Tampax, to name a few.
Beinggirl.com, for girls, by girls!
The only line here that’s not a calculated lie is “It’s also THE place to be for the hottest free samples from Always and Tampax, to name a few.”
Such “social-media” marketing is the future. As Bernoff report, P&G reports this campaign has produce a marketing ROI that’s 4 times greater than it’s convention advertising efforts.
Without seeing P&G’s background research, one can only guess at the real business strategy on which this 4x profit result rests. Based on my experience with such secret materials, my best guess is that P&G knows that kids generally aspire to be older than they are. I’d wager that the real targets of this website are not the reported “12 and 13-year old girls just starting menstruation,” but the 10- and 11-year-olds aspiring to become cool, bleeding, sexy middle schoolers and asking mom to start stockpiling P&G tampons, etc., in anticipation of the big day. Selling products to people who don’t need them, in other words.
Of course, there’s no way to know this is the real plan. For reasons I explain in my book, corporate marketers are very secretive about their research findings and their resulting plans. And Procter & Gamble is notoriously brutal about its secrets, even by the already tough standards of the trade.
Nonetheless, as Sherlock Holmes often says, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” P&G is undoubtedly not simply serving girls, as it claims. After all, there was no prior crisis of tamponless girls. Hence, P&G has almost undoubtedly discovered some new way of manipulating their targets into buying more products for some irrational reason(s) known only to it.
To the extent corporate capitalism has time left, this is the kind of thing its planners will be spending their time promulgating, as the world and its pre-teens careen toward the abyss.
At a business forum, I was once brash enough to say that I thought the main cultural impact of television advertising was to teach children that grown-ups told lies for money. How strong, deep, or sustaining can be the values of a civilization that generates a ceaseless flow of half-truths and careful deceptions? (Robert L. Heilbroner)
Big business marketing, as I explain in The Consumer Trap book, is neither more nor less than the adaption of the classic methods of class-struggle-from-above to the purpose of manipulating the off-the-job experiences and behaviors of so-called “consumers.”
As such, the main tactics are threats, false promises, mindfucks (information shifts), and lies/propaganda.
This explains why so many of the world’s most important political shibboleths are essentially aggressive marketing campaigns.