Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mind Control

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After World War II our leaders moved into a new world of mind-control. When planning their next move, they ask themselves, "How dumb are the boobs (that's us) this morning?"

Controlling what people think is not something new. Apparently, Elizabeth I knew the value of — and was adept at — manipulating public opinion. This was almost 500 years before Edward Bernays and Sigmund Freud. New tools were available after the War, especially television. The public mind had already been massaged with newspapers, advertising, radio, newsmagazines and public education. Easy credit was fuelling the post-war boom of the Fifties. Sex was becoming the most important tool to sell stuff. Sex, sex, sex everywhere …

Rock 'n Roll replaced the music of preWar generations. It was a simple four chord "chonga-changa" thumpa thumpa. It was raw and it was incessantly hammered home over the radio. Recording moguls discovered that the more frequently disk jockeys played a tune, the more recordings the "listening public" would buy. Paying disk jockeys to play a tune over and over was called "payola". It was a huge scandal. The youngsters (that was us) were incessantly told that their parents were dumb and that they were smart. They were told what they should like too. Since they didn't have any ideas of their own, because they were youngsters, and their parents were dumb, that left only the people preaching "youth liberation" to lead the newly "liberated" youth. The youth followed their liberators and made them rich.

Dick Clark was one of the Pied Pipers who lead the revolution.

I didn't like Dick Clark, who has for decades been labelled "America's oldest teenager." Dick Clark and others told us what we were supposed to like. Specifically, they told us what music we were supposed to like. "Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaicovski the news.."

Dick Clark told us that we were supposed to like standing for hours in the cold in Times Square in New York City while we waited for New Years. Why would anyone want to do that? His real message was that we should like watching people shivering in the cold in Times Square. I would rather be at a posh ball at the Walrorf Astoria with a beautiful woman who was wearing a beautiful gown. We would dance to Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians. We would sip champaign and wait for New Years with friends. This is what adults did, I observed as a child who watched movies with Fred and Ginger. This was something to look forward to doing when I became an adult. Oh boy! This would be great!

But as we grew up, that future was eliminated. We were robbed. We got Dick Clark and his American Bandstand.

I would rather go to bed early than shiver in the cold in Times Square waiting with 50,000 strangers for a lighted ball to drop. Who dreamed up that "tradition"? Some of those people standing in Times Square are pickpockets and prostitutes. Times Square was the seedy home of peep shows, tattoo parlors and porno shops. Maybe it still is. Then we have the "music" from the Top Ten which is broadcast between inanities spoken by Dick Clark. Dick was inane even before he had a stroke. For years, everyone has watched New Years with Dick Clark. I didn't. This year, I tuned out when "Black Eyed Peas" came on. This is fun?

Times Square and New York City were important sixty years ago, but time has passed them by. I hate this stuff.

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