I read something massively depressing, recently, so I thought I would share it with you (you’ll thank me later). http://www.alternet.org/media/most-depressing-discovery-about-brain-ever?sc=fb
What the article says is that decisions are not made on the basis of facts, but on emotions. Decisions are not made rationally and perhaps they never will be. Education, good journalism, facts, scientific evidence and reason are no match for what people reckon. In fact, when confronted with true, objective details that challenge what people reckon, they dig their heels in even deeper and reinforce their fallacious beliefs. They’d rather be wrong, but sure of themselves, than corrected, if temporarily destabilised in their world view. Entrenched views are swayed by counter evidence only to the extent that people stick to their guns even more doggedly.
For people trying to challenge accepted orthodoxies and who want to change the world by enlightening their fellow man with reliable, provable, testable evidence, or alternative possibilities, this sounds the death knell. That approach simply isn’t going to work. People’s minds are resistant to being changed, once their guts tell them something that isn’t necessarily true is what they should hold to be true. Even if it isn’t. Don’t present them with facts; they’ve already made up their minds.
What this means is that the first manipulator to reach people at an emotional level, with some new issue or other, has the power to implant any lie they like – permanently. So long as you make it simple, emotional and as folksy as you can, without touching on the nuances and doubts, if you can deliver your manipulative lie so that it appeals to the gut instincts of most people, they’ll latch onto it and never change their minds, no matter what facts to the contrary come to light and no matter how much those that know the real truth try to reveal it and share it.
Shaping the ongoing media narrative, which is from where most people form their gut reactions and what they reckon, is crucial to anybody intent on manipulating everybody into believing what they want them to believe. This is why so much money is lavished on the mainstream media. It’s the reason why media barons hold so much clout. Their business is embedding the ideas their paymasters want to embed in the majority of people. They know, for certain, that once those mistaken ideas are entrenched, no amount of independent, alternative media opinion or solid investigative research can replace them. Once the seed is sown, challenges to what people reckon just serve to strengthen the tenacity of the roots.
What this means, for artists, is that they have a rare opportunity. They have the power to reach people emotionally, through their art. That much has been established over the centuries. So, provided that artists get their ideas in first, bolstered by the emotional impact that their art can deliver, they can be the shapers of what people reckon.
It’s no good railing against ideas that are already entrenched, though. Those battles have, for the moment, been lost. You have to lead the ongoing narrative and sustain that, over the long term. Given that artists, with better ideas and sweeter alternatives for humanity, can begin to lead the narrative and present new ideas, in emotionally affective ways, then humanity can be changed and the world can be moved toward better outcomes for all. The flaw in people’s thinking can be used to advantage, by artists, because they primarily deal in emotional movement, in preference to cold, hard facts. We can change the world by reaching people’s emotions first, before the mainstream media gets to take a bite.
However, for this strategy to work, artists, as a group, would have to be thinking about alternatives and better outcomes and because they, too, have grown up with mainstream media saturation, the likelihood that they can think any differently to everyone else is quite low. Artists, too, reckon what they reckon based on their gut reactions to what the mainstream media has been telling them, since they were babies. To break out of the prison of other people’s lies, which have been deliberately embedded in your own thinking machinery by a massive apparatus dedicated to that purpose, takes quite a lot of personal commitment, effort and reading. Some never even attempt it. Your comfort zone is to take it all in as truth and embed it in your own gut instincts, disguised as what you think. It’s not what you think; it’s what you were told to think. Those are two very different things, whose difference we have been taught to ignore. You have been manipulated. We all have. What you reckon has nothing at all to do with the world of facts, rational proof, evidence and data. What most people believe to be true is a hallucination.
So, artists, there is the challenge. Do you have what it takes to break out of the lies that have been indoctrinated into you and having done so, do you have the will and the determination to think and source better ideas and will you work tenaciously to instil those new ideas into other people’s minds, through the emotional impact of your art, before the mainstream media gets to them? It’s a big ask and a tall order, isn’t it? Unfortunately, the future of humanity depends on it.
You have a choice. You can go back to sleep, living a zombie life, devoid of truth, but in the comfort of being with the majority of similarly deluded automatons, or you can think it all through, come up with alternatives and spread them, using your artistic talents as a vehicle. What are you going to do?