In case the name isn’t familiar to you, think back. Picture Barack Obama giving British Petroleum executive Tony Hayward a severe dressing down, ordering him to set aside a $20 billion fund to compensate for damages his company had caused. That little drama made a lot of Americans proud of their “President.”
The problem was that “a little drama” was all it was. It was part of the overall narrative staged for our benefit.
Enter Sidney Greenberg. Mr. Greenberg was the British Petroleum adviser who had allowed White House Chief of Staff (and de facto President of the United States) Rahm Emanuel the use of his New York City apartment rent free for five years. (Click here.)
It gets worse. Over the last 20 years, BP’s political action committees (PACs) have contributed more to Obama’s political campaigns—some $ 77,501—than to any other candidate. (Click here.) A White House spokesman said that Obama didn’t take contributions from Big Oil (or lobbyists, either, as I recall.)
In case you’re thinking that $77,501 isn’t enough to buy a politician, consider that Congressman Marie Landrieu received less than $2,300 from BP, and that was enough to buy the following stupid remark from her: “I mean, just the gallons are so minuscule compared to the benefits of U.S. strength and security, the benefits of job creation and energy security. So while there are risks associated with everything, I think you understand that they are quite, quite minimal.”
That’s not all. Obama’s investment manager dumped BP stocks just weeks before the oil spill and later reinvested the money in an expected Exxon takeover of BP. As a result of this very timely move, Obama stands to gain $185 million from the BP oil spill. (Click here.)
So, you see, the outrage Obama demonstrated toward BP was just a performance staged for the consumption of gullible people. If you think that the performance was just a one-act play, then you still haven’t caught on. It was one of the “feel-good” moments in a novel or movie.
In politics, movies, and novels, the narrative is a story line and perspective toward the story that impels a reader or viewer to take the author’s perspective toward the characters and events. Depending on the narrative (to take a familiar example), the reader can root for the settlers or the Native Americans.
To take another example, we’ve all seen movies in which one person is competing against dozens of others in a competition only one of them can win. The reader or viewer is given a narrative that causes him to want one in particular to win.
The one we desire to win will always be either the one who either deserves to win (such as Jason, the rightful king, who had to win his crown anyway) or the one whose narrative resonates with our own. One such resonation is the true story of Lin Yan, the Cambodian refugee who overcame language and cultural difficulties to win a regional spelling bee. Her story is a narrative that reflects our own difficulties in achieving goals.
To create a narrative that resonates with the target audience, political manipulators use the same techniques as Stephen King and George Lucas. I’ll mention only a few techniques. The Gulf oil spill is an excellent case study, though I’ll bring in other contrived events as needed.
In every well-developed novel or movie, there comes a point—just before the climax—when all appears hopeless. In fact, a character serving as “the voice of the novel” says, perhaps outright, something like, “Only a miracle can save us now,” or words to that effect. (Think about it: Do you recall ever watching a movie that didn’t express hopelessness just before the hero or some unexpected event came to save the day?)
With the avian flu scare (a.k.a. swine flu; it actually contained the DNA of five or more separate forms of the flu, indicating that it had been created in a laboratory), a comparatively small outbreak of an artificially created form of the flu was upgraded to a pandemic. Mass rounds of flu shots, at taxpayer expense, were the Obi-wan Kenobi of the day: “Please help us, Obi-wan Kenobi. You are our only hope.”
(Oh, by the way: Are you aware that the second round of Star Wars movies closely parallels the 9/11 false flag attacks and subsequent power grabs? Not only was the first of these three movies made two years before 9/11, but George Lucas wrote this back story in 1975, two years before the release of the original Star Wars. Click here for the You Tube video.)
In the Gulf, we heard that we were facing an extinction-level event if the well isn’t capped, and the pounds of pressure per square inch were too great for capping to be possible. Quite suddenly and unexpectedly, the capping took place, and we were all relieved.
Every well-developed novel or movie ends with some kind of affirmation. For The Girl Who Spelled Freedom, it was that, with determination, planning, and diligence, we can overcome our disadvantages and reach our goals. For Frankenstein and Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, it was that there are some areas than science was not meant to explore. (Tell that to Monsanto.)
Often, the affirmation is not in the text but in the subtext. At that level, the Bruce Willis Die Hard movies are no different from the Robin Williams tearjerkers. The first Die Hard was about a married man who needed the assurance that he was still important to his wife after she had gotten a job. Somehow, shooting up dozens of bad guys was more satisfying than remembering their anniversary or taking out the trash. It also affirmed his masculinity. The last Die Hard movie reflected similar insecurities after his little girl had grown up and left the nest.
(At least I hope it was the last Die Hard movie. I’m not sure I want to watch a decrepit Bruce Willis creaking around in search of affirmation from his grandchildren.)
What about the theater contrived by BP and their unindicted co-conspirators? Oh, it’s that Americans must be “weaned from oil” and that the best way to do this is to enact cap-and-trade legislation. Of course, that would mean switching to other means of creating energy, and it would mean employing something called “carbon credits.” This would really punish BP, wouldn’t it? Or would it?
BP has been pushing for cap-and-trade legislation all along. (Click here.) They’ve also lobbied for federal subsidies for the now-discredited biofuels as well as solar energy production. It’s no coincidence that BP is heavily invested in these areas, thus stand to profit big time from cap-and-trade legislation. (Click here.)
Isn’t that something like another work of literature you’ve read—the one in which Br’er Rabbit pleads with Br’er Fox, “Please don’t throw me into the briar patch”?
Let’s briefly look at another staged event: the September 11, 2001, false flag attacks.
The affirmation here is that Israel’s fight is America’s fight. What we weren’t told at the time is that the United States would be bleeding itself dry fighting Israel’s armed enemies while Israel would have the luxury of conducting genocide against Palestinian infants and other civilians; nor were we told that it would result in no-bid contracts for Cheney’s Halliburton, resulting in our paying $18,600 for $20 toasters or tens of billions of dollars for alleged services without having to show that the services were ever performed.
For more detail on what these no-win wars are really about, see the page “How Terrorism Really Works.”
How do the political manipulators transmit the narrative that impels people to work against their own interests? They do it through corporate-owned “news” sources. Not counting the Internet, some 96% of the “news” is filtered through six corporations. Most of their information comes from only two corporations: Reuters and the Associated Press. (Click here.)
Contrary to popular belief, newspapers, magazines, and news programs don’t compete with one another for readers and viewers; they compete for investors and advertisers. They’re also answerable to corporate owners, investors and bankers. . (To see the three-part series “How News Reporting Really Works,” click here, here, and here. For the companion article “Sometimes They Lie,” click here.)
In many movies and novels, the narrative is helped along by an expository character. The apparent purpose of an expository character is to explain to the main character how he should interpret what’s going on. From the author’s point of view, the expository character explains to the reader what’s going on and how he should interpret events. For the corporate media, the function of the expository character is filled by editorials, controlled talk shows, and commentary. But for them, readers and viewers may be tempted to draw their own conclusions.
That’s why the Gulf of Mexico became a no-fly zone and people were being arrested just for taking pictures. The manipulators wanted full control of the narrative and how it was interpreted.
We as Americans or as citizens of other countries should be on guard against the theater of contrived disasters and pat explanations. By the time a contrived disaster has occurred, the political manipulators will have already written all four acts of a four-act play. We don’t have to accept the ending.
Suppose we had asked ourselves on September 12, 2001, “Where is this leading, and is it in our best interests?” To put it another way, “If 9/11 had not taken place, would this still be in our best interest?”
If the answer is, “No,” then we know who the real terrorists were. They belong in prison for the rest of their lives.
We can ask the same questions about the contrived BP oil gusher, the avian flu scam, and a host of other contrived disasters. The power to lie and be believed is their most potent weapon against us. If we begin to ask ourselves what those 6,000 or so would-be autocrats are expecting us to accept and whether it really is in our best interests, then we will wield a far more potent weapon: the Truth. We outnumber them by a million to one; it will be their turn to be afraid.
"Let there be peace, and let it begin with me." The brotherhood of man transcends sovereignty of nations. May people of all religious faiths, nationalities and cultural groups pray together. Pray any day or every day. On November 1, the day before congressional elections, pray for the American people, rather than voting on the basis of political party or ideology, will vote for wise and virtuous leaders.