Zombie nation

The most insidious effect of propaganda is a deadening of the intellect. Ellul remarked on this in the 60s, saying that it was a permanent effect. I just spent an evening debating a man who fancies himself well-informed, and who does not know he is awash in propaganda. He is hermetically sealed, incapable of exercising critical judgment, inaccessible to new information. He cannot think straight, and is afraid.

I was once him, 27 years ago. I have spent decades reading, thinking, in effect deprogramming my mind. Consequently, nothing surprises me, nor am I afraid of venturing into forbidden areas or committing thoughtcrime. I can see more than most, understand easier and better what is real and what is not. Almost everything that arrives in our consciousness via news and entertainment is a lie. But TV and “news” to most people is reality. They cannot be shaken, in fact, fear information that threatens to unravel their deeply held and wrong beliefs. Hence most Americans are moral cowards, even a laughing stock to people in other counties, who regard us as deeply brainwashed.

It is a sad state of affairs, but the worst aspect is the state of hubris that evolves from the hermetically sealed mind as I encountered last night. The guy I debated actually thinks he is smart. He questions nothing, accepts authority figures in a credulous and doe-eyed manner, and calls his attitude “critical thinking.” This must be what teachers mean when they claim to teach thinking skills in our schools, that they are actually teaching kids to be stupid, like them. It is all I can figure.

Anyway, I challenged Pete Talbot to debate me here or there, and of course he shriveled and went away. I judged him to be a moral coward, and stand by that. It is the normal state of affairs, a portrait of the 21st century American, soaked in propaganda, brainwashed, rigid, unthinking, and frightened.

It is a sad state of affairs, a wasted mind, a zombie.

Oh yeah, and Merry Christmas.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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4 Responses to Zombie nation

  1. JC says:

    Spoken like a true Truman Burbank… Merry Christmas!


    • I watched the movie Let Him Be last night, JC. It’s a riddle within a riddle, but I can see why this movie was pulled shortly after release. It is him. My eyes and ears tell me, it is him. I trust my senses, my ability to analyze photos, and to spot fakery. The fakery in this movie was to dress him up so that he did not look like himself, and then claim that the guy in the movie was Spaycer wearing a face mask. Cannot be.

      But then this leads to further inquiry, wondering, about the music and celebrity culture, who runs it, who is making the money, and who is just a lowly employee. I doubt very much Lennon wanted to fake die, but had no choice. His well had dried up, he was no longer profitable. As a cultural icon, he still had power, so that “killing” him, as with RFK, also killed hope. I think it very important that people who inspire us die young.

      Anyway, it is a huge avenue of inquiry, full of false leads and false clues. The place to start is celebrity deaths, like Lennon’s, for which there was no autopsy, no body displayed, no coroner’s report, and suspicious unanswered questions that police failed to investigate. John Denver comes to mind – no body, no fingerprints or dental, and a public farewell without a casket. He was dried up as a performer, so that his estate became more valuable with his death. (He has a daughter running a BnB in New Zealand – that would be the logical place to look for him.)

      Oh, yeah, and I know: thinking like that, that our reality is fake, is like Truman Burbank. But I have seen the gullibility if the American public on full display, and don’t think it is hard to fool them. Ever.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. steve kelly says:


    “Today, we prefer to believe that there is no submissive void. “Choice” is ubiquitous. Phones are “platforms” that launch every half-thought. There is Google from outer space if you need it. Caressed like rosary beads, the precious devices are borne heads-down, relentlessly monitored and prioritised. Their dominant theme is the self. Me. My needs. Riefenstahl’s submissive void is today’s digital slavery.” – John Pilger (1993) http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-new-propaganda-is-liberal-the-new-slavery-is-digital


    • Sometimes I think George Harrison might have been the most gifted of the quartet … He had to deal with two superegos, both of whom obviously had help in writing their catchy tunes. He came up with some pretty good stuff, and a lot of crap too, but that is how it works with normal talented people who work alone – it takes a lot of crap to produce some Shinola now and then.

      I wish I could just send the Let Him Be video to you, as it is fascinating, and the two prominently featured Lennon songs are very damned good. Maybe if you’re interested I will do that.

      Hey there’s talk about Misha’s eyes
      and the secrets that lie within.
      Check the stories from the boys in blue:
      it’s a must that you meet them.
      Let’s have the truth and lose the lies;
      are you listening FBI?
      It won’t be long, I can’t say when:
      I may go, but I’m not gone.

      If I were you and you were me
      like Catcher in the Rye.
      You took a thief without a life
      you can run but I can’t hide.
      Yah, there’s talk about all my life,
      that night the Apple took a bite.
      I was there. I was there. I was there.

      And this:

      I am who I was once
      I am as you see
      You make it make sense now.

      Song lyrics are not available on these tunes, so I had to grab these from the Mathis site. The second one below is from a song called “Wrap your arms around me,” a haunting lyric with a voice that can only be his and no one else’s.

      I wonder however, since the movie was shot in 2009, and he was still puffing away on cigarettes at age 69 if he has since passed on, which might be the only reason I can now get my hands on this movie.

      I have not read much of Pilger – I know who he is, but he’s never had much appeal for me. Don’t know why.


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