The Story Wars of Hot Political Issues


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Carol, I prefer to discuss the why and how of what is being done rather than try to play the game of besmirch Glenn, defend Glenn. For the record though, Glenn is not horrified that this is being done

Look Michael, I like and respect you and you know that. Hell, I love you like a brother which as a Stuart you surely are. It is when you appear to not respect my critical thinking, or even critical t

It's a hoot watching people who are all style and zero substance criticizing this masterful use of aesthetics. J

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William,

Maybe if you asked Wise for a little production advice?

Whaddya think? Wanna jazz it up a little?

I did ask on Twitter about the sound track. If he gets back to me, I might ask for more information. He is a bit testy with unfriendly inquiries, so I would have to choose my approach carefully.

I thought of downloading his video, stripping out the sound, and adding my own. But I just can't get enough hate burning in my soul to fuel that effort.**

(My previous post, previous page, contained an MP3 file that I recorded from a Text-To-Speech application online. The text I used was my deleted comment in reply to you (which I sent you). I added some royalty-free musical atmospherics and re-uploaded it for Brant.)

____________________

** A Hater and a Liar!

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If it's just the soundtrack you want, why not download it directly from Wise's site for the movie? He allows you to download it for free. Just click on the "soundtrack" menu item and it goes here:

 

I miscommunicated. I don't care about having the music ... I asked him about who wrote it, the source/s.

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This thread is about story wars, not William's hatreds according to his worldview. So I will not be engaging with your leading questions, demands, and temper tantrums.

We have moved on from William's lack of empathy for 'Hitler Lover' culture. I see pernicious nonsense in Holocaust revisionism, and so do you, I imagine. I haven't yet read any empathetic wisdom on a sub-culture that responds to such as Wise's documentary.

Hatred is hatred is hatred and you hate too much right now to be rational about these things. Is that a put down? Maybe. Just look at that long post of yours. Not you look per se. I already know you won't see what I'm talking about. I mean those who are interested in story impacts on the culture.

I deleted the post because it read too crabby and reactive. I sent it to you backstage with a cover. Feel free to take a quote or two for the list, if you like.

Getting back to the movie, I just saw the parts 3 and 4 (meaning the second half-hour--the segments are 15 minutes a piece). BW is starting to appear and it is starting to look at lot tackier than the first half-hour. The staged parts look like they came from an already produced movie about Hitler because I am starting to detect distinct styles in the different takes. I initially thought Wise did those parts. I don't know yet because I haven't jumped to the end like you have. Also, the trailer was extremely well-produced.

Right. I investigated the documentary -- trying to answer the question of where all the varied types of footage came from. I wanted to know if Wise had shot any of the footage in the docco. He did not. There are no credits for a camera operator or DoP, and no claim of original material (beyond the narration -- and the perhaps the music, though I have read that several of the takedowns were predicated on musical copyright violations). I asked Wise on Twitter where the music came from and I will report back.

I did dispute 'touting' of the production values. I don't see good production values ... which could be credited directly to the filmmaker himself.

The psychological assessments, those are fun, but do not advance resolution of any quality dispute. Simply asking someone to clarify what particular production values they saw which could be ascribed to Wise ... maybe this a peremptory demand, maybe it is hate-filled and irrational, maybe it is a temper tantrum.

Maybe not. Look at it this way -- I am not the only one reading this thread exchange. Maybe one of those folks is puzzled also. That person might ask themselves, "What does Michael see that I don't see?" That person might put that question in this thread ... is it a temper tantrum to seek clarification?

. Leading questions, demands, and temper tantrums, psychological assessments ... these fall by the wayside.

William,

Yours and Michael's contretemps looks to me easily explained. MSK impartially showed an example of vile propaganda with fair cause, to show how mass persuasion operates (and to be on one's guard); you are reacting to the vileness. You are both not wrong. I think you just need to isolate the one from the other. How good or poor is the film's production value, is not so important. That it could be produced at all implies there is a ready audience, and that is important as warning to the civilised. Anyone here would be moral, rational and sophisticated enough to not be influenced by its filthy message, and mostly privately, react the same way as you. The burning question is, will others outside be swayed by it?

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How good or poor is the film's production value, is not so important. That it could be produced at all implies there is a ready audience, and that is important as warning to the civilised. Anyone here would be moral, rational and sophisticated enough to not be influenced by its filthy message, and mostly privately, react the same way as you. The burning question is, will others outside be swayed by it?

Tony,

Finally someone is talking about the real issue. Thank you.

It's almost beside the point, but here is an explanation for the record. Production values in the sense I was using only have meaning to the extent they contribute to the persuasiveness and/or immersion factor of the story. Note, I said story, not movie. The story and the story's impact is all.

Something with high polish is not necessarily something with high production value from this lens. And something with low polish is not necessarily something with low production value.

The story war standard is the story impact on the target. Everything else is secondary, with a long distance between secondary and primary.

If I look at an element like music, coloration of black-and-white footage, a low gravely voice for the VO, the story sequence (say, from boy to man to god like in the trailer), etc., the question is: does this element appear polished enough to be different than the norm to the target and deliver an emotional wallop? That is the standard I am using for production value.

The other stuff--is the music original? did the filmmaker rip off footage from other places? etc., etc., etc.? mean very little on this level. It's a story war, not a duel about gotchas.

I want to expand on your last question: "Will others outside be swayed by it?"

This documentary was not just produced for a ready audience, which already exists. It was produced for people who don't think about this topic very much, but have things in common with the ready audience (family ties, same neighborhoods, same places to eat and socialize, same churches, same culture, etc.). It is aimed at opening their minds to a different perspective than the one they more-or-less have--open them to a toxic perspective in this case.

These independent people--the real target of this kind of propaganda--couldn't give two hoots about any of the main things William is worried about. Not even about denigrating the filmmaker. (They expect a dude who makes such a film to be called names and held in contempt by many.)

These people, trying to be polite to the person they know (or trying to relate to that person in some like manner), want to know if the story being told captivates their attention and emotions, and if it makes some kind of sense. Even if they watch initially for a hoot or just to get the person to shut up.

If the film does these things storywise, they allow themselves to go into a story trance and the story starts weaving its black magic, depending (mostly) on how much they already know about Hitler, their religious views (good and bad), prejudices (good and bad), etc. Then later, peer pressure, cognitive biases, and all the other stuff can be leveraged against them by the fringe fanatics. They will have been softened up, so to speak.

I have persuasion checklists and this damn thing hits a lot of items on it, starting with getting initial attention through shock value.

One final bitch. When I get into nitpicky arguments over semantics in a case like this, I get a bit frustrated. It's like arguing over the G string on a violin being out of tune while Rome is burning. I want to point to the fire, but the person I am talking to is really really really pissed that the G string is off. :smile:

Michael

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Anyone here would be moral, rational and sophisticated enough to not be influenced by its filthy message, and mostly privately, react the same way as you. The burning question is, will others outside be swayed by it?

It is an interesting question, sure. I don't know how I might go analyzing its impact. If anyone cares to go looking, you will find Nazi glorification and apologias up the yin yang, in all formats -- from the lowliest blog on up through Youtube 'phenomena' of various demented aspect -- and even into specialty literature for the racialists, and on to the perpetual appeal of David Irving, despite his loss of reputation at the libel trial he brought. Books, films, samizdat, The Zundel Files, and an entire world of racialist consumers.

Tony, I have long been familiar with all manner of cultish, sociopathic, cognitively retarded structures of belief and belief inculcation. It has been Hobby One since I came of age. Nazi hoopla is nothing new. It is likely true that 'new people' coming online in the world might be brought in to Wise's ambit, and they will not be as familiar as I am with the hideous procession that came before. And they may be indeed caught up in his persistent hoopla and promotion of his views across many platforms. As I have explored his social media presence and his larger 'splash' in racialist circles ... he is doing a job.

How many new-ish adherents of Good Hitler, Sweet Hitler, Misunderstood Hitler are there in the pool? I really don't know. Considering how many people Believe Weird Things** ... and how crippled some folk's epistemology can be ... and considering how many Americans (for example) believe in The Devil, I am not really surprised at a fresh lesion appearing on the body politic.

And don't get me started on the psychotic conspiracy theories believed in by waaaay too many people in my cockpit of interest, the Middle East. The Joooooo! The Jooooooo.

I do look forward to Michael's more important stage of analysis when he gets to it. He has the chops and the deep interest in 'persuasion' that will drive that kind of inquiry to useful ends.

So, I agree with you and with him on the items you raise. Half the point of disagreement is the getting to a common understanding. I think Michael and I are there, thus the kisses and return to normal programming.

Story Wars, story wars!

______________________

** Why People Believe Weird Things is the endlessly popular book by Michael Shermer. For a brief excerpt from an introduction to a recent edition, see the link above. From that post at Shermer's site. a neat quote:

“The gentleman has eaten no small quantity of flapdoodle in his lifetime.”

“What’s that, O’Brien?” replied I …

“Why, Peter,” rejoined he, “it’s the stuff they feed fools on.”

— P. Simple, Marryat, 1833

That is a bit of a lure and a dodge. Shermer goes on to lay out his main thesis. It is not fools that believe flapdoodle, it is a sizeable cohort of the educated and rational. Shermer is not a great writer or the deepest thinker, but the book is serviceable and timeless. If you only have ... and the Madness of Crowds, it is a nice slight modern addition, and can be counterweighted with another minor classic, How We Know What Isn't So.

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Good points Tony and Michael.

If a person knew about the "fact" that Adolf did get seriously wounded in WW I and had demonstrated courage on the battlefield as a trench messenger they would be move "open" to believing more later in this story.

Establishing ethos,credibility is critical.

Also, a slice of low tech film somewhere might make it look like it was a secret film being revealed. That always takes the viewer into the story now as a partner, having shared the "secret" piece of tape.

A...

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The Hitler crap is so over the top to be self-refuting. The problem is the contemporary state of poor history instruction conceivably is leaving children thinking, Hitler--who? Then you can turn Hitler into shit through a goose, but it's still a goose and still shit. Children seem to be in an alternate reality these days with college pretending to offer the protection of the womb.

As for Michael, he over-values and over-cooks everything he's passionate about. Stick Trump with a fork; he's done (burnt). So, turn him loose on the barbie out back while the caterer delivers at the front door.

--Brant

noooo--he's not that bad (just go grab the chicken when you think it's done)

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If a person knew about the "fact" that Adolf did get seriously wounded in WW I and had demonstrated courage on the battlefield as a trench messenger they would be move "open" to believing more later in this story.

Establishing ethos,credibility is critical.

Also, a slice of low tech film somewhere might make it look like it was a secret film being revealed. That always takes the viewer into the story now as a partner, having shared the "secret" piece of tape.

Adam,

That's pretty close to a strong hooking point. I think it goes even deeper, though, based on a message Wise hammers in his publicity.

The winners write the history books, not the losers.

We have a culture drenched in victimization stories based on this very premise. People like Howard Zinn kicked it all off. The template goes something like this: the evil white man kicked the crap out of everybody for centuries and wrote the history books, thus the noble (fill in the blank) turned into stereotypes. However, the real reality is (fill in the blank with details where the noble xxxxxxxxxx does good stuff and the white man does evil stuff).

Now, the very people who use this template the most also use the "America is evil" mantra over and over. So that meme gets anchored to that template.

This kind of message resides in the subconscious, where the story wars operate. Note. The following is an extremely important point. Logic doesn't work down there on that level. Words don't even work all that well. And on the higher brain level, the neocortex level, nobody consciously thinks in templates so they can't use logic on them. (Specialists do and people trained in this do, but even they don't do it all day for all their affairs.)

People think in thoughts that are housed within the templates. (In neuroscience, these templates are called "schema," and they go from very basic causality routines linking up repetitive sequential firing of synapses on up to more complex mental constructs like the story templates I am talking about).

So look at Bubba's brother-in-law (the target of the Hitler propaganda). His kids are in school, but they've been learning everything different than what was taught to him when he was young. It makes sense that winners write the history books so Indians probably do have a good side to them he never learned. Still... some of the things his kids are saying don't feel right. They don't make sense. Oh well, gotta go to work (or whatever) and off he goes thinking about other stuff.

Then Bubba comes along and says, "You know, there's a side to Hitler nobody knows anymore. America beat him so America (the one Bubba claims is now getting taken over) gets to write the story about him. The winners write history, not the losers. But Hitler actually did a lot of good. You should see what he did to that debt crisis. You think we've got a debt crises. This is nothing compared to Germany after WWI. Hitler took a country where people couldn't eat--literally couldn't eat--and got jobs for everyone pronto by kicking the crap out of the evil bankers. Check out the other side to this story. You don't have to agree with it..." yada yada yada...

(I just noticed... even another template overlaps--the Occupy Wall Street evil banker message the brother-in-law has absorbed from all the bombardment in the news.)

Logic will tell the person that this Hitler idea is weird because of all the nasty stuff it is leaving out. But it fits the story template the brother-in-law has absorbed from the culture to a tee. America, the evil land, beat the crap out of Indians and rewrote their history. America, the evil land, beat the crap out of Hitler and...

:smile:

That's just one of the inner hooks where there is an opening. That stuff about Hitler being wounded and heroic in WWI and so on gets put into that frame. Not before. If you put it in today's normal frame, people say, "So what?" But Bubba's purpose is not to get his brother-in-law to start singing the praises of Hitler. It's to get him to say in the mental place where the Hitler is evil premise is, "You know... I wonder..."

Michael

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Good analysis.

And there is that deep underlying anti-Semitic Jewish banker story line/theme that is pervasive in European history.

A...

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Good points Tony and Michael.

If a person knew about the "fact" that Adolf did get seriously wounded in WW I and had demonstrated courage on the battlefield as a trench messenger they would be move "open" to believing more later in this story.

Establishing ethos,credibility is critical.

Also, a slice of low tech film somewhere might make it look like it was a secret film being revealed. That always takes the viewer into the story now as a partner, having shared the "secret" piece of tape.

A...

Your last point is extensive. As you say, bad production value often has the paradoxical effect of authenticating the film material. I've been decrying the subtle distortions and semi-truths in so called 'docudramas' and 'infotainment' for a long time. In even respectable programs like Nat Geo, Discovery and Animal Planet there's a slew of semi-fakery for dramatic effect. Then the more unbelievable the subject (and one I watched recently, I think on AP, involving 'cannibalism' was found to be a deliberate fabrication) the more are the producers and directors resorting to "tricks" borrowed from news cameramen and feature movies. The jiggled camera. Poor framing and out of focus, as if with a concealed camera. Light blobs as if from old amateur 8mm footage. Editing and intercuts. "Dramatization" and "re-enactment", barely announced as such. And many such tweaks blurring the line between a feature film and reality. On the basis of "there must be some truth to it" the worst sort of deception has fooled smart people I know. ("Hunting Hitler" I think one entire series is called).

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Good points Tony and Michael.

If a person knew about the "fact" that Adolf did get seriously wounded in WW I and had demonstrated courage on the battlefield as a trench messenger they would be move "open" to believing more later in this story.

Establishing ethos,credibility is critical.

Also, a slice of low tech film somewhere might make it look like it was a secret film being revealed. That always takes the viewer into the story now as a partner, having shared the "secret" piece of tape.

A...

Your last point is extensive. As you say, bad production value often has the paradoxical effect of authenticating the film material. I've been decrying the subtle distortions and semi-truths in so called 'docudramas' and 'infotainment' for a long time. In even respectable programs like Nat Geo, Discovery and Animal Planet there's a slew of semi-fakery for dramatic effect. Then the more unbelievable the subject (and one I watched recently, I think on AP, involving 'cannibalism' was found to be a deliberate fabrication) the more are the producers and directors resorting to "tricks" borrowed from news cameramen and feature movies. The jiggled camera. Poor framing and out of focus, as if with a concealed camera. Light blobs as if from old amateur 8mm footage. Editing and intercuts. "Dramatization" and "re-enactment", barely announced as such. And many such tweaks blurring the line between a feature film and reality. On the basis of "there must be some truth to it" the worst sort of deception has fooled smart people I know. ("Hunting Hitler" I think one entire series is called).

Correct Tony.

Propaganda knows no lines that cannot be crossed.

I carry a photo, taken by my uncle who was a sergeant with Patton's army in 1944 and his company was one that liberated one of the death camps.

He personally gave me that picture and explained to me that people would say this did not happen and he wanted me to have his testimony that it did and that he took this picture to prove it.

It was a pile of bodies stacked like cord wood against a low lying brick building.

I still carry it and have thrown it down on the table of any deniers that I have ever run into.

Tough to combat a well constructed lie.

A...

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  • 4 months later...

I have a feeling the following movie is going to be something greater than its production values and niche support.

Why? Because it deals with fear of a real large-scale danger--EMP (electromagnetic pulse). 

The movie is Amerigeddon, produced and written by Gary Heavin and directed by Mike Norris (the son of Chuck Norris).

Fear--which causes suspense in storytelling--is one of the basic ingredients of the story wars. But you have to wed it to a decent story for it to spread. Going from the trailer and discussion below, this movie concretizes what an EMP looks like, how it works, and what the effects are, all within a story this is probably a typical Chuck Norris-like good guy versus bad guy story (without the martial arts :) ). So there you go.

But there's a secret sauce that I believe is operating. The audience fear-factor of an EMP attack has been prepared in the culture by a steady drip of news articles over a long time. It has never been a big deal in the media, but it's been constant--mostly from rightwing sources, but it has gotten into the mainstream at times. I expect the attention from this movie to prompt a media surge about EMP, especially when people realize an EMP attack will affect their TV and Internet services. :) 

Here's a discussion about the movie with Heavin, Norris and one of Alex Jones's people, Lee Ann McAdoo.

For those interested in the trailer, here you go:

This movie doing the theaters right now, so let's see what happens.

In my view, the time is right--meaning the underground emotional and ideational current is prepared--for Amerigeddon to make a small splash in the culture.

It may not be a great film (going by the trailer), but I don't think that will matter too much. It will never be a blockbuster like a Spielberg film, but it is not aiming at that. It is aiming at getting an idea to a high spot in the mainstream long enough for people to do something about it.

This is a good example of one way to fight the story wars correctly.

Michael

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If EMP were practical it would have been tried by now.  With computers wrapped in buildings with steel frames it is unlikely that any portable EMP emitter could deliver enough radio frequency carried energy to inside  buildings.  Steel  and aluminum frames are essentially Faraday Cages.  Any EMP emissions would be sopped up steel frames and copper wiring long before any transistors were fried.  

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

It is aiming at getting an idea to a high spot in the mainstream long enough for people to do something about it.

This is a good example of one way to fight the story wars correctly.

That would be a worthwhile topic to explore.  How this film does it correctly, what it wins in the war.

1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I expect the attention from this movie to prompt a media surge about EMP, especially when people realize an EMP attack will affect their TV and Internet services.

The EMP is a perennial, and factors in military and crisis planning scenarios.  Fear of this is like a buzz in the background of generally greater buzzing. The factor that keeps EMP disaster scenarios from incurring a level of panic or widespread concern as a pressing issue is, I think,  the lack of ID.  

From my POV and understanding, it is not easy to depict a coherent motive and actors behind putative EMP-attacks (against the free world/America in this instance of fiction). During the nuclear stand-off between the US and USSR the risk-rate of an EMP-enacting attack on North America was highest. The risk-rate of Russia enabling an attack, the technical requirements and materiel of any entity ramping up to such an attack, these are variable as portents, but I'd suggest not on present radar screens as immanent, at least from my perspective on war and its portents.  

Who is actually making the insane investments necessary to conduct a large scale event as imagined in this movie?

I do love shit like this. The United Nations allies with Terrorists to Destroy America! I might hunt down the nearest showing at a theatre and see it.  It very well could be a future classic (my fave 'cult classics' are some really awful/stanky-good movies:  The Evil Dead, Humanoids from the Deep, Without Warning).

 

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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

From my POV and understanding, it is not easy to depict a coherent motive and actors behind putative EMP-attacks (against the free world/America in this instance of fiction).

William,

A lot of people have this perspective limitation about life. They find it difficult to believe that entire countries or cultures are capable of acting destructively on a large scale without a benefit, that is, as the doubters understand benefit. They leave out perceived benefit. (There are several reasons I have seen why they leave this out, but that's not my point here. My point is that they do irrespective of the reason.)

You, yourself, got a big dose of reality about perceived benefit when you started doing your Syrian blog thing. When the difference between your perspective and that of certain fanatics started becoming clear to you, I imagine you went through a period of bewilderment. None of that mattered to the fanatics, though. For better or for worse, they had their perspective nailed. :) 

This is all tied up with my cognitive before normative thing. You have to accept the reality that an attacker sees things differently than you do, and what that difference is, before you can evaluate correctly (or even reasonably) what he will do based on it.

A movie like Amerigeddon is used to move (in the mainstream) the concept of an EMP attack from the realm of abstract ideas and arguments to an actual picture of what it looks like. When done in story, emotions help anchor those images in memory and this changes the abstract concept of an EMP attack in a fundamental manner. It becomes much harder to dismiss, bury under a load of technical BS, or pooh pooh as not important. The term EMP suddenly carries the load of fear of the plausible, not just intellectual caution.

Once that happens in the mainstream, one main objective of the story war has been won.

(btw - This is one of the main forms of how steps move up or down in the Overton Window.)

Michael

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  • 7 months later...

My God!

This one is nasty. And it's a totalitarian propagandist's idea of heaven.

Although the following video deals with cultural gamification and not just narrative, it makes life itself a gamified narrative controlled by the government.

China, through a thing called Sesame Credit, has made it fun to rat on people to the government!

This peer-pressure mind control through gamification (and self-contained gamified story) can only work in a totalitarian regime like China. Or I think you need a totalitarian regime to make it work. On second thought, I can see this wreaking havoc on individuals regarding credit scores, educational opportunities, scientific research funds, and a whole host of issues where a centralized authority controls something within society at large.

Don't let the cartoon-like presentation keep you from seeing this.

The concept behind Sesame Credit is dead serious. And, according to the video below, it will be mandatory in China in 2020.

When I started this thread, I thought the battlefield was just the media.

I hadn't considered anything that could be this soul-suckingly evil.

I bet Google, Facebook, etc., are keeping a close eye on this to see how it works in practice so they can reverse-engineer it and use it in a more free society...

Michael

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53 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

My God!

This one is nasty. And it's a totalitarian propagandist's idea of heaven.

Although the following video deals with cultural gamification and not just narrative, it makes life itself a gamified narrative controlled by the government.

China, through a thing called Sesame Credit, has made it fun to rat on people to the government!

This peer-pressure mind control through gamification (and self-contained gamified story) can only work in a totalitarian regime like China. Or I think you need a totalitarian regime to make it work. On second thought, I can see this wreaking havoc on individuals regarding credit scores, educational opportunities, scientific research funds, and a whole host of issues where a centralized authority controls something within society at large.

Don't let the cartoon-like presentation keep you from seeing this.

The concept behind Sesame Credit is dead serious. And, according to the video below, it will be mandatory in China in 2020.

When I started this thread, I thought the battlefield was just the media.

I hadn't considered anything that could be this soul-suckingly evil.

I bet Google, Facebook, etc., are keeping a close eye on this to see how it works in practice so they can reverse-engineer it and use it in a more free society...

Michael

Kurt Vonegut could have gone to town with this.  It is very much in line with his dystopian novel  "Harrison Bergeron" 

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2 hours ago, Neil Parille said:

In case people haven't heard, Perigo will be debating Yaron Brook on February 10 on Amy Peikoff's show.  Topics will be immigration and Donald Trump.

-Neil Parille

Remind us again on February 11.

--Brant

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2 hours ago, Neil Parille said:

In case people haven't heard, Perigo will be debating Yaron Brook on February 10 on Amy Peikoff's show.  Topics will be immigration and Donald Trump.

-Neil Parille

Neil,

That's a story war to shape or change the culture? (After all, this thread is about the fiction and storytelling arts that make effective propaganda.)

I don't want to rain on your parade, but the Brook-Perigo shindig seems more like an intellectual yawn that nobody but a tiny few cares about.

I might look in at it, but I find it hard to see any cultural relevance from what I already know.

Maybe Perigo can piss off Brook enough to get a reaction and a little more soap-opera gossip can run loose in the subcommunity...

:) 

Michael

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/31/2016 at 1:54 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

the Brook-Perigo shindig seems more like an intellectual yawn that nobody but a tiny few cares about.

I might look in at it, but I find it hard to see any cultural relevance from what I already know.

Maybe Perigo can piss off Brook enough to get a reaction and a little more soap-opera gossip can run loose in the subcommunity...

For anyone following this, it didn't happen.

Predictable.

(See here for details.)

One day I hope the people involved in O-Land begin to understand how to impact the culture for real. Like in real Story Wars. There are a few exceptions, but the kind of fizzle in a shot-glass like the above keeps happening.

Michael

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Here's a story war for real from PJ Media:

Marvel Comics to Abandon Social Justice Storylines?

Apparently, this is the news from insiders at a recent creative summit.

One line jumped out at me from the article:

Quote

The truth is, readers don't like to be lectured to.

:)

Another did, too:

Quote

... for readers who are either neutral on these issues or disagree with the message, the comics portray them as the enemy. People don't want to spend their hard-earned money to be told how awful they are.

So it looks like it's going to be back to basics. The good guy will overcome great odds to kick the ass of an all-powerful bad guy and get the girl in the end. Or variations thereof.

And this led me to think about Rand's speeches in her fiction. Some people complain about them, but I believe they are one of the reasons her fiction has stuck around in the market and not just in the libraries. It still sells plenty, too.

So why do her speeches work when the social justice stuff of Marvel doesn't? Superior philosophy, of course. :) 

But I want to riff off a creative idea that came to mind. I don't know if the Marvel stories had long speeches. It's been awhile since I consumed Marvel stories (barring a film or two). But if their public is getting tired of being lectured to, that tells me the lecturing has had little to do with basic storytelling values.

Notice that Rand's speeches always occurred when there were several ticking clocks running before disaster struck and the stakes had been ramped way up. There was a lot of stuff that still had to happen after the speech and readers wanted to get to it. The speeches were also personal--aimed at the bad guys in the story. Going from memory, they generally had the following beats (in this sequence):

1. You suck.
2. Here's why. Look what you are doing.
3. Here's how to get the damn thing right.
4. btw - Before I forget, fuck you.

Well... maybe Rand's jargon was a little different.

:) 

But I bet if you look, you will find these four beats in this sequence in almost every fictional speech she ever wrote.

So if you are a writer and want to include a speech in a story, (to use an old Hollywood storytelling formula) run your hero (or heroes) up a tree, throw rocks at him, set the tree on fire, then have him give the speech.

After that, get him out of the tree, of course. :) 

Anywho, great news about Marvel. Things are happening in the culture and they will reinforce the political shift from the left we recently had here in the US.

Michael

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