A few years ago, a friend said “You can’t believe ‘mainstream media.’ They are owned, their message controlled.”
I considered the flawless graphics. The seamless edits. The impeccable delivery, coming from major news outlets. No; I didn’t believe what my friend said.
[ Having been lured, by at least two men – each with exquisite taste in both clothes and furnishings – and, who’d turned out to be sociopathic, somehow, I never even bothered to correlate, or take a lesson then, either – false equivalencies, notwithstanding. ]
By contrast, what my friend offered as a source of trustworthy information was kitschy. Glitzy. Overdone, and sensationalist. Surely, such a presentation had to be suspect, its content not worthy of a second look. So, I didn’t look. I didn’t believe it.
But, there were publications, my friend persisted, by first hand observers with credentials. I viewed the books, read the authors names – authors unfamiliar to me, their book jackets embossed with outsized, gaudy fonts. Shades of Scientology. More delusional grandeur. I passed; again, I didn’t believe it.
Still, my friend would not be moved. There were videos.
Wearily, I turned to see: more of same. Punchy anthems. Animated, attention grabbing cartoons, peppered with inflammatory symbology. From bad to worse, I wasn’t just offput; this was repugnant. Not only did I not believe it, I. would. not.
Fast forward. Beyond all the sleek, sophisticated, state of the art imaging – and, equally subliminal messaging.
[ Decades earlier, I’d trained in graphic design and product promotion. Surely, I knew the strategies, the tactics, the money trail following that which had earned top commercial attention? Again, a major gap, an absence of neurotransmission critical to direct correlation. ]
Something about a virus, coming across from countries far away and threatening everything I called real and sustainable. Matters of literal life and death became the order of the day and, with these, a paradigm shift in, yes; belief.
Today, I am living proof that what one recognizes as familiar, what is trusted because it presents convincingly, and what is ubiquitous by its very repeating appearance can be, in fact, a manipulation so insidious as to be capable of capturing even those in possession of respectably high intelligence. The only prerequisite is susceptibility. To being primed, if you will. Groomed.
[ Is one rendered susceptible? If so, by what means? By first being starved, until hungry and, parched, ready to absorb anything? ]
This evening, I viewed a news feature story on, yes; a major news outlet. This time, I sat from a very different perspective. The narrator was portraying an animal product about which I was very familiar. But, the product was being systematically maligned, point by point until, climaxing with a close up of a horse’s head, it was summarily dismissed and rejected.
The only problem with this story was that I was living proof of its contradiction. I had been consuming a prescribed form of the illustrated product – formulated for humans – for several months and, in fact, had never felt better. My metabolism had been jump started; fat had melted off; my digestion had improved, my skin was clear, and the lower back pain greeting me after sleep was as gone as the sugar cravings which had plagued me for years.
Yet, this product was being described as having poisoned people. To the unsuspecting (yes: susceptible) listener, the word “poison” would be a powerful deterrent, possibly even affect-ively arousing so much fear so as to block any discernment.
Discernment. Discernment would have permitted noticing that the pharmaceutical grade of the product, prescribed for actual humans, was being de-emphasized – though such very much did exist. Discernment would have revealed that only two alleged cases of adverse effect had even been cited, and that anonymously (masked by, yes; sleek, sophisticated camera work and the edgiest of computer graphics), almost to the level of heresay. Taken in totality, the story was an obvious slam, a near slander of a medication which had won the Nobel Prize many decades before, used continuously thereafter across the globe against life threatening disease.
Yes. Disease. And, now, mountains of real world data (the kind involving actual people, en masse, not controlled comparison trials which allow equal numbers, part of a placebo group, to risk losing their lives at the hand of a sugar pill) for many, many months had proved that lives were being saved from the pervasive, current threat using this same wonderful substance in the same kind of repurposed form that so many other similar preparations had been found to effectively function for years.
Suddenly, I’d come face to face with a tectonic shift. That shift was happening in my own mind. I was perceiving that which was being put before me with an entirely new perspective. I’d like to call this enlightenment, were it not for the shadow cast. That shadow is hereby indicted, responsible for the gross misleading of incredibly large numbers of people, huddled masses waiting to be fed, accepting as nourishment only poison.
© 8/28/2021 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, however unknown by any reader, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. You will respect original material.