The Buisiness of Diverting People’s Attention
“The real mass media, the kind that is aimed at Joe six pack, that kind, the purpose of those media is to dull people’s brain. This is an oversimplification. But for 80% of whatever they are, the main thing for them is to divert people, to get them to watch the National Football League, to get them to worry about the mother of a child with 6 heads, or whatever you pick up in those media. And the things you pick up on the supermarket’s stand and so on. Get them to look on astrology, or get involved fundamentalist stuff. Just to get them away! Get them away from things that matters. And for that it is important to reduce their capacity to think.” (Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, DVD Documentary, 5, 1:05:50.)
“Take the case of sport; this is another crucial example of the indoctrination system in my view. For one thing because it offers people something to pay attention to, that is of no importance. It keeps them to worry or think about things that matters to their lives and that they might have some idea to do something about. In fact it is stricking to see the intelligence that it is used by ordinary people in sports, you listen to radio stations where people calls in; they have the most exotic informations, uderstanding about all kind of arcane issues.” (Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, DVD Documentary, 5, 1:06:36.) What Chomsky is telling us here it’s that all that intellectual ressourcefullness, all that creativity and intelligence that any human have, is being hijacked and subverted but those trivial things, so instead of thinking about tging that matters and solving real problems, they spent their computing time to analyse the sex life of people they don’t know or any kind of stupid thing you can find in tabloids.
Manufacturing “Irrational Attitudes of Submission to Authority”
One major reason why there is so much Outdoor Festivals, Rock Concerts, and wide scale Sporting Events, the reason why they go to such a big extent of trouble to present this kind of entertainment with that much people in attendance, the reason why government are even funding those events, it is because it is an mean of pacifying people. It touches the individuals at their lowest common denominator, it make them regress from a rational mindset to an emotional mindset, it put them at a level of consciousness, almost a trance where they are more vulnerable to suggestions and interference form the outside world. It make an insanely great amount of people all agree on “something,” whatever it is, whether it’s the goodness of the music played, the awesomeness of the game or the exciting athletic performance unfolding before their eyes. The point is to get people used to get subjugated in mass and positively responsive to a single and all powerful authority, nevermind if it’s a rock star, a religious figure, a professional athlete or a politician. In any case, the frequent exercice of that kind of crowd submission is considered as a highly desirable training for the masses from the point of view of those who stands at the top of the food chain; this is why it is encouraged by any means possible.
Chomsky explains this process in Manufacturing Consent: As for the submission to authority part, Chomsky goes with a little anecdote from his early years: “I remember in High School, I suddently ask myself at one point why do I care if my high school team win the football game, I means I don’t know anybody on the team, you know, it has nothing to do with me, I mean, why am I cheering for my team, it doesn’t make any sense. But the point where it does make senses, it’s because it helps creating irrational attitude of submission to authority. And you know group cohesion behind leadership element. In fact it’s training in irrational jingoism. That’s also a feature of competitive sports. If you look closely to these things, I think that typically they do have functions. And that’s why energy is devoted to supporting them and for creating a basis for them and that’s why advertisers will pay for them and so on.”(Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, DVD Documentary, 5, 1:06:36.)