10 January 2007

The Iraqi resistance show us how it's done

The corporate media of the Empire have no clue what to do about a fantastic display of concrete media-shamanism by (some sections of) the Iraqi resistance. The most interesting bit:

Most large-scale attacks on U.S. forces are now filmed, often from multiple camera angles, and with high-resolution cameras. The footage is slickly edited into dramatic narratives: quick-cut images of Humvees exploding or U.S. soldiers being felled by snipers are set to inspiring religious soundtracks or chanting, which lends them a triumphal feel. In some cases, U.S. officials believe, insurgents attack American forces primarily to generate fresh footage.

“Don't blame the media - become the media". Quite. No disrespect to that guy in GenHex who conducted the lovewar against Fox News, but this shit is actually working. Everyone learn - especially the bit about how they are moving from action to memetics, from the Real to the Imaginary/Symbolic. So many of we pampered western decadents seem to think that you go the other way, and - to quote Yoda - THAT IS WHY YOU FAIL.

Back from a holiday on a subtropical island with all kinds of big ideas. A reasonably mainstream academic article, applying Chomsky's "propaganda model" to popular novels of the turn of the 19th century. Also: serious thoughts about how historical shamanistic practices relate to modern media-cults. Case in point: is there really much difference between wearing the mask of Dionysus for a religious drama, or dressing up as Frank'N'Furter for a Rocky Horry Picture Show audience-participation ritual? Perhaps I show my age with that example and should have been referencing Full Metal Alchemist cosplay. Actually, that's a very good point - the cult of Dionysus lasted a thousand years and more. RHPS is considered a Methuselah among modern media cults and it's only just gone thirty. Only freakin' Star Trek is older, and don't get me going on that. (Mental note: punch Shatner.)