26 January 2010

One face says terrorise, the other benevolise

The Murdoch media empire, despite the usual right-wing bias of its news outlets, has not leant the use of its powerful ideological cannons to the anti-Avatar campaign for a very sound commercial reason. 20th Century Fox, which is part of the Murdoch mega-corporation News Corp, is raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from the film, and envisages that it will derive hundreds of millions more from the inevitable sequel. Further, the astounding success of Avatar is a commercial vindication of the advances in technology which were gained by means of the many millions of dollars invested in its production, opening up the prospect of a revival in the profits of the US-dominated global entertainment industry.


The corporate egregore is capable of saying contradictory things at the same time. It can do this because its constituent parts are independent from, even hermetically sealed from, one another. Thus it can maximise profit, by marketing two opposite "flavours" of ideology at the same time, at the long-term expense of exacerbating the contradictions in its own noosphere. As Michael Moore says, the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with. The main difference is of course people are encouraged to act on the memes of terror, fear and hatred (in voting and protesting), and to channel the anti-imperialist, liberatory memes into buying consumer goods, going to see movies, and in extreme cases, new lifestyles/religions. (WARNING: link contains massive stupidity and point-missing.) So if you're sold the rope, you won't think of actually using it - probably you'll just take it home, stroke it and imagine using it.

Some leftists have suggested leafleting screenings of Avatar along the lines of "This movie is REAL! Except that the Na'vi are really called "Iraqis" and they're sitting on oil, not Unobtanium!" I'm really not sure this will work, mainly because the Na'vi belief system is fluffy, friendly neo-paganism, exactly the opposite from the Western media image of Islam. But it really won't work because the mass media consciousness doesn't really work with analogy - it can accept things literally, or not at all. Rendering people incapable of understanding analogies was one of the principles of Newspeak, remember.