I am a big fan of “Elementary,” the show about Sherlock Holmes starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. In this re-imagining of the classic Sherlock Holmes story, Sherlock is a police consultant and a recovering drug addict in a modern world that has no familiarity with the Sherlock Holmes of Conan Doyle. Obviously this Sherlock riffs off of that Sherlock and to great effect. The show is stellar… except for the propaganda which I have found all throughout the series. The series was good enough that I could just ignore the annoying propaganda when it popped up. This episode (season 7, episode 12, above – click on the top of post image for a clip), about a billionaire tech mogul, Odin Reichenbach, who has a hobby of killing people who he calculates are going to do bad things, presented such blatant propaganda that I thought it would make a good, even funny, blog post. (Odin Reichenback’s analog would be someone like Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. And Odker, Reichenback’s company, would be Alphabet’s analog.)
From the “Odin Reichenbach” entry in “Elementary Wiki”:
Odin provides details to Holmes and Watson how he spies on his client’s communications using his company’s software. Having configured his platforms to report anyone intending violence, he then has them killed. Recounting instances that saved lives, he regrets what happened with Patrick Meers and proposes that Holmes and Watson help him refine the algorithm that catches murderers. Holmes brings Odin’s crimes to the attention of NSA Agent McNally. Saying that proof of Odin’s murders is required, McNally tells Holmes to set a meeting with Odin which the NSA will record.
At a quay, Holmes tells Odin that he’s reviewed several of the cases where would-be killers were eliminated. Noting that in several cases there was reasonable doubt the killers would have acted, Holmes insincerely says he and Watson will help Odin, but only if they can vet each case to make certain that the killer will act. Odin agrees to give them next case where doubt exists. After Holmes listens to the NSA recording, he realizes McNally is working with Odin. McNally threatens everyone Holmes holds dear and warns him to not interfere with Odin’s work. McNally warns Odin that Holmes won’t stop but Odin isn’t concerned, indicating that he’s battling multiple law suits, the Chinese government and the US military, so Holmes shouldn’t be a problem.
In the above breakdown, the author says that Holmes “insincerely” suggested he might work with Odin. It wasn’t clear to me that that was the case. Holmes clearly, logically, wanted to save a life that Odin might have otherwise snuffed out but I don’t recall seeing any indication that had he succeeded in saving Wesley Conrad, he would not have considered Odin’s proposal to work together. But I could be wrong here. I think that it’s more likely that the story is that Holmes was trying to dissuade Odin from continuing with his murder hobby by presenting him with a situation proving that his system is fallible and has probably resulted in the murders of innocents. But would that have been acceptable?; “Oh, as long as you’ve quit, then we’ll forget about what you did?”
This post will serve to impart a lesson about demonstration thinking and behavior which I’ve talked about many times on my blog, including in a section of my lengthy ‘about’ titled “Who is Arrby?”:
Demonstration thinking and behavior is a form of lying. (It may deal with horizontal, ‘Look, over there!’ matters that are not unimportant. Or it may simply be manipulation. It may be framing, which is essentially a ‘Look, over there!’ move, where you frame an issue so that people’s attention is narrowed. A frame looks like this: Which is correct?: a. The yolk of an egg ‘are’ white. Or b. The yolk of an egg ‘is’ white.) It’s an act, the way the doctrinal system posited that the Soviet Union and its form of social economic organization, namely communism, was a “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy” for world domination (JFK). That was an act which was mirrored by the Soviets saying the same sort of thing to their people about the US and its allies. You know it was an act, as Noam Chomsky points out, when in 1989, without skipping a beat, the US tweaked that doctrine and replaced the Soviet Union with third world terrorists (which was implied in their reference to the growing technological sophistication of the resisters of targetted countries in the third world). That later became a global war of terrorism, under Reagan. And I guess that sort of faded until 9/11 when George W. Bush re-announced it. High level planners actually admitted, in private, that the Cold War anti-communist (game plan) document NSC 68 was subterfuge, which those, like Chomsky, who dig into official documents, have discovered. George Kennan frankly acknowledged that the real ‘fear’ by the West was simply a fear that the Soviet model of everyone having everyone elses’ back might be more desirable to people, everywhere, than the US model of mafia capitalism, aka vampire capitalism, aka dog eat dog, which ripened into neoliberal capitalism. (See chapter 1 of “Deterring Democracy” by Noam Chomsky for a fuller discussion of the doctrinal system, including Chomsky’s references.) Demonstration thinking and behavior is an act that’s designed to demonstrate to onlookers – who don’t grasp how shameless Corporatocracy politicians, and other soulless leaders, are – how they should think and behave, not because the manipulators care about truth or about what’s good for people, but simply because they need, for whatever reasons, people to think and behave a certain way. And when those wolves in the guise of sheep get their way and the people embrace the doctrines and other lies they are fed by them, those wolves – who liked to be called Benefactors – benefit, not those being duped…
Again, Demonstration thinking and behavior (much of which comprises the doctrinal system) is usually done in relation to other subjects that elites want de-emphasized, sometimes permanently. Some of those subjects (Quebec’s language laws for example) replacing bumped subjects, are not unimportant, obviously. But they are diversionary, or shallow, in the sense that the politicians and their media allies consciously prefer to keep those issues and problems alive, and hot, as a way to avoid discussing with us other, more pressing issues relating to institutions and structures of power that need changing before we can have a society that works for everyone rather than solely for a minority. Then you have those on the Left who also engage in horizontal thinking and behavior, with the idea that divisive, diversionary electoral politics are essential. They hide behind the the qualifier “but the street is also important.” Others on the Left, such as Linh Dinh, state the obvious about the undemocratic electoral system that the Corporatocracy forces on us.
Google is EVIL!!!
Where to begin? Google is part of the US intelligence community, a bad thing. And from that, all kinds of bad things are happening, such as: attacking alternative (to corporate) media, surveillance, the destruction of privacy, assistance in the global program of pacification of citizens, strengthening the war-making State’s instruments of repression, Smart City crap such as we see getting pushed onto Toronto, tax evasion, and interference in education and elections.
From (pages 174-179 of) Yasha Levine’s “Surveillance Valley – The Secret Military History Of The Internet”:
The CIA poured an unknown amount of money into Keyhole; the exact number remains classified. The investment was finalized in early 2003, and it was made in partnership with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a major intelligence organization with 14,500 employees and a $5 billion budget whose job was to deliver satellite intelligence to the CIA and the Pentagon. Known by its alphabet-soup acronym “NGA,” the spy agency’s motto was: “Know the Earth … Show the Way … Understand the World.”
The CIA and NGA were not just investors; they were also clients, and they involved themselves in customizing Keyhole’s virtual map product to meet their own needs…
Military commanders weren’t the only ones who liked Keyhole. So did Sergey Brin. He liked it so much he insisted on personally demo-ing the app for Google executives. In an account published in Wired, he barged in on a company meeting, punched the address of every person present, and used the program to virtually fly over their homes.
In 2004, the same year Google went public, Brin and Page brought the company outright, CIA investors and all…
The purchase of Keyhole was a major milestone for Google, marking the moment the company stopped being a purely consumer-friendly Internet company and began integrating with the US government. When Google brought Keyhole, it also acquired an In-Q-Tel executive named Rob Painter, who came with deep connections to the world of intelligence and military contracting, including US Special Operations, the CIA, and major defense firms like Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin. At Google, Painter was planted in a new dedicated sales and lobbying division called Google Federal, located in Reston, Virginia, a short drive from the CIA’s headquarters in Langley. His job at Google was to help the company grab a slice of the lucrative military-intelligence contracting market. Or, as Painter described in contractor-bureaucratese, “evangelizing and implementing Google Enterprise solutions for a host of user across the Intelligence and Defense Communities…
Google has been tight-lipped about the details and scope of its contracting business. It does not list this revenue in a separate column in quarterly earnings reports to investors, nor does it provide the sum to reporters. But an analysis of the federal contracting data-base maintained by the US government, combined with information gleaned from Freedom of Information Act requests and published periodic reports on the company’s military work, reveals that Google has been doing brisk business selling Google Search, Google Earth, and Google Enterprise (now known as G Suite) products to just about every major military and intelligence agency: navy, army, air force, Coast Guard, DARPA, NSA, FBI, DEA, CIA, NGA, and the State Department. Sometimes Google sells directly to the government, but is also works with established contractors like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Gumman, and SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), a California-based intelligence mega-contractor that has so many former NSA employees working for it that is known in the business as “NSA West.”
Google didn’t just work with intelligence and military agencies but also sought to penetrate every level of society, including civilian federal agencies, cities, states, local police departments, emergency responders, hospitals, public schools, and all sorts of companies and nonprofits…
…Meanwhile, Google mediates the education of more than half of America’s public school students.
Click on the above image/link to see the clip.
Here’s another example, from Elementary, of demonstration thinking and behavior that also demonstrates what I call ‘gazing in the mirror’. A hero in the show is Captain Tommy Gregson. He’s utterly principled and a fighter for justice and someone who you would be happy to have in your corner, just as Sherlock Holmes was happy to have Gregson in his corner. Then Gregson’s cop daughter, Hannah, commits murder and Gregson sets about covering that up. That’s okay though. (A perquisite of being an appointed gatekeeper is that you are granted, often, impunity. You can, for example if you’re a cop, commit the same crimes that you are expected to arrest others for committing, and get away with it.) Tommy Gregson is a good guy who just can’t bring himself to allow the authorities to put his daughter in jail for her crime of killing a murderer who murdered her best friend. We can sympathize with this ‘fictional’ portrayal and that’s the intention of the demonstrator here. The series goes on after this situation is ‘resolved’ with Gregson continuing to play the good guy.
The problem with this kind of nonsense story-telling is that it gives people the idea that good must sometimes be bad, which is the intention. It’s directed mainly at people who, for whatever reason, lack a moral foundation. They behold the lawless behavior of authority figures, leaders and celebrities and say to themselves “Those are smart people. They know a thing or two and right from wrong. But there they are, being evil. I guess bad must sometimes be good.” Those with a moral foundation, on the other hand, simply call it like it is. Cops are important appointed gatekeepers in society. The 1% doesn’t really want them to be of good moral fiber. They actually need them to be ruined. That’s because when push comes to shove and the police have to come down on the side of either abusive power or abused citizens, they are needed (by the powerful) to turn on the citizens.
I imagine that there are many cops and other officers in various martial organizations that comprise the war-making State’s repressive apparatus, namely officers without principles who have committed and/or are willing to commit awful crimes, who watched the above Elementary show with a great deal of satisfaction, choosing, as their manipulators wish them to, to believe that they are good, despite their evil. And those in Hollywood/Pentagon/FBI/CIA/NSA who ruin society this way are happy gazing in this tv-land mirror and choosing to believe that they too are good (and clever). More importantly, they want others to think those thoughts. The episode of Elementary looked at at the top of this post reveals something else about those cranking out propaganda via tv and Hollywood. They have attitude (and it involves blasphemy, or expressing anger at God by spitting on his standards). They are confirmed in their evil outlook and no one is going to change their minds.
From my blog post titled “Nazi America”:
…And, now that Americans (and others) have been getting corporate owned media, including big screen movies, blasted at their heads for many years, How many people think that torture, nuclear warfare, smoking (that’s back big time in movies and tv), sex with kids, murderous spies and talking like a toilet are okay? (I stopped watching Arrow and Daredevil because those shows both carried episodes that sold torture.) How many people, subjected to “National Security Cinema” think that all of those things are fine, as is the marauding American military? How many Americans are okay with all of that darkness, even while, if you asked them whether Nazis are good or bad, most would answer “bad”? How many Americans, and other consumers of Hollywood’s crap, have no fear of nukes which feature in almost all superhero movies these days? They don’t even bother to weave nukes into the stories they are found in in a logical way. See my blog post titled “The Real Avengers.”
This is not always, or even usually, pure propaganda. There’s psychology at work here as well. Hollywood, which is not just the entertainment industry but includes the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI and the NSA, produces stories that allow those who run and ruin the world to feel good about themselves. (Clearly, You can enjoy ruining the world. You can do demonstration thinking and behavior – lies in order to manipulate – while gazing lovingly at yourself in a mirror that lies to you with lies you want to hear. Check out this video: “Ruining Mankind Is The Mission.”) They can tell stories about their world, which is all they know and care about, but leave out nasty details in order to feel good about themselves. (Nick Fury is a superspy but look at that, He’s a superhero!) Think of it as a mirror image of the people who have input into the storytelling that goes into movies we pay for. That image is distorted however. It presents a pretty picture of the evildoers who stand in front their magic mirror, gazing lovingly at themselves as audiences, who can do nothing about any of that, toss money at them! It’s exactly the opposite of the kind of mirror that is presented in Snow White. That mirror told the truth. One could ask it a question and get a satisfactory answer, so long as it was also the truth. But if the facts were such that the truth hurt the person asking that mirror questions, that was that.