Monday, May 25, 2015

The Disconcerting Truth About Riga

This is a must read:
The Truth About Riga by Yanis Varoufakis

In this blog post Yanis Varoufakis clarifies the extreme campaign of media misinformation that followed the April 24, 2015 Eurogroup Meeting that took place in Latvia recently.  As an artist activist, I can not say I am very surprised. From history we can all see how powerful the forces of misinformation a.k.a. propaganda can be.  But I believe it is always a good idea to inform ourselves.  In fact this is our responsibility.  And, I believe we can always use some brushing up on our critical thinking skills as we encounter information from any media source, especially in this fast paced digital world in which we live.

And here are my comments following Mr. Varoufakis' post:

I have unfortunately found as an artist that the mainstream media often lies. Not all the time but very, very often and ALWAYS when money is involved, and money is always involved. The advertisers, who include the big money people, need to create the news “content/message” to profit by it. The bottom line is money. And so many readers choose to prefer to believe a lie told by a supposed “expert” (the media) than to question the status quo because the lie is usually couched in a perverse but always brilliant artistic/aesthetic manner that provokes the reader into an extreme emotional state. But this “naive” reader is not angry at the media/messenger. Rather, he/she is angry at a created scapegoat, something new: a supposed “villain”! This is the power of art used in the most negative sense. This created (and often free) drama for the reader keeps him/her engaged, even enthralled, and now he /she is needing to consuming more and more media messages. The truth, whatever it is, slips away unnoticed in a fog of lies. It even seems the truth does not matter anymore in this fog. The lies are usually more “interesting”. Top notch advertising/design firms and PR people are behind these illusions and they are often very effective. We can take a look at history, especially political history and see this mechanism play out over and over and over again.

Here is one of the better mainstream media analyses on Varoufakis: