As the NZ Government looks to plunge $50m on corporate media and woke cultural propaganda via NZ on Air, the BBC give us this extraordinary example of what intelligent public broadcasting can do with Adam Curtis’s incredible 6 part documentary, ‘Can’t get you out of my head‘.
You can watch the bootlegged versions on Youtube right now and I suggest you do that before they get taken down.
It is rare to have intelligent TV and NZ on Air should weep that they have never managed anything like this before.
The psychology of the West, our fears, our individualism, our neurosis, our loneliness, our emptiness, radical notions of change, radical ideas to overthrow the old – ‘Can’t get you out of my head’ does more to explain the why of the present than anything else I’ve witnessed.
Why can’t we have a documentary examining the impact of neoliberalism on NZ over the last 35 years?
Why must it always be on trend identity politics virtue signalling or depoliticised bullshit?
I love STUFF’s current NZ on Air funded attempt to reprogram all men with the gelded Males of Wellington telling us how crap we are and how much we all need to change.
Jaw droopingly there’s even a female columnist explaining to men how shit they are as the introduction.
Could you imagine if that were reversed?
Could you imagine the outrage if it was men telling women how to behave?
Of course not!
Can’t Get You Out of My Head is an incredible journey of the political, philosophical and cultural currents that have led us in the West to where we are now – a dystopian cacophony of angry voices that trusts no one usurped by the individual above all.
The similarities between cancel culture and the Cultural revolution are fascinating and the old angers of white people fearful of the crimes their way of life have created turning upon them seems to prop up the entire West’s mindset since World War 2.
It is rare for TV to be able to provide oversight and insight – this is possibly one of the best explanations as to where we in the West find ourselves than anything you’ve ever read and watched.
Curtis’s overarching thesis is made clear at the beginning, perhaps to avoid accusations that a documentary-maker, too, can be one of the tricksters and manipulators of reality at which his creation is about to take aim. “The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make. And could just as easily make differently – David Graeber 1961-2020” runs the opening caption.
From there we move swiftly yet steadily through the dancehalls of 50s London as the empire crumbles, as an influx of immigrants arrives to what they had been told was their homeland. How the seeds of American paranoia were sown and the conditions under which they sprouted and flourished – the fertile soil of the JFK assassination, the waters of Watergate, the Valium sold as harmless until it became clear it was anything but, the growing domination by China – is laid out. The chance technological solutions to relatively small problems that led to a capacity for mass surveillance and to unimagined power being handed to banks, giving rise – effectively – to a shadow system of government.
The power dynamic, how it shifts, how it hides and how it is used to shape our world – the world in which we ordinary people must live – is Curtis’s great interest. He ranges from the literal rewriting of history by Chairman Mao’s formidable fourth wife, Jiang Qing, during the Cultural Revolution to the psychologists plumbing the depths of “the self” and trying to impose behaviours on drugged and electro-shocked subjects. He moves from the infiltration of the Black Panthers by undercover officers inciting and facilitating more violence than the movement had ever planned or been able to carry out alone, to the death of paternalism in industry and its replacement by official legislation drafted by those with hidden and vested interests. The idea that we are indeed living, as posited by various figures in the author’s landscape and (we infer from the whole) the author himself, in a world made up of strata of artifice laid down by those more or less malevolently in charge becomes increasingly persuasive.
…Compare the intelligence and brilliance of Can’t Get You Out of My Head with NZ on Air & RNZs ‘The Citizens Handbook’.
If you thought Spinoff TV was bad, sweet Jesus the barely watched Citizens Handbook with 20000 views in a year (which then halves for the second episode) is the same type of undeservedly self important Wellington wank we’ve all come to know and despise.
Now I appreciate I’m not the target market for Citizens Handbook, clearly this is for those who love the ‘talent factory’ of ZM, the Edge morning breakfast madhouse and people who think The Project is current affairs.
Don’t get me wrong, spending $400 000 for smug holier-than-thou preachy pious bullshit is totally RNZs DNA, but why can’t we get real satire and not the overproduced woke circle jerk that the Citizens Handbook descends into within seconds?
Why can’t we have Can’t Get You Out of My Head and why must we get Citizens Handbook instead?
I challenge all of you to watch all 6 eps of Can’t Get You Out of My Head and all 6 episodes of Citizens Handbook and tell me which one actually provides oversight and insight?
It is depressing as Kris Faafoi throws another $50m at woke corporate media that NZ on Air could never, will never manage to make anything half as intelligent as Can’t Get You Out of My Head.
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