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|>>|| No. 23506
Well, it seems we have a new Adam Curtis series that will be shown from mid-February.
>It covers a wide range – including the strange roots of modern conspiracy theories, the history of China, opium and opiods, the history of Artificial Intelligence, melancholy over the loss of empire and, love and power. And explores whether modern culture, despite its radicalism, is really just part of the new system of power.
The greater part of me really does like Adam Curtis and sees a great deal of depth to the ideas he presents, but the lesser part of me feels he's been saying the same thing for decades. Looking forward to this anyway, it should be interesting looking at how he explains how we've been hoodwinked into believing symptoms to be root causes again.
|>>|| No. 23507
I love Adam Curtis, I understand why some people dislike his films but the music and the aesthetic and the use of archival footage makes for really cosy viewing.
China and the Opium wars is an interesting topic. The West used drugs to subdue the Chinese population and do Imperialism, but since the 1970s the West has become gradually more and more dependent on Chinese Manufacturing and we are now starting to witness the extent to which China has been doing Imperialism in the West. It's all very Daoist.
People are addicted to technology today in a similar manner to the way peasants were addicted to opium during the Opium wars. Who gets to develop 5G infrastructure is the big cold war battleground now IMO and whoever gets the edge here is going to have a lot of power in saying how the next 20 years go with regards to Geopolitics.
Eric Schmidt's book has some really interesting stuff about the development of telecommunications in Bagdad around 2003 and how they incentivised Iraqis to use mobile phones and how private companies used this as an opportunity to get a hold on market share.
I don't know if it will go into it, but there is a big opioid problem amongst rural youths in many parts of America these days. The fentanyl which they are using is produced in China and much of the drug trade is controlled by Chinese Gangs.
The opium war then and the fentanyl problem now both make me think of the Taliban in Afghanistan and how after they were invaded by the west in the early 00s, opium production rocketed.
Nothing ever really changes at a fundamental structural level. This is basically living in the Roman Empire, but with iPhones.
|>>|| No. 23508
There's a really good meme comparing pictures of a person smoking opium to a person on their phone. I cannot find it, but have made this approximation.
It's not quite as aesthetic as the one I'm thinking of, but you get the point.
|>>|| No. 23509
My favourite thing about Adam Curtis is that he doesn't really draw you into a forced conclusion like a lot of documentary film-makers try to. Especially where politics are concerned.
He obviously has his own bias as anyone might, but he doesn't try to strong-arm you into agreeing with it, or at least it never feels that way. He presents a series of facts such that you can make up your own mind, but he lays out the case so well it's hard to disagree.
It's like anti-propaganda, if that makes any sense, whereas most political docs are usually making a sales pitch for their side of the argument. He invites you to question the accepted narrative.
>I understand why some people dislike his films
Mind expanding on that? I can see them maybe being a bit slow for some people perhaps.
|>>|| No. 23511
Yeah, I suppose. That sort of criticism is much more applicable to his more recent films though IMO. I do remember thinking the last couple seemed to be stretching a bit to make the pieces fit, and at times just not even really making much of a coherent statement at all. His earlier stuff is a lot tighter though I think.
|>>|| No. 23512
That's just vapid parody, it's not criticism. You could do that with the styles and quirks of plenty of documentarians, it doesn't make them poor film makers.
|>>|| No. 23513
I really fucking love his stuff and would put him up there with Herzog as one of the best contemporary documentary makers. I'd love to hear some other recommendations though.
Having said that I guess if I had to make a critique it would be along the lines that this sort of view
>but he doesn't try to strong-arm you into agreeing with it, or at least it never feels that way.
along with this
>It's like anti-propaganda, if that makes any sense, whereas most political docs are usually making a sales pitch for their side of the argument. He invites you to question the accepted narrative.
are sort of true, but you could also make the argument that he's just very clever and subtle about the ways in which he manipulates the viewer. Like it really wouldn't surprise me to learn he has a spooky background and that possibly the way in which he presents things could act as a sort of release valve for people who (at least presume themselves) to have half a clue. The idea that it's anti-propaganda could just mean it's actually very good propaganda. If you feel that you're coming to these conclusions about "the facts" yourself then you're much more inclined to agree etc etc.
This is a bit of a tangent but I'd say it leads into stuff I've thought about in regards the British state/establishments methods of control being some of the most sophisticated in the world. We haven't had a revolution here for a very long time for many reasons, but one of which is that the people in power are very good at quashing, diverting and diffusing dissent. But that is a /boo/ ramble for another drunken evening really.
I'm not suggesting Curtis is part of the establishment (although in some ways he definitely is) or whatever, just saying I wouldn't be surprised if he was. Regardless his programmes are fucking great and wonderfully put together and there's no one else making stuff like it.
|>>|| No. 23514
How about: by selecting the footage and flow of the documentaries he is imposing a narrative on the unfolding events of the world in exactly the manner that he criticizes others for doing. He's just doing Antithesis to their Thesis.
I think the man is a genius. I was just going to post the parody video otherlad posted. I think disliking the aesthetics of it is valid. Some people don't like ambient music for example.
|>>|| No. 23515
Alan Moore and Adam Curtis in conversation about the Illuminati from a few years back.
|>>|| No. 23519
I get the feeling Chapo is my sort of thing, but I saw the state of their Rudgewick sub before it got taken down and that changed my mind. What's the gist of it?
|>>|| No. 23520
Leftist Millenials in sepland who became apathetic about politics after 8 years of briken promises by the Obama administration started a political podcast to promote Bernie Sanders campaign in the 2016 Presidential Primaries. I think they're top 10 on Patreon.
I used to be really into political satire as a teenlad, but sometime in the 2010s kind of realised that comedy served as liberal propaganda promoting the aims of a political elite that doesnt give a fuck about me (Obama on the Daily Show, Hilary on Ellen, Boris on HIGNFY). Manufacturing Consent type stuff. These guys spend a lot of time looking at that phenomenon.
|>>|| No. 23523
He ran on a campaign of Hope and Change but governed from a position of 'business as usual but a bit more shit'.
>Increased military presence in the middle east
>Illegal drone war in Sudan
>Bailed out bankers after 2008, allowed homeowners to be evicted
>Presided over mass routine domestic surveillance by NSA
People hated George W. in 2008. Obama was pretty much the same guy except brown and articulate.
The reason that Trump was able to rise to power was a direct result of the apathy and antipathy the Obama administration fomented in vast swathes of the American population.
People don't mind if the government is doing war crimes in their name with their taxes as long as the leader looks 'Presidential' while doing it.
When I said broken promises I meant in terms of the spirit he was elected in, but if you're looking for specific things he said he'd do and then didn't, here's a list:
|>>|| No. 23525
>When I said broken promises I meant in terms of the spirit he was elected in
I thought so. You should be careful being cavalier like that. Actually left-wing people in America do recognise the Democrats as a neoliberal party.
Your link is a lot better, but it doesn't distinguish between stuff he just didn't do, and stuff he wanted to do but was stymied by Republican control of Congress.
|>>|| No. 23529
There are. You could actually argue their grassroots unionisation movements are stronger than ours, in some respects, considering unionisation is a novelty many Americans have never had before, whereas over here people are simply weary of them because them miners and that.
The difference is there is no political representation of the actually left-wing in America.
|>>|| No. 23531
I'm fairly sure you can easily archive pages somewhere for people without subscriptions to read.
|>>|| No. 23533
The FT isn't behind a pay wall, there's just an ignorance test. Click the link, Google the headline and boom, full article.
|>>|| No. 23535
Why would anyone think to do that? That's not really ignorance, just a sensible assumption.
|>>|| No. 23536
Ignorance doesn't imply stupidity. I just means you don't know something.
|>>|| No. 23538
What on earth made you think posting a screencap from social media with no context would be a good post to make on .gs, you cretin?
|>>|| No. 23540
Grumpylad likes to shit on what other people post without offering anything constructive or worthwhile himself. Don't let him put you off.
|>>|| No. 23541
This. Post pepes, who cares. You're all too uptight.
(A good day to you Sir!)
|>>|| No. 23542
I don't want to drag a cunt off from another thread into here but was interesting to read he thought the capitol riots were overblown by the media.
>Today, Curtis praises Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and mocks the reporting of the US Capitol riot as overblown by a “codependent” liberal media.
Interesting article/interview anyways. Hoping he does some promo stuff for the new series, always interesting to hear him speak.
|>>|| No. 23546
The video of that woman doing aerobics with the Myanmar coup d'etat happening in the background is a primo Adam Curtis vibe.
|>>|| No. 23550
It's not really evident what's going on. It's some black vehicles driving through a barricaded checkpoint. How am I to tell this is a coup happening? Possibly if I recognised it as a significant location, but I'm not really au fait with Myanmar's capital.
|>>|| No. 23551
>For three thousand years architects designed buildings with columns shaped as female figures. At last Rodin pointed out that this was work too heavy for a girl. He didn’t say, ‘Look, you jerks, if you must do this, make it a brawny male figure.’ No, he showed it. This poor little caryatid has fallen under the load. She’s a good girl-look at her face. Serious, unhappy at her failure, not blaming anyone, not even the gods…and still trying to shoulder her load, after she’s crumpled under it.
>But she’s more than good art denouncing bad art; she’s a symbol for every woman who ever shouldered a load too heavy. But not alone women—this symbol means every man and woman who ever sweated out life in uncomplaining fortitude, until they crumpled under their loads. It’s courage…and victory.
>Victory in defeat; there is none higher. She didn't give up, Ben; she's still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her. She's a father working while cancer eats away his insides, to bring home one more pay check. She's a twelve-year-old trying to mother her brothers and sisters because mama had to go to Heaven. She's a switchboard operator sticking to her post while smoke chokes her and fire cuts off her escape. She's all the unsung heroes who couldn't make it but never quit.
She could stop and gawp at what's going on but she has aerobics to teach. It might be a juxtaposition but she's just doing her best in circumstances beyond her control like people always have as a the world keeps turning.
|>>|| No. 23552
That's all very well but if something isn't immediately intelligible to >>23550 personally, does it really have any greater meaning? Does it matter at all? Obviously not.
|>>|| No. 23553
The major events of the world tend to unfold behind closed doors. The populace are too busy distracting them with spectacle. In this instance we have History unfolding before our eyes, but unless we knew what the significance of the trucks in the background were we'd ignore them. There's a kind of selective inattention here, that even as History unfolds in front of us we don't perceive it for what it is until somebody tells us what it means.
|>>|| No. 23554
/r/sorceryofthespectacle had a good thread on it.
lyrics were translated by@jawadywn on twitter
The lyrics of the song in this viral video ("Ampun Bang Jago") mock entitled men:
"I can see them coming one by one
Scrambling for the throne
I don't want to say names, they know who I'm referring to"
("Ampun Bang Jago" is a sarcastic Indonesian slang phrase which is often used to mock arrogant police/military officers)
So there's even a layer of irony to the song being performed. Was this video produced intentionally, or is it just coincidence? What meaning (or lack thereof) is more important, the meaning that was intended by the person who produced the clip? Or the meaning projected on to it by the people who have subsequently viewed it?
|>>|| No. 23555
I'm pointing out that it can still have beauty without the wider context just by showing human action. There's a military barricade in the background and she's dancing.
I'll add the proviso that I still think original-lad was likely chuckling at this being the absurd 'system' at work with his surface-level thinking. The kind of thinking that Adam Curtis is only good for as he can never have his audience pause to reflect on the human struggle or that today carries much the same problems as yesterday.
|>>|| No. 23557
That Twitter account doesn't appear to exist. But Google Translate gives the following:
>So, there are many people appearing one by one
>Baku seizes the throne so that must be what he is aiming for
>You need to say your name, people are sensitive to songs
>Everyone knows who is number one
No idea how similar Burmese and Indonesian are, but kind of checks out.
|>>|| No. 23560
The People of Myanmar are protesting Military occupation today with pots and pans in a manner similar to how people in the UK were memorialising a recently deceased veteran (COVID victim) who served in the Burma campaign during WWII. That's just a little bit poetic.
What I'm trying to figure out about the current situation there is which beligerent represents US interests and which represents PRC's. Judging from the statements made by Biden and CCP respectively, I guess that US backs the Civilian Govt and China has instigated the coup.
The recently deposed government was doing a genocide against eskimos which is a popular pastime of both CCP and the US Military-Industrial Complex, so it's weird that they are in such conflict given that they're largely motivated by the same reprehensible goals.
Future Curtis documentaries will pretty much write themselves
|>>|| No. 23561
>That's just a little bit poetic.
Banging pots and pans has been a form of protest since forever, far longer than it's been a way to honour frontline workers.
|>>|| No. 23562
Yes, but the fact that Brits are celebrating a deceased man who did Imperialism in Burma and is considered a hero for being old and dying from a virus within 24 hours of Burmese people protesting a Military Coup d'Etat in the same manner is quite a coincidence.
I really respect you because it must be hard to type snarky single sentence responses on imageboards having only four brain cells.
|>>|| No. 23563
>What I'm trying to figure out about the current situation there is which beligerent represents US interests and which represents PRC's. Judging from the statements made by Biden and CCP respectively, I guess that US backs the Civilian Govt and China has instigated the coup.
Myanmar is in the Chinese sphere of influence so it's easy to guess. The military never completely relinquished power and even if someone new came up they are still complete tied to the Chinese economy and loans.
The real question is can we now go back to calling it Burma because Myanmar is a shit name.
>The recently deposed government was doing a genocide against eskimos which is a popular pastime of both CCP and the US Military-Industrial Complex, so it's weird that they are in such conflict given that they're largely motivated by the same reprehensible goals.
The military was conducting the genocide, initially people assumed Aung San Suu Kyi could do nothing but then she went out and defended the militaries actions. It should really be no surprise given she's an aristocrat in a country where the Buddhist majority vehemently hate eskimos.
Also putting the US on par with what is going on in Myanmar and Xinjiang is childish. The entire reason Myanmar ended up as a Chinese client state is because nobody else wanted anything to do with the regime.
|>>|| No. 23564
>Also putting the US on par with what is going on in Myanmar and Xinjiang is childish.
I mean American Economic prosperity is built on the back of Industrial Slavery in plantation times, and subsequent prosperity is linked to profiteering during WWII (coca-cola and IBM very cozy with the Nazis).
America bombed the shit out of SEA in the post-war period, and conducted several Military Coups in South America and the Middle East when it suited them.
Also a ton of the Xinjiang terrorism that led to the CCP crackdown was CIA-funded proxy war stuff.
So I see what you're saying, but I don't think it's so childish to draw parallels between them.
Pretty much all of the contemporary military conflicts which occur are clandestine proxy wars conducted by nation states in the interest of corporations which back them.
|>>|| No. 23565
Lad, you're trying to defend ongoing genocides with historical whataboutism and corporate conspiracy theories here. I'm not even sure the kind of chronic masturbator playground CCP is currently running in Xinjiang has many historical precedents after the Dzungar genocide.
>Also a ton of the Xinjiang terrorism that led to the CCP crackdown was CIA-funded proxy war stuff.
Sounds like both bollocks and no excuse for the systematic destruction of a people.
|>>|| No. 23566
What part of what I wrote sounds like defense of a Genocide?
>historical whataboutism and corporate conspiracy theories
Lad, this is the Adam Curtis thread.
|>>|| No. 23567
>did Imperialism in Burma
The worst you can say about him is that he was a soldier of one empire fighting another empire, much like the millions who died in the First World War. I don't think you can say he unilaterally decided to colonise Burma, mate.
|>>|| No. 23568
He was taken into hospital ill on the 31st of January and the Coup happened a day later... I don't know lad, that just seems a bit convenient.
|>>|| No. 23570
Well we all love a bit of Curtis, but some of us enjoy a good genocide too, so now we're talking about that.
|>>|| No. 23574
Pretty good so far this one. I've watched up to the end of the second episode, I think I'll save the rest for another time though.
I had to chuckle, with the bit about how it turned out the Black Panther terrorists in New York were set up by undercover police. Put me in mind of a lot of the bickering in the Capitol riots thread, where I'm pretty sure there were one or two lads pointing out the US security services have form for that kind of thing.
|>>|| No. 23577
Up to the final episode which I will save for later, like the otherlad, I've been finding quite a bit of the series really quite funny with regards to the unintended consequences of the last 200+ years of Western history, and even found it funny with the idea that the language and forms of power themselves are universal and blind - nobody is free from its grip, no matter how much fervour in system x or y they have. It reminded me of his series All Watched Over when it turned out that hippy communes just ended up being cults of personality and the enforcement of one will above everybody else's.
If I didn't laugh, I'd cry etc. etc.
|>>|| No. 23578
It's like Marx said innit. The more free you believe yourself to be of ideology, the deeper you are ultimately likely to be immersed in it.
Or something like that.
|>>|| No. 23579
Just finished it all. I don't know, it just felt a bit wondering? I think if it was half the length and a lot tighter-edited it could have a much greater impact.
|>>|| No. 23580
He did repeat a lot of what he's already covered in films like Century of the Self, and All Watched Over as otherlad mentions, but I suppose for someone new coming in, that background context is necessary to set up the rest.
I get the feeling people like us who are familiar with the concepts in his older material might not be the target audience this time, and maybe he was aiming more at was today's highly radicalised Rudgwick/Twitter/Etc politic kids, who often fail to realise they're retreading ground that has been thoroughly trod before. The point seemed largely to be that every time this radical rhetoric comes around, they usually aren't the first, and nor will they be the last, to think they've cracked it, and ultimately only end up assimilated and subverted by the existing structures of power.
But this was an illusion.
|>>|| No. 23581
I sort of get the idea that this series is considerably more meta than his previous ones - there are a hell of a lot of half-made allusions between the more visible and large-scale looting going on in Russia and China and what's going on in the UK and US where the looting of the economy by a few is more formally legalised and backed up with our states' views on what is acceptable and what is not. Even further, I would like to add, and I'm sure Adam would probably agree with this to some extent - the entire series is just a narrative thread that he has plucked out to help describe how and where things are going, so is he ultimately any better or worse off than a bog standard conspiracy theorist?
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