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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 11, 2010
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed the perception of the human mind and its workings. His influence on the twentieth century is generally considered profound. The series describes the ways public relations and politicians have utilized Freud’s theories during the last 100 years for the “engineering of consent”.
Freud himself and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in public relations, are discussed. Freud’s daughter Anna Freud, a pioneer of child psychology, is mentioned in the second part, as is one of the main opponents of Freud’s theories, Wilhelm Reich, in the third part.
Along these general themes, The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitude to fashion and superficiality.
The business and, increasingly, the political world uses psychological techniques to read and fulfill our desires, to make their products or speeches as pleasing as possible to us. Curtis raises the question of the intentions and roots of this fact. Where once the political process was about engaging people’s rational, conscious minds, as well as facilitating their needs as a society, the documentary shows how by employing the tactics of psychoanalysis, politicians appeal to irrational, primitive impulses that have little apparent bearing on issues outside of the narrow self-interest of a consumer population. He cites Paul Mazer, a Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in the 1930s: “We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. […] Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”
In Episode 4 the main subjects are Philip Gould and Matthew Freud, the great grandson of Sigmund, a PR consultant. They were part of the efforts during the nineties to bring the Democrats in the US and New Labour in the United Kingdom back into power. Adam Curtis explores the psychological methods they now massively introduced into politics. He also argues that the eventual outcome strongly resembles Edward Bernays vision for the “Democracity” during the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
According to BBC publicity:
To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?
File under Conspiracy Theory, Cults, Culture, Re¢e$$ion $pe¢iaL, Secret History, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB, So Wrong!, They Said 'Don't Be Scurrred' But This Shit Is Just So Scurrrry!
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on October 12, 2009
Auto-Tune – An effect infectin’ every genre of popular music like a cybernetic virus, reducin’ our aversion to the artificial by accustomin’ us to digital process over natural progress. Gettin’ us ready for the big takeover.
“Auto-Tune was used to prominent effect on Cher’s Believe, recorded in 1998.
When first interviewed about this, the sound engineers claimed they had used a vocoder, in what Sound on Sound perceives as an attempt to preserve a trade secret.
Auto-Tune was also used heavily in Daft Punk’s One More Time which featured Romanthony. The song was one of the first mainstream uses of Auto-Tuning, along with Believe. The software came to attention in dancehall reggae music from its use on Tanto Metro & Devonte’s song “Give It to Her” and Beenie Man & Ms. Thing’s song “Dude.”
R&B singer T-Pain has been credited with revitalizing the technique in contemporary popular music by making active use of it in his songs, a style that has since gone on to be imitated by numerous other R&B, Hip-hop (including emcees Kanye West, Ron Browz, and Lil Wayne, and R&B singer Akon, most notably, as well as Birdman, most infamously.), and other pop-music artists.
According to the Boston Herald, “Country stars Reba McEntire, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw have all confessed to using Auto-Tune in performance, claiming it is a safety net that guarantees ticket buyers a good performance.”” –Wiki
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on January 10, 2009