Sunday, April 18, 2010

Game Changers.

The Nazi's and the Communists understood the vital importance of propaganda in the shaping average man's mind. Once taking control of the government, the first job of the totalitarians was to gain control of the press and media and feed the proletariat the intellectual pabulum that they felt was appropriate. Men, whose business it is to wrest power and govern society effectively have no illusions with regard to human nature.

The fact is that most men are influenced by their surroundings and particularly by individuals that they perceive as role models. As a doctor, this was best evidenced by the phenomena of "Sex in the City". Doing gynaecological examinations is part and parcel of my work. I can't remember any woman presenting for an examination a la Brazillian. Things changed of course with Sex in the City. Initially the the women would be a bit embarrassed and offer non convincing explanations, now no explanation or embarrassment is seen at all. What really impressed me was how rapidly the change occurred. No one was really unhappy with the previous state of affairs, though admittedly the younger women were more trimmed than the older, so why the change.

Although I regard Sex and the City as one of the most intellectually vapid series out there, it clearly was highly regarded by women, especially young women. Episodes were eagerly awaited, newspaper columns devoted to the antics of the women and the media presented the women in a positive light. Most of the heroines were pretty, carefree fashionably dressed and fun. Women felt that they could "connect" in some way with the heroines and the heroines became agents of influence.

In reality it wasn't the women at all who were the agents of influence at all, but the scriptwriters and producers who using actors were able to produce a fairy tale with no connection with reality.
Whether the scriptwriters wanted to deliberately push the idea of the Brazillian onto women I don't know, but that's what happened. People copy their ideals. The media is an agent of influence.

Sex and the City could not have gained the enormous influence it did without the centralisation of the Media. Whilst the media is not in control by one individual, the individuals that control the media are broadly speaking of the same mindset and ideals. The Western world's media is predominantly run and funded by Left wing individuals and its no surprise that Left wing ideas get shown in a positive light. White Religious men are presented as cruel and boring, Left wing "rebels" as exciting, handsome and just. A movie like Hitchcock's I Confess could not be made in Hollywood today. The huge capital cost required to compete against these established corporations effectively ensured their monopoly and suppressed dissenting voices and opinions, .........till now.

Ferdinand wrote an interesting post on how the newspaper publishing industry is being hit hard by the Internet. People don't want to buy the paper when the news is available for free on the Internet. The importance of this is not with regard to the viability of the newspapers but with regard to the loss of control of information dissemination by the owners of the newspapers. The newspaper editors have lost control of the news. The recent "Climategate" scandal a case in point. Here is Australia, scant coverage was made with regard to the matter, YET IT WAS ALL OVER THE INTERNET. Here, an issue of vital importance for the community was deliberately ignored by the media who were interested in pushing a global warming agenda at the expense of the truth. The newspapers cannot censor whom they want anymore through "editorial discretion".

Whilst I'm not predicting the death of newspapers (though a lot will die, hopefully the local broadshite will) what has happened is that the mainstream media has lost its stranglehold on information dissemination, and as an agent of influence, its power is waning: The Internet has broken its stranglehold. Still, it's my opinion that the newspapers are of far less influence than the music industry and the image media. The Internet is decimating the profitability of the music industry and until now the only industry that seems to have weathered the storm is the movie business.

Until now.

Recently I was in the business of purchasing a digital camera. Video on a digital camera was never a "big deal" for me as I always saw it as a gimmick to boost sales.................. Till I saw the videos. For a sub $1000 dollar camera like the GH1 or the Canon EOS 550D near cinematographic quality picture. Check out Vimeo to see what these relatively cheap cameras can do.This technology and broadband will decimate Hollywood. This is not hype on my part. This interview over at EOS HD lays it out:
"Hollywood has always been number 2 in innovation, reluctant to change... the truth is nobody needs them anymore. Anyone can go out and make a movie."

"It's a democracy, with these cameras all you need is talent"
The capital cost which effectively prohibited entry into the movie business has been slashed. The other area of control, the distribution channels, which were also tightly controlled, have also been by passed. Anyone can be a producer and/or a star.

Hollywood is a dead man walking.