Author Topic: Adam Curtis - New Stuff  (Read 4512 times)

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Offline BlufPurdi

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #25 on: Tuesday 18 October 2016, 10:07:17 PM »
Isn't that the first thing he points out, like the first words he speaks.  He says they're not up to the job of controlling the events and unleash the forces they think they either control or are opposing. 
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Offline sadnesstan

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #26 on: Tuesday 18 October 2016, 10:15:36 PM »
Did I dream the bit about the intelligence that led to war in Iraq was the plot of the film 'the rock'?

I fell asleep and I'm not sure what is real.

Offline AyeDubbleYoo

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #27 on: Tuesday 18 October 2016, 10:38:53 PM »
The technical detail about the chemical weapons being in daisy chains of metal spheres, aye.

Offline GeordieMessiah

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #28 on: Tuesday 18 October 2016, 11:13:38 PM »
Gotta love how the people who imbibe Adam Curtis's intellectual vomit are quite often the same ones who criticise anyone for being even remotely religious. "It's the truth! I have seen the light!"
Whether it's God or the bomb
It's just the same
It's only fear under another name
And the corporate snakes coming in to feed
On that pathetic fact known as human greed
Skin and bone being raked over those hot coals
This dump never seems to give time for human soul

Offline brummie

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #29 on: Tuesday 18 October 2016, 11:15:08 PM »
Adam Curtis is like a televisual Radiohead.

Makes incredibly clever stuff, hard to follow, not hugely enjoyable, usually baffling.
Well focus on the quasar in the mist, the Kaiser has a cyst

Offline AyeDubbleYoo

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #30 on: Tuesday 18 October 2016, 11:31:03 PM »
Gotta love how the people who imbibe Adam Curtis's intellectual vomit are quite often the same ones who criticise anyone for being even remotely religious. "It's the truth! I have seen the light!"

Would you take some time to think about the difference between myth and stuff that is researched, filmed and presented by a human?

Offline GeordieMessiah

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #31 on: Tuesday 18 October 2016, 11:50:03 PM »
Gotta love how the people who imbibe Adam Curtis's intellectual vomit are quite often the same ones who criticise anyone for being even remotely religious. "It's the truth! I have seen the light!"

Would you take some time to think about the difference between myth and stuff that is researched, filmed and presented by a human?

Yep, OK. You're missing my point here. Polemical sermonising should be treated with some degree of circumspection and scepticism, whether it's bible thinking zealots going door to door or an egotistical reporter utilising his multimedia artillery to bombard an audience into submission.
Whether it's God or the bomb
It's just the same
It's only fear under another name
And the corporate snakes coming in to feed
On that pathetic fact known as human greed
Skin and bone being raked over those hot coals
This dump never seems to give time for human soul

Offline BlufPurdi

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  • Speaking truth to stupid since 2005.
Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #32 on: Tuesday 18 October 2016, 11:58:08 PM »
A bit harsh as ever. :lol:
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Offline GeordieMessiah

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #33 on: Wednesday 19 October 2016, 12:41:44 AM »
A bit harsh as ever. :lol:

Is it though? Honestly, being bombarded by the intensity of his narrative, both visual and verbal, is every bit as debilitating an experience for me as being concreted to the floor and forced to listen to some mad b****** evangelical Christians. The net impact is similarly negative in terms of provoking a mild existential crisis, anyway...with ensuing moral panic/profound irritation following on shortly afterwards!
Whether it's God or the bomb
It's just the same
It's only fear under another name
And the corporate snakes coming in to feed
On that pathetic fact known as human greed
Skin and bone being raked over those hot coals
This dump never seems to give time for human soul

Offline BlufPurdi

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  • Speaking truth to stupid since 2005.
Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #34 on: Wednesday 19 October 2016, 12:53:06 AM »
No, I get that.  I meant the egotistical bit, really.  Think he's a bit of a recluse, he's got nothing online bar his documentaries. 

You're absolutely right, you should treat with it scepticism and use it as a springboard to find things out for yourself.   That's no different to written journalism, but this is visual.  I enjoy them mostly because they're so well put together and the music's ALWAYS (:lol:) good.  I've yet to come across anything that I think he's lying about.  He's no different to the million of other journalists I respect and agree with.  Whether that's down a big dose of confirmation bias, I couldn't possibly be sure.  Power of Nightmares was a game changer for me though and not looked at the world the same since and think his general message from way back since then has been proven to be pretty spot on as the years go buy.

There is a hypnosis to his style though, I grant that.  I remember watching a short clip from one of his detractor, and it was cut and spliced in that style, talking absolute nonsensical stuff, but you find yourself going along with it.  But the music was s****.
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.


Offline GeordieMessiah

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #36 on: Wednesday 19 October 2016, 03:29:21 PM »
http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2016-10-19/adam-curtis-another-manager-of-perceptions/

Brilliant blog. In so many ways it smashes it out of the park. The notion of Curtis as modern day prophet is as dangerously deluded as it is ill informed.
Whether it's God or the bomb
It's just the same
It's only fear under another name
And the corporate snakes coming in to feed
On that pathetic fact known as human greed
Skin and bone being raked over those hot coals
This dump never seems to give time for human soul

Offline BlufPurdi

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  • Speaking truth to stupid since 2005.
Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #37 on: Wednesday 19 October 2016, 03:49:03 PM »
Who exactly is it that is supposed to be treating him like a prophet?  He's no different to the countless talking heads, journalists, whoever, that write books on how the world works from their point of view.  Why do they get a free pass, because they're in written media?  He's chosen a different path.  We read the countless drones from The Guardian, Indy, etc, all pontificating away about the world's troubles, how we got there, who's to blame.  He's doing nowt different other than the format.  People do the same with George Monbiot*, Robert Fisk*, Polly Toynbee**.  What's the deal here?  People just produce links to articles with words that amount to, "this is what I think."

That was a fair article, by the way, Cook makes some good points.  But some of Curtis' stuff is fantastic and teaches you a lot.  I think, personally, you're completely over emphasising his effect.  Although I accept there will be some that espouse his every word. 

* Guilty!

** Was guilty till Corbyn!
« Last Edit: Wednesday 19 October 2016, 03:59:22 PM by BlufPurdi »
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Offline AyeDubbleYoo

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #38 on: Wednesday 19 October 2016, 04:02:34 PM »
Was wondering this myself, he's just a filmmaker who I like the output of.

He's a visual communicator, his stuff also has to be visually and aurally interesting to work.

Offline GeordieMessiah

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #39 on: Wednesday 19 October 2016, 05:57:45 PM »
Who exactly is it that is supposed to be treating him like a prophet?  He's no different to the countless talking heads, journalists, whoever, that write books on how the world works from their point of view.  Why do they get a free pass, because they're in written media?  He's chosen a different path.  We read the countless drones from The Guardian, Indy, etc, all pontificating away about the world's troubles, how we got there, who's to blame.  He's doing nowt different other than the format.  People do the same with George Monbiot*, Robert Fisk*, Polly Toynbee**.  What's the deal here?  People just produce links to articles with words that amount to, "this is what I think."

That was a fair article, by the way, Cook makes some good points.  But some of Curtis' stuff is fantastic and teaches you a lot.  I think, personally, you're completely over emphasising his effect.  Although I accept there will be some that espouse his every word. 

* Guilty!

** Was guilty till Corbyn!

If I'm preaching anything it's simply to maintain a healthy scepticism. Actually, if I'm coming across as preachy at all, I apologise. I just think that given his choice of media is more highly impactful (visual media usually is) then that needs to be taken into account. Truth be told, the best way to be (I suppose) is dipping your intellectual wick in as many different sources of information and opinion and world views as possible - maybe that's the best way to develop a reasonably well-balanced world view. I dunno. 43 years in and still not cracked it myself...

Was wondering this myself, he's just a filmmaker who I like the output of.

He's a visual communicator, his stuff also has to be visually and aurally interesting to work.

Of course, all fair points, especially about him being a visual communicator. I just think that his medium is more powerful. It's the difference between Coors Light and Carlsberg Export.

And as for calling him a prophet, I guess that's my own hyperbole at work. I've perhaps spent too much of my life writing rhetoric for political purpose and it's a hard habit to break. :blush:
Whether it's God or the bomb
It's just the same
It's only fear under another name
And the corporate snakes coming in to feed
On that pathetic fact known as human greed
Skin and bone being raked over those hot coals
This dump never seems to give time for human soul

Offline BlufPurdi

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  • Speaking truth to stupid since 2005.
Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #40 on: Wednesday 19 October 2016, 08:09:41 PM »
Nah man, you're right in essence.  Just think a bit harsh.  If nothing else, he's making relatively boring, (as said before) complex and tedious information feel enjoyable, almost nostalgic feeling with his use of almost exclusively archive footage and whatever else and is getting it out to a wider audience to absorb.  The stuff he goes on about would be a horrific read.  Although looking into the stuff he talks about in your own time after to learn more about it can be fascinating. 

I am a pure fan boy though, been watching and studying all the stuff he talks about since Power of Nightmares.  Whether the dots he connects to sell the idea of the episode rings true is down to your own perception, but the events he talks about are there, they happened, there's nae pish there.  And also, he doesn't do it for the money.  So far...
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Offline Lotus

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #41 on: Thursday 20 October 2016, 01:04:50 PM »
http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2016-10-19/adam-curtis-another-manager-of-perceptions/

I've only watched HyperNormalisation once (don't imagine watching it again tbh..) but Cook's 2nd paragraph and assertion that Curtis says 'our societies are driven almost exclusively by a struggle of ever-more complex ideas, often dangerous ones, and only marginally by economic forces.' doesn't ring true though as AC's film spoke at length of economic forces taking over the politics of New York for instance. Bitter Lake was also very clear on the power of economic forces. Seems a strange conclusion for Cook to make.

The notion that Occupy and other movements had no clear idea of what things should be rings true too. It's common to shout for change but few have a clear idea of what they actually want to be different.

Politicians like Sanders, i suspect, were easily marginalised by the media as his ideas force people to think where as Trump's invite you not to. My suspicion is that many of Trump's supporters don't care if what he says is rubbish, maybe deep down they know it is but they enjoy the feeling he gives them, the sense of righteous outrage and the notion of taking the power back and righting wrongs with a few simple strokes. They feel empowered by the words and ideas whether they're are accurate or not. I don't think they're in it for the truth. They just want to feel better.

I think it's quite clear that the dissolution of power through the enormity of market forces means that politicians are largely not as influential as they once were but have to appear to still be so. Perhaps we're moving into a situation whereby only in dictatorships or police states can you really judge who's making the decisions. Western democracies are so rife with pressure groups, corporate lobbyists and outsourced government departments that it is increasingly impossible to know who is actually truly responsible for decisions and what their motives were.

However, good to see criticisms of AC's work. Balancing arguments in a constructive way is healthy and thought provoking. Helps one to decide for oneself.
The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.

Offline BlufPurdi

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  • Speaking truth to stupid since 2005.
Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #42 on: Thursday 20 October 2016, 01:08:11 PM »
:thup:
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Offline BlufPurdi

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  • Speaking truth to stupid since 2005.
Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #43 on: Thursday 20 October 2016, 03:57:05 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/entries/5a7b18b5-0ec3-3d3e-a307-54820a7c6a59

His blog's got some good entries on it.  Stuff he's not made actual documentaries for but clearly put in a lot of effort, research.  Above is worth a read.  Not a frequently updated blog though.
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Offline colinmk

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #44 on: Friday 21 October 2016, 10:56:12 AM »
http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2016-10-19/adam-curtis-another-manager-of-perceptions/

I've only watched HyperNormalisation once (don't imagine watching it again tbh..) but Cook's 2nd paragraph and assertion that Curtis says 'our societies are driven almost exclusively by a struggle of ever-more complex ideas, often dangerous ones, and only marginally by economic forces.' doesn't ring true though as AC's film spoke at length of economic forces taking over the politics of New York for instance. Bitter Lake was also very clear on the power of economic forces. Seems a strange conclusion for Cook to make.

The notion that Occupy and other movements had no clear idea of what things should be rings true too. It's common to shout for change but few have a clear idea of what they actually want to be different.

Politicians like Sanders, i suspect, were easily marginalised by the media as his ideas force people to think where as Trump's invite you not to. My suspicion is that many of Trump's supporters don't care if what he says is rubbish, maybe deep down they know it is but they enjoy the feeling he gives them, the sense of righteous outrage and the notion of taking the power back and righting wrongs with a few simple strokes. They feel empowered by the words and ideas whether they're are accurate or not. I don't think they're in it for the truth. They just want to feel better.

I think it's quite clear that the dissolution of power through the enormity of market forces means that politicians are largely not as influential as they once were but have to appear to still be so. Perhaps we're moving into a situation whereby only in dictatorships or police states can you really judge who's making the decisions. Western democracies are so rife with pressure groups, corporate lobbyists and outsourced government departments that it is increasingly impossible to know who is actually truly responsible for decisions and what their motives were.

However, good to see criticisms of AC's work. Balancing arguments in a constructive way is healthy and thought provoking. Helps one to decide for oneself.

Good post Lotus. I've only watched it once too so it's slightly hard to comment on it fully as it was hard to keep on top of all he was saying. 

I am inclined to agree with Cook when he says that his perception of why movements fail is sketchy. People who are willing to go that far won't normally just be doing it because they are headless turkeys and reacting for the sake of it, in my experience. I think Cook backs up why it failed in Egypt with good points. I get what Curtis is saying about movements failing because of lack of next vision but there are always other things at play too and the time we are living through plays a big role in that. The system, or capitalism obviously being the biggest driving force, sparking off serious events the world over which in turn then have profound effects. People might be living in denial but also the system is probably going into prolonged failure(for the west, it's never been good for elsewhere) and this is as much to do with the rise of idiots like Trump and UKIP imo. 

I also got a very sneering and pretty petty tone against the left throughout the doc too. It's like he blames the left and tries to portray all lefties as self-obsessed inward looking hippies who p*ssed off when the going got tough. Might be true in a few cases but hardly fair and just seems deliberately distorted. Politicians like Blair have surely been a main problem with the left in that the likes of him managed to pull the whole political sphere here even further right, funnily enough by pretending to be something he wasn't. Curtis could have explored that too and it is in keeping with the theme of his doc but not with his critique of the left.

I also can't quite remember what it was about his vision of the internet and networks I didn't agree with but it didn't sit right with me either. Will have to watch it again.

It's a bloody good doc though and like you say gets people talking so all good. The stuff about Libya is fascinating and I hadn't really thought about the rise of suicide bombing before. For me Bitter Lake was a lot better and maybe that's because it was more focused and covered less ground.

Offline sadnesstan

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #45 on: Tuesday 25 October 2016, 02:18:30 AM »
When the BBC pay a man to make films that present 'evidence' that directly contradicts the official narrative as provided by the BBC, you really should be asking questions.

I mean this man has openly stated that Al Quaeda never existed. ???


Offline BlufPurdi

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #46 on: Tuesday 25 October 2016, 02:27:43 AM »
He said it didn't exist in the sense that there were sleeper cells all over the world waiting to be activated at bin Laden's command.  As the media narrative was at that time.  That he was essentially just one man, spouting ideas from a cave in the desert with little actual power unlike that which we were supposed to believe.  Not that he was a centralised decision maker, directing attack after attack on the west.  Again, as we were supposed to believe. 
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Offline sadnesstan

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #47 on: Tuesday 25 October 2016, 02:36:35 AM »
He said it didn't exist in the sense that there were sleeper cells all over the world waiting to be activated at bin Laden's command.  As the media narrative was at that time.  That he was essentially just one man, spouting ideas from a cave in the desert with little actual power unlike that which we were supposed to believe.  Not that he was a centralised decision maker, directing attack after attack on the west.  Again, as we were supposed to believe.

What, you haven't seen the documentary in which he claims it was invented so that the US government could pursue Bin Laden for prosecution.

Offline sadnesstan

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #48 on: Tuesday 25 October 2016, 02:59:51 AM »
watched it back and you clearly have seen it.

Whether it is acceptable to invent evidence to secure a prosecution is one thing, to use that invented evidence as a clarion call to engage in an endless war is quite another.

The question is have the BBC done anything, other than giving Adam Curtis a few hours on iplayer once every few years, to redress the balance?

Offline BlufPurdi

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Re: HyperNormalisation - New film by Adam Curtis
« Reply #49 on: Tuesday 25 October 2016, 03:02:58 AM »
He claims, rightly, that they provided logistical support to him and the mujahideen during the Russian intervention of Afghanistan.  And claims, rightly, that al-Qaeda, was an overblown narrative for the reasons in the previous post.  In fairness, he's actually literally right to say we created 'al-qaeda' as bin Laden only ever started to use the term after 9/11 after realising that's what we've decided to call them.  What, nearly 2 decades after his group formed? 
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.