In "1984" we were introduced to a future of endless war, doublespeak and hidden history. In "Brave New World" the model was one of information overload and convincing the population to love and participate in their confinement. First year Philosophy majors have argued about which way we're going for decades, but the answer is obvious.
Americans have largely given up on proper meals, so it's logical that the future-come-present has assumed the shape of a combo platter. "Brave New World" at home, "1984" abroad (or if we stand up to the octopus when it does things like digging up graveyards for oil pipelines, killing children with the impunity of a badge, or hijack votes).
Force is largely unnecessary to control Gen Pop in the ZooSA because the mass media has the national attention so firmly in hand. Now, many of us don't believe the news anymore, but we're still letting it drive the national conversation. People who belittle sports talk politics as fervently as any superfan. It's all the same routine dressed up in different outfits. While sports fans enjoy a mostly healthy competition, however, people who take politics seriously are being backed into smaller and smaller corners of paranoia. It's a wonderful time to be selling concrete bunkers, MREs and precious metals. Just swap Y2K for 2012 for Jade Helm for.. Whatever.
Just like with sports, we're encouraged to identify with a team that has little if anything to do with us. As George Carlin noted, the real power is a Big Club we aren't in. On a local level some shifts are possible, but in the District of Columbia it's all shadowplay.
The red versus blue/right versus left farce is there to hide the real issue: the grand pyramid scheme where the arbitrary "top" siphon all the power and resources from the mesmerized "bottom" while we bicker over surface level hate-bait. The media may once have served as a check of corporate and state power, but now it is there to parrot the party line, polarize and divide. With some exceptions, it keeps people in either fight or flight mode or longing for some fiction to be made flesh, and all of it encourages spending by providing the illusion of relief via product in the all too few frequent commercial breaks. The machine is doing a damn fine job.
To me, the whole setup reeks of a kind of black magic meant to keep the majority as a kind of psychological cattle for the parasitic stress farmers, but ultimately it isn't that important whether our behavior is manipulated by malevolent magicians or marketing experts with an acute understanding of psychology. Our situation is the same: we are surrounded and caught by nets woven of company logos and archetypal symbols, sound bites and trigger words, all dressed up as our fondest desires, which are themselves engineered by the same well-worn means.
Orwell missed the mark a bit. The unaccountable powers that work behind the facade of scapegoat-able "leaders" have full spectrum dominance, with no shots fired, at least in suburbia. This works as long as we cooperate as willing puppets. That may sound like a strong word, but if you don't think we're hypnotized, try to walk a mile without seeing 100 people living in three dimensions but habitually staring into a flat plane of pixelated light patterns. It's not an accident that television has been made utterly portable.
What to do? Make the switch from passive to active, consumer to producer, using the same dazzling technology you're reading this on and taking advantage of the same portability. As Jello Biafra suggests, don't just hate the media, become the media. As Neil Gaiman and Terence McKenna suggest, make good art! There's no better way to change culture for the better by adding your genuine voice to the mix, and we are in a Golden Age of opportunity in that regard. Best take the chance while it is there.
In that spirit, in the near future I will be doing articles and then videos with an eye to catching and decoding the messages buried all around us for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. I'd say stay tuned, but I'd rather you did your own tuning.