“His response was to fight it with the only weapons at hand—passive resistance and open displays of contempt.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan
If you don’t recall, or, if you missed the class, here is a brief refresher:
El Zorro’s mask, Cesar de Huaizache and the bandana he wore when he introduced his boots to the Mexico-Meximerican disco scene, and many more examples of the masked man appear in pop culture.
BTW- “who was that…black man?….”
Was the real “Lone Ranger” a hero, or just another black man, in white face? After all-he arrested his own son! Black on black crime, or federalism? You decide….
“Real life superhero”
In fact, if the newspaper clippings, federal documents, and handed-down stories are anything to go by, Reeves[the recently, and theoretically possible Lone Ranger archetype] wasn’t just a lawman — he was a 6 foot 2 inch moustachioed muscleman who was so honorable he even arrested his own son.”
The man who portrayed the Lone Ranger on television was NOT black, but Clayton Moore, is from Minnesota, an American state that was also a hotbed (a fertile birthplace and political ally of) Nazi-ism, eugenics, and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as an enabler of modern race based federal initiatives.
So, regardless of cultural co-option, or the factors that enable it, the mask has a long tradition of protecting common, ordinary people who have potentially unpopular ideas, and who take risks to express those ideas, but it also protects government agents, and agents provocateurs, somewhat.
Currently, one of the most popular masked heros is anyone-and everyone, that looks like this:
Pop culture is itself a sort of mask that anyone, from any walk of life can wear to assimilate into any and every culture, because it provides easy dialogue about common topics, and a sense of shared purpose, and “common” understanding.
These cultural masks protect us from harm in many ways, and provide a small shield against our individuality being exposed, violated, taken for granted, or from being ostracized.
But what happens when agencies, and governments, and whole militaries wear masks?
Is institutionalized anonymity the same thing as a citizen taking a risk as an individual?
The mask of sanity, and sociopathigenisis*;
Pop culture, and popular ideas are also tools of exploitation that are used by official organizations, corporations, governments and the propaganda wings of the various military, security and surveillance societies.
These “official sources” have various agendas, and literally trillions of dollars invested in forming and manipulating you, as an individual, and your time as a citizen, and every penny of your limited resources.
So-who are those masked men-and women- who hide behind billion dollar police and state technologies and beaureaucracies, with official badges and titles, and many in elected positions?
This is perhaps the single most important question that you, as an individual could ever ask in or of American society, because those masked people want to own you.
And, in lieu of that, they have little or no problem in killing you, or otherwise sabotaging your life in a variety of quasi-legal ways.
What is popular with them?
Here is the background-the cultural backdrop-of CIA control and influence over pop culture narratives and mass media: Project MOCKINGBIRD, which recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA’s views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA.
Mockingbird, with the covert assistance of other domestic agents of social control, such as the FBI, academic institutions, and others brought America directly under the influence of a shadow government known as the security state.
Here is one mans opinion about that:
There exists in our nation today a powerful and dangerous secret cult — the cult of intelligence. Its holy men are the clandestine professionals of the Central Intelligence Agency. Its patrons and protectors are the highest officials of the federal government. Its membership, extending far beyond governmental circles, reaches into the power centers of industry, commerce, finance, and labor. Its friends are many in the areas of important public influence — the academic world and the communications media. The cult of intelligence is a secret fraternity of the American political aristocracy.
From “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence,” by Victor Marchetti, former assistant to the Deputy Director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency
Notice two things about this mans opinion: he is NOT anonymous, like the official sources that he writes about, and two-he states that the CIA and its cohort of affiliations are a CULT.
This is important for many reasons, but for now, remember that the root word of culture is cult. Cults form around many things, as we have discussed earlier, but for our purposes today, lets look at a few pop culture ideas.
A cult of personality in music
a cult following in movies
The cult of Cartman in animation
Cargo cults in anthropology
Now, lets step back and analyze the use of the word cult in pop culture. Does pop culture use the term differently than you have thought of it in the past?
Well, cults are both very real and powerful ‘opiates of the masses’ as well as playful terms of pop culture. Do you think you can distinguish the difference? Do you think there is a reason why the use of the word is diffused?
In popular culture today, “conspiracy theory” is quite common. Everybody knows the term-but not everybody understands how, why or who has popularized these terms.
It is this attitude of not knowing that leads to paranoid ideas about cults and conspiracies, but knowing the terms of art in propaganda alleviates (and obviates) suspicion, and allows you to be a capable consumer of mass media.
Here’s some food for thought: in ancient Egypt, at the time of early Christianity, the cult of Isis and Christianity shared similar ideas.
One looks like this:
And the other looks like this:
Isis the goddess had great power over life and death-and so does the group ISIS. Do you think these two narratives are a coincidence? Do you think it is coincidence that one narrative is female, and the other, male?
Here is one persons opinion:
Regardless of which narrative you choose, keep in mind that someone, somewhere will profit from the conflict.
Some will profit in small ways:
While others will profit in big ways:
the American public has been bombarded with frightening propaganda from our political and media establishments that up-play the dangers of the Islamic State (AKA ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) attacking the United States. We have heard innumerable news reports describing barbarous crimes committed by masked ISIS leaders, and have seen videos of Americans getting decapitated. Additionally, the Obama administration has hyped the threat of ISIS to justify attacking them as a legitimate threat to the USA, while the Republicans have hyped ISIS as a failure of the Obama administration that should justify their election back into positions of power.
Isis, or ISIS is a popular topic today, despite the fact that they may or may not be “popular” according to official sources in CIA backed western mass media. And, as a phrase, or a memetic, it has been quite effective.
The modern ISIS may, or may not be the product of ancient elite societies that still thrive today, or the instigation and creation of intelligence agencies and their well heeled corporate subscribers, and financially viable elites for the benefit of unbridaled, unregulated capital profit- because unless you ARE one of the high priests of ISIS- one of the inner circle of such a cult, there is no way to demonstrate the truth.
In lieu of that, the question to ask is-why is this idea popular, now? Why does media, and popular culture even talk about ISIS? Because someone, somewhere has an agenda? That’s my best guess.
Someone with their hands on the wheel of power, access to official sources, and the tools of propaganda, and those who disseminate it.
So regardless of what media tells us or sells us about Isis, I wonder-when was the last time ANY western media mentioned this-the English translation for Israeli Secret Intelligence Service is ISIS:
Efraim Halevy, the head of the Mossad, Israel’s espionage agency, or as he is usually introduced in English, the chief of the ISIS (Israel secret intelligence service). SIS is the official name of MI6
So- who is it that has control of the modern cult of Isis? That person certainly must know a thing or two about propaganda, and those who control it-and someone like Ephraim Halevy, in coordination with other intelligence agencies, certainly fits that profile.
The only thing that matters-or should matter-to the unwitting consumer of ideas ( you, the target of official, state sponsored “official” narratives, and the weapons of memetics) is this: that you do your homework, and never take any pop culture idea for granted, or at face value.
That, and, follow the money, because that is the net gain of all popularization of ideas in the cultural marketplace.
Here is Halevy speaking on the “threat” of ISIS, as he beats the war drum in the ear of the US and others in 2002: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.605376
Israeli intelligence link:
official source journalism
race based initiatives
Notes for further reading:
No discussion of masks can be complete without acknowledging the correlation of the use of masks with sociologically termed deviant activity.
And, no discussion of the use of masks is complete without noting that the worlds leading organization of psychology professionals, the American Psychological Association, is peopled with people who all wear the mask of official credentials in their names, and bios that are themselves testament to official narratives of power.
Lastly, such discussion requires a look at the difference between sociopaths, psychopaths, and whole cultures that deviate from acceptable legal, moral, and ethical premises.
Sociopathy versus Psychopathology:
On the successful institutionalization of cultures of sociopaths:
Commentary on one world leader, and the recent creation of a culture of narcissistic psychopaths: