The Battle For Your Mind
Life is a series of mind games. Here is how to play.
"Are you really you,
or are you
have told you
Do you think for yourself...or is that just what you've been programmed to think?
article by LiveReal Agents
The Game: chess (or something like it).
The Object of The Game: to defeat the other players to win "The Prize."
The Prize: your mind (aka, total and complete control over your life).
The Players: (in alphabetical order):
ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox. Etc.
Local drug dealer
Miller Brewing Company
NBA Media Ventures, LLC.
NFL Enterprises, LLC.
Paris Hilton's publicist
Either or Both U.S. Political Parties
The President of the United States
Any various Spiritual Giants
The people who work for TMZ.com
Your family and friends.
"You gotta get
your mind right!"
"An interesting game," you might say. "A terrorist winning total control of my mind? Or even worse - Paris Hilton's publicist? Boy, I'm sure glad there's no game like this actually going on, in real life!"
But there is.
If you were to read one Sunday edition of the New York Times, you would be taking in more factual information than was available in all the written material available to a reader in the 15th century.
Add to that all the e-mails, voice mails, television commercials, television shows, movies, billboards, radio, Web pages (2 billion and growing), books (60,000 new ones a year), magazines (18,000 a year in the U.S. alone)...
- and there are a lot of things clamoring and competing for one thing:
But what, really, is the purpose of all of this noise and clatter?
It's simple, really: to manipulate you.
A lot of people today are, frankly, being "manipulated," or perhaps, "persuaded" is a better word, or pitched, propositioned, coerced, asked, hectored, heckled, nagged, or just flat out told - even commanded - what to buy, eat, wear, watch, feel, do, think, and live by a skillfed handful of professionals - advertisers, marketing experts, politicians, teachers, media executives, and in some case, even their own friends, family, and spouses.
is an actual
to covert subconscious
by the greatest hypnotic
- scary, huh?
And there's a chance that many these folks - the ones being manipulated/persuaded/prodded don't really know, or care. And they don't know that they don't know, and they don't care about not caring.
As long as they don't blatantly feel like they are being manipulated (a feeling which is carefully put there by skilled manipulators) . . . they don't mind, and they will happily do what they are told.
A handful of others, however, do mind. They want to be sure and certain that they are in charge of their own lives, and don't want anybody else - especially those who don't have their interests in mind - directing things.
This Arena of LiveReal is for them.
. . . meaning, it's for you.
is to help you survive this landscape of the modern world;
to help you protect your mind, your heart,
your time, your energy,
your sanity, and your wallet.
"Propaganda is to democracy
what violence is to totalitarianism.
The techniques have been honed to a high art in the U.S. and elsewhere,
far beyond anything that Orwell dreamed of."
- Noam Chomsky
movies, radio, the internet . . .
nowadays, commercials no longer
innocently try to sell their cars and hamburgers.
Rather, they literally imply
that buying their cargo pants, toothpaste, or laundry detergent
will bring you happiness, peace of mind, and spiritual fulfillment
as long as you buy their stuff.
The Average American today
is exposed to more than three hundred ads per day
and spends more than three years of his or her life
Do you think for yourself?
. . . or is that just
what you've been told to say?
"What do I do all day?
I sit here and think of ways to make people feel bad.
You can't sell a product
without first making people feel bad.. . . it's a substitution game.
You have to remind them
that they're missing something from their lives.
Everyone's missing something, right?
. . . Trust me.
And when they're feeling sufficiently
you convince them that your product is the only thing that can fill the void
. . . so instead of taking steps to deal with their lives,
instead of working to root out the real reason for their misery
they run out
and buy a stupid-looking pair of cargo pants."
- Dylan Kidd, from the film Roger Dodger
"I wanted a McSandwich...
- but I got a McLife!"
"Only eight percent of an
is received by the conscious mind;
the rest is worked and reworked
deep within the recesses of the brain . . ."
- Rance Crain,
Advertising Age magazine
What is "persuasion"?
"Persuasion isn't just getting
the gold fillings out of someone's teeth.
Persuasion is getting the gold fillings
out of someone's teeth
and them thanking you for it."
"Persuasion is you buying what
we tell you to buy...
You wearing what we want you to wear...
You listening to what we tell you to listen to...
- and all the while,
you think that you're freely choosing to."
"I think that there is nothing,
not even crime,
more opposed to poetry,
ay, to life itself,
than this incessant business."
- Henry David Thoreau
This LiveReal Arena is about real freedom of mind.
We often hear a great deal
about political freedom and oppression .
but we hear much less
about something much more important -
- a freedom or oppression of the "inner" kind,
that is available no matter what the political situation is.
"Even if we grant
that the American has freed himself from a political tyrant,
he is still the slave of an economical and moral tyrant . . .
What is the value of any political freedom,
but as a means to moral freedom?"
- Henry David Thoreau
Nowadays, we probably hear more "sales
pitches" in a single day
than our ancestors heard in a lifetime.
("Mounting a successful movie marketing
says box-office tracker Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations,
"is like a military operation.")
The goal, then, of your trusty LiveReal Agents,
is to help arm you
with the mental and emotional tools
we all need just to survive today
in the modern culture of hype and spin.
"Freedom is generally thought
the ability to achieve goals and satisfy desires.
But what are the sources of these goals and desires?
If they arise from ignorance, habitual patterns, and negative emotions -
psychologically destructive elements that actually enslave us -
is the freedom to pursue them true freedom
or just a myth?"
- from The Myth Of Freedom
by Chogyam Trungpa
LiveReal: Peel the Onion.
We have nothing against an honest pitch, an honest communication of virtues, values, features and benefits and so on. Still, in an age of "persuasion professionals," mass-media and sound-bite-overload, where we are regularly and consistently subjected to an unprecedented barrage of advertisements, commercials, cults, and highly-honed persuasion tactics . . . even as many say everyone is already "overmanipulated" . . . it seems to require an increasingly sophisticated skill set to navigate through the sea of hype with sanity intact.
This "skill set" is what we are working to build.
"Rather than winning over customers
with facts and figures,
marketers today are shrewdly
tapping into people's
deepest desires . . . "
- from article on modern advertising
The way we see
it, there are two basic extremes:
one is naive ("Everybody's nice! Nobody's out to get me!")
the other is paranoid ("Everybody's mean! Nobody's out to get me!")
Our approach is to avoid both of these
with a realistic, sober, and clear outlook
that is neither too naive or too paranoid
in our hot pursuit
of a truly free mind.
* "we hope"? What's up with that?
Essentially, we want to continue this exploration, and this is the kind of thing we're going to do, if we're able. So, if you're interesting in seeing what we dig up, support us by joining up. If enough folks join the effort, the more likely it is that we'll be able to continue our raging against various machines. Soldier on.
We should treat our minds, that is, ourselves,
as innocent and ingenuous children,
whose guardians we are,
and be careful what objects and what subjects
we thrust on their attention."
- Henry David Thoreau
* Americans have been exposed to six times more advertising messages between 1971 and 1991. (Shenk, David, "Why You Feel the Way You Do," In. Boston, Jan. 1999).
* The typical American views roughly 37,822 commercials per year, or roughly 100 ads per day (Pratkanis, Aronson, 1991)
* Many define "young people today" as "the first generations whose value system will have been developed more by marketers and spin doctors than parents, teachers, and clergy."
* The average American child spends close to four hours a day in front of the television.
(If people want
to screw with
a mental condom.)
"For those who stubbornly seek
there can be no more urgent task
than to come to understand
the mechanisms and practices
- Noam Chomsky