On the flip side, an opinion about return to normal and gaslighting


This was the next article down from Roberts’ last post about ending the lockdown. Interesting and a bit eye opening.

It reminds me those places where a lake or river is emptied temporarily either by design or weather. We see the bottom and all it’s “treasures”, good and bad.

32 thoughts on “On the flip side, an opinion about return to normal and gaslighting

  1. Nice read.

    Couple of takeaways. 1) …a government that has so severely damaged the credibility of our media that 300 million people don’t know who to listen to for basic facts that can save their lives.” This seems evident in the many discussions on these boards about media sources. We’ve all done it.

    2) And so the onslaught is coming. Get ready, my friends. What is about to be unleashed on American society will be the greatest campaign ever created to get you to feel normal again. It will come from brands, it will come from government, it will even come from each other, and it will come from the left and from the right. We will do anything, spend anything, believe anything, just so we can take away how horribly uncomfortable all of this feels. And on top of that, just to turn the screw that much more, will be the one effort that’s even greater: the all-out blitz to make you believe you never saw what you saw. The air wasn’t really cleaner; those images were fake. The hospitals weren’t really a war zone; those stories were hyperbole. The numbers were not that high; the press is lying. You didn’t see people in masks standing in the rain risking their lives to vote. Not in America. You didn’t see the leader of the free world push an unproven miracle drug like a late-night infomercial salesman. That was a crisis update. You didn’t see homeless people dead on the street. You didn’t see inequality. You didn’t see indifference. You didn’t see utter failure of leadership and systems.”

    This is what we all must guard against going forward. Of we fall for it, either business, government or a combination of the two, the “gaslighting” is going to be brutal. Let’s NOT forget what we have seen. From first-line hospital staff saying they don’t have enough, to trench-style mass graves being dug for victims of the disease, to the cleaner air we are seeing in places that had daily smog reports of good or bad days.

    Pay attention going forward folks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Gaslighting is basically how trump and GOP created the “cult”. They will not only swallow the unreality that will and is descending they will help perpetuate and enhance it.

      At this point nothing the truth sayers can do will help them but vigilance and pushback to hold the line will be necessary.

      I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but the power of cult thinking and brainwashing cannot and should not be underestimated.

      Please see Germany in the 1930s….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Last night on 60 minutes, they interview Navarro, Trump’s trade genius and also the one who wrote the prescient memo warning of the consequences of the pandemic.

        Back in January.

        Interesting though, is the part of the interview where he praised our actions being taken in “Trump time” as evidence of the administration doing more than any other administration would have or could have done…ever.

        What was left out is why we waited 2 months to act. And this is specifically about supplies.

        Waiting to lockdown the economy might have been prudent in January or even February. But supply shortages could have been averted if Trump had at least listened to Azar or even Navarro and apparently quite a few others that were pushing for action early on.

        So apparently, the new goal is to say how well the regime is acting today, which is not that great in and of itself.

        And so it goes. Gaslight Americans until they have no clue as to what is going on. Confuse them as Trump told Stahl in 2016.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. “Gaslight Americans until they have no clue as to what is going on“

          One of the reasons I continue to read and participate on this blog is to try to get my head around the depth of the effect of the gaslighting on reasonably intelligent and knowledgeable people.

          The extent that they will go to to justify and dispute the obvious facts of this Administration’s insane behavior is impressive on one level and frightening on another.

          I’ve seen countless rational arguments shot down with nothing more than a single cherry picked statement and supported with logic only Inspector Clouseau could appreciate.

          Still SMH…

          Liked by 2 people

    1. …” It will come from brands, it will come from government, it will even come from each other”….

      So what part of “government” are you thinking about? And it is already started. See my post above from 60 Minutes. If Navarro isn’t part of the administration, then who in the hell is he?

      And you appear to be the lead …”each other”… here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The writer discusses mass media. That government is one participant is noteworthy, but not the point, unless the only reason for understanding mass media is to blame Trump. That is the obsessive/compulsive reaction I find silly here.


    2. “ And so we are about to be gaslit in a truly unprecedented way. It starts with a check for $1,200 (Don’t say I never gave you anything) and then it will be so big that it will be bigly. And it will be a one-two punch from both big business and the big White House — inextricably intertwined now more than ever and being led by, as our luck would have it, a Marketer in Chief. Business and government are about to band together to knock us unconscious again. It will be funded like no other operation in our lifetimes. It will be fast. It will be furious. And it will be overwhelming. The Great American Return to Normal is coming.”

      I believe the Marketer in Chief reference is pretty clear.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “I believe the Marketer in Chief reference was pretty clear.”

        It was. But for those who know it, the fact that all of media in this country is run by just six companies. That gives you seven scapegoats to chose from, if that’s your game.


        1. Six are much better than one.

          It also assumes that editorial decisions at hundreds of outlets are rigidly controlled.

          The most recent effort that I am familiar with is the pressure by Sinclair, a very conservative broadcasting company, that sent an editorial to all its stations after a recent buyout that it required the locals to read.

          Earlier efforts included this:

          “Sinclair requires its stations to air segment “must-runs,” such as daily updates on terrorism-related news and a package in 2016 that said voters shouldn’t support Hillary Clinton because the Democratic Party was, historically, pro-slavery.“


          I am sure there are others, but I have not seen many media giants come to the news front with such control.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. “The writer discusses mass media.”

    Sure. Advertising is the push. But to ignore the government effect on what is being advertised is to ignore their influence on it, in this particular instance.

    My wife and son both said how amazed they were about how quickly adds came out about how to survive by using such and such a service, or that a company is doing what it can to help you get through this, or that it is supporting as many people as possible suffering from the effects of the pandemic. But what was missing from the conversation is how much of the government message drives it. I pointed that out and they understood what I was talking about.

    We all have to get through this. But we all have to be prudent about what message is being conveyed and when on the other end. Those who believe every last peep from the administration are prone to believing the gaslight messages. Prudence is not just the name of a friend of mine’s mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see. Well, if blaming Trump is the only way you can approach the topic of mass media leading you like a sheep, maybe you can learn something that way.

      If you ever decide to broaden your horizons, you might consider watching Noam Chomski’s documentary series, “Manufacturing Consent.” It is on YouTube and aired on PBS back in the eighties.


      1. A couple of years ago the seminal work’s base premises were revisited by a number of people and the dialogue continues. It is a good read, as well as, a cautionary tale.

        Some truth, some hyperbole, and in some ways representative of the very bias it intends to expose.

        Worth the read, regardless of the motivation.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Chomsky”s premises, the 5 “filters”, are really the result of media being free market capitalist businesses.

        The need for power, revenue, favors, tempered protection from attacks, “flak”, and some form of ideological cover (in Chomsky’s treatise it was anti-communism) are all the operating principles of any corporation that wants to make money or even stay in business.

        And he gives examples going back more than a century.

        So do we have solutions? Yes. And the best ones are here now: an unfettered access to the internet and its databases of sources across the spectrum makes ignorance through propaganda a matter of personal laziness, steadfast ideological passion or, worst of all, income constraints for the lowest quintile.

        Restrictions on the media are pointless and mostly unconstitutional. Plus it is the first step for any autocrat to denigrate, emasculate and control media. That alone should send warning bells to anyone.

        There is no better way to “clean up” the media than the internet and some diligence by the electorate.

        Which is why Trump works so hard to cast doubt on the media. He can’t restrict it, he can’t truly threaten it. He can just “buy” into it via such organs as Newscorp, etc., and it’s broad reach via FOX. And then try to convince his supporters that all OTHER media is suspect.

        Chomsky had a good point. But it was an observation during a time of relatively limited access by the public compared to today.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Chomsky’s left wing bias is no doubt the reason PBS ran the series in the first place. But if Chomsky’s socialism makes it easier for someone to approach the material, that’s OK. The mechanics are the same, regardless of the ideology.


          1. “The mechanics are the same…”

            That would be the mechanics of free market capitalism.

            That is what both Chomsky wrote and I agreed with.

            The question that Trump, and you have agreed with, is should the press be constrained by government or its agents in contrast to the 1st Amendment.

            Constrained as in holding professional journalists to a higher standard than the president, or allowing politicians to sue media for critical articles.

            I say that is the first step to authoritarianism. Plus, with the internet, cross ownership of media is almost moot since it can be challenged so easily. Both the right and left have fact checking sites that work tirelessly to that end.

            Self imposed ignorance, laziness, or time and economic circumstances are the main restraints in the modern internet world.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. @Len

            “Self imposed ignorance“

            Which is the hallmark of the brainwashed cult.

            The three monkeys will play their role to the bitter end.


            Liked by 1 person

          3. RE: “That would be the mechanics of free market capitalism.”

            I actually had in mind the mechanics of mass psychological manipulation, which is a major theme of the video series. But if capitalism vs. socialism is the only way for you to grasp the material, then suit yourself.

            As for the internet, I don’t see much hope there, given the levels of censorship we are seeing on the major platforms.


          4. What is driving the “mass psychological manipulation”?

            Sales, profit, market share, and power…all the drivers of competitors in the free market.

            So popular stories will outsell detailed, wonky policy discussions…by far.

            I am not that paranoid. I don’t believe there is a nefarious cabal trying to manipulate the news without any challenges. I don’t believe there is a “deep state”.

            I do believe that the laws of the land are unfairly biased against the middle and lower incomes. Not because of a conspiracy to do so, but because people do work in their own self interest. If you have a lot of money, and we have a political system based on money, you will arrange more laws to be favorable to your making and keeping more money regardless of national needs. And such laws are zero sum.

            What censorship are you talking about?

            Liked by 1 person

          5. RE: “What censorship are you talking about?”

            I have in mind the mass deplatformings at YouTube, the cancelation of whole domains like 8chan.net, and the ever-deepening rules to control free speech at Facebook and Twitter. You will probably say these are free market effects, but it doesn’t matter because these things compromise the internet’s ability to serve the function you think it is supposed to serve in a free speech society

            Even the one conspiracy theory you believe in — the pursuit of profit — doesn’t apply.


          6. The pursuit of profit is now a conspiracy theory?

            Really? I thought that was the heart of capitalism.

            As far as the rest…I disagree.

            Liked by 2 people

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