The proliferation of cable television channels specializing in multifarious forms and genres of entertainment is not merely a result of technological progress, but an ever-obvious symptom of decades of collective ennui. Undoubtedly inspired by Kierkegaard's theory of "crop rotation" as a method of aesthetic diversion, Martin Heidegger pointed out in 1929 (over thirty years before the inauguration of the Internationale Situationniste and the politics of boredom) that the "fundamental attunement" of the technological, and mutatis mutandis informational, age is "profound boredom." Since "we have become bored with ourselves," perhaps with different backgrounds, in multimedia settings, on digital frequencies, we can again find ourselves, our own characters, interesting.
We can choose to live with regrets and in quiet desperation, or we can follow the leads of cinematic individuals who responded to the pain and suffering of existence with their whole beings beyond good and evil. Here cinema and the jargon of authenticity overlap. Like Heidegger's notion of authenticity, affirming the eternal return "snatches one back from the endless multiplicity of possibilities which offer themselves as closest to one--those of comfortableness, shirking, and taking things lightly--and brings Dasein [existence] into the simplicity of fate." In other words, we can, like many, live a boring, derivative film with a bad script, or we can affirm ourselves, our own characters, in a super-diegetic existence which will play interminably. Just as art is a mission that demands fanaticism, so is life. "If, in all that you will begin by asking yourself: is it certain that I will to do it an infinite number of times? This should be your most solid center of gravity." By this rule, each of us lives as the filmmaker creates.
The dissolution and thinking through of moral-amoral multivalences become increasingly
too pretentious, too artificial, and not binding enough for today's mentalities. The trend
hints at a more brutal way out of the tension, at an inclination to breaking loose,
to massacre, to explosion, to catastrophe. . . . Fascist artistic release. Tense situations
no longer call for mediation and defusing so much as for things to be blown to smithereens.
In fact history does not belong to us, but we belong to it. Long
before we understand ourselves through the process of
self-examination, we understand oursevles in a self-evident way in the
family, society and state in which we live. The focus of subjectivity
is a distorting mirror. . . .
That is why the prejudices of the individual, far more than his judgments constitute the historical reality of his being.
Propaganda: any association, systematic scheme, or concerted movement
for the propagation of a particular doctrine or practice.
Shorter Oxford Dictionary
Propaganda: the technique of influencing human action by the
manipulation of representations.
H.D. Lasswell Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1931
It can be helpful to think of truth, journalism and propaganda as
points on a continuum. Truth is at the disinterested end of the
continuum, propaganda operates on the other, instrumental end.
Propaganda thus becomes a process for the sowing, germination and
cultivation of ideas and, as such, is -- or at least should be --
neutral as a concept. The problem is that human beings frequently
inject morality into processes.
Philip M. Taylor