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What a Coincidence!!

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Well, what a coincidence!!!  On Channel 4 tonight at 9, Putin - A Russian Spy Story, detailing the ruthless quest for power by Vladimir Putin, the diabolical fiend! He is a liar, a manipulator, he is vengeful, he never forgives or forgets!!! Ooooohhhhhh! Be afraid, be very afraid!!!! Aaahhhhhhhhh, run for the hills, the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!!!  Again...see previous post - A Life Lived in Fear

And look who's on before but none other than lovable Jamie with his Keep Cooking and Carry on, a programme (that was very quick off the mark) appropriately named and designed to pick up on that old wartime propaganda and invoke a sense of national camaraderie, showing us how to manage in these trying times, how to whip up an dinner with that packet of unidentifiable meat that's been lying in the back of the freezer for about 18 months and turn that black-skinned banana into a desert fit for a king! Ah lovely Jamie, if only there was a lovely boy contest we could enter him in - altogether now, aawwww!

Then, just when your feeling all warm and cosy with Jamie, they come in with the heavy propaganda because they know you'll all be home tonight, terrified into 'self isolation' (remember that, you did it to yourself) by the coronavirus - Vladimir Putin - even his name sounds heavy, actually, he sounds like a real man, (God, it's been so long since I saw one! I need to get out more, oh that's right, I can't!!) but that's a real manly name VLADIMIR, OHHHH, I like that!!!! Anyway, VLADIMIR PUTIN - The spy who trained under the KGB, those other diabolical fiends, and who rose to power by ruthlessly casting everyone aside and who ate babies for breakfast and ran over old ladies on the road and who rescued Russia from economic oblivion, oh, but they won't tell you about that last bit but you get the picture.

And when you press the blurb on the remote to see what it's about, what is it designated under? Anyone want to try and guess?  

Yes, you at the back - Politics?

No, but a good guess, that is what you would presume, oh yes, sorry, you over by the window?

Fiction or propaganda?

Good guess, I can see you've been listening, you'll do well in this class, but the thing is, they never tell you it's propaganda, they just try and make it appear like something familiar in a scary way, like it's a threat to your lifestyle (see previous post - A Life Lived in Fear) or if it's a behaviour they want you to adopt, they will dress it up as if it's an expression of your individuality but we haven't really covered that bit yet so anyone else, no?

Well, I know its difficult, but it's designated as ED U CA TION, do you see what they are doing there? 

Yes, they have designated it education because this is what they do, they try and teach you how to think, or how to think they way they think, the proper way. Because they don't want you to think or question anything, they want you to believe everything they tell you, to never think critically about what they are saying or showing you. So, in order to think critically what do you need to do?

Well, it's nearly break time so here's a list of questions to ask yourself before you believe anything:

1 What are they saying? 

2 Who is saying it?

3 And this is an important one - WHY are they saying it?

4 Where is the evidence? Another important one because sometimes they will just put a picture up and give it a headline, like MSN last week - Satellites Show Mass Graves in Iran - and there was a picture along with the headline showing rows of something on the ground, but it could have been houses, greenhouses and it could have been anywhere in the world to be honest (something which MSN aren't) Then when you went into the article, all it showed were pictures of people walking around in Iran. So be aware of that, always ask yourself what you are really looking at, where are the details, who is it, what is it, where is it? How do you know it is where or who they say it is?  Can it be verified by an independent body or person or someone you know is reliable?

5 Ok, and this is probably the most important one but not one most people would think of - Is there anything else going on in background that they may be trying to distract you from? The answer to this will usually be found in the financial pages and this is good advice for the future.  If you really want to know what the news is or find out what is really going on in the political world, don't check out the politics page on the news website, check out the financial page, because that is usually where the real news is happening. I know finance is a bit boring and tricky but you don't really need to know all the in and outs of the finance system, the basics are enough. Asking the questions is the important bit and I know it takes a bit of effort but the more you do it, the easier it becomes to see the truth or at least question the narrative even if you don't always understand what the end game is, but it usually comes down to money.

Ok, well done class, and I'll see you back here after the break.

Excuse me miss, but how do you know this stuff?

Well, the truth is, I took the red pill and left the matrix.


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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 19:27

The telly was so bad over Christmas with repeats of repeats of stuff that has been on for weeks already, so I succumbed and signed up to Netflix for the free one month trial.  This is the 3rd time I've had the one month trial but the first time I ever used it. 

I binged on Stranger Things, series 1 and 2, on recommendation from my son's girlfriend, and this was worth the monthly fee alone when I get around to paying for it.  Another recommendation was The Sinner which was enjoyable enough but the ending was a bit of a, not sure if it was a surprise or a let down, either way, it didn't end how I expected and with a few tweaks could have been better, more of the religiously demented mother would have been good and made the explanation more believable.  Anyway, it was worth a watch.

Then last night, I thought I would browse the classic movies and found a gem I had been looking at in HMV before Christmas and had put on my list to buy next time in Belfast, Cinema Paradiso (1988).

I had a vague recollection of watching this back in the day and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed watching it again.  It's the story of a young boy who loves movies and the film tracks the friendship between him and Alfredo, the projectionist, in the said Cinema Paradiso over the years.  It had some very beautiful moments and was a joy to watch and made me realise how over- stylised everything has become now in films.  I had the same thought when I watched Close Encounters again recently too.  Both films had good story lines and believable characters even though they are from very different genres but they were character driven not special effects driven, even though Close Encounters featured a lot of special effects.  A lesson for modern filmmakers maybe...

Cinema Paradiso is an Italian film and I remember back in the 80's, Channel 4 used to show foreign language films on a Thursday night and it was here that I watched one of the best films I've ever seen.  It was a Dutch film and the title, which I don't remember in Dutch but it translated in English as In For Treatment.  It was the story of a man who was diagnosed with cancer and it was about his life and treatment and it was the most moving film and I remember how I cried watching it.  The way it was done was so subtle and real, no over-emoting or contrived pathos, just the story of an ordinary man facing his own mortality.  I would love to see it again and I did try to find it online a few years ago but never managed to.  If anyone could ever get me a copy of this film or even let me know where I could get it, you would be a friend for life.

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