1980s this is not: Passivity in an Age of Propaganda.



I grew up in the 1980s. It was an odd decade, but there are many elements that I am still happy to have inspired me. It was a breakthrough for a lot of things. It was upbeat. It was about confidence and flamboyance. It was eccentric, active, snarky, cocky, but also epic.

It was a decade that was an actual odyssey.

It was also whacked. Tele-evangelists were bullshitting the masses as they were becoming insanely rich on the backs of the poor. Greed was good. Excesses were seen as a wonderful thing. Extravagance was part of the culture.

Pop culture was crucial. You had monster acts, big movies, iconic television shows, and epic news stories. There was gravitas, and sometimes far too much of it. Everything seemed larger-than-life. We had Titans — even Teen Titans. It was all about breaking records and becoming a god on Earth.

There was more connect then than there is now, but it was a shallow kind that revolved around pop culture — artificial constructs.

You had social issues everywhere, from your denim jacket (I still have my old Hard Rock Cafe “Save the Planet” jacket I got in Florida) to comic books to soap operas (As the World Turns was on the vanguard of everything from feminism to interracial romance), and yet you had shows that strutted over the concept of excess, such as Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Magazines were important, particularly Tina Brown’s Vanity Fair. People magazine’s reviews were must-reads.

You had the Middle Class always mindful of the less fortunate, as they strived to be rich.

It was an optimistic decade. Donald Trump was envied and emulated. Michael Jackson was seen as a role model. Madonna was considered a feminist icon.

Rich singers warbled about helping the homeless in North America and the suffering in Africa.

For all of its insufferable faults, the 1980s was about being active. Physical activity, such as exercise, was dominant. Mental activity was, too. Self-help books were a real genre that was profitable.

That was then.

The 2010 decade is an entirely different ball of wax.

For one, it is whiny with its brand puritanical nagging that comes from the Left. In the 1980s, it was preachy puritanical nagging from the Right.

For another, it is very passive. The 1980s saw the world in terms of helping others directly or even better, helping yourself pull out.

The slacktivism in the decades are different. In the 1980s, it was buying music records or Hands Across America. That was seen as a legitimate way to permanently solve all of society’s ills.

Now, it is bitching like a jackass on Twitter or donating on GoFundMe, but with the same idea.

1980s were not defeatist. 2019 is nothing but defeatism with perfectly healthy, educated, and capable people in their 20s want a pension, which what Basic Income happens to be.

There is a decided sense of passive angry entitlement. Life is hard. Life is profoundly unfair.


Not the best picture of me, but who could say that inside my body at the time was ovarian cancer and I had not a single symptom or warning sign?

I was playing around with my new phone, taking that picture, resentful that the new filter erased my beauty mark, and made my already white skin look too white. I didn’t need the filtering, either, but I was griping about the limitation of my phone, not knowing that I had a time nuclear bomb inside my left ovary.

That’s life, where you have thoughts about trivial matters as bigger problems loom.

And yet I didn’t sit back and passively expect things. I looked after my mother at the same time as she had her own cancer to deal with, all while I had a huge gash on my stomach.

There was no They. There was no Them.

For all the problems of the 1980s, entitlement from a They wasn’t one of them. What can I do? What can we do?

Not, who is going to do things for me?

Much of it comes from having a passive Fourth Medium that is strictly me-centred by design.

The medium is more than just the message: its structure shapes the people who use it, as it shapes its propaganda to indoctrinate them.

When we are not aware of how rigs shape our thoughts, he begin to think those lies are divine truth.

And in an Age of Propaganda, when there is no effort, passivity shapes expectations.

It is unsustainable, but the lies the medium tells seems alluring all the same…