Meet the most frightening author of the twentieth century. And I don't mean Stephen King or Clive Barker. Who needs Pennywise the Clown or Mamoulian when all you have to do is look in the mirror and realize that under the right circumstances, you'd make a good Nazi? All you need is an authority you trust to give you the right orders. [more inside]
OBEY is a glitchy, psychedelic look at the rise of the corporate state and the future of obedience in a world of unfettered capitalism, inequality, and climate change, based on Chris Hedges' Death of the Liberal Class.
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
A French, state-run TV channel appears to be stirring controversy by airing a documentary about a fake game show in which contestants torture eachother, called "Game of Death." Based on the well-known Stanley Milgram experiments of the 1960's that, in the wake of Nazi Germany, sought out to measure man's willingness to obey orders. [more inside]
The Milgram Experiment Today? "Students commonly assume that, even if Milgram’s famous experiment sheds important light on the power of situation today, were his experiment precisely reproduced today, it would not generate comparable results. To oversimplify the argument behind that claim: The power of white lab coats just ain’t what it used to be. Of course, that assertion has been difficult to challenge given that the option of replicating the Milgram experiment has been presumptively unavailable — indeed, it has been the paradigmatic example of why psychology experiments must be reviewed by institutional review boards ('IRBs'). Who would even attempt to challenge that presumption? The answer: Jerry Burger, a psychology professor at Santa Clara University. With some slight modifications, Burger manage to obtain permission to replicate Milgram’s experiment — and the results may surprise you." [Via MindHacks]
Of forty participants in Milgram's first experiment on obedience to authority, fifteen refused to continue at some point. An insight into the thoughts of one man who refused to obey Milgram's immoral orders.
Studying obedience and conformity: The Stanford Prison Experiment has been discussed many times before (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and has been made into a number of movies. Now you can watch the incredible review film made by the experimenter, with extensive documentary footage, post-experiment interviews and commentary: The Stanford Prison Experiment. [google video, 50 mins]
Mass. school punishes students with electric shocks "They can be shocked for behaviors including ’failure to maintain a neat appearance’, ‘stopping work for more than 10 seconds’, ‘interrupting others’, ‘nagging’, ‘whispering and/or moving conversation away from staff’, ‘slouch in chair’ ' I have spoke before of American Enantiodromia. Further, Thomas Moore wrote in Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism , that in any culture that does not acknowledge it's skeletons, --it's sins, if you will-- will have that imagination played out in real life.
The ways of Sade are not limited to bedroom and scenes of bondage or porno theaters or forbidden books. Any aspect of culture, from the great to the small, insofar as it is engaged in issues of power has therefore Sadean qualities. Furthermore, since life is never perfect, every aspect of culture will know the split of power into torture and suffering, dominance and submission, or sentimentality and cruelty.I wont editorialize anymore than I have, but I can't help but wonder, When did psychological abuse become entertainment? or has it always been thus? Also see: N.Y. report denounces shock use at school. I look forward to your Parallax View.
A Child's View of the Army "....Like every other boy he was going through the little green army men phase....Gabe is roughly five years old and very articulate. Thus it should have come as little surprise when he began having one army man in charge, and the rest start building something. "Sir, we're ready to build the rocket." " : Five year old Gabe explains - via stacked creamers and table bricabrac, at an IHOP breakfast - the ramifications of mindless subservience to authority.
Along the same lines of sites designed to get kids to eat more red meat comes the Presidential Prayer Kids website, which instructs the young on how best to support our leader through prayer. This week's lesson instructs the Bush Youth to be faithful, compares them to dogs. "They are showing their faithfulness by obeying the commands they are given and by doing exactly the job they were trained for."