In 2009 I wrote an album called “Entertainment Industries”, it was critical of how we viewed the world from inside our television & media input – without critical thought. A few years later I saw “The Gameshow” by UK illusionist Derren Brown – it confirmed a lot, it ticked a lot of boxes…
In “The Experiment Gameshow”, called “Remote Control”, we see audience members for a game show are asked to wear anonymous masks and dictate the ongoing fate of an unsuspecting, secretly filmed member of the public. The show takes a look at the horror that emerges when people are allowed to make anonymous decisions as part of a crowd.
The episode is maybe even more relevant today with the crisis in Ukraine, the propaganda in Russia and more… Or from what we have seen from pseudo-science groups in Corona-times, I think watching Derren Brown’s “The Experiments: The Gameshow” is worth it. To understand how vulnerable we all are, and how vulnerable our minds are to deception, and doing good or evil… How we can be steered to one direction without considering moral and ethical dilemmas.
The song “Entertainment Industries” touches on these subject I talk in this blogpost – pointing to our own individual responsibility and the responsibility media has. But the album carries the same name for a reason: songs like “WTF“, “Animal X“, “Freedomkiller“, “Good vs. Evil“, “Grace” and even the more flirty “Voltage” carry the same messages in more dissected ways.
It can also give you an insight in the broader context, how propaganda works and how we sometimes wear a mask and are too blind to see, being exposed to phenomena like “conformity” (with experiments conducted by Solomon Ash – see video below) and of course “deindividuation”: A psychological state of decreased self-evaluation and decreased evaluation apprehension causing antinormative and disinhibited behaviour. Deindividuation theory seeks to provide an explanation for a variety of antinormative collective behaviour, such as violent crowds, lynch mobs, etc. Deindividuation theory has also been applied to genocide and been posited as an explanation for antinormative behaviour online and in computer-mediated communications..
I’d like to close off this rather heavy piece with the lyrics I wrote back then for the song “Entertainment Industries”, as I think they still apply today – be it mass & conventional media, be it TikTok/instagram/facebook/YouTube… Or just peer-pressure. Never stop thinking critically, and if you have doubts turn investigate them. See if there are resources to be found, be sure to check multiple resources and your local sceptic community (here’s a list by country & their websites/contact details https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_skeptical_organizations).
War, famine, death, AIDS
Car crash, terror, hate
Wrong, bullets, hide, murder
Killer, pain, horror, news
Drugs, hatred, fright, fear
Trapped, warning, tragic, torment
Bomber, global warming
Drowning, drowning, drowning…
Further reading & resources:
– Yves Schelpe (Psy’Aviah) writing on Conformity for the Belgian Humanistic Society “Humanistisch Verbond”: Dutch | English.
– Derren Brown:
— The Experiments: https://derrenbrown.co.uk/shows/the-experiments/
— Website: https://derrenbrown.co.uk/