Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Even better than the real thing

There’s a saying that holds true – particularly here in Ellay – which goes Perception is Reality.

There are countless variations on this, depending on context. One of them is the Sizzle is more important than the Steak, which is used by soulless Marketing geeks to describe the importance of branding. Branding, of course, means the creation of perception about something that trumps reality. Like Nikes improving your sports performance, BMWs making you a better driver, or Chanel clothing making you sexier. It's why you see so many label whores walking around.

And it’s the axis around which the capitalist world revolves, Skippy. If you don’t like it you can shove off to Cuba to be with the other godless Pinko scumsuckers.

Anyway, given this culture of Branding, it’s not really surprising that a recent study shows kids presented with the exact same foods believe that the ones served in McDonald’s packaging tasted better.

Perception

Yup. The same exact food. Even if kids were served raw carrots or plain milk, they believed the ones decked with McDude’s logos were tastier. I'm lovin' it because they tell me I do.

Reality

Astonished? Then you haven’t been paying attention to life for the past few decades. Particularly not American politics. Nixon was a master at it, though he wasn’t subtle (his Pink Lady smear campaign was a ham-handed bit of slander). LBJ also had an instinctive understanding of it. (Most elegantly expressed in an anecdote from an early, local campaign. Johnson, facing stiff competition, ordered his minions to spread a rumor that his opponent fucks pigs. His staffer replied that no one would believe it, but Johnson, understanding the power of perception, replied, “Yeah, but make him deny it.”) Kennedy, Clinton, Reagan - they all knew it too.

Perception. Packaging. Illusion. Style over substance. Hype. Whatever you want to call it, Americans have pretty much perfected the art of putting lipstick on a pig, or pissing on your shoes while claiming it’s sweet summer rain. I mean, how else can one explain the mad rush and overwhelming public support for our Idiot Boy-King’s invasion of Iraq? It was all sleight-of-hand Marketing manipulation. George Orwell got nothing on Karl Rove. Oceania is at war with Eurasia, and the GOP MiniTruth put out the right branding about Iraq & Saddam. And even though it was plainly evident that everything our government was saying was all bullshit and lies and manipulation, the perception of Iraq's connections to Al Qaeda & 9-11 was more convincing and the rubes continue to believe it to this day. Reality didn't come close to being as real as fantasy. It still isn't. Oceania has always been at war with East Asia, after all.

And so anyone who dares point out the Emperor’s shriveled and vestigial doodle is visible or 2 + 2 = 4 will be considered either a traitor or deluded. Invading Iraq was a legitimate and necessary move in our battle against Al Qaeda. War is Peace. Arbeit will Macht Frei. And those damned carrots do taste better when served in a Mickey-D’s bowl.

God Bless the United States of America

If you can’t see that, well, then the terrorists have already won.

Ook ook

9 comments:

Miz UV said...

I think everything tastes better in a cupcake wrapper.

Raging Lunatic said...

None of that chicanery would work if people weren't so stupid. Ack.
What I'm wondering now, in light of the executive privilege rot, are Bush et.al. playing out their fantasy government banking on the sheer stupidity in equal sheer numbers? Or are they just exceedingly arrogant in that they can simply bulldoze their will over the likes of Congress, the US citizens and the rest of the world. Arrogance, or delusion?

Lucyp said...

How can anyone not find vestigial doodle so damned funny.
Back to the serious stuff. I was unsure back in pre-Iraq War days if the support for War in the USA was due to a media that refused, for whatever reason, to question the evidence being presented by the boy-idiot and his cronies.
I still am not sure if it is a case of the media not presenting the truth or people not wanting to hear the truth.
I recently had a discussion about Special Rendition flights with a few Americans and they denied all knowledge of them until i provided a link, and then they still tried to justify them.
As the support for the war is dropping daily there, somehow the message is getting out.
Vestigial doodle, great stuff.

O' Tim said...

Or are they just exceedingly arrogant in that they can simply bulldoze their will over the likes of Congress, the US citizens and the rest of the world.

So far so good.

Spanking of funny stuff, what exactly is that nestled in sexy Ms. McD's cleavage?

Cheezy said...

Classic stuff as usual, Fez. And I rekcon everyone should re-read '1984' nowadays too. The first time I read it (like millions of others, I'm sure) was actually in 1984, and although I liked it, I didn't really fully get it, partially because I was only 12 of course, but also partially because I didn't buy the 'perpetual war for perpetual peace' idea. It was hard to see the parallel in the read world, back then.

However, I re-read it last year, and the shock of recognition almost caused my rectum to prolapse (not quite though, you'll be pleased to hear). Strong stuff.

Cheezy said...

On a related topic, here's an fascinating (though lengthy) story in today's Guardian:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/bookshelf/story/0,,2143929,00.html

In a nutshell, it's an excerpt from Drew Westen's new book, 'The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation'.

The central thesis: "The data from political science are crystal clear: people vote for the candidate who elicits the right feelings, not the candidate who presents the best arguments".

Westen is convinced that Clinton is the only modern Democrat who has truly understood this.

Joe the Troll said...

Condiments, O'Tim.

The Fez Monkey said...

Miz UV: Sometimes I think things taste just fine without adornement - but to each their own.

RL: I don't know that stupidity, per se, can explain the war. Fear-mongering, propaganda, race-hatred, and self-righteous victimization all added to it - but behind it all was just a slick marketing campaign. As for now, well, it's plain arrogance.

Lucy: I think, initially, the media were far too subservient due to fear of seeming cold or uncaring about the attack. Once that wore off, and it became clear Price George and the Neocons had Iraq in their sights, there were plenty of news sources pointing out the folly and/or lies - but by then the public had been sold.

O'Tim: Two all-beef patties, special sauce, melted cheese, pickles, and onions.

Cheezy: I am convinced that Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and the rest of the Neocon cabal have used 1984 as a text book, because they are following it perfectly. Josef Goebbles would be so proud of these guys.

Ook ook

Chris Woods said...

Painting 'McDonald's Nation' by Vancouver artist Chris Woods http://chriswoodsartist.com/