There is something that I have noticed with social media that is bothersome. And it all goes back to the typical “do your FUCKING RESEARCH!!” message typical of this blog.
Fake “news” includes false articles on fake news sites spread for the giggles (Fox News? 🙂 ), but can also include other ways that “news” or other information relevant to reality is transmitted on social media (memes, vines etc).
What follows is a discovery I came across by accident.
I have posted “fake” articles before, for the hell of it. But of all the “fake” materials I post, none gets the quickest debunking (nor the most reaction) then those involving popular culture. In this case, a fake article about a star of The Walking Dead dying.
This is bothersome to me.
I know that much of society puts a lot of emphasis and investment in the various pillars of popular culture. I have my preferences in the category, most of which are sourced from Britain and very esoteric in nature, a product of my inner arrogance.
I consider much american media to be very cheap, to scripted and written with an irritatingly predictable formula (TV anyhow). Short plot lines (episodes) are simple and almost redundant, as are long term plot lines (2 main characters almost always have some sort of relationship connection at some point).
Its a simple formula that is, dare I say, written with its audience in mind.
But whatever. In the grand scheme of things, art is art. And as much a I consider the works of much of our popular culture as trash, there is nothing wrong with consuming it. It all comes down to preferences.
However, what does concern me, is when these passions of western world cultural phenomenons start to crowd out everything else (for example, news and an even light grasp of world wide current events).
One can not just become blind, but also a blind puppet. Apt to share first, think about it later. Or as is more likely, share first then have someone like me show up and tear the post apart (while secretly wishing you would use what evolution gave you, and be a little more fucking CRITICAL in your thinking).
Pop culture is a good opiate, gives one a nice short break from whatever ails them in the short term. But it it not everything in life.
As much as social media and click bait sites have blurred the line between popular culture and news in recent years (Rob Ford, George Zimmerman ect), one needs to pay attention.
One interesting thing to note, is that the Nazi party in Germany was voted in democratically. Back then, the big enemy was the communists.
People like Russell Brand, and those that keep themselves oblivious to the workings of the political system, obviously miss this fact.
In December 1924, Hitler was released from prison. The Nazis sent out a great deal of propaganda but did not get the response they wanted as Germany was now recovering in its Stresemann years or Golden period. Thus, even in 1928 when the Nazis were legitimate party that ran for seats in the Reichstag, they only got 810,000 votes.
However, the Nazi’s got lucky when the Great Depression hit. When people have difficult times, they turn to extreme views in order to solve their problem, Hitler was just that solution. This was well represented by the fact that in 1930 the Nazis received 6.4 million votes, the same number as the Social Democrats. The Nazi strategy was very clever at this time. They would walk out when votes needed to be taken and tried to paralyze the Riechstag (Parliament) in any sort of way they could during the depression. In essence, through this “program of catastrophe” the Nazis were causing the internal disintegration of the Weimar Republic.
In 1932, the Nazi party received 37.5% of the votes. At that time World War One General Von Hindenburg was President. He had the power to select a new Chancellor. He disliked Hitler. But, unfortunately Hitler struck a deal with the two other major parties the Social Democrats and the Center party where they agreed that each of the three parties would keep one-third of the seats in the Reichstag and Hitler would be the Chancellor. The Social Democrats and the Center Party were afraid of Hitler’s SA, and so in January 1933, Hindenburg was pressured into making Hitler the Chancellor. In February 1933, Hitler orchestrated the Reichstag Fire and then blamed it on a young Dutch Communist, Van Der Lubb, essentially ousting the communists as a significant opponent.
Then in July 1934, Hindenburg passed away and Hitler combined the offices of President and Chancellor to make himself Fuhrer or leader. He wanted to integrate the SA into the German army and got rid of anyone who stood in the way as shown by the Night of the Long Knives on June 30th, 1934, when multiple Nazi leaders including Ernst Rohm, leader of the SA, were murdered. Thus, Hitler redefined the German army, who then swore allegiance to Hitler, not Germany, on August 2nd, 1934. Hitler believed that the true will of the people could be expressed through the Fuhrer not votes. Thus, Hitler dissolved the Weimar constitution and set up a dictatorship.
Well this post just took a very dramatic turn, didn’t it.
Does it seem a bit far fetched to draw parallels between the Nazi party, and certain splintered fringe parties that have grown quite a lot in certain existing republics today?
Possibly. Very likely (I am known to see the worst of every possible situation). And yet, the idea would have probably seemed far fetched to many existing in/during the Weimar republic.