Hyper Normalisation, produced by Adam Cutis, offers a masterful exploration and perspective into societies (i.e. you and I) desensitisation to the ‘norms’ of reality that are, in fact, totally disturbing. The 2 and a half hour long documentary features thousands of scenes gathered from many sources illustrating how we have “retreated into a simplified and often completely fake version of the world” (Hooton, 2016). We felt that the contents of Hyper Normalisation is most relevant as it sets the theme of our project in working with Amnesty.
Hyper Normalisation emphasises the major points over the last fifty years that has seen the nation normalised to the outstanding lies and cover ups crafted by those in power. Adam Curtis’s use of powerful imagery, ranging from bloody and gross scenes to LSD patterns and conceptual computerised worlds, makes for an incredible and shocking watch.
One of Amnesty’s aims is to stand up against the lies and cover ups of large corporations and governments, to overall protect the human rights of all. This documentary is powerful in that those who watch it are persuaded to maintain incredulity in response to the media and government statements. Who knows what the truth is, the only thing to do is observe and bear with at an arms length.
The documentary was not only personally insightful, but gave a true representation of what side Amnesty are on and whose lies they choose not to believe. Amnesty is a community driven organisation. They employ specialists and community members, being the likes of you and I, to gather factual information behind the backs of the manipulation of politics i.e. the Satellite campaign in Sudan. Hyper Normalisation shows what can happen when those in power have toys to play with, how childish and scheming they become, as well as what happens to those who choose to believe.
Many can relate to Hyper Normalisation in the UK today, as FEAR was the forefront driving force of Brexit. People believed the media and made irrational decisions based on what the media implied. Amnesty aims to break the falsity of fear installed into those who believe by making the real truth be known to all of us.
BBC (2017) Adam Curtis, HyperNormalisation. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p04b183c/adam-curtis-hypernormalisation (Accessed: 31 January 2017).
See full notes below of documentary content:
NYC bankers run the city instead of politicians due to the politicians debt to the bank. Radicals and left wingers who wanted America’s dream through revolution, did nothing. The mood of dissolution was overwhelmed by another form of bureaucracy. Patty Smith was used as an example of a new kind of radical -she did not try and change it, but instead observed it with detachment. The radicals turned to art and music as a means of expressing their views on society. New radicalism should try and change was was inside peoples heads through self expression.
Some left saw that by detaching themselves, the whole generation was loosing touch with power – NYC was ‘dozing’.
Trump bought derelict buildings to transform them into luxury hotels, the city desperately agreed. He transformed NY into a city for the rich, whilst Trump paid nothing.
Domascus 1975 – US Secretary of State Kisenger and Syrian president Asad run into confrontation with profound consequences for world old idea vs new world idea – to run the world as a stable system. The president Asad was glorified in Syria although he was ruthless and believed that violence was for a purpose.
Kisenger – an expert in the theory of nuclear warfare – was a hard realist with no time for emotional turmoil of political ideologies i.e ‘global society’. Kisenger saw the rise of Arab countries as a threat. ‘constructive ambiguity’. Palestinians were ignored and irrelevant to the structured balance of the system. When Asad became aware of the bitter truth, he was outraged.
In the Soviet Union, no one believed in anything of a future. They lived in a fake version of society. Everyone knew that what their leaders said was not real. Hyper normalisation became so much a part of the system that no one could see beyond it.
Introduction of the Human Bomb – In President Reagan’s attempt at a moral crusade, he came face-to-face with Asad’s vengeful figure. However, Asad used suicide bombings to dive the Americans out of of Syria and he was successful in doing so. Dream of transcending corruption of the world – power.
80’s NY – the financial systems were running society. The banks linking via computer networks gave the banks and corporations extraordinary powers of control. Gibson called it ‘cyberspace’. No laws, no politicians, just raw brutal corporate power. Visionaries turned cyberspace into a dream of a new utopia – technological utopians reinvented as a new safe world where radical dreams could come true. LSD became part of the culture, freeing people from narrow politician views of the world. ‘LSD society’ had less interest in warfare and the disease and addiction of politics.
Cyberspace movement – John Barlow proposed a declaration of independence of cyberspace i.e. politicians keep out of cyberspace’s business. They believed that the internet was a magical free space and an alternative society to the old versions of power. Civilisation of the humane and fair mind. ‘Key to a new order’.
Two hackers saw cyberspace as a fantasy world. ‘Fibre optic’ and ‘acid phreak’ explored and broke into the corporation computer networks. They proved Barlow’s theory of ‘no hierarchy in cyberspace’ to be wrong. Credit ratings ratings were ran by computers, the growing power of finance enabled banks to use computers to control the publics destiny.
Colonel Gaddafi – fake terrorist mastermind, leader of Libya. Came up with the third universal theory. No friends and no global influence. Colonel Gaddafi behind plane shooting, or Syria? Libya joins up with black people and promises to supply weapons for a black army of 100,000 in America unless the whites accepted blacks into their society. Gaddafi became a global super villain.
Reagan prepared to bomb Libya after another terrorist attack in Berlin. The Americans and Gaddafi were presenting a fictional world i.e Gaddafi wasn’t a real terrorist in the first place.
American’s used pretend UFOs to cover up USA weapons i.e. the blur between fact and fiction. They brainwashed certain vulnerable people to spread the UFO world. They were becoming the masters of perception manipulation, reality was not important but something to play with.
‘Aladdin’ was made, the Beck’s computer that spots possible disasters. The owner had 7% of the worlds global wealth. The computer offered stability and reassurance. Prozak was taken highly to numb reality, changing the perceptions of American’s and in turn brainwashing one another into thinking that they were ‘happy’.
AI – The Eliza computer psychotherapist that repeats back to a patient what they have just said. People became engrossed in Eliza, even though it wasn’t real. However, it was free of patronising criticism. It didn’t look down on you or try to have sex with you. Basically, it wasn’t human. The computer just showed a reflection of the patients.
Trump turned to Marcum, the nuclear scientist, for help. Trump lost a huge amount of money from his casinos due to an incredibly lucky winner, Yoko. He nearly lost all of his empire. The nuclear scientist designed a computer was able to predict the outcome of a game. Trump used this to try and earn back his money and was almost successful, until Yoko was hacked to death by Chinese gang members. This just goes to show that data prediction did not always work. No one predicted that Yoko would be murdered.
Asad – people blamed Syria for the airplane bombing. Then they blamed Libya. Once again, American bombed Colonel Gaddafi so that the USA and GB could use Asad as an ally. Suicide bombs meant that politics had no power.
Tony Blair and George Bush become possessed by Saddam Hussein. They believed a Saddam fiction informant who told Blair that he had found Hussein’s mass destruction site. However, the description was in fact remarkably similar to a scene in a film containing Nicolas Cage.
Asad’s son becomes president after Asad’s death in 2000. He was fascinated by computers and enjoyed music. He was never interested in politics, but had to become the president of Syria as his brother (next in chair) died. He set out to attack America, that is all he knew. He belied that the American’s attack on Iran was the beginning of them taking over the East.
Bush and Blair turned to Colonel Gaddafi for help to convince and manipulate the perception of the public that the invasion in Iraq was positive for the Arabs. They tried to reinvent Gaddafi, showing him with western establishment engineers, a completely fake world. Blair and Bush applaud Gaddafi for disclosing and dismantling his weapons of mass destruction – however this was all perception management, all lies. There never were any weapons of mass destruction in the first place. In fact, Gaddafi had very little in terms of weaponry. They called this the ‘community of civilised nations’. In reality, Gaddafi had no nuclear weapons, his biological weapons were nonexistent. He just had some old mustard gas sat in leaking barrels. So new lies were built upon old lies. This was all a sham to get sanctions over with to start normal diplomatic relation. To restore relations, America played a game. Although, this was not our game. They wanted to turn Gaddafi into a ‘new modern world thinker’. They presented Gaddafi with TV people, or other world thinkers, to discuss his once ignored world theories. America invited Gaddafi to address the united nations, whereby he spoke for hours about his theories.
Despite mass protests, fears and warning, war had happened anyway. The radicals went into cyberspace – a world free of lies and war. Ai was developing to mimic humans in a rational simplified form. Old systems of power found cyber world difficult to control. Cyber world began to contain terrorist videos, broadcasting pornography. The internet was used as a means of presenting oneself as one might want to be seen i.e. social media profiles. People only heard and saw what they liked – ignorance is bliss. Superficial freedoms of the web, but behind were large corporations who made decisions about what you should like and buy. Each person becomes expressed automated organisation of people without the exercise of power.
Political technologists – not knowing what is real or faked. In Russia, Putin hired a guy (Cirkov) who was from the theatre to to manipulate people’s perceptions using actual theatre techniques. Cirkov let it be known that his strategies were fake. His strategy of power was to keep people confused as power is undefinable.
Trumps asserted facts. He and the audience knew that what he said defeated reality i.e. unrealistic statements. Putin admires Trump for this.
Putin disestablished perception to manage and control his people i.e. the Russians pretended to leave Syria by hosting a ceremony, but they were still in Syria and no one knows why.