The Media’s Appeal To Emotion

Most media manipulation tactics have one common denominator: the justification of not doing real investigative work through an appeal to emotion.

That emotion can be:

1. 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣: justifying unproductive measures in the name of good intentions, victimization to elicit protective instinct. 𝑬𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒐𝒚𝒆𝒅 𝑺𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒆𝒔: Good Intentions/Ideals, Single Perspective, Appeal To Emotion, Victimization

2. 𝑭𝒆𝒂𝒓: eliciting the fight/flight/freeze response in the body, eliciting response of waiting for salvation/solutions from above/powerlessness or at the other end, self-righteousness/entitlement. 𝑬𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒐𝒚𝒆𝒅 𝑺𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒆𝒔: The Hegelian Dialectic or Problem-Reaction-Solution

3. 𝑭𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑵𝒐𝒕 𝑮𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝑬𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉: not trusting own impressions and relying upon external forces. 𝑬𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒐𝒚𝒆𝒅 𝑺𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒆𝒔: Authority Figures, Gaslighting, Validity/Invalidity Through Association.

4. 𝑻𝒐𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆: slowly rolling out measures as the public is warmed up to new ideas. 𝑬𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒐𝒚𝒆𝒅 𝑺𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒆𝒔: Mere Exposure, Good Intentions/Ideals, Victimization

5. 𝑨 𝑺𝒆𝒏𝒔𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑺𝒖𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒚: assuming stupidity, ill intent, ignorance on the part of the opposition. 𝑬𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒐𝒚𝒆𝒅 𝑺𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒆𝒔: Discrediting Dissent, Assuming Reasons, Labels/Frames, False Opposites/False Dichotomy.

Knowing What You Want

One of the things I learned in a Scriptwriting course I took last year was that the main character must always want something badly and pursue it throughout the movie. That is what makes the story interesting, our teacher said. If you want a good story, you cannot have a main character who doesn’t want anything. Because if the character doesn’t want anything, you have no plot. You have nothing hindering him, nothing opposing him, no big choices that he needs to make. He’s just… there.

I found that to be a fitting description of how I have been conducting my life. I didn’t take risks, or when I did, I rushed against the storm. I didn’t put effort in things and I avoided choices. I didn’t dare to assert myself.

And it turns out, if you don’t pursue what you like, want, need… which is to affirm your place in the world and to have healthy self-interest, then the default is to define yourself in terms of what you don’t like or want, which creates a negative outlook on life.

It would appear that the difference between the two is the difference between purposeful action and fearful reaction.

If you do not choose, if you do not use your voice, if you do not initiate things and decide upon goals, you revert to a state where you react to your circumstances.

So I think that building healthy aggression is important, because that is the impetus you need to pull you out of inertia. Instead of fighting circumstances, you let intentions carry you forward.

And also, deciding upon a goal, as abstract or imperfect as it may appear, it is better than not deciding upon anything. You choose and then refine. You get things moving. You learn, you experience, you improve, you grow.

And by your choices and the goals you pursue, things start falling into place. You know what you need to say yes to and no to, you get to know what you like and what clicks. And you get to learn about who you are.

And you finally turn the page and start a new chapter : )




The Trap of Comparison

Comparing ourselves to others and competitiveness are the side effects of thinking that our value comes from external things like knowledge, power, status, etc..

This produces two fears: the fear of not being good enough and the fear of being “surpassed”.

This produces anxiety and unhealthy ambition.

And so the endless chase begins until the whole premise is exposed as illusory.

We happen upon the vicious circle when we adopt wrong conclusions, perhaps because we were valued for our abilities as children. Then the cause goes away, but the conclusion stays with us. And so the effect becomes the cause that keeps the circle spinning.

That is why change doesn’t happen by willpower alone. It is understanding that is truly transformational.

“To understand is to transform what is.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

On Fearing Emotions

When you fear feeling a certain feeling, you set up all sorts of defenses and strategies to keep yourself from feeling that feeling. For instance, if you fear that you might be bad, you will try to convince others of your goodness by not displaying healthy negative emotions and by allowing yourself to be mistreated, thereby bringing to life various formations geared towards obtaining the confirmation from the outside that you are good. The fear of experiencing that emotion of being bad is what sets everything in motion. As always, the difficulty of it is that it is unconscious, which means you are not aware of the force that is driving you into action, appearing as a spontaneous inner impulse. “I just feel that way.”

But if you observe yourself like you are an objective thing in the world you can ask yourself “what am I trying to get from others?” and it is very likely that you will find that you fear the opposite in yourself. So if you try to convince others you are good, you are probably afraid that you are bad.

So what can you do when you find that fear? Agree to it! Fine, I am bad! And feel whatever pain/fear/anger/etc. might arise in association with that. So, ok, fine, I am bad. Game over. But don’t fall into the trap of judging yourself for it or trying to change it, just feel it as it is. And then you can release it.

The thing is that when you fear an experience on the spectrum of emotions, you bind yourself to it and you filter reality through the fear of being that, but the moment you go through the experience, it dissolves. It has nothing on you anymore. The reason you fear it is that you believe it is a permanent, immutable reality when the truth is that you are maintaining it because you fear going through it.

So back in childhood, because you didn’t allow yourself the feeling/experience of being bad, you carried it with you into adulthood, but feelings are there to be felt and let go, they carry information and then they leave. It is us who turn them into verdicts.