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Introduction to the research.

     Media do not speak Truth, including this website, because every medium omits much more than it can ever convey.  What all media primarily omit are human bodily sense and experience.  Sense and experience, however, are the ‘root and branch’ of all human understanding.  Yet, somewhere along the road, we forgot that media making is at best representational, only partially capturing what we know to be actual, that is to say, what we humans can see, hear, smell, taste and experience for ourselves. 

      If you question these opening statements, please consider a few examples.  Have you ever attempted to photograph a natural vista or a close-up of a flower pedal only to come away frustrated because photographs never fully replicate the experience you were feeling right then?  Has anyone ever snapped a quick pic of you against your wishes?  Have you ever practiced photo-smiling in your bathroom mirror?  Have you ever poked out the eyes of your mother in an old photograph?

      How about video?  Did you ever make your own media only to realize no one is remotely interested in your story and that your audiences get bored after only minutes?  Have you recorded a video only to discover bad sound, dim lighting, or clumsy behavior ruined your production? 

  “We have successfully conflated fact with fiction throughout every facet of human existence.

Have you ever interviewed a grandparent only to wish they spoke in short, sharp, clever sentences?  Have you ever used any superfluous special-effect to help ‘jazz-up’ your video’s appeal?   Do you have a billion chunks of visual media saved and stored somewhere?

      Still unconvinced?  Then I challenge you to slow-watch TV and closely count the massive number of quick-edits, or the number of impossible images and bizarre situations displayed on your screen.  Talking animals?  People flying?  Dish soap turning into maple trees?  Automobiles coursing through the arteries of your heart?  Lifestyles of perverted perfection?  Innumerable sur-realities like these can number into the hundreds per every 30 minutes.   This is now the familiar, and through these ceaseless repetitions, we are forgetting how to see Real.  We are successfully conflating fact with fiction throughout every facet of human existence.

      However, in cases like these above, I wager a common response would be, “Well, that’s how good media is supposed to be made.”  Or maybe you would decide to buy yourself better video equipment, to edit faster, to get your family to sit closer to lighting sources.  You might even add some compelling music to enhance the viewing experience.  (After all, audiences always love music videos best, right?)  Well, these motivations, times a thousand, are but only some of the elementary ways media making compels us to knowingly lie to each other.  We not only enjoy this, we now demand clever mechanical seduction throughout all story-telling, exactly as we consciously intend to seduce others. 

      But soon even ‘little white lies” eventually begin to add up to something consequential.  These lies dangerously begin to blur very important human lines between reality and representation, between real and fake.  Indeed, our representations of life have become our life.  We not only allow this to happen, we encourage it.

      Before we can gain understanding, however, we must be clearer in our terminology.  The projects in this website are most concerned with common media production, rather than simply “the media”.  The word “media” is always plural, referencing everything collectively: TV, camera, phone, computer, film, gaming, virtuality, social media, internet...including the telegraph, newspapers, magazines, smoke signals, electrical dots of light, and potentially a thousand other means of communication.  Hence, there is no such one-thing called “THE-media”.  It’s an ignorant usage of english language.  And using this half-witted generalizing term signals little more than lazy babble.  It is stupid-speaking, quite like today’s full retreat of the adverb.  Using the term “the media” only further erodes clarity and dulls argument.  This project, by comparison, is concerned with the broad range of TELE-visual forms of communication, which is exactly why making videos about this tele-visuality is more correct than most other academic writing styles.  I use TV’s actual content -- in its own languages -- to tell its story.

      My projects are also concerned with medium: particular individualized means of un-human communication.  But primarily my projects consider methods of mediamongering: how we create our media by combining poor thinking with improper language, then filtering that through our ignorant actions and “smart”

  “Just saying the dangerous phrase ‘the media’ creates impossible hurdles to understanding.

machines, into weird kinds of false communication.  Still, we almost always believe our media will persuade accuracy and understanding for the viewer.  How come?

     Dangerously today we share a cultural  ‘common sense’ too eager to collectively understand technological communication as Truth -- especially our own made media -- despite these glaring omissions.  Even when media makers with their tools and techniques accurately convey factuality, which can be accomplished when the effort is made, our media remain a representational performance of some very narrow fact-field.  Still we continue to irrationally believe and behave otherwise.  Contemporary mechanical communication fails us so badly today we are finding it difficult to intelligently discuss this or any other topic. 

      These impossible hurdles not only obstruct Nature, they also promote a host of “fake” practices and beliefs.  My argument, here in this research however, is diametrically different than the sorry cries of “fake news from THE-media” coming from legions of media illiterates purposefully blaming any viewpoint contradicting their own.  Instead, I purposefully claim something different.  I mistrust the apparatus first and foremost.  For the apparatus begins at the very instant of thinking about “record”.  And then afterward, after spiraling inside its own morass of “mechanical reproduction”, come all the historical foibles lurking inside of all human communication.  It’s a certain recipe for disaster.  So it should be no wonder then why informational communication is difficult and dangerous.  The more we speak these broken languages, the faster disaster comes.

     Few North Americans seem willing to finger THE-apparatus as a perpetrator.  Consequentially, we humans remain slumped in post-diluvian-media ill-literacy, which is quickly bifurcating national intelligence.  It takes critical practice to employ any machine wisely.  And this experimental media site is my attempt to manifest a critical response to ‘common’ media production practices: The medium is a message’s biggest problem.

     To be sure, certain approaches to media making are substantially more truth-telling than others.  These approaches remain vital to human communication and understanding and can still, potentially, help lead to an ethical resumption of true documentary and journalism.  But, the craftspeople of (capital-J) Journalism must double-vow to help ethically sharpen the tip of this protective spear of democracy.  We all must learn to better acknowledge, control, and negate each medium’s falsity.  I do not see this happening.  In fact, the opposite is now hyper-fueled by ideological profiteers like Facebook and Sinclair Broadcasting.  Until then, the first stance of media-consuming citizens should begin well beyond that of skepticism, and to lean more towards an attitude of educated cynicism

      Cynicism is characterized by a general wariness of self-interested motives.  Cynics hold healthy skepticism of faith or hope in human activity; particularly when these activities are motivated by ambition, desire, greed, materialism, self-aggrandizement, or goals and opinions.  A cynic perceives these motivations as omissive, futile, vain or ultimately meaningless; and thus deserving of dismissal, ridicule or admonishment.  Educated cynicism is how current lies of a ‘fair and balanced’ news media -- and even a President -- can be exposed, countered and neutralized.  This kind of critical re-functioning is not easy, but it can be accomplished personally and privately at home using an independent intellect. 

      Media cynicism is fundamentally important to understanding television.  A cynical media education instills a constant reminder of the imperfectness residing inside all human communication since time immemorial.  Indeed, clear, honest and truthful communication is, to say the least, an enormous human challenge demanding constant effort and precision.  Educated media cynicism is also an intellectual check-and-balance while accepting technology’s unending advance.  (The methods used throughout this site include ‘genetic’ archiving, remix and iconoclasm.) We must remember that the tools and techniques inside each medium mechanically edit, accelerate, obfuscate, contradict, shift, mute and/or amplify a message’s original intention.  These mechanics collude inside the apparatus itself to hinder factuality, all while simultaneously promoting itself and countless other dubious agendas.  So-called ‘content’ is last in order of importance.

      Media cynicism encourages deeper public critical investigations into unscrupulous mediamonger manipulation.  Educated cynicism encourages citizens to compare, contrast and cross-reference disputable ‘truths’ against historical human experience and understanding. 

   “Each new form of communication requires equally new investigations into its language, rhetoric, grammar and logic.

Yet we must remember that lying is purposefully built into media’s machinery as well.  Lying is the pervasive modus operandi throughout all of television.  Media simply cannot get out of their own way.  After all, media insist upon mediating everything in its path.  Consequently, every new mechanical form of communication requires equally new iconoclastic Investigations into its language, rhetoric, grammar and logic.

      Lying, both human and mechanical, is so commonplace, we are reflexively refusing to accept the logics of factual information.  Lies in unending repetition quickly build dangerous alternative truths, which undermine our understanding of how we humans have historically understood the differences between truth and ‘truthiness’.  Inside this human-made swirl of absurdity, we find that blaming Hillary Clinton for causing four deaths in Benghazi becomes an equivalent to Colgate’s promise of the best-tasting toothpaste.  Both claims of truth may include bits of factuality, but they are overwhelmingly omissive, thus false.

      Moreover, regardless of medium, simply repeating falsehoods is apparently enough to make them Truth.  The people and processes pushing this exploitation must be called out, questioned and held responsible at every turn.  And all this needs to happen during each step of media making: What we say, why we say it, the way we say it, and what we use to get it said.  This is a tall order holding enormous consequence for any ill-educated society which continues to champion job creation over civic humanities education. 

      This website seeks to collate and unveil some of the lies and fallibilities inherent throughout historical media making, and the convenient reasons why we continually rush to favor these false experiences.  I do not suppose Truth here in my video essays, rather I itemize and illustrate a host of media fallacies, which I have witnessed for myself right in my home since 2003.  This research concludes: If you believe contemporary media production, you need a better belief system.  Better still, triple-test all your beliefs against actual human experience, which is my desperate call: Step away from your screen-beliefs and go out into Nature to gain more fulsome human experience.  Cynicism is but the first step to understanding, especially when it comes to media like television.  We must never sacrifice Truth to just our eyes and ears.


Preface Intro

What is going on here?

How should viewers watch these video essays?

Introduction to the research.

What does understanding television mean?

How do I understand television?

What does using theory mean?

Can you discuss one of your videos?

What was discovered in this research?

What if viewers still don’t ‘understand’ television?


An American

resident of Canada, experimenting with new forms of critical media ethnography in Cultural Farming

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