Media Matrix: an Ancient Tibetan Perspective on Network News
“A long time ago, teachers and students in Tibet considered themselves artists of reality. They practiced inventing it. And then, separating themselves from every other spiritual system, they practiced destroying what they created. Back and forth, back and forth, with the goal of achieving an intimate knowledge of their own existence.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrix, click here.)
For the early Tibetan adepts, the Void was a vital concept.
Stripped of its metaphysical baggage and embroidery, Void was the place where creating stopped. The constant “noise of existence” went away.
The ongoing parade of inner thoughts, sentiments, propensities—vanished.
For as long as a person wanted to stay there. And experience the greatest “vacation” he’d ever known. If he could handle it.
But humans felt a great need to avoid the Void. They demanded activity, flow, information.
They eventually sank to the level of passivity…and then they simply wanted input, more input, and still more input.
From an authoritative unimpeachable external source.
Hence, from the earliest societies onward, there was a thing called: the news.
It was updated. It was ongoing. It was forever.
Priests delivered it. Kings delivered it. Their minions delivered it.
If the news stopped, people felt anxiety, which, at bottom, was a fear of Void.
There is much more to say about the Tibetans and their understanding of Void and its twin, ongoing Creation, but I’ll save that for another time.
Now, in these times, the global population has television news.
The imitations of life called anchors are the arbiters. How they speak, how they look, how they themselves experience emotion—all this is planted deep in the minds of the viewers.
Much of the world can’t imagine the evening news could look and sound any other way.
That’s how solid the long-term brainwashing is.
The elite anchors, from John Daly, in the early days of television, all the way to Lester Holt and Scott Pelley, have set the style. They define the genre.
The anchor taps into, and mimics, that part of the audience’s psyche that wants smooth delivery of superficial cause and effect. (In the Void, of course, cause and effect dissolve.)
The network anchor is the wizard of Is. He keeps explaining what is. “Here’s something that is, and then over here we have something else that is, and now, just in, a new thing that is.” He lays down miles of “is-concrete” to pave over deeper, uncomfortable truth.
Ultimately, he is paving over Void.
On air, the anchor is neutral, a castratus, a eunuch.
This is a time-honored ancient tradition. The eunuch, by his diminished condition, has the trust of the ruler. He guards the emperor’s inner sanctum. He acts as a buffer between his master and the people. He applies the royal seal to official documents.
All expressed shades of emotion occur and are managed within that persona of the dependable court eunuch. The anchor who can move the closest to the line of being human without actually arriving there is the champion. These days, it was, until his downfall, Brian Williams.
The vibrating string between eunuch and human is the frequency that makes an anchor great. Think Cronkite, Chet Huntley, Edward R Murrow. Huntley was a just a touch too masculine, so they teamed him up with David Brinkley, a medium-boiled egg. Brinkley supplied twinkles of comic relief.
There are other reasons for “voice-neutrality” of the anchor. Neutrality conveys a sense of science. “We did the experiment in the lab and this is how it turned out.”
Television news is really all segue all the time. That’s what it comes down to.
The word “segue,” pronounced “segway,” refers to a transition from one thing to another, a blend.
Ed McMahon once referred to Johnny Carson as the prince of blends, because Carson could tell a clunker of a joke, step on it three times, and still move to the next joke without losing his audience.
Television news is very serious business. A reporter who can’t handle segues is dead in the water. He’s a gross liability.
The good anchors can take two stories that have no connection whatsoever and create a sense of smooth transition.
Brian Williams could say, “The planes were recalled later in the afternoon…And a man was cut in two in a horrific accident in Idaho today…And in Seattle (smile), three people reported seeing turtles falling from the sky.”
And it works. The segue works. The blends from one story to another seem reasonable somehow.
The networks basically have, on a daily basis, radically fragmented stories, and they need an anchor who can do the blends, the segues, and get away with it, to promote the sense of one continuous flow. So the audience doesn’t say, “This is just an odd collection of surreal moments, this is Salvador Dali on my television screen.”
The news is all segue all the time.
The voice of the anchor is the non-stop blending machine that ties all news stories together. That’s why the elite network stars earn their paychecks.
Good segue people are stage magicians. They can move the viewer’s attention from item A to item B without a tremor or a doubt.
The segue, the blend not only connects wildly disparate pieces, it keeps the viewer from brushing up against the Void. The blend is the primary mechanism for creating an endless river of “information” linoleum with no cracks.
It’s often been said of certain actors, “He could read from the phone book and you’d listen.” Well, an elite anchor can hold the viewer’s mind as he reads a sentence from the phone book, another one from a car-repair manual, a third from a cookbook, and a fourth from a funeral-home brochure. Without stopping.
And afterward, the viewer would have no questions.
The news is surreal because the stories are mostly fool’s gold to begin with; and they’re unrelated. They’re rocks lying around. The anchor picks them up and invents the illusion of One Flowing Stream.
This is what the audience wants. The news feels like a story. It feels like unity. It feels like a stage play or a movie. It feels, when all is said and done, good.
You can’t pull just anyone off the street and have him describe car crashes, murders, storms, threats of war, political squabbles, 300 cats living in a one-room apartment, a new piece of Medicare legislation, genitalia picture tweets, and the dedication of a new library, while keeping the audience in a light trance.
Katie Couric couldn’t do it. People were waiting for her to break out into an attack of Perky and giggle and cross her legs. Diane Sawyer had her bad nights. She seemed to be affecting somber personal grief as her basic segue-thread. Scott Pelley is competent, but he has his off-moments, too, when he’s suddenly sitting like a surgeon ready to signal the anesthesiologist to clamp a mask on your face, before he cuts into your stomach.
Whereas, a true version of the news would go something like this: “Well, folks, just now I moved from a tornado in Kansas to the removal of restrictions on condom sales, and I’m blending directly into penguins in Antarctica. I’m doing Salvador Dali and you’re not noticing a thing.”
The anchor is basically saying to the audience, “I’m a few feet inside your personal landscape, your mind, feeding you all the turns in the river, and I’ll always be here…papering over the Void.”
Elite anchors invent and maintain certain tones of voice, certain rhythms, certain cadences, certain variations of musical pitch, in order to sustain the sense of continuity.
They’re mechanics of voice.
They use their skills to report the false facts handed down to conceal ops and staged events.
They can know they’re actors on television, but they can believe (in direct contradiction) they’re delivering the truth.
“Okay, look,” the producer says to the veteran actor he’s interviewing for the lead, in a billion-dollar production called the news. “This may sound strange, but you’re going to have to do Normal as it’s never been done before. That’s what the audience wants. You’ve got to come across as very, very smart and very, very Normal. Get it? Pretend you’re the brain of every other brain. You’re the conscience of every other conscience. You’re just as walled off from the conspiracy to own every inch of America as Americans are walled off from knowing about it. You know as little as they do. You’re clean, sanitary, loyal as a dog, dumb as fog but very smart. You spew absolute nonsense every second of your time on stage, but it sounds eminently plausible. You constantly change subjects, and the subjects are in no way related to each other, but you make it all Liquid Flow. It’s a joke. But you’re serious. And you’ll get rich.”
And people, with their inordinate and strange fear of dropping down into the gorgeous silence of Void, will watch and listen. They’ll roll up their sleeves and shoot themselves up with the news every night.
Here’s a parting tidbit: The early Tibetans, with their stout, strong, and implacable techniques and exercises, were artists of reality. They were saying, “If you practice inventing reality to the hilt, with great intensity, and then practice not inventing it, you’ll grasp the twin pillars of this existence. You’ll become immune to fear of the Void. You’ll recognize bullshit, on both the daily and cosmic levels, as you’ve never known them before. As a side effect, you’ll be able to analyze information with a keener gaze than you imagined was possible.”
Or you can have the network evening news.
About the Author
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29thDistrict of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.comor OutsideTheRealityMachine.
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