If people could see the world with fresh eyes, as though they were viewing it for the very first time, they would suddenly find themselves smashed between two equally strong yet wildly different experiences.

On the one hand, they would experience breathless awe at the thunderous beauty of everything that exists. We tend to develop a mental habit of taking things for granted just because we have a thought story about knowing what they are and having seen them before. The labeling, dividing mind says “Oh yeah, I know what that is, that’s a tree. I’ve seen a million of those, no big deal,” and we make a habit of overlooking it. This habit combines with our fixation on looping mental chatter to pull the interest and attention out of our experience of the world which would otherwise be experienced as a nonstop eruption of staggering beauty.

On the other hand, someone seeing the world with fresh eyes would at the same time experience howling rage at all the immense evils that the mass media manipulators have convinced us to accept as normal. All the oppression, exploitation, violence, domination, ecocide and corruption which we were born into would no longer be seen as unfortunate but necessary mundane realities, and neither would all the horrible propagandists who deceived us into thinking they were.

Even the most informed and skeptical-minded people who are well aware that there is a nonstop psywar being waged by the powerful against human decency and common sense tend to think of establishment propaganda in terms that fail to encapsulate its most pernicious aspects. Most hip, conspiracy-aware individuals, when asked to point to examples of mass media propaganda, will talk about things like discrepancies in coverage which benefit western power structures, or the deliberate undermining of all political candidates even a tiny bit outside the mainstream consensus, or the lies that have been used to manufacture consent for wars.

All of those are of course real things that have real consequences, but they are not the most significant and consequential aspect of establishment propaganda. The most significant and consequential aspect of establishment propaganda is the simple, everyday practice of manufacturing normality.

By “manufacturing normality” I mean the way the plutocrat-owned political/media class pour massive amounts of energy day in and day out into making the ridiculous, horrific status quo seem normal. They do this in many ways, both by action and by inaction. The way a celebrity saying something obnoxious on Twitter is treated as immensely newsworthy while daily US drone strikes overseas go completely unreported. The way people starving and dying of exposure both in the third world and in the first while resources are vacuumed up by an elite few is something we’re all kept just dimly aware of while Johnny Popsong wearing a meat tuxedo to the Snobbies occupies headlines for days. The way mainstream TV shows, movies and music are all just really long commercials for capitalism and egocentrism.

Every time something horrible happens without news reporters treating it like something horrible, normality is being manufactured. Every time something unimportant happens that is treated as newsworthy, normality is being manufactured. Every time our bizarre, bat shit insane status quo is commented on without Jake Tapper taking his eyes off the teleprompter and screaming “HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK HAVE WE BECOME???”, normality is being manufactured. This happens every single day, many times a day.

This is hard to talk about, precisely because it has been so normalized. It’s easy to point out the glitches in the matrix that stand out against the background of normality like when CNN interviews a seven year-old girl to tell us all how important it is to invade Syria or whatever; it’s much more difficult to talk about the background of normality itself.

Lately I’ve been using the establishment freakout over Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential candidacy to address this difficulty, since on paper most of the things she’s saying appear fairly normal and common sense to anyone who hasn’t been trained to regard them as abnormal and freakish. We were gifted with a really useful insight into the way establishment narrative managers manufacture normality when The New York Times‘ Bari Weiss dismissed Gabbard as “monstrous” on The Joe Rogan Experience and then found herself completely unable to articulate why she’d said that. Her floundering attempts to defend her position when questioned were essentially that of a propagandist saying what could be summed up as, “I can’t remember why, but everyone who matters has already agreed that she’s horrible and abnormal so that’s my take, too.”

And this is why the propaganda machine’s ability to manufacture normality is so powerful: by controlling what we all see as normal, they are able to spin any attempt to deviate from that false image of normality as abnormal. Humans are conditioned to see safety in normality; if patterns are constant and sustained we feel like we can relax, if patterns are disrupted we feel under threat. For this reason even something so clearly evil and deranged as the US forever war can be spun as normal and therefore safe, and any attempt to end it can be spun as abnormal and therefore unsafe.

It would never naturally occur to anyone that meeting with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad at the beginning of 2017 was some kind of horrible, career-defining evil; they had to be trained to think that. US politicians meet with shady world leaders all the time, and even someone who believes everything the TV says about Assad would normally see Gabbard’s meeting with him in the same light. The abnormality needed to be manufactured, and this was done by repeating over and over and over again to mass media consumers that Gabbard’s meeting was a shocking, offensive thing that must be defended in every single media appearance. Repeat this often enough and you get the illusory truth effect, a cognitive bias which causes people to assume that something they’ve heard a bunch of times is true. This is the cognitive bias which caused Bari Weiss to reflexively spit out the word “monstrous” when Gabbard’s name came up, despite not actually knowing anything about the basis for that accusation.

We’re dealing with this exact kind of dynamic all day, every day. The narrative managers say all day every day in myriad ways that the status quo of endless war, exploitation, oppression, ecocide and propagandistic mass mind control are all perfectly normal, and that the normal human impulse to pull away from that status quo is weird and dangerous. As I said, this dynamic is very difficult to talk about due to its very nature, but talking about it is a skill I intend to get better at. I encourage you to join me in that endeavor.


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63 responses to “Manufacturing Normality”

  1. Johny Conspiranoid Avatar
    Johny Conspiranoid

    The MSM criticism of Tulsi Gabbard could be part of a build up of her as a faux radical. The effort that goes into her could be better spent on the Green Party and if she fails a lot of people will switch the Democrat candidate she endorses. If she wins she becomes Obama 2.0.
    She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.



  2. Every time something horrible happens without news reporters treating it like something horrible, normality is being manufactured.

    True enough, but mass-media organizations, from “news reporters” on up through editors and publishers, also do the opposite: sensationally report horrible happenings in a way that habituates and conditions viewers in order to desensitize them.

    For instance, both mass-media reports and public spokespersons– e.g., politicians and law enforcement authorities– persistently use clichés like “shocking”, “chilling”, etc.

    And there are all those rote warnings and disclaimers in TV and Internet broadcasting cautioning viewers and readers about “disturbing” images or videos.

    To me, the most disturbing part of these images is that nowadays, they’re all borrowed from amateur hand-held video devices. Whatever isn’t blurred and indecipherable from jerky camera motion, poor focus, or those distracting blurred panels on each side of the narrow center strip is pixelated beyond recognition.

    It may be counter-intuitive, but I’m asserting that even when they do superficially treat horrors as “something horrible” the cumulative effect of mass-media’s management and grooming of horrors is to sanitize and normalize the horrors.

    PS: It’s not related to the topic or comment, but does this comments platform support HTML formatting features, e.g. bolding, italicizing, etc.? If so, can someone point me to a guideline or help page that lists the platform’s features? FWIW, it bugs me that newer comments platforms seem limited to WYSIWYG posting and don’t offer or disclose such “extras”.

  3. A moral vision is extremely rare in a human being; I have encountered some morality in some leaders but this I have yet to see:

  4. Excellent column toay that hit the nail on the head!

    “What you call love was invented by guys like me. To sell Nylons.” — Don Draper in Mad Men

    As we sit idling on clogged freeways, during rush hour, trying to get home, in every American metropis, while telling ourselves we are living the good life, few of us ponder the true cost of this insane lifestyle and how it got this way. We use 20 million barrels of crude oil a day with about 40% imported. Without this oil, suburbia and exburbia, urban sprawl, the malls, big box stores, the long commutes to work would not be possible.Heck, we even sit in traffic going to the health club.
    Presently, innocent Venezuelan citizens are dying from a lack of food and medicines due to harsh, crippling, US sanctions. Venezuela sits atop the world’s largest reserve of heavy crude oil and the transnational oil companies want it at a huge discount. Libya, a one-time advanced, modern, secular country has been destroyed and is now in a state of anarchy with open slave markets. The US fomented an overthrow of Gaddafi because he wanted to sell Libyan oil in a new currency backed by gold in opposition to the fiat dollar. After the first Gulf War,the US and UK, via a hammerlock on the UN, imposed murderous sanctions on Iraq. Because of the US bombing of Iraqi infrastructure, sewer plants, water treatment plants, food processing plants, etc., roughly 500,000+ innocent Iraqi children died from these sanctions due to a lack of food, medicine and clean water. Saddam Hussein’s real crime was trying to sell his oil in euros rather fiat dollars.

    We, Baby Boomers,, who had such high ideals at one time, sold out to the neoliberal status quo and became consumers on a scale that put our parents’ GI Generation to shame.

    Killing millions for crude, so we can keep our commute going. No problem!
    No infrastructure, mass tansit or high speed trains that could potentially wean us off fossil fuel. Nah!
    Millions of manufacturing jobs off-shored, hollowing out the middle class. Cheap stuff!! Yeah!
    Government bails out fraudulent, criminal bankers and corporations, but not the citizenry. Corporate Socialism! Yeah!! Healthcare for All! Boo! Socialism!
    $1.25 trillion/yr for defense (MIICC) with no real enemies but just trading partners. Patriotism! Yeah!
    Fed created asset bubbles (stocks, real estate) with ZIRP unseating dollars as a storehouse of value. Yipee! I’m Rich! Forever Boom! Yeah!

    Anything goes, nothing matters

    1. Very well put, Mr. Parsons. Anything goes, nothing matters!

  5. http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/08/whose-murdered-corpse.html
    The news this morning turns promptly to the fallback position, more believable, that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered in his cell, and gently hung to dry with some flimsy safety-sheets. (The face of the corpse did look like it was bruised against floor or wall, and it looked like blood in the ear canal, which comes from violence, not self strangulation.) Now, it appears that several bones in the neck were broken, including the hyoid bone, just above the Adam’s apple. That’s a sign of assault, though it could be broken by a traditional drop-hanging execution, which would break the neck by design.
    What i do not see yet, is any evidence that this is the corpse of Jeffrey Epstein.
    His brother identified it as Jeff. Did he smile?

    The possibility exists that Epstein isn’t actually dead. A 4chan post purporting to be from an MCC employee, posted before news of Epstein’s alleged demise was made public, claims the disgraced financier was taken to the jail’s medical unit just hours before his alleged suicide and points to a suspicious van coming and going, undocumented per the prison’s usual procedures, at the same time as his potential route of escape. Comparisons of “Epstein”’s corpse to images of the living Epstein appear to show completely different ears, a unique and difficult-to-fake body part. Others have questioned why there was a photographer on hand to snap photos of the body leaving the prison in the first place and pointed out the article accompanying the photo referred to a “body believed to be Epstein’s.” Epstein’s brother allegedly identified his body, but if there was a plot, he’d be in on it, ready to milk the jail for millions in a wrongful death suit – a possibility Barr seems to be setting in motion by attacking MCC for “failing to adequately secure” their famous charge. The “celebrity pathologist” who observed the autopsy on behalf of Epstein’s lawyers also “helped investigate” the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. There is no smoking gun, but there is an Epstein-sized plausible-deniability gap to slip through. http://helenofdestroy.com/index.php/112-who-killed-jeffrey-epstein

    “Epstein’s Body” has already been claimed by an “unnamed associate”.
    Possible follow on comment tomorrow:
    “Jeff dearly wanted his brain and penis to be frozen in suspended animation for future generations, but since that’s not possible, we just cremated him.”

  6. Caitlin wrote: “Repeat this often enough and you get the illusory truth effect, a cognitive bias which causes people to assume that something they’ve heard a bunch of times is true.”
    That’s right, unfortunately. Perhaps deep state learned it from this well-known war propaganda quote:
    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.
    — Adolf Hitler: “War Propaganda”, in volume 1, chapter 6 of Mein Kampf (1925)
    This widespread inability to think independently and according to the facts is directly related to some other fundamental problems today, which are so frequent that there must be something wrong with the education system:
    “Wishful Thinking
    “Description: When the desire for something to be true is used in place of/or as evidence for the truthfulness of the claim. . . .
    “Logical Form:
    I wish X were true.
    Therefore, X is true.”
    — LogicallyFallacious.com: Wishful Thinking
    “William James used to preach the ‘will to believe.’ For my part, I should wish to preach the ‘will to doubt’ … what is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite.”
    — Bertrand Russell: Sceptical Essays
    “In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.”
    — Walter Cronkite, the most trusted journalist in long-gone America
    “Appeal to Common Belief (argumentum ad populum)
    “Description: When the claim that most or many people in general or of a particular group accept a belief as true is presented as evidence for the claim.”
    “Logical Form:
    A lot of people believe X.
    Therefore, X must be true.”
    — LogicallyFallacious.com: Appeal to Common Belief
    “Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.
    “Groupthink requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking.”
    — Wikipedia: Groupthink
    “If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.”
    — Anatole France
    “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”
    — Bertrand Russell
    “Appeal to Authority (argumentum ad verecundiam; ipse dixit)
    “Description: Insisting that a claim is true simply because a valid authority or expert on the issue said it was true, without any other supporting evidence offered.”
    “Logical Form:
    According to person 1, who is an expert on the issue of Y, Y is true.
    Therefore, Y is true.”
    — LogicallyFallacious.com: Appeal to Authority
    “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
    — Jesus of Nazareth
    “Based on an analysis of prior research, the Johns Hopkins study estimates that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors.”
    — National Public Radio: Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say (May 3, 2016)
    “All my life I’ve known better than to depend on the experts. How could I have been so stupid, to let them go ahead? . . . I was assured by every son of a bitch I checked with — all the military experts and the CIA — that the plan would succeed.”
    — John F. Kennedy, after being misled into Bay of Pigs (April 1961)
    “Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.”
    — General Douglas MacArthur
    “I believe that the main object of education should be to encourage the young to question and to doubt those things which have been taken for granted. What is important is independence of mind. What is bad in education is the unwillingness to permit students to challenge those views which are accepted and those people who are in power. It is necessary for new ideas to emerge, that young people have every encouragement to fundamentally disagree with the stupidities of their day. Most people who are respectable, and most ideas which are considered to be fundamental are barriers to human achievement.”
    — Bertrand Russell (from “Dear Bertrand Russell: A Selection of His Correspondence with the General Public, 1950-1968”)
    See also “I – Familiarize yourself with common logical fallacies” and other sections of “How to argue” on:
    Debunking All The Assange Smears – Caitlin Johnstone

  7. Maybe stating the obvious. How about living without any ideology as a viable ideology? This manufactured normalcy is an act of desperation. We should be pondering whether any organism/state/country simply modeled as a system (“THE matrix”) needs an ideology to hold itself together. We need a way for the lattices of the matrix to fall apart and have the cells tumble to wherever and continue without conforming to any ideology? A new definition of this optimality is needed and explored. The current debt-laden lattices are craftily created to hold us in (debts from education, automobiles, real estate, health care and end of life care) and heavily reinforced by entertainment, propaganda). The whole system is designed to wring (“taxes”) everything out of a human/family existence from birth to death. I believe that our lives ( or Life in general – after about a few billion years without needing any of this) are stronger and far richer than the machine world we have created and have entrapped ourselves in. Not a historian but a similar thing happened in the Late Bronze age right? Death comes in many forms. Go gently in the night…or some other creative alternative…

  8. As for the manufacturing of normality, I agree. Some objections to the beginning:
    ‘the thunderous beauty of everything that exists … the world which would otherwise be experienced as a nonstop eruption of staggering beauty’
    Beauty is a relative quality. If everything, all the time, were beautiful, then nothing ever would be. Experiences of thunder and staggering have to be exceptional, otherwise they simply won’t be experiences of thunder and staggering. Thunder is by definition a sound much louder than other sounds. The nature of our way of experiencing reality is determined by its evolutionary function, and its evolutionary function is to cause us to react to different things in (suitably) different ways, not to cause us to react to everything in the same way; that’s why we react by ‘being staggered’ to things that display a characteristic to a degree that is relatively unusual, not to everything.
    ‘just because we have a thought story… The labeling, dividing mind …’
    This has nothing to do with rationality, which you are too inclined to cast as the villain in too many contexts. Habituation is a well-known property seen in pretty much all animals, from dogs to amoebae, and in at least some plants; it does not require anything that we would normally call thoughts or reasoning.
    As for Assad – yeah, they’ll sometimes say you shouldn’t meet him because he’s a mass murderer. At the same time, it’s OK to meet Mohammad Bin Salman, although he’s a mass murderer, too. The real reason is that ‘Simon says’ you can meet MBS, but you can’t meet Assad. ‘Simon says’ that MBS is a friend to be supported and Assad is an enemy to be destroyed. If you don’t do as ‘Simon says’, you’re abnormal, dirty and scary. Who is Simon actually in this case – the foreign policy establishment and the CIA, and everybody always has to agree with them, because … just because. Good kids don’t ask too many questions, and neither do the cool kids.

  9. You know you live in an evil Empire when M. Albright, who made a frank admission on a popular, national TV program that the US knowingly and deliberately caused the death-by-sanction of 500,000 Iraqi children, and that the deaths were “worth it,” and that same women is still walking free, writing books, and not in a prison for the criminally insane.


    Sounds a lot to me like human sacrifice. The US causes the deaths of half a million children to get what it wants. Explain to me how that is not human sacrifice. Has there ever been a society so baldly guilty of depraved indifference to human suffering?

    1. oh no! M. Albright is the victim, always! her tribe is more than worth as many human sacrifices as it takes to sustain their no-questions-asked victimhood.

    2. People just won’t allow themselves to believe they live in a world like that, so there is so much cognitive dissonance. My mother is a humane, sensitive, wonderful person who wants peace and justice for all, but she’s a lifelong Democrat, through which she has learned to see the world through a filter that doesn’t allow her to perceive her party as reflecting anything other than her own values. I’ve tried confronting her with the Albright video before, saying “this is monstrous, how can you possibly support these people?”, and she reacted with confusion. Didn’t or couldn’t watch the video even though I sent her the link multiple times, didn’t understand what I was talking about when I brought it up subsequently. In other words, while she would never knowingly support that kind of thing, she’s been programmed to do so automatically.

      There are millions like her who accept the most superficial rhetoric completely at face value and don’t understand why anyone else wouldn’t, and thus can be made to support anything at all. (My father is a different flavor of victim of this kind of conditioning — he sees the facts and the bullshit yet still can’t seem to break out of the mental confinement.)

  10. While looking after my 97 year old Dad yesterday, I turned on the noon “news” at his request. One of their feature “stories” was an announcement that Mattel was producing a new “Star Wars Barbie.” Need I say more?

  11. All the evils of the world have always been with us. In the past such news traveled slowly and people were ignorant of the greater world. Now with the Internet and modern technology we are aware of every little evil and injustice in the world when it happens. It has become the tree that we see everyday. It is not the media normalizing it but ourselves doing it. Just as Lot in Sodom and Gemorrah was used to the depravity around him everyday, so humanity becomes acclimated to the evil around us.

  12. Bari Weiss was accepted by, and graduated from, ivy league Columbia College in the city of New York. Am I a sexist, anti-semitic, idiotphobe if she makes my skin crawl? I don’t love Joe Rogan, but he shows more intellectual curiosity, grace, and honesty in that clip than anyone at fnCNN or MSDNC. Yes, Caitlin, I join in your endeavor.

    1. in all scandals, Columbia keeps popping up as the den of all evil.

  13. This piece brought to mind the Jiddu Krishnamurti quote, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

    Keep on doing great work, Caitlin. You shine a light for people who know that there is a better way.

    1. Thanks Judi. Gonna add that to the quotes file.

  14. It’s like the old joke about the old fish who swims by some young fish and he says ‘hi fellas, how’s the water?” And the young fish reply “what’s water?” My old fish was Howard Zinn. I was going along fine, not really aware of anything, and then I read ‘People’s History’, which made me curious to do more reading, which made me curious to do more reading, and then curiosity was augmented by a growing horror. I almost cannot believe what I see right before my eyes – it really is the matrix. Since that first awakening every one of my normals is a little more fucked up than the one it replaced. We are ruled by batshit crazy murderers, narcissists, and theives. This isn’t hyperbole – it’s the literal truth. And unless we figure out how to get the psychos out of the power structure in an organized, peaceful way, we are all dead. The crazies too. And it’s probably not that long from now.

  15. Michel Bélisle Avatar
    Michel Bélisle

    In our days which are the return of the days of Noah, normality is to be of “bad faith”.

    It is, for example, to say that you have clearly seen wreckages of airplanes in the Pentagone and in a field in Pennsylvania on 9/1, even if there were none at all to be seen, and go voting for the very people who are behind this crime.

    This way, you are considered normal. It is an upside down world where normality is craziness.

    It was like that in the days of Noah and Jesus said it would be like that just before His Second Coming. So, we are very close to His Return (it could be any day now) and I pray the Rosary to hasten His Return because it is already unbearable and I am completely fed up of all the bullshit.

    1. What is normal is false memories.

      Most believed Saddam was involved in 9/11 at
      the moment of our war-crime invasion of Iraq (2003).

      Most don’t remember that now.
      “Saddam…9/11…?,” scratches head.

      Most Democrats bought into Russiagate.
      Ten years from now they will be, like,
      “McCarthyism?, that be for fools, gal.”

      “Noah?, I be like telling that old rag to get hisself a bath”

  16. In 2015 US corporate media hardly ever mentioned Tulsi Gabbard. But that was two years before she visited Syria to talk to President Assad. It was a time when the vast majority of corporate media journalists had never heard of her. The vast majority of U.S, voters had never heard of her either, so I can justifiably claim to have been untainted by opinion. A half-Norwegian Englishman I don’t even live in the U.S. I live in Spain with a German partner. I got immunised against normality a long time ago. I stumbled across Tulsi because of her anti-war stance. She impressed me so much then that I wrote an article about her after she resigned from her post as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee on February 28th to endorse the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

    I suspected she had only been awarded the vice chair by Debbi Wasserman and Hillary Clinton to shut her up. She’d done a couple of TV interviews and her strong anti-war message would’ve gone down like a pail of cold vomit with warmonger Clinton. Not to mention almost the entire the U.S. corporate media, apart from a few lone voices. Clinton wanted more war, and she probably realised most of the voters didn’t. Tulsi was sending a message the establishment did not, and does not, want U.S. voters to hear. The same goes for today.

    It’s quite obvious that sycophantic journalists like Bari Weiss exist in the corporate media echo chamber, where all they here are their own opinions bouncing off the walls. They just don’t bother to listen to dissenting voices. That’s not what they get paid for. Quite the opposite, they get paid not to listen to dissenting voices.

    I take the liberty of linking to my article for those who might be interested. Don’t all rush at once. https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/sanders-campaign-gets-sparks-and-sparkle/

  17. Heute kurz verlinkt, mal wieder ein bemerkenswerter Artikel von Caitlin Jonstone, einen kurzen Auszug daraus, den ich ins deutsche übersetzt habe und etwas Musik dazu.

    Manufacturing Normality
    von Caitlin Jonstone am 15.08.2019[…]

  18. I’m not quite sure this fits but I’ll stick it in. Normality is being manufactured in the staged events we are being drowned in. Two days ago in Sydney’s CBD we had the usual Muslim terrorist nonsense with a guy with a knife and the absolutely compulsory “Allahu akbar” spoken.

    But look at the discrepancies!

    Photo in PressForm showing red (what look like) socks (but seemingly doctored).

    Channel 9 video showing what look like white socks.

    The Sun video showing what look like white shoes and black socks.

    The image of him being held down in the The Sun video (https://youtu.be/MNe_Sf8yBEU?t=37) doesn’t match the image of him being held down in the PressForm photo. In the Sun video he’s near the kerb while in the PressForm photo he’s away from the kerb. Why would they seemingly move him from one spot to the other? They have him pinned. Why not get him up from where he is and walk him away from that spot?

  19. “On the one hand, they would experience breathless awe at the thunderous beauty of everything that exists. We tend to develop a mental habit of taking things for granted just because we have a thought story about knowing what they are and having seen them before.”
    You might be interested in a theory about how this works neuro-cognitively. See
    best regards,

  20. The way to actually get there to a state in which we recognize the conditioned mind is meditation. Else we’re just playing house and trying on new clothes down at the mall.


  21. OMG, that dumb b….h in that video … Bari? I have come to the realisation that given a chance I could … repeat could … become a very violent person. I’d wring her neck for starters. Would God forgive me? Could I hope for salvation having broken one of the BIG commandments? You know, I think I’d be forgiven for extreme provocation, extraordinary cirumstances and for the resulting gift to humanity.

    1. you are hardly alone. now imagine how the Palestinians must feel about the bloodsuckers on their back….

  22. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” While American leaders (from both factions of the war party) day in and day out commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, the American people mostly stand silently by and do nothing.

    Extreme violence is publicized daily but is to a large degree intentionally ignored. People WILL NOT open their eyes, as to do so would destroy their fantasy that America was some sort of beacon of democracy and justice. It’s the exact opposite.

  23. Ah, the Buddha Ms Caitlin speaks the absolute truth once again, Amen!

    1. It is fascinating to observe what people who are unfamiliar with Buddhism believe it to be. Buddhism is not about finding the delusions in Bari Weiss’ mind. That is conditioned mind’s job.

      Buddhism is about finding the delusions and ignorance in my own mind. This is liberation.


      1. Is Ms Caitlin Johnstone’s mind not liberated?

        1. From the sound of a dog barking, can you tell whether it is an enlightened dog or an unenlightened dog?

          1. I am not a dog so I am unable to understand any dogs.

          2. Caitlin JOhnstone did not claim to be a Buddhist much less an actual Buddha. It’s a story you made up in your mind.

            Here’s the dog barking:


            1. Ah yes it is my mind and any praise I wish to bestow on anybody is my busuness. If Ms Johnstone found the word Buddha demeaning I am sure she would have said something after all this time.

              1. Ron Campbell is Jesus because I said so!

  24. If you want to check out a really monstrous example of this, watch an episode of a series called Euphoria. Narcissists and psychopaths, victims and perpetrators, violent sex, drug abuse and despair….all played out by 17 year olds, as if this is how it is now. I don’t live in the US but I’m pretty certain this is not the norm. But kids watching it? Truly monstrous.

    1. First debauch the currency, then debauch the youth. (Lenin)
      The breakdown of society.

  25. Love Joe Rogan interviews. Check out his recent Bernie interview. Much more informative than the silly MSM “debates”. It also alleviates any concern that he is too old. An intellect Trump can not fathom. If I recall correctly he has one with Tulsi as well. Just search you-tube.

      1. Charles Robinson Avatar
        Charles Robinson

        Meant this.

  26. On the odd occasion when I watch mainstream television news I’m well aware that the subjects have been selected. I’m also aware of the interpretive bias on display, Anyone who’s been present at an incident which is subsequently reported by media is painfully aware of the gulf that usually exists between two perspectives, and especially so when there is a clear and present propagandist slant. Mostly I select my own subjects from the spectrum of alternative sources, and where my attention has been won by investigative and interpretive sources I’ve learned to trust and admire, like you CJ !
    Like millions of others I’ve ‘voted’ with my feet against being continually propagandized. The audience ‘they’ are talking to is rapidly shrinking. In the end the propagandist shepherds will have but a tiny flock of sheeple. So why worry ? It IS a beautiful world. Enjoy.

  27. despite the non-stop propaganda, none of the people around me think what we have is normal. we all recognize that the status quo is pure evil and must go down with the blood-suckers on wall street. we all do what we can to make that happen.

    “i know the status quo is monstrous, but most people think it’s normal” is the most common misconception drilled into many people by you know who. journalism 101 teaches you that majority of the voters want Candidate A but vote for Candidate B because they think (or are led to believe) that Candidate A has no chance and thus don’t want to waster their vote. see how that line of thinking works for the privileged and the established?

    1. by the way, has everyone read the amazing reports by Whitney Webb at Mint Press? read and share them before they become illegal or disppeared.

      1. I second that. Extraordinary.

        1. Can I second that again please? Essential reading.

  28. Charles Robinson Avatar
    Charles Robinson

    Right on! Power to the people! That is, if the people are acting justly, wisely and are – at the very least – truthfully informed as to…….XYZ.

    1. The people have the right to the power unconditionally, because they are people and it is their human right to determine their destiny. They have that right regardless of whether they use it well – which anybody holding the power often won’t.

  29. Yes! Thanks Cait. When I first awakened in 1969, I was walking in flames through the Cupertino neighborhoods, amazed at how wrong everything and everyone was. Yet, I saw them deeply, all suffering, and was moved to great compassion. I didn’t speak for days, so much information was flowing in. I had stopped watching TV for the most part 4 years earlier, as I could see it was hypnosis, with a sinister edge.
    We can access so much through solidarity, minds touching gently, using intuition, we have so many senses unacknowledged by the `culture´. Really its the absence of culture, a wound, a lacuna. I had to move to the desert, then into exile. I need to be somewhere more alive, more bursting with goodwill. I have faith in the renewal we will create, are creating with every dancing step.
    Rock on, and thank you dear!

  30. So well said. I’m not sure how much better you can get, but I’ll be reading, and thinking more clearly myself.

  31. Thank you for a great analysis. A corollary to manufacturing normality is what I call the Rodney King School of Evidence. Forget what we all saw with our own eyes of Rodney King being pummeled by a gang of cops. Give the narration masters a command audience and the next thing you know, those jurors let the cops off because they bought the fiction that Rodney King in supine surrender position was a dangerous threat. Be it controlled demolitions or a concocted Smollett attack, over and over we are denounced for believing our lying eyes.

  32. “But as we ponder the manner in which we observe and form concepts about our surroundings, we bump into the question, do we really have reason to believe that an objective reality exists?” — Stephen Hawking & Leonid Mlodinow, “The Grand Design”
    Stephen Hawking is of course an idiot. He’s such an idiot he is unable to even speak. Obviously the town moron. Or so human beings would have thought at any time in history up until in this current age. Just a useless eater would have been the universal opinion of him until this day and age.
    It was fascinating the one time I got to hear Dr. Hawking give a lecture. He actually has a nice sense of humor. And it is delivered in that computer voice that is the ultimate of dead-pan. Thus you could tell about half the audience was still trying to figure out if he really just said that and if they should laugh.

  33. For those awakening, the world we live in appears to be very weird. This can cause one to doubt their sanity at times. This is why companions on the way, kindred spirits, are so important to find and connect with. Being isolated with one’s new understandings and perceptions can be very difficult. Finding or forming a small group of awakening friends is crucial for our utopian dreams.It helps us remember that utopia is just the natural sane way that society should be. Caitlin’s site is a good place to find some validation for your rare insights into what is really happening. You could call it the misfit’s club for madmen and women only, as Hesse did in Steppenwolf.

    1. “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” –Hunter S. Thompson.

  34. So very true, Caitlin, everything you write.

    Cameron Murray and Paul Frijters in Australia – in 2017 published their book The Mates Game – How Favours Bleed the Nation – a fully foot-noted exposé of the evils unleashed on our nation by the 1%ers (though called by the authors as “James”) who via his (their) takeover of politicians and public ownership into their private hands has robbed the national purse and the rest of the citizens (whom they call “Bruce”). Highly recommended by the most trustworthy of economic readers/commentators – Ross Gittins.

    1. Not just Australia. This is a world-wide phenomenon. I call it “vacuum up” economics.

    2. Jim, liked the sound of the book so went to my local (online) library catalogue to place a hold. For anyone else interested, it’s Game of Mates (not The Mates Game). Thanks for the recommendation.

  35. Hmm…first to post…?

    In that cartoon on fire is that a cup of
    normal tea?

    1. Obviously it is a Brownian Motion producer – but I am curious as I have seen the image before & would like to know who produced it.
      Brilliant article! Caitlin – I shall read more of your work, you are indeed skilled at nailing difficult stuff I am greatly encouraged!
      I have been using the term ‘post propaganda’ for some time now, almost daily I am confronted by the ‘discourse’. I hear how easily it flows out of most mouths – things like “Oh you like a cause then” – obviously yes; other than my own compulsive, obsessive, self-indulgent, materialistic, grasping greed; do you mean?

      1. The image was produced randomly and lasted
        a full -n (that’s a negative nanosecond, for the slower readers).

        The pun (“normaltea”) was meant to steady you with a short-lived smile in your third stomach during reassembly from infinite improbability.

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