It's been awhile since I've heard as good a take on the current state of affairs as that of British documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis who I heard interviewed last night while I was driving to Holbrook by the hosts of Chapo Trap House, one of the hottest podcasts going right now. With all this lying we hear from politicians and from the media, the fake news, the propaganda, we know things aren't as they're portrayed by the media and our leaders, and they know we know, and that's what's normal. You can listen to the interview here on Soundcloud or find the podcast on your podcaster app. It's a great podcast regardless, my favorite one right now.
Curtis calls our current condition Hyper Normalization and the Chapo guys mostly interviewed him about his recently released film by the same name. The documentary is in the present and goes into things like the rise of Donald Trump, but Curtis takes the term -- Hyper Normalization -- from University of California-Berkeley sociologist Alexi Yurchak who coined it for his book about the last years of the Soviet Union, when everyone knew the government was lying and the politicians knew everyone knew, and it was what was normal.
What interested me also in what Curtis said is that the man failing of The Left over its last 40 years of steady decline is that it refuses to acknowledge and confront power, which is also a theme of mine although maybe not in so many words.
He says power has moved away from government and has all been accumulated by Capitalism and primarily Finance Capitalism. That's those guys who robbed us blind during the financial crises of a few years ago, and everyone knew it and no one did anything about it, but that's normal now.
Hyper Normalization runs 2 hours and 40 minutes and was released by the BBC and is on YouTube.