Chapter 49 “so what did we learn from all these plagues? Information or propaganda?”
Repeat a message incessantly whatever its intent then at some point it becomes propaganda. We think of propaganda as a necessary tool of dictatorships that think they can maintain power through the use of propaganda. However, it is used in democratic countries in times of a crisis. Look at all the propaganda spewed out by the Allied countries during the two World Wars. Posters, music, movies and speeches to name a few modes of its delivery. Even old John Wayne in the “Green Berets” carried on the propaganda tradition into the Vietnam War.
In the plagues particularly the COVIDs when money was plentiful governments became best friends with the advertising industry with 24 hours a day “advertising” “public health” announcements. The media rather played along singing the same old tunes about social distancing, wearing face masks, hand washing and the idolatry of “front line workers”. I am a physician and a front-line worker but the sappy media segments made me gag and then made me angry. Why weren’t I or other front-line workers paid for the risks we were taking. Why did it take so long for the governments of the world and corporations to jack up the pay for front-line workers? Why did hazard pay for grocery store workers terminate in the midst of the pandemics? Where was the life insurance, short term disability and long-term disability offered to front-line workers who did not have that benefit? This is the reason dear readers I became angry with the maudlin features by the media about front-line workers. Quite frankly why didn’t society demand front-line workers be treated like real heroes instead of being used as propaganda to shame the public into compliance with the governmental messaging?
I recall one day driving into work listening to my favourite classical music station and the announcer drivelled on about staying calm and moving on and how we will all get this through this together. I just snapped and started swearing and insulting this clown. I was furious at the never-ending platitudes about this pandemic. I’ll stop here before I get into a rage.
Did this propaganda work? Sadly it did. I say sadly because I am disappointed so many people sucked it up with a happy glazed smile on their face. However a small group of intellectuals and right wing open carry Yanks didn’t buy in. What an unholy alliance. And then not to bash the Millennials but they would rather drink and party on the beach and in the park super spreading themselves and their family to death. I suppose their sadly lacking college education, nose rings and tattoos somehow imparted an above it all attitude until of course their March Break and Memorial Day antics ended up killing the boozed-up segment of Millennials. This Bud is for you.