Adam Curtis strikes gold again with Hypernormalisation, a frighteningly insightful analysis of our current age, how we got here, and a hint of where we are going. He is able to highlight the circumstances of our modernity and the people who are able to manipulate and exploit those circumstances for their own gain.
Weaving together politics, history, society, conflict, rebellion, truth and technology, Adam Curtis cuts through the popular narratives sold to us by corporately owned media interests to deliver a documentary that gives an alternative insight into how throughout the past decades, we have all become accustomed to complete political disengagement and resolved ourselves of most all societal culpability.
Curtis describes a “new kind of radical” which emerged in the post-Hippie era of the 1970’s and 80’s, one that did not try to change the urban decay and disintegration, but “experienced it with a cool detachment:”
“Patti Smith later described the mood of disillusion: “I could not identify with the political movements any longer, nor the manic activity in the streets. In trying to join them, I felt overwhelmed by yet another form of bureaucracy..” What she was describing was a new powerful individualism that could not fit with the idea of collective political action. Instead, Patti Smith and many others became a new kind of individual radical, who watched the decaying city with a cool detachment. They didn’t try to change it, they just experienced it.
Instead, radicals across America turned to art and music as a means of expressing their criticism of society. They believed that, instead of trying to change the world outside, the new radicals should try to change what was inside people’s heads. And the way to do this was through self-expression, not through collective action.
But some of the left began to release that something else was really going on. That by detaching themselves, and retreating into an ironic coolness. the whole generation were beginning to lose touch with the reality of power. […] One of them wrote of the time: “It was the mood of the era, and the revolution was deferred indefinitely. And while we were dozing, the money crept in…”
Watch the entire 2016 BBC Documentary Hypernormalisation below:
For more information on and a sectional breakdown of this nine-part, nearly 3 hour documentary, see the Wikipedia page here.
While Curtis’ analysis is perhaps in part speculative, what analysis of our modern day is not? Piecing together evidence over the past decades in search of some explanation or coherence may forever be an inescapably subjective, and only ever an approximate, effort, yet doing so is absolutely integral for those of us seeking the truth – not the truth hidden away in some conspiratorial files of fantasy, but the truth evident to the naked eye, which we are all too often not readily shown, nor are able to read reports of, nor discuss as a public.
See you in the circle,