The Putin Problem is the fact that during the entire Western media campaign against Russia in the last few years, the White Nationalist, alternative right, and other ostensibly dissident publications spent quite a bit of time hero-worshipping Putin, casting him as some great White savior, and even publicized Alexander Dugin, the Russian equivalent of a neo-conservative imperalist media campaigner. Something like a Russian, pro-Putin David Frum.
There’s no “conspiracy” of course, anymore than there is a “conspiracy” if someone punches you and you punch back – it’s a reaction. The alternative right, the White Nationalists, and ostensibly dissident – especially the right-leaning – are, after all, reactionaries. Putin is in the news, and the coverage is anti-Putin. So that means the dissidents are going to also put Putin in their news, but be pro-Putin, or at the least, react against the anti-Putin propaganda.
Of course that means that the media sets the agenda. You are not writing about world events – you likely don’t actually know don’t anything about the vast majority of things going on in the world – you’re writing about media events.
The Onion is everyone’s favorite satire, and there are but a few satirical templates they use for their stories. The best is taking one straight-forward news story and plugging in the elements of another.
Got it? Take a story like, “CIA Admits Staging Coup in Banana Republic” and then plug in elements of the CIA running a middle-brow yuppie clothing store. It’s a great gimmick.
The Onion also does “reverse the tone” articles. So, “Man’s Family Rises to Record-High Fourth Priority” takes what would be the subject for a human interest story and gives it the dry, factual tone of a finance article. The “political code words” thing undergoes a sort of “euphemism cycle.” “Teens” vs. “Thugs” and then you “agree and amplify” so use “teen” ostentatiously, drawing attention to the fact that it is a euphemism.
The Daily Stormer has a pretty stock set of templates as well. They do the “reverse the tone” shtick, and it is sort of an old part of troll culture (long before 4Chan existed.) So, the typical media piece that would go like this:
Prominent Human Rights Leader Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Mourns the Death of Beloved Yet Controversial Mayor Marion Barry
gets satirized as:
If there is a euphemism used, the euphemism must be rejected and the most offensive, most “trollish” term used in its place. Pointing out the obvious – like how very kosher many of these characters are – is itself “trollish” and the use of the archaic term “Jewess” is even more so.
However, like the “serious” White Nationalists, the Daily Stormer isn’t making up its own narrative. They are reporting on news, and doing a satire of it by breaking a few taboos. So it has two sections, “Jewish Problem” about Jews, and “Race War” about Blacks, with various a few various white “degenerates” and illegal beaners thrown in for good measure. It’s outrage porn, but it’s too self-referential to be truly outraged. It’s just sort of a Racist Onion.
The Nazi schitck is simply that Nazis are the ultimate bad guys, the ultimate political taboo, so you be a Nazi. It’s really fun, just like reading The Onion is really fun. Sometimes it even “makes you think,” perhaps seeing media coverage in a new light.
Of course, the highest form of trolling, one that may be lost on the younger crowd, is concern trolling. You sort of cross dress as a leftist and become the most leftist very concerned that other leftists aren’t leftist enough. There is just this great sort of feeling you get when you are online, pretending to have the exact opposite view that you “really” do, and having someone fall for the bait and agree with you.
Unless they are agreeing and amplifying, that is. Then you’re just getting trolled.
The Occidental Observer has an article about the “feminist protest group” Femen, how it’s funded by three rich men and acts as a sort of marketing firm as opposed to an actual political movement. Women take their tops off, scrawl offensive messages on themselves, and hold PR stunts at Christian churches, meant to offend Christians, and various places meant to offend the target-du-jour, Putin, or a modeling contest. The women are told what to wear and how to dress and what the protests are going to be. The women are paid well, and are often former and current prostitutes.
To protect himself from accusations of being a “conspiracy theorist” the author mentions Gloria Steinem’s CIA funding and even mentions the CIA’s role in the “LSD experiments of Timothy Leary” which seems to be the “official euphemism” traditionally used for MK-Ultra. I wonder if someone at TOO has been reading “Flogging Miley?”
This blog has the Putin problem as well, simply reacting to the “news cycle” but we are trying to be ahead of the curve. The report about CIA torture during the post-9/11 Bush administration is set to come out soon.
In an eerily parallel to the CIA’s Operation Dormouse, waterboarding and stress positions were fed to the press in order to cover up more serious (and seriously illegal) forms of torture. There’s always the question of why they detained people’s wives and children and what exactly was going on in Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and the various “black sites” the CIA ran overseas. But one has to wonder, if these stories were fed to the press – like MK Ultra was – in order to hide a worse program.
We don’t know what the name of that program was, but I’m guessing the program itself looked a lot like Opeartion Artichoke.