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David J. Schow

“The Government set the stage economically by informing everyone that we were in a depression period, with very pointed allusions to the 1930s. The period just prior to our last 'good' war. ... Boiled down, our objective was to make killing and military life seem like adventurous fun, so for our inspiration we went back to the Thirties as well. It was pure serendipity. Inside one of the Scripter offices there was an old copy of Doc Smith's first LENSMAN space opera. It turned out that audiences in the 1970s were more receptive to the sort of things they scoffed at as juvenilia in the 1930s. Our drugs conditioned them to repeat viewings, simultaneously serving the ends of profit and positive reinforcement. The movie we came up with stroked all the correct psychological triggers. The fact that it grossed more money than any film in history at the time proved how on target our approach was.'

'Oh my God... said Jonathan, his mouth stalling the open position.

'Six months afterward we ripped ourselves off and got secondary reinforcement onto television. We pulled a 40 share. The year after that we phased in the video games, experimenting with non-narcotic hypnosis, using electrical pulses, body capacitance, and keying the pleasure centers of the brain with low voltage shocks. Jesus, Jonathan, can you *see* what we've accomplished? In something under half a decade we've programmed an entire generation of warm bodies to go to war for us and love it. They buy what we tell them to buy. Music, movies, whole lifestyles. And they hate who we tell them to. ... It's simple to make our audiences slaver for blood; that past hasn't changed since the days of the Colosseum. We've conditioned a whole population to live on the rim of Apocalypse and love it. They want to kill the enemy, tear his heart out, go to war so their gas bills will go down! They're all primed for just that sort of denouemment, ti satisfy their need for linear storytelling in the fictions that have become their lives! The system perpetuates itself. Our own guinea pigs pay us money to keep the mechanisms grinding away. If you don't believe that, just check out last year's big hit movies... then try to tell me the target demographic audience isn't waiting for marching orders. ("Incident On A Rainy Night In Beverly Hills")”


David J. Schow, Seeing Red
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Seeing Red Seeing Red by David J. Schow
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