Guest Post: Muddy – Seeing and Looking

At 10.19 p.m. last night (20th of Sept.) on the Open Thread, twostix provided a link to footage of the recent fracas at CMFEU HQ in Melbourne, prior to the physical damage being done to the façade of the building. It was a brief, but very interesting audio-visual record. What piqued my interest, however, was a 1 second snapshot of an individual who did not seem to belong there.

At the 1 minute, 8 second mark, the camera lingered for the briefest moment on a man wearing a grey coloured hoodie (with the hood down). The contrast of his clothing with the hi-vis apparel of those around him attracted my attention. Pausing the footage, it was his body language that intrigued me, because like his clothing, it contrasted with those behind and beside him. He was standing, arms folded, his face calm but gaze firmly focussed on something or someone to his front, in the vicinity of where the camera had just been lingering, before quickly panning to him, and then back again. Most of those around him were moving in some way: hand gestures, turning their torsos to mates, speaking or shouting.

We could speculate until the bovines ambled back to the house paddock about who this bloke was, and what he was doing there. I could have taken a screenshot of grey hoodie man, and published it here. I’ve chosen not to, because (a) I have no information that this bloke did anything illegal. He might have just been having a shite day for some reason, and (b) He is not the focus of this post. I’m merely using him as a visual example.

An example of what, you may rightly ask? What relevance does a random bloke in a crowd have to the topics we have been discussing here recently?

Propaganda.

In order for propaganda to be successful/effective, people must see (and of course think) what they are told to see. Their vision must be narrowed, and narrowed habitually.

Governments have a powerful and willing tool in the so-called mainstream media. This ability to manipulate what people see is an enormous advantage to maintaining the chosen narrative.

However, it would be impractical to edit every minor detail, and with the advent of social media, this dominance of the broadcast media in terms of the moving image (its presentation as alleged ‘evidence’), is waning.

Presumably, a percentage of people within a crowd – such as a street protest, for example – will be sightseers or passive participants (present to swell the numbers, but not actively chanting etc). In some circumstances, there may be infiltrators/provocateurs. These may not be from an appendage of the state (such as police intelligence); they may be anarchists or simply bored idiots.

Here, though, is a contribution that we, the armchair brigade, can make to the cause. It may seem an insignificant contribution, and perhaps 99 times out of 100 there may be nothing or no-one out of place to be observed. But what if, on that 100th occasion, there is a small clue that can trigger a domino-like effect in terms of achieving a stated goal? What if that small clue is not as visible to those in the fray, who have a myriad of distractions to process?

Next time you are watching footage of protests (or similar), either filmed by the dead media, or by courageous independents, ask yourself two questions: What am I seeing? What am I looking for?

Is there anyone who stands out from the majority of the crowd, and why? That’s not to say that anyone looking out of place has a devious motive, but with practice, one of us might spot something or someone that no-one else has, and together, we might be able to use our various backgrounds and contacts to contribute intelligence to the boots on the ground.

Ambitious? Yes. Achievable? Certainly.

Regardless of what happens in Melbourne, and with the whole Covid-19 nightmare, the past 18 or so months have been a very profitable learning process for those who wish to radically degrade our quality of life.

What do you see? What are you looking for? How many eyes between us are open?

5 thoughts on “Guest Post: Muddy – Seeing and Looking”

  1. There was a Twatter short clip of ordinary looking man chatting to VicPol before heading off, hoodie, backpack but clearly a friendly chat. Taken from someone’ balcony. Don’t do Twatter so don’t know how to locate it, shoulda saved. But yeah, probably.


    Report comment

    1
  2. While the example used is now dated, and the grey hoodie bloke turned out later to (presumably) be on the side of the CMFEU hierarchy (in another clip in the aftermath, he was filmed standing with some of those who had previously attacked the crowd & body language & personal spacing suggested those around him were comfortable with his presence), the gist of the post is still relevant.


    Report comment

    2
  3. People should use the Police Hotline to report the pop up protests. They are all over the place. In likely and unlikely areas.
    I hope there are enough of our fine Police to cover them all.


    Report comment

    4
  4. As an experienced event manager often involving large, outdoor crowds, some more dynamic situations than others, I would always be there, possibly dressed in grey, standing close enough to be be seen by various players but sufficiently removed to get a wider view. I would probably have stood about where this chap was standing. Undercover police would often attend but would mostly float around the action. And then there was private security who were there to look after the celebrities and VIPs and position themselves to view the roof line, access points and crowd whilst maintaining view of VIPs. They were usually ex cops and would chat to the police after the event.


    Report comment

    2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *