40. Why US Army is easily Manipulated (+ Live Sitcom)

Since LA is the town of entertainment, we wanted to see how a live recording was done. Vedran had won free tickets to see the filming of "Half & Half": a TV sitcom, which we had never heard of... but still.

Hypnotising the US army

It took three hours to record 30 minutes of show, and there were lots and lots of re-takes and several looooong breaks in between the takes. During those breaks, the audience (us) had a host to entertain them. He was extremely energetic, loud, and made lots of fierce exclamations. It felt pretty forced to be honest.

He also performed a hypnosis, where he asked three volunteers from the audience to participate. Anyone who has half a brain knows that these types of stage-hypnosis-shows are fake, especially if the hypnotiser doesn’t actually perform any breathing or visualization exercises before he asks the volunteers to make fools of themselves. The volunteers perform these tasks not because they are actually under hypnosis, but because of group dynamics.

The scary part was that some of the people who “got hypnotised” were young men from the US army, who were on leave from their stations in Iraq. The host found them the easiest to manipulate, because they conformed immediately, and they were the most aggressive (i.e. most entertaining). The host had no problems getting these young men to perform all sorts of humiliating tasks, such as pretend that they were giving birth or simulate sexual activities. It was that easy to control these army guys. Imaging what kind of acts a higher ranking officer could get these kids to do...

With Great Power comes Great Responsibility*

Dilek and Vedran sat in front of the army men during the taping of the sitcom, and overheard some of their talk. It was disgustingly racist, juvenile, and angry. It was so scary to imagine that these kids, because that is what they were, had access to live ammunition, and were America's answer to uphold peace overseas. Based on what we saw, these military boys were not only extremely unstable, but their minds could not even resist a fake hypnosis show.
In a way, the live sitcom taping was a new and unique experience. But by now your young guides from this time period were beginning to tire of all the false attitudes in Hollywood. This type of entertainment was all about the illusion that you were having fun. Everywhere we went there were fake smiles, and superficiality. Quite tiresome in the long run. It was time for us to return to reality...

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*With Great Power comes Great Responsibility - paraphrasing Voltaire, but most probably think of Spider Man. That’s “the Industry” for you: facebook.com/Top100Wonders