The girdings and rigours of advertising narrative and image are nothing to be ashamed of – especially when the rights of half the population are at stake.
Doubts are divisive.
Adam Curtis—perspicacious frontiersman in the post-truth world—has a new documentary.
He could call it, with an unusually long and revealing name: “Running Like an Ad – for office, for a cut, and for a pack of Well-Being”.
It centres around an appropriate international airport, a communications hub now presently seen often on television in the Seventies in flashback – specifically the baggage reclaim where travellers recover their personal effects after a hijacking.
In the story, Curtis for the first time reveals and explains his techniques and secrets and where he found them.
And that he is unashamed – of his gentle, compassionate, patrician voiceovers and everything else.
Because they in themselves are a fetching kind of commentary.
And so should he be proud – if he inspires people to run like themselves in the cause of change.
Looking at it charitably, Adam doesn’t believe in himself but is wryly mirroring the very methods of media and government and “destabilisation of perception” he promotes. (Sorry, that should be “exposes”.)
And at great length and depth.
Many who have the attention span to understand most probably feel flattered at their ability to decode Curtis.
Rather than embarrassed at an infatuation with his sterile, clean—but fragrant—easy-to-use, documentary sanitary towels that mask any unpleasantness, smells, messy bodies or details and give a sense of social and intellectual mastery and a freedom to rag lesser beings who fail to be in on the secret.
As with our friends at Bodyform, does his audience understand his art as a rascally, parodic simulation of dissimulation in a good satirical cause?
Or as sly in-gags – rogueishly running all the way to the bank?
Look like a Curtis – it’s the way you see ’em and then tell ’em.
But this is not a fantasy.