Starting with “The Century of the Self”

I started out thinking that I wanted to write a concept album based on fear. I wanted to find sources of fear, both the conscious and unconscious, and see how they were affecting my choices. I might make better choices and overcome the fears that were affecting me if I could do that. Something interesting happened to my thinking at this point. An advisor introduced me to a documentary called, “The Century of the Self” by Adam Curtis. I watched it on YouTube first in four parts. Then I found the link to a streaming video that included all four parts. All four parts together are quite long. This link is of better quality than the YouTube videos. I just wrote down the time marker when I needed to stop and return to that place.

What I found was enlightening and my first reaction was to question whether the documentary was propaganda. The presentation was using interviews as sources. Checking on the legitimacy of the interviewees is difficult. My conclusion is that the information is factual. My opinion on Adam Curtis’ conclusions is that most of what he says is true. I am not convinced that the impact and results in the documentary is as encompassing as he would want us to believe. I do believe that this is definitely an example of the type of forces that I am investigating. I am preparing a more complete analysis of the documentary that I will post as a PDF document at a later time.

I’m including three links that were helpful to me about this documentary. Also an internet search will show a ton of other information.

  • Media Lens Alert – This is a correspondence between media lens and Adam Curtis. I find it interesting that David Edwards and David Cromwell didn’t offer easy email links at the end of their article where we could contact them as well. I hope they weren’t stomping their little feet too.
  • “The Century of the Self” – a typical Wikipedia entry for this topic
  • Transcripts – This is a link to the transcript for part 1 of “The Century of the Self”.  Links to the transcripts for the other three parts of the series are on this page in the right side bar.
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