Can’t Get You Out of My Head

Interview with Adam Curtis

Image by Noom Peerapong.

RN: Your new film series – Can’t Get You Out of My Head – seems to contradict some of the arguments you made in previous series, for example, the notion that computers and the internet have taken over our lives.

AC: I think the problem you have with me is that there isn’t any consistency. I’m a journalist who changes responses on the stuff I find out. You see my point. Whereas, if I were a political writer or a polemicist, I’d be arguing one point. Why I chose journalism I always like the fact that it allows me to reshape how I think about the world. So I’m reporting on the same things. By now, I think the paranoia about us being manipulated by social media has become overblown hysteria – which is different than what I’ve said before. And I report on that. And in that sense, I was turning against some of the people who would probably be my natural audience. Because I was challenging them, saying no, the idea that … gave you Donald Trump has as much to do with you as it does with reality. That’s new, that’s different. Yeah, I’m reporting on the internet. If you look at what I’m doing, I’m adjusting to how the reality is changing now – which is what I think journalism should do. The sort of political writing I don’t like is the one that says the same thing again and again because it just gets boring. If I were to criticize myself, I’d say I don’t have any consistency. I’m a social responder.

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Robert Niemi is a professor of English and American Studies at St. Michael’s College, Colchester VT.

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