Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A new shiny thing

Our culture is so media driven. First, everyone was talking about Yemen and war on Yemen, now with the Haiti earthquake everyone has forgotten about Yemen. If my guess is right Yemen won't get back into the picture since the forward momentum of a push for war has been lost. There'll be something after the Haiti earthquake that will take people's attention, some new shiny thing to keep folks occupied. People are like ferrets here: you throw something interesting in their faces and they go crazy for it.
It isn't necessarily that people are stupid, but that our culture is so vapid and superficial that folks can be manipulated like that, with a snap of someone's fingers. Most people are trained to buy into the media sphere and not question it while the elite, the people who run the world, are taught how to really analyze things, how to really understand current events even though they may have a biased view of them. They often times end up creating the media sphere, consumption illusion that folks are trapped in. So you have the stage managers and the proles. But all of this doesn't excuse folks from the personal responsibility they have for the actions they approve of through the consent to the media manipulation.

The Republicans put all of this to wonderful use, creating and sustaining constant campaigns of fear and outrage throughout the Bush years, making media driven manipulation a feature of everyday life. And people ate it up. They ate it up like dogs.

As has been said before on this site, none of all of this would be cause for alarm if the United States was a small enclave in the middle of nowhere, with little power. It would be funny, and people who were intellectuals could just sit back and lament on the idiocy of their countrymen without there being urgent concern attached to it. But the United States is a superpower, now waging war on two countries while staging attacks on several more and stationing its troops all over the place, Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, the Balkans, Uzbekistan...It's also of course one of the major economic powers in the world, a place that drives consumption of natural resources and produces pollution like nobody's business. In other words, our stupidity has vast consequences for the world around us. It's not just something to joke about or sigh about, it's something that needs to be changed for the benefit of the world at large.

How to do that is something that I'm not sure about. But one thing I know for sure is that on a personal level, after a Bush reelection and four more years of an ultra conservative regime, I'm not going to romanticize folks and let them off the hook for their illusions anymore.

No comments: