Friday, October 22, 2004

Mass Media Controls Your Mind

The entity known as mass media is every bit as powerful as George Orwell predicted it would be. It decides the topics we debate. It decides what YOU think about.

As example I can name two issues which affect many more Americans than the war in Iraq, but which have hardly been mentioned during this election carnival.

1.) Random, unpredictable CARNAGE decimating young American lives? What if the major media covered the automobile in the same way it covers the war? "Twelve Slaughtered in Tennessee!" "Four Die Suddenly in New Jersey!" "Eighty Dead this Week in California!" "Rising Weekend Death Toll!" "Growing Casualty List in Illinois!" What if newspapers like USA TODAY carried photos of the hundreds of people killed every week? If Ted Koppel on "Nightline" had to read off the names of the dead for the year, his broadcast would never finish.

How much investment is made in the automobile and the infrastructure to support it? What are the effects on the world we see around us; on us? Why has mass transit been underfunded in recent years?

This complex subject is off limits. We keep our minds in mental boxes and think about offshore subjects which don't directly affect each and every one of us.

(Ironically, a solution to the issue of the Mideast, our presence there, and the rise of Islamic global terrorism may be to reduce our dependence on the automobile-- which would defund our enemies.)

2.) We have 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq. But we have millions of Americans locked-up in our nation's jails and prisons, close to half for non-violent drug offenses. Does anyone care about them? As a society we're making a huge investment in the war. We make a much greater investment in our criminal justice system, and in policing our borders not for terrorists but for drugs-- an unwinnable war which takes away freedom if there ever was one.

Why are drug offenders thrown into the general prison population among rapists and murderers? Could they instead be put through clinics, education, and detox? Why isn't partial decriminalization instituted?

Why do we not even think about this issue which affects so many-- why is it a subject the stooge media commentators and the two trained bozo Presidential candidates never discuss?

1 comment:

Adam Hardin said...

Operation Ohio

McSweeneys has set up this to get young people to vote. If you are Under 25 and this is your first time voting and you live in a swing state(such as Ohio), one of a long list of Authors including Dave and Heidi will call you.

It just strikes me as funny in that very few people under twenty-five or over twenty-five for that matter know any of these Authors because American Literature is dead, and has written itself out of our Cultural discourse.

It also strikes me as funny that Dave Eggers knows this, and so is willing to make this happen because he knows that none of the Authors will have to make that many phone calls.

If you had a list with P. Diddy and Brad Pitt and Madonna, there is no way they would be able to do this because too many people would sign up.

Just a sign of the marginalization of Literature.