Distortion

We live in an era when every little thing is blown up into a major issue, when it doesn’t rain, it is “storm watch 2008”, people aren’t voters or Americans, they are hyphenated-Americans. Candidates don’t get votes, they get “White”, “Black”, “working class”, “college educated” votes. Voices, like mine, are amplified over the internet beyond anything imaginable heretofore. We are lost in a sea of “meanings” given to us by others, mostly the mainstream media, but also by ourselves. We don’t just make it from day to day, we “live it large.” We are delusional.

Little could those enthusiast of the Enlightenment in the late eighteenth century imagine our culture and its amplified bits of reality. In their day ideas travelled slowly between people, life was at apace we would now think of as lassitude. The press was admittedly incendiary and vituperative. But there were no blogs, few if any “authorities” on anything, and no “Situation Room” to tell you what is important.

What is the purpose of doing these ubiquitous exit polls which tell us not only what category voted for whom but even what our views on subjects defined by the pollster may be. We are all becoming instant authorities on everything. Our opinion is read round the world, we are talking to each other so much the din is bringing us perilously close to the point where words become trivial. We text, we chat, we blog, we bloviate all the time everywhere we go.

We have been divided into categories. Rather than reject this insult to our personhood we empower this insanity by adopting the categories as our own, and when we know the category to which we have been assigned doesn’t quite fit, we find another category to add to our repertoire so that we are not simply a human being, we are a white, bisexual, right wing, college educated woman.

Many of us fail to realize that this categorization is aimed at controlling, dehumanizing and dividing us. There is no good reason to know whether the people who vote for candidate A are one category or another. It is entertainment, not news. What the hell are we supposed to do with this information? C’mon, be honest, what difference does it make? If you will change your mind after learning these faux facts then you shouldn’t be voting, you are a threat to the public weal.

If you just want to find out if you are doing what you are supposed to do, then you are a tool of forces who use you and will throw you away when you are no longer needed. Listening to the opinions of others is sensible. Listening to the constant chatter that inundates us daily as meaningful is insanity making.

Comments

  1. Flapsaddle

    News is merely another product manufactured and marketed for a particular audience. Just as all cigarettes contain some quantity of tobacco processed in some way, all news contains some quantity of truth processed in some way; beyond that it is packaging and marketing. News is nothing more than a truth spun to appeal to a particular target audience.

    The “liberal mainstream media”? Sure, it exists in certain markets, just as the “right-wing mainstream media” exists in others. As the shade of Obiwan told a clueless Luke Skywalker, what we hold as truth is often dependent strictly on the point of view.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  2. ekaton

    I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be reading. The level of commentary on all sides is currently above my ability to add anything useful. I’m around.

    — Kent Shaw

  3. Sandra Price

    Don’t go Kent! We are heading into a possible new movement here and need your input. After watching the debate last night in Denver, I reregistered back as a Libertarian. I heard more truth with the candidates than I have heard since Perot told us all off.

  4. ekaton

    The intellectual level of commentary in general on CHB seems to have moved up in class a bit recently, not just in this thread, but in others. Fewer personal attacks and much more well thought out commentary. IMHO. Time for me to go into lurk mode for awhile, as I am learning more from just reading and trying to keep an open mind and find that I have little of any real value to add at the moment.

    Geez, I love you guys.

    — Kent Shaw

  5. ekaton

    Anybody ‘sides me notice this Hoskins guy can write? The key to great writing, I think, is the author’s ability to express in words my own thoughts but in a more succinct and organized and literate fashion than that of which I might be capable. Or something. Well put, sir.

    — Kent Shaw

  6. DejaVuAllOver

    Our species will be just fine. As for this sick country, the world will be better off without us. And like it or not, we’re all responsible for the evil that has consumed us, though some less than others. But we all could have (and should have) done more, so none of us is going to escape our collective bad karma. If it’s any consolation, it’s always been this way, and always will be. But nice piece, Phil.

  7. Sandra Price

    Good points, Austin. We discussed this very issue back in 1964 and just about every election since that time. The Media is paid by advertisers and the more audience/readers they can bring into the issues the better the media does. I look at how other nations handle this kind of thing.

    Censoring the media has been much worse for freedoms. I think we are smart enough to realize that certain newspapers, TV channels and even lecturers have a political agenda and if we evaluate this, we cannot be used like lab mice.

    I was a firm Republican until the GOP itself changed their agenda to include building a One World Empire. Bush 41 disgusted me and I pulled my membership from GOPAC which was Newt’s baby to train more Republican politicians. He fell to disgrace for his hypocrisy by having a mistress and leaving his wife. Had he not been such a firm “Christian” after Constitutional Amendments I could have overlooked his adultry by not his Empire plans.

    I do not fear the media as I can tell a slant and spin from the first paragraph. It is the same with news readers. Watching Fox and their slant on everything was the final straw and never again did I vote for any Republican.

  8. AustinRanter

    Media Pundits Prey on American Voters

    Many years ago, our government took on a partner in crime – “The Media”. That partner now holds fifty-one percent of the stock.

    When the 2008 elections are over will history show that media pundits, from every arena, ruthlessly and impiously victimized their every reader, viewer, or listener by their twenty-four-seven relentless and intentional political rhetoric created not for substantive, informative, and balanced reporting, but for selfish gains?

    Will history show that media pundits created controversy between candidates when clearly there was none?

    Will history show that the media pundits intentionally embellished mundane, lifeless, and useless trivial political activities spun with ineffectual mind muddling anecdotal broadcasts, which were aimed at battering its consumers until they began to question their own intelligence and abilities to exercise reason and critical thinking skills?

    Media sources have literally spent thousands of hours assaulting the American voters’ perspectives with the agenda of manipulating voter opinions and harvesting as many consumers as possible.

    I have lost any resemblance of respect for most of the mainstream broadcast personalities. They have apparently lost respect for themselves and their industry. They’ve come to believe in their own contrived, shallow, and even dishonest editorials, which, for the most part is only worthy of being fed to the office shredders.

    Over the past couple of decades, the media has persistently and consistently violated the spirit of their power, which is the most unassailable of rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States – The Freedom of the Press.