Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Pulp fiction

Fairly regularly someone will be talking to me and refer to some news event or another; local, national or global. Usually it sounds like this: "Isn't it terrible that [insert personality] did [insert misdeed]?" or else "Isn't it sad what happened to [insert victim]?"

Then I reply that this is not a matter in which I've been involved.

Then I get looked at funny. "Oh but it's in the news." This usually sounds accusatory, as if I am an irresponsible citizen if I do not keep up with the news. And I might even find a shred of legitimacy in that judgement if only I had a shred of confidence in the media machine for being either fair, honest, thorough, intelligent, useful or in line with properly noble interests.

Unfortunately, the opposites to these ideals are the rule according to my observations which I make rarely, but regularly enough to keep my understandings of the matter hopefully current and legitimate!

While major newspapers and news radio programs offer bit pieces designed to extend good advice to readers, which can be often quite useful, their coverage of events is their bread and butter and is woeful by any angle I look at it. And sure, there may be many limitations, financial, logistical and otherwise, behind the woefulness, but excuses for being useless, as good as they may be, does not change the quality of being useless. There are no points for effort.

The problems:

Material which is political or with political applicability is slanted in favor of the party of choice of the media entity's ownership. This has always been obvious. So has their penchant for spinning everything to appear as sensational and controversial as possible.

If you've ever been present at a newsworthy event you've probably watched it later on the news and been horrified how the newscaster's angle is utterly foreign to your own experience.

And if you've ever watched CNN or Fox News cover any matter Canadian, you know how completely idiotic and laughable their messed up ideas are. Are we sure their more local reporting is any purer?

There is a complete lack of usefulness with regards to learning from the news event so as to garner wisdom or to service endeavors toward prevention of bad events from happening again.

The most obvious intelligent questions which should arise from a given report are so often absent without explanation or apology.

The journalism process leaves itself prone to inadvertent reporting of lies. Worse is the creation of its own deliberate lies as Fox News has been caught doing and without the slightest repercussion for reporting complete fiction. They were literally taken to court where the judge ruled that news agencies are not legally required to tell the truth. In short, just because something is in the news does not mean it is true.

The media is corrupt in that it quietly tows the line of the ruling power while reporting inconsequential items to the contrary in order to come off as government watchdogs and earn undeserved trust. The ruling media are corporations prone to the same pervasive corruption uniformly plaguing all the ruling structures of our society and is as much to blame as any of them for keeping this mindless economic machine grinding away; this system of economic and mental slavery in drag as freedom.

Note that much of that corruption is evident in what newspapers choose NOT to report. But this is invisible to people who trust main stream news as their only source. There are more independent; more trustworthy sources on the Internet.

The media limits its capacity for enlightenment to that of the average jerk. It asks few if any questions from a global context and accesses no perspectives outside the lame social prejudices of the day. It knows its average purchaser is basically dull, if not outright stupid, and lives in that realm, encouraging potentially intelligent people not to bother thinking critically.

The main reason I no longer have any interest in so-called news is because what we call news is rarely, if ever, new. Event after event, it's just the same principal manifestations of human instinct that have been happening over and over and over again since humans first evolved into the world-plundering sweethearts we are.

Using media to learn the scant particulars of these latest manifestations accomplishes what? Mostly, I see that it helps us service our tribal instincts which is very detrimental to the evolution of consciousness that we, as a race, desperately require. Why do I say this? Because people read the news and immediately blame the badness in the world on the perpetrators of the day and feel all happy with themselves for being a good guy. And this, to me is complete crap.

I don't see the average newspaper reader as being any better than the average criminal. The average newspaper reader is committing harmful acts against the world and its inhabitants daily but most of those are socially approved and overlooked. The blame for these detrimental acts lies with the very same illusions of consciousness and the very same domination instincts which cause so-called criminals to commit so-called (non-society-approved) criminal offenses. The only difference I see between we and the villains-du-jour is circumstantial. Cause and effect have put them in a more dire cocktail of situations than we.

If you deny this by saying, "Hey, no way! If I was in that circumstance I would not have committed that act!" it is only because you do not grasp the all-pervasive and staggeringly incremental natures of cause and effect; a common and crippling human condition caused largely, I assume, by our completely false feeling that actions stem from conscious choices.

Here's my actual point: Reading the news, for most people, does not make them responsible. The key learning available from troubling news events can really only occur by looking at the behavior of the humans in front of our own face and by looking inward at our own personal susceptibilities to evil. Newspapers do nothing to encourage this. I personally work at this daily and I don't need arbitrary newspaper stories to make this happen. I already know what the human being is capable of. I know with fine clarity the whole morbid roster of it and I know there is no usefulness in blaming nations or individuals. The blame is right here in our DNA; yours and mine. We all need to evolve.

Who are you to condemn another's sin? He who condemns sin becomes part of it, espouses it.
- Georges Bernanos

Nothing can be more contemptible than to suppose Public Records to be true.
- William Blake

...You're watching television. You're watching the news. You're being pumped full of fear. There's floods. There's AIDS. There's murder. Cut to commercial. Buy the Acura. Buy the Colgate. If you have bad breath they're not going to talk to you. If you have pimples the girl's not going to fuck you. It's a campaign of fear and consumption and that's what I think it's all based on, is the whole idea: Keep everyone afraid and they'll consume.
- Marilyn Manson

I laugh for the newsprint nightmare; A world that never was, where the questions are all 'why', and the answers are all 'because'.
- Bruce Cockburn


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