12 October 2006

Don't think about that - think about this!

Ask any comedian, broadcaster or a politician and they will confirm that timing is everything. Anything that happens or is being said has only half, if even that, impact without the correct timing. This has got nothing to do with the relevance of the incident - it is just a part of package we are willing to buy.

The other day a plane hit a skyscraper in New York. This time it was not an attack against anyone’s “way of life” or “values”, but apparently an accident. The person in question was not threatening one (possibly only having a beard during the play-off season) but rather an all-American sports hero so may he rest in peace. It is awful really, isn’t it?

Well this is where the timing comes in. What a strike of luck to the mass media who even at its most anti-republican moment stands firmly behind its agenda (then only serving the ones opposing its policies, yet often benefiting from its decisions). Now they do not need to worry about, say, 655 000 dead Iraqis.

It is true that this plane crash, as a tragedy, was great distraction to all the other things that are happening on the planet, but it is interesting to me how, for the first time that I remember after the much-talked nine eleven, the media and the politicians are making it very clear that this incident has not got anything to do with terrorism. Generally they keep their dominance up by creating a threat to everyone and then posing as the ones to lead the way back into the light – to the safe haven of “western” values only and global unity (terms and conditions apply – mainly that everyone needs to agree with these so called western values or otherwise they are considered as a part of axis of evil).

The power of media, as many media theorist argue, is not its power to make decisions for us. As in what do we think about something, but it rather controls our minds by introducing us the topics we should think about and what is our opinion may be shaped from the few facts offered and then the general feeling of it. And on the other side of things, all of a sudden, with a little help of Michael Moore, internet conspiracy theories and 24 hour news networks everyone can be a specialist in all that is wrong in the world. There is no focus in any of this. We just support “it” or oppose “it” and “it” can be anything. Choose your side and stick to it. It is like supporting a football team – you have to stand with them on good times and bad times or otherwise you become a traitor.

655 000 is a lot of people to die. It is 655 000 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. It is 655 000 teachers, shopkeepers, soldiers, cops and cons. It is 655 000 Iraqis and no matter what anyone feels it is 655 000 human beings opposed to two of which one was a baseball player. All of the sudden even in UK media pretends that it cares about baseball. And on the moment of truth 655 000 dead people are only a fraction of the poor people who go to sleep hungry and never wake up. Who are born without a chance because the “values” of west maybe supported a regime which is not capable to serve the people but which definitely agrees on selling oil and diamonds to the corporate west. Maybe they are victim of the draught maybe something else – like general bad governance.

The way I see it – anything these days that can take the attention off of the really relevant stuff is good enough for American lead corporate mass media. It is sad state of things when everything is supposed to be somehow so evolved. The mass media, indeed, in the new millennium, serves as the greatest Weapon of Mass Distraction.

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