Friday, July 19, 2013

The News Media & Mental Manipulation

It's been more than two months since I have taken my hiatus. I don't know how many people even read this blog, but if you do, thanks. I've dropped out of Facebook and tried to listen to some opinions and such on Internet message boards, read on some alternative sites, and often times, I interjected my thoughts into the process. I have discovered a few things that have me disgusted and have even damaged my "soul" a little bit. Well, here goes. Hope I'm not all over the place with this. 

I'm no fan of the mainstream television/radio media. FOX, MSNBC, CNN and that ilk have really dumbed us down. It's one thing to talk about the shit that passes for television, but the news media in particular has really been manipulating mass opinion and pitting one set of Americans against another. This latest travesty of reporting the "news", which involved the Martin/Zimmerman case is sickening. Incorrect leaked information led to preconceived notions just days after the incident and speculation replaced a rational look at the facts at hand. I'm not going to get into the case, because frankly, what can I add to the madness? The media pushed people into camps and in the circles I followed, it was largely political. Conservatives were more likely to side with the killer. Liberals were more likely to side with the dead kid. That's odd. And I believe it was due to the news that people are seeking out. We now seek out news that fits our ideology. Think about that for a minute. That should be a MAJOR problem. The news should be about truth, and not care about ideology. 

The media is a money making construct as it is today. Mass marketing. Commercialism. Ratings. That's what drives the news now. Twenty-five dead Indian kids barely caught a blimp on the radar. What was important? The cover of Rolling Stone magazine. You are being manipulated and you probably don't realize it. Hell, you may even embrace it. If you follow a certain news organization because of political slant, you are a part of the problem. Turn that shit off. News isn't supposed to have a political slant. Here's a tip; Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly, Anderson Cooper, and Sean Hannity are not news reporters. They are news analysts with political leanings and they host news analysis programs. They can be political because of the opinion driven format. They don't have to be accurate, they just have to have an opinion. Stop watching that shit. Find an alternative, or at the least, piece your news from as many sources as possible. 

I told a friend today that 9/11 has probably not only changed our nation in terms of security, but it also damaged our psyche. The mass media fed that too. They reported "breaking news" about additional terrorism for several years afterwards that mostly turned out to be nothing. They had constant updates on the "terror level". What an absurd concept that was put right in our faces at every turn for months on end. They fed the fear and we believed it. Hell, we were scared and someone making you even more scared isn't going to lead you to free thought or rational analysis of what is going on. We pined for protection and the government started stepping all over our basic freedoms, and worse than that, started killing people in other countries while we cheered. We didn't think about the reality of what was happening. We were scared. Some of us recovered and came to our senses. The fear melted away and we got to see the rest of the country and how it had changed without the "bogeyman" goggles on. Sadly, much of the rest of the nation has used that fear to dig themselves a hole. They have become distrustful of their fellow man. They have started feeling like the best policy is to shoot first and ask questions later. We have become so wrapped up in fear that we can't even agree that health care/food/water on a civilized (ha!) planet should be a basic human right. How crazy is that? 

I started this blog as an outlet for myself to write some amusing shit, but it can be tough to feel funny when I see how much we have changed and realizing that my kids have to grow up in this and will be fighting it (or joining it?) their whole lives. What chance do we have as a nation when we are teaching our kids how to become fearful and distrustful of anything on the other side of the front door? We are rolling over to the big money and powerful interests. We are scared. It's time to stop the manipulation. It's time to free your mind to some new ideas. It's time to look at the world and at other human beings as real people and not characters on a TV show that we can easily divide into friend or foe. All of this is put in front of you and you still can't even take pause to think about whether it's true can you? You have been trained to ignore and belittle the rantings of people who don't look and think like you do. 

I've read some really ugly shit from people lately. It's damaging my hope for the future of the country and more importantly, the planet. Is it too much to ask that we think about other people as living human beings? People who love and are loved? We are to the point of many Americans believing there isn't any reason to be concerned that a kid has died. Not just talking about Trayvon Martin. I'm talking about any kid. We have a lot of mean and hurtful people in this country, and the trouble is, they think they are the ones that are compassionate and care about the general welfare of others. I don't know what to think about that other than to be disgusted and to feel damaged. 

Jack Torrence (The Shining): "See, it's Okay. He saw it on the television."