Thursday, September 28, 2006

Seizing the Media

Asian philosophy instructs enlightenment. But given our daily exposure to a barrage of persuasive messages, monologues, sales pitches, come-ons, and uninformative hyper-sensational news, common sense and intimacy are tough enough a struggle to maintain.

We can each see how extended exposure to television and mass media dulls people with a sense of numbness and nausea. From every public space a monologue of coercion penetrates our senses and rapes our attention. Wherever we look, wherever we listen, wherever we go: the pornography of billboards, bus side placards, subway cards, glaring storefront signs and displays, the glut of junk mail, stupid fly-by beach planes and blimps, coupons, obnoxious bumper stickers and breast pins, embarrassing service forms, plastic banners and ribbons, absurd parades, street-corner handouts, windsheild wiper flyers, matchbook ads, business cards, screaming radios, the daily papers, every nanosecond of television, the package wrapped around everything we buy—from the label in our underwear to the robot computer that calls us in our homes—only the upper atmosphere and the ocean floor offer any sanctuary from America's ecology of coercion. At every turn the monologues drone on, imbedding the psychological mutagens that coax us to become pathetic customers and unquestioning flag wavers. At every turn we are under subtle attack.

The media serve the interests of the State and other corporations, but never the interests of the public. The media's screen of aggression and seduction is designed to mesmerize and captivate the largest possible sector of population whose attention is then sold like scrap metal to advertisers and gang raped by their slogans, jingles, and manic images. Protected by an uncrossable media moat, agents of the State profit from war and relax behind a web of information laws, censorship powers, and vapid explanations that swat the public of detailed intelligence and mass resistance.

So long as we do not control our own government, our own state, and our own broadcast media—the mirror with which we reflect on the reality of lives—we will continue to be forced to see fun-house mirror distortions of ourselves projected onto a dumpster of products that promise to make us each desirable, sophisticated, and correct. At every turn we are under attack.

There is much more to this piece here.

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