Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Week 3—2002.10.24
(A bit of background on this one: that day in class, we had watched part of the documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky And The Media, in which Chomsky broke down the 23(!) corporations that, at the time the doc was made, controlled all communications in the world. The instructor felt that, while Chomsky had a point, a lot of his arguments were of the tinfoil-hat persuasion.)

On the one hand, yes, I agree with you about Noam Chomsky, that the man needs to get some perspective and lighten up.

On the other hand?

Well, I have a theory. When a situation slides too far in the wrong direction, an extreme reaction is needed, to jerk everything back over towards a happy medium. We needed strident feminism to counteract institutionalized misogyny. Not that I’m condoning the actions of Malcolm X, but race relations in America were pretty piss-poor before he came along. And Noam Chomsky may be extreme in his views on media…but he has a point.

There is a self-appointed ruling class (mostly, though not entirely, Republicans) who seem to think that the job of the media is not only to keep the populace pacified, but as a form of behavior modification. This was especially in evidence in the 50s and 60s. I mean, Father Knows Best? What a giveaway. Even now, you constantly get clowns testifying in congress (and I’m sure, parliament, too—sorry to have to be all American on you there) about how TV/movies/video games/comics/websites are a bad influence—implying, of course, that media should be a good influence. And there are always vast wodges of the populace that go along with it. So, obviously, there are a lot of people who believe that our entertainment should be more than entertainment—that it should promote correct (read: right-wing) behavior and values.

Naturally, this is a load of shash.

So maybe we need people like Noam Chomsky. As long as the Pax Network exists, as long as Touched By An Angel exists, as long as the select few in control of the media (whose power, since that documentary was made, has consolidated even further) think that they alone have the right to use the media, we need someone like Chomsky, who is as far out of whack in the other direction, to try to yank everything back into order.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

oh hey now, dont be so down on that touchy angel show, that foreign girl is so lovely, just like in the bible!
C'mon... Pax is just counteracting the evil in the world...
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