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War on Propganda

Watching the news on TV, or reading it in the paper, you may be forgiven for believing the entire news media is out to parody itself. It all sounds like some sort of badly written thriller that you might find carelessly strewn across the pages of a very thin half-price paper-back novel. Possibly some sort of aborted Stephen King effort.

I’m not going to go into detailed reasons for my disgust with the media just now, because I’m too tired to properly articulate them. Instead I’ll just overview a few things that really rankle, and give brief half explanations as to why.

  • The repeated use of the phrase “War on Terror” - a sensationalist phrase with no meaning. It’s not a war. It’s not even terror. I suppose you could call it terror, but it’s the media that are whipping up any ‘terror’ that might be being felt, not the supposed terrorists. What’s the most effective weapon ‘terrorists’ have in this ‘War on Terror’? It’s not the planes, the bombs, or the killings. It’s the media, who act like a sort of self-lighting accelerant, able to turn the smallest dullest ember into a raging forest fire using nothing but sensationalist substance-less waffle. Hell, ‘terrorists’ don’t even need to actually put a plan into action to cause global chaos any more. How about this for a plan Mr News Reporter: shut up working yourself into a tizzy and emoting, just report the news. No I don’t need to go live to the bloody scene, where your correspondent can’t tell me anything new, but can instead fill another five minutes repeating what you just told me, but using more adjectives, more arm waves, and the same ‘catchy’ little phrase repeated throughout.
  • The phrase “Very real threat” - as opposed to a not real threat? What, were all the other threats you keep telling us about un-real? In what way was the latest ‘foiled terror plot’ very real? How do you propose there to be degrees of reality?
  • The phrase “Climate of Fear” - have you been out and asked the public? I think you’ll find very few people are actually afraid they are going to get blown up in an act of terrorism. Sensationalist propaganda.

The whole ‘terror’ thing smells like a whopping great excuse for a crack down on civil liberties, getting the public used to spontaneous heavy handed restrictions, and not very much else. The way the media and my government appear to be using tragic events as an excuse for doing their own thing disgusts and appals me. I can’t help but feel we’re being acclimatised to a higher level of state control. It’s like we’re being weaned off our civil liberties, ready for tomorrows Robocop-esque society. I can see us already on the path to giving up all our forebears hard won rights and freedoms.

I’ll let you in on a secret of how to be less depressed and worried - stop watching the news on TV, stop reading about it in the paper. Neither of those media outlets are interested in the accurate reporting of news - they are both after market share and money. They report accordingly. If you want to stay abrest of ‘big’ news, just carry on with life. If it’s ‘big’ news then you’ll see it all over the web or hear it on the street without needing to go out of your way to discover it - almost anything else isn’t worth getting worked up over.


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  1. Matt Wilcox posted -52057sec after the entry and said:

    And here's another angle that I agree with:

  2. ben posted -4390sec after the entry and said:

    Interesting points there, very interesting, especially considering I have been watching enemy of the state! lol & its got me thinking, how much DO they know about us, and what info can they get ? Us humans are very programmable and can be influenced to do what a 'state goverment' wants us………after all were all biological machines and it seems someone somewhere is trying there best to force us down a certain path of thinking ('programming us') to the benefit of what exactly ?………….Time us humans started down the path of Socialistic, behavioural and logical thinking evolution………our minds have a evolved to a point & its time we began to train ourselves to add to the essence of intelligent life, if everyone began to think of the whole picture and removed deceit and lies the human race would no doubt progress to the point of exploring and colonising the universe, but as that report so eloquently put ‘We Have Met the Enemy in the War On Terror. . . and He Is Us’ ……..It seems those many millions of people deserving to live in a world that’s ‘good’ will never get it as those who drag us down are simply far to numerous

    The enemy of us is the dark side, as it were of human nature, will we ever control it ?

    I could write an essay more on global human behaviour but ya sorta get what I mean from the above

  3. Matt Wilcox posted -1512sec after the entry and said:

    "if everyone began to think of the whole picture and removed deceit and lies the human race would no doubt progress to the point of exploring and colonising the universe" - it's a beautiful dream, but one that will never happen. It's not human. It's not the way life in general works.

    I've been reading 'The selfish gene', and it really is an eye opener, I should lend it to you some time. The point is this: altruism is a selfish act. Everyone and everything is inherently selfish (though I'm not meaning in a logical or concious level), that is one of the defining elements of life. A living entity does whatever is best for the genes it carries, that is pretty much the definition of life - because if it were to do otherwise it becomes extinct.

    The utopia of a society that agrees to do what's best for everyone can never be realised - because as soon as one person decides to play the opposite game, the potential they have for personal benefit is ordersof magnitude greater than if they play by the rules - and someone will stop playing by the rules because of that.

    The only thing to do, and the only thing that will be done, is to find a balanced medium. To put it in context of what's happening with 'terrorism' right now:
    The west will push it's nose in too far, and either fall flat on its face by over-stretching itself; or the west will get slapped in the face hard until it relents sticking it's nose in where it's not wanted. The pendulum will swing the other way, allowing a true expansion of fundamentalism in the east, and result in a west that shirnks in on itself and cuts itself off too much.

    Life is a pendulum of recovering from trends and deviations. Society reflects that simple truth far more accurately than looking at an individual life.

  4. MWF posted 1 days, 0hrs, 44mins after the entry and said:

    It's interesting that anyone would think lies and deceit hamper technological progression when in fact almost all great jumps in technology have been directly related to war. If anything will progress space exploration it will be personal gain. I guess we might see such further technology leaps in our lifetimes if we do have a Cold War with China.

    The media will sensationalise terrorism because the media needs to sell to survive. It's not in a tabloids agenda to quietly ponder the mundane. Don't blame the media, blame those who buy into sensationalism.

    As for the government tightening up liberties and controlling us, sounds just as sensational as the War On Terror to me.

  5. Matt Wilcox posted 1 days, 14hrs, 26mins after the entry and said:

    You're pretty much on the same track as myself there Chris. War is the great birthing pool of new technologies, for sure. Look at the last one - Neuclear power, the jet engine, electronic computers, and radar to name but a few things that came from the war.

    As for the loss of civil liberties, I readilly admit that is going out on a limb, but it's not actually too far wrong as a fact already. The path is already being walked. There have been numerous changes to law in this country and America which have been excused under a 'counter-terrorism' label. I am thinking rather specifically of the fact that suspects can now be held without trial or charges, indefinately (5yrs so far in the case of Guatamano bay). We no longer have a right to trial by jury in certain cases. The ancient law whereby a person could not be tried for the same crime twice has been revoked - it's now possible for the government to keep trying whoever they like until one judge/jury eventually find the person guilty.

    There are other laws which inpinge on our former freedoms.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,1759514,00.html is a good place to start looking, and finding out just how our rights and freedoms today are not what they were even ten years ago. We're on the path to Robo-cop ville, I just hope we don't allow ourselfs to walk too far down there.

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