We have let ourselves become complacent, and taken it to heart that somehow those of us who are more intelligent and in the know are somehow to be watched with the utmost suspicion.
Those of us, for example, who do not take what we see in the media or in our textbooks as gospel are routinely derided as freaks and hysterics who should just keep our mouths shut and stop rocking the boat.
Thus, stupidity due to lack of vigilance has become the accepted norm. This acceptance of stupidity derives from my favorite pet peeve of them all: the corporate media.
The news media sees things strictly in black and white, without any ambiguity or room for contradiction.
That’s why the media consistently allows military analysts to explain/make excuses for the “war on terror,” but anti-war voices are rarely heard. The news media operates on tight schedules which don’t allow for elaboration of the issues.
Also, the issues that are picked are rarely of importance to us. Scott Peterson? Michael or Janet Jackson? Steroids?
No wonder no one knows what is going on in Haiti, or with inner-city school funding, or, for that matter, any number of important issues.
And, with media conditioning helping to educate the people as to what doesn’t matter, it helps render them more susceptible to buying the products shown during the commercial breaks.
Thus, the media continue to act as an arm of the powerful, making people accept not only advertising reality, but government policy.
This model of control, the reality that we live in, cannot work without our ignorance.
But it’s not just the news media.
Forms of entertainment that we are given are meant also to give us the message that intelligence gets us nowhere.
Isn’t that the message whenever we see Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson grace our television sets with their looks – that if we’re as good-looking as they are, there’s no reason to be smart?
Why bother going to school? Why should I educate myself as to the world when it’s easier to live like a queen and not do any work whatsoever to achieve my goals?
Look at George W. Bush, a man who doesn’t read his newspapers in the morning: if you’re dumb and rich, the presidency may await you! Why bother figuring out domestic and world affairs; you don’t need that in government!
For every “Simpsons” or “Sopranos” on TV, there are scores of entire channels like MTV that work to brainwash large portions of the population.
All of this exists in great amounts. With little room for dissent, the intent is to make those who seek something different and more intelligent feel impotent against the tide of mass culture of the lowest common denominator.
This is confirmed by shows like “Cops,” which, as the late Bill Hicks said, existed to teach Americans that at any given time, “state power will bust down your doors,” ultimately discouraging you from being knowledgeable to the larger picture.
That’s bullshit! I love my MTV!
I know, I know. I am right about this, however. Media and consumerism, more than anything else, form the modern American consciousness.
Media can largely be pinpointed as inciting us against each other, as is seen throughout the many teen dramas on television, where the “nerd” class is consistently seen as out of step with the “jock” class dominating whichever high school (or, they have a sympathetic nerd character who chills with the jocks).
It’s clear from watching these shows who the model American citizens are, and which of them will be consigned to oblivion.
Thus, from an early age, you know that if you have any hope in the competitive American society that we live in, you’ll turn out to be an unquestioning, unassuming, good-looking jock, a drone with no soul or no knowledge.
I don’t mean to sound angry, but I am challenging everyone to avoid falling into the trap the powerful have set for you.
Knowledge is power; and, if everyone was as knowledgeable as the few at the top, we may have a beautiful world.
Thus, please folks, make an effort to be smart. Turn off your televisions. Read the right books.
You are not stupid, but you will act it if enough people, and elite media, tell you that you are, and you take their lesson to heart.
The intelligence present within all of us is the greatest weapon we have; use it to make the world better, instead of letting someone else use it for you.