Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Media's Job Is To Diffuse The Anger

An Undifferentiated Mass of Human Dignity

"It's an anti-capitalism thing. No, it's an anti-war thing. No, it's a civil rights thing. No, it's a desert topping. No, it's a floor wax.

Ever since the Occupy movement began garnering mainstream media attention there has been an energetic, maybe even desperate, debate to define the significance of thousands of people from all over the nation spontaneously gathering in America's large urban centres, decrying the rapacious criminality of the establishment--all sans identifiable figureheads or fixed policy programmes.

Yes, from the start it was clear that, in its broadest outlines at least, this thing was a passionate rebuke to parasitic Wall Street types. Whatever that may mean in actual practice, it's definitely not a formulation consistent with laissez faire economics a la the Koch brothers' Tea Party. So not surprising that most right wing analyses approached the topic with a dismissive laziness. They've crafted fear into a formidable electoral weapon and are well familiar with the coward's first law of dealing with Truly Scary Things: avoid real contact.

That general approach, however, is hardly the exclusive resort of the right wing. It is, in fact, the universal reaction of all establishment types accross the board. Witness the White House's statement about the Occupy movement.

And that is the point most interesting to me, as a recovering Obama zombie. Not so much that His Zero-ness is not even trying to swim with the raw, powerful populist currents churning within Occupy, but that those on the institutional left are not doing a helluva lot better.[1]

Analyses during the early, pre-mainstream exposure pretty much focused around the creeping sense of unease felt by veteran activists when confronted with the informal, unpolished and unfocused demeanor of some demonstrators

While I've only become really engaged with public affairs recently, I identify most closely with this group of commentators. They may have much more extensive pedigrees of activist involvement than I, but we all share one key characteristic: a relatively simplistic linear model of the world. Something akin to a cold, impersonal, mathematical dogma bound by a rigid series of theorems and acceptable logic that is fatally dependant upon the artificially constricted environment of 2-dimensional Euclidian space. Just as where A+B=C and C=2A, then A=B, when social outcomes are a function of the implementation of policy programmes by formal authorities, all movements seeking to affect social change must have designated leaders and a fixed platform of specific policies.

Elegant notion, that, no? Makes a man feel superior. Powerful. Easy able to comprehend the vast workings of the society around him and have a decisive impact. 'Cept it don't quite work that way in the real world."

What I've seen in MSM about the occupy phenomena is nothing short of astounding. The media reactions seem to fall into two categories - cluelessness and following a script of intended insult.
I don't know how many times I've seen and heard talking heads pretend the people that are demonstrating are unfocused and vague, not really knowing what the hell they're doing.
One of the pulled-out-of-their-asses reasons for anger seems to be global warming, of all things.
What the corrupted media wants us to believe is that people in other countries have real grievances and concerns but the demonstrators in this country are thoroughly misguided.


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