Thursday, July 29, 2004

mirrors, megaphones, media

Inspector Lohmann cites a Canadian woman's observations upon returning to Canada from seven years in the US:
When I moved back to Canada I noticed that the news reflected the values and thoughts of the people who live here. Whether it's the newspaper or TV news, you have the feeling that it shares the point of view of the people who are reading or watching it. I never got that feeling in the States. The news there never reflected the views and attitudes of the people I knew.
This is an excellent impetus to urge USians to travel, if only to find by exemplary contrast how focused and message-bound US media is. (I use "is" because the grammatically proper "are" would misleadingly suggest diversity). US media alienates. To tie this back to the moment, has the presence of numerous astute blogs inside and outside the DNC has done anything to alter that sense?

Lohmann procedes:
American media, simply, does not reflect the truth, it does not reflect people's everyday concerns, it does not reflect people's everyday realities. It is a megaphone shouting at them to accept things that people know just ain't so.
Knowing that this is so is no guarantee that one can do anything about it. At the root of US medialienation is neither simply the co-optation of message, nor the platforming of corporate media. Not these alone. It has to do with what Octavio Paz saw in The Labyrinth of Solitude:
In the United States man does not feel that he has been torn from the center of creation and suspended between hostile forces. He has built his own world and it is built in his own image: it is his mirror.
Well, we know what happens when a mirror confronts a mirror. If you're making the spectacle, you're not breaking it.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jon Husband said...

Too bad Guy DeBord's not around to come into his own.

Will we ever be able to escape the spectacle, henceforth ?

7/29/2004 12:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Hard to escape without making a spectacle of ourselves ;)

7/29/2004 12:21 PM  
Blogger Inspector Lohmann said...

Wow -- marvellously astute observation.

Thanks. It's an honor to function as an excuse for an epiphany.

7/30/2004 1:11 AM  

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