24 February 2007

weekly roundup

I don't normally follow the news, or "news", and this week was a fair example why. From what I can tell, the week's top stories involved a corpse and a bad haircut. Back when I was n university one of my professors went on at great length about what she referred to as "anti-news." The example she used was Marilyn Monroe. There were, and still are, large debates going on over the significance of Monroe. Was she abused? Used? Was she a user? Was she a symbol of a female oppressed by the patriarchy or a protofeminist? and so on. The issue is not whether you agree or disagree with these points, but that whether you agree or disagree, you are still talking about Monroe and all the other topics that may be discussed and covered in the news are shoved deep into the back pages or left out entirely. Not only does it fail to inform us, but it blocks out other information by its mere size and presence. Lastly, whatever our opinions on items such as these may be, our opinions are ultilmately pointless, as there is utterly nothing we may do one way or the other, except pray. And again, on news that may affect us, or about which we may act, the newspapers are silent, and give us only the stars. Sorry, I mean "stars".

I think of the Read Report from the early seventies. The report was commissioned by the federal governement to look into the influence of newspapers on Canadian society, specifically, did newspapers control what Canadians thought? The answer to that question, according to the report was, in paraphrase: no, not exactly. Canadians often disagreed with the opinions they found in the papers. So newspapers did not control what Canadians thought. But on the other hand, Canadians debated the news they were presented endlessly, and they got that news from the papers. Therefore, while newspapers did not Control what Canadians thought, to a great degree they did control what Canadians thought about.

And here we are. Corpses and haircuts, stars on red carpets, who is in rehab and who is not in rehab and who is back in rehab, and the affairs and breakups, followed by more affairs, and more breakups. It is like living in a sewer, surrounded by filth and rats. At most I feel pity for the people involved, and offer prayers that they may turn and see the Truth. But to know about these people and to know why we know about these people is to be degraded.

Here ends Spirit Sword's (2)'s first anti-post.

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