The greatest power of the mass media is the power to ignore. The worst thing about this power is that you may not even know it's being used.
From: New World Order
The new world order emanates from a mandarin class that is neither left or right. Its members often are the sort of which it has been said that when they are alone in a room, there is no one there. In such a culture the marketplace of ideas essentially shuts down. There is no longer any real politics, only deals. No victories, only leveraged buyouts. No ideology; only brand loyalty. No conservative and liberal, only Coke and Pepsi.
The system that envelops us becomes normal by its mere mass, its ubiquitous messages, its sheer noise. Our society faces what William Burroughs called a biologic crisis -- "like being dead and not knowing it." The unwitting dead -- universities, newspapers, publishing houses, institutes, councils, foundations, churches, political parties -- reach out from the past to rule us with fetid paradigms from the bloodiest and most ecologically destructive century of human existence. What should be merely portraits on the wall of our memories run our lives still, like parents who retain perpetual hegemony over the souls of their children.
Why bother? Only to be alive. Only to be real, to be made not just of what we acquire or our adherence to instruction, but of what we think and do of our own free will. Only, Winston Churchill said, to fight while there is still a small chance so we don't have to fight when there is none. Only to climb the rock face of risk and doubt in order to engage in the most extreme sport of all -- that of being a free and conscious human. Free and conscious even in a society that seems determined to reduce our lives to a barren pair of mandatory functions: compliance and consumption.
Life is a endless pick-up game between hope and despair, understanding and doubt, crisis and resolution.
AND a song:
We first heard this version of Paul Simon's lovely American Tune via the BBC Radio i-tune thingie. Paul Simon's own version could hardly be bettered, but I do like Kurt Ellings's renditon too. It's on his album 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project. He's actually a jazz singer, but sings this one straight-up, it'd be a crime to do otherwise!
Snip from the 1970s lyrics, still apt in 2012....
But it's all right, all right,
We've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road we're traveling on,
I wonder what went wrong,
I can't help it
I wonder what went wrong.