I had a really good introduction planned here. I was going to build into a narrative. Shape you a clever and insightful story. But no. I’m going to do this in a very different way.
Fuck. Media. Bias.
Now before you jump on a left-winged Pegasus, let me be clear, I didn’t say liberal media bias. I said media bias. Well then, I must just be stating the obvious. Of course there is media bias. The sheer nature of the media apparatus is designed to be used as a means for propaganda.
But here is the thing, the media bias that I’m telling you about now, is not one that can be defined by what side of any kind of argument that you are on, but rather the mechanism that controls the narrative in the first place.
Maybe I’m going off into some tangent here, but think about every story that you have read, every tweet that you have consumed. Just everything. At what point do you just stop and say, I have unfettered access to information, I live in a time where I can literally pull out my phone and call up endless bytes of data to do my own investigating. And just do it?
But you don’t.
As a society we have fallen into a trap of being mollycoddled by our own desires to only consume media we agree with. Choosing to stride ever valiantly on our social media high horses. Proclaiming all those unwilling to stand with “I”, are thus wrong and must be decimated. For, “I”, and this is both the left and right, “I” the social media commentator, am the know-er of all things. Because someone else wrote something, somewhere. That “I” just happened to agree with. So thus it must be, the ultimate, unquestionable, undeniable, never-ending truth.
Show me a major media outlet, and I am including social media outlets here, that can categorically say that they are wholly independent of any external editorial influence, be it from corporate, political, or managerial interests, and I’ll show you a liar. It just doesn’t happen.
This isn’t an attack on those within the industry. People need to make a living, people need to get paid. That’s just life. But taking the agenda driven words, intended to polarize people in order to drive views on pages or TV sets, as gospel, is outright dangerous.
When you start saying, or better yet posting things like, “Oh, look at this article in HuffPo, this person said this, so they are totally a sexist. What a scumbag”. Now, regardless of the degree, or context, of how, or why, they said what they have; you have now managed to successfully marginalize and label anyone who agrees with, or understands the nature of their words in context, as a sexist.
Just so you could yell, and get a few more likes. Have some people agree with you.
When the logical thing to do, or for anyone to have done in the first place, would be to engage in dialogue with that person, explain rationally your point of view, ask them to elaborate on theirs, and try to analyze the root causes of why it was that they made any such statement. Come to some common ground maybe.
But see, by following blindly an agenda driven media, that same marginalization is how we get ourselves a Donald Trump, or even a Pauline Hanson.
Think about it, in Australia we now have four One Nation members in the Senate. Deciding in some part, the laws that shape our country. Now, their leader is not charismatic. She is not a bastion of intellectual discourse.
Pauline Hanson was able to capitalize on a whole section of the population, and let me stress here, over 500,000 people is a rather large section. Who rather than feeling engaged within a discussion that just might have seen them better educated at a social level, have now been manipulated into believing that Ms Hanson and her intentionally radical views, is their voice, and will stand up for what they believe in. Which is her own politically driven agenda.
Is this what we have become? People driven by some insatiable need to curtail the rights of others to have their own beliefs? What is the endgame here?
Now don’t get me wrong, any form of harm that is legislated in actual law is wrong. But this incessant need to throw labels at people, driven by the media encouraging everyone to do so, is just plain lunacy.
Because at what point does the line get drawn. Seriously. Try going to China and speaking out against the Government. You would literally last all of ten minutes before getting arrested. Better yet, take a look at the media there. State run propaganda machines, but at least they are open about the influences behind the scenes.
Why do I mention this? Because the more we are socially conditioned to accept that we cannot speak our minds, the further down the slope we slide into self-extracting our own rights to dissidence.
And why is all this happening? Because it distracts us. Rather than asking things like how it is possible that the income gap has all but annihilated the middle class, we are pushed into determining who the most racist, sexist, bigoted, whoever, whatever, is. You are guided there by billion dollar interests. It is really that simple.
This isn’t some call to arms for all those who would seek to use their language to belittle others that are different. This is a call to those who would follow blindly the standard set by a media complex, to instead show the same level of respect to those you don’t agree with, as you would those you do. And maybe, just maybe, by doing so, end the cycle of division that exists between all of us.
Or don’t. And much like a petulant child, continue forth berating those who disagree with any point of view. For which you steadfastly agree at this particular second. This particular one that just passed. Also subject to change on a post by post basis of course. In which case, remember. The best way to communicate with someone who will always agree with you, is to call your mother.
Will Koulouris – @willkoulouris