THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN SOCIETY
As I approach graduation (again) from Community College in Social Service Work, I have gradually come to the realisation that I have been able to discern, throughout my 20 years as a Tour Guide, talking about History, Politics, Economics and Religion, as well as 3 full years at the University of Ottawa, and several abortive attempts at undergraduate studies before and after this, what is the role of the media in society.
The media, especially the electronic tele visual corporate and public media, have traditionally fallen all over themselves propagating the dogma of the ‘mirror’ model of information, that they simply reflect back to the viewer, without bias, the facts such as they are, or the best you may get from them is perhaps the ‘distorted mirror model’, whereby they will admit that in reporting the news, that some facts get bent out of shape in the process of being reflected back to the viewer.
However, I think that in today’s world of massive transnational and multinational corporate hegemony, which transcends all notion of national boundaries, political, metaphysical or theological dogmas, that the media, especially the electronic visual media which is web-based and tele visually-based, is increasingly but an instrument of corporate consumer capitalism and nothing else.
Essentially I believe that the media is principally if not solely an instrument of corporate capitalist, government abetted consumerism writ large on a global scale, whose sole goal in real time is to establish and maintain the continuance and to perpetrate the perpetuation of a global hegemonic discourse based on the maximization of production and consumption of animal, vegetable, mineral and human resources, and this on a linear if not exponentially increasing level.
This is not only unrealistic, but unsustainable and is currently leading to resource depletion and habitat and species destruction as well as ecosystem collapse on a heretofore unparalleled scale across this planet. The Pentagon has already rated climate change and ecosystem collapse and disruptions across the globe, with their accompanying demographic calamities (witness Syria), as being the number one threat to global security, above ISIS or Communist China.
The media, therefore, has an essential role to play as the principle, if not sole gateway or pipeline through which knowledge and information flows out from official sources both private and public, to the citizenry here on earth. If we continue to be exhorted to ‘consume until doom’, then surely we shall all perish like the Dinosaurs before us. As Sting sang when he was with the Police, off the Synchronicity album, ‘Hey mighty brontosaurus don’t you have a lesson for us…walking in your footsteps.’
If the media continue to simply act as instruments of corporate capitalist consumer hegemony to make us all sick, poor, fat and stupid, then surely there is no hope for humanity and the ‘one percenters’ for whom all of this hegemonic discourse truly benefits (the so-called ‘wealth creators’, or ‘criminals’, depending if you are talking to an orthodox Adam Smith inspired neoconservative economist on Wall Street, or a Criminologist at a publicly-funded secular university), will end up being the only ones who survive the seemingly inevitable onset of the upcoming eschatological and apocalyptic end game, the likes of which we still do not know the true nature or appointed time and place that it shall be unleashed with full fury upon humanity.
As Gord Downie sang with the Tragically Hip, off the ‘Fully, Completely’ album: ‘wheat kings and pretty things, let’s see what the morning brings.’ In the song he was talking about a quintessentially Canadian story of loss, hope and redemption through love and God’s divine Grace. It was the story of David Milgard, who spent 20 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, and was subsequently cleared of all charges by DNA testing and the dogged love and determination of his Mother, who never gave up on him and her belief as well his, in Milgard’s innocence.
Would it not be equally inspiring if the media could also redeem itself from its being the principle accessory to the murder of its own Mother, the Earth? How much more doth our Mother the Earth and our Father the Creator love us unconditionally, despite our concupiscent carnal proclivities, which make us pursue behaviour which is ultimately unbecoming of children of the Light? Surely it is incumbent upon us all, the denizens of the media included, to speak up for the sake of our ‘Parents’, our Mother the Earth and our Father the Creator and to do what is becoming of us all as befits our birthright as citizens of this planet, joined together in one worldwide fellowship of humanity and of the Spirit.
How much more would our Mother and Father reward us with their bounty and love a hundredfold, if we but chose to turn to them in humble propitiation and sought once again, through our due reverence and deference to their Grace and might, to do their will and to dwell in their eternal presence, be we the mightiest media Mogul, or the lowliest and common of mere mortals?
Redemption is possible, both individually and collectively for this planet. As Rush sang off the Farewell to Kings album: ‘And the men who hold high places, must be the ones who start, to mold a new reality, closer to the heart.’ It all depends on what the elite plutocracy wishes to do with their wealth and power. The Achilles heel of all elites and elite theory has always been that elites end up spending more of their time and money and effort in circling the wagons and fending off real or perceived threats from without and from within and in guaranteeing their own self-perpetuation and group maintenance, that they usually lose sight of their original ‘raison d’être’, which is ostensibly to be guardians of the public trust and to defend and uphold the rights of their constituents, in this case all citizens of the Earth, and to remind them of their responsibilities by practicing due diligence and conducting themselves in an upstanding way which is worthy of being emulated by the rest of us.
Unfortunately, being a member of the elite, throughout history, and today is no exception, usually means that one is above the law and that the laws of the land and of man do not apply to you, but are made by you, but that you live in an elite upper caste of society where such laws and regulations do not apply to you, but are meant rather for the hoi polloi to follow instead of you.
Would it not be inspiring if the Achilles Heel of elitism did not always turn out to be the point at which the arrow of temptation was aimed by those who seeketh to undo and defeat the Divine Will and to thwart the Divine Plan for salvation? Our own personal encounter with the eschaton awaits us ultimately on an individual basis. How the planet’s encounter with Ernest the eschaton is anybody’s guess, but I’m sure that when they do meet, that our good friend the eschaton shall indeed be in ‘earnest’ in his desire to consummate a categorically apocalyptic outcome from this latest process of dialectical thesis/antithesis/synthesis/thesis with our Mother and Father. Whether our parents approve of Ernie ‘coming back home to live with his parents’, albeit briefly, remains to be seen. One is not certain that Our Father shall necessarily greet him with open arms as he sees him coming a long way off and rejoices by putting a robe on his body, a ring on his finger, and orders that the fattened calf be slaughtered in honour of such a dubious Prodigal Son returning to not only ‘live in the basement’, but to ‘trash the whole house’, so to speak.
Ah, but I digress. The sun shall surely rise today, behind a veil of clouds perhaps, but it shall rise, and with it blossoms the promise of a new day in the land of the living within the earthly Kingdom of the Almighty. Let us truly seize this day and make the most of it. Maybe we can start by keeping the TV turned off! Now there’s a different twist on hegemony!!! Take care folks, and God bless.