Yesterday’s “Everything is Broken” tackled the sorry state of our media moonscape. All roads funnel into 6! Back in ancient times, 1993, 50 corporations had the lion's share of USA media; today it is 6. If Time-Warner and Comcast come together …
A documentary film is being shot at WUSB by Tony Salva – he was set up in the studio with me during the program and then did a more formal interview after. Mixed media indeed!
Back to that bleak road we are forced to travel … an informed electorate was considered a pillar of democracy when Sally Hemings’ pot farmer lover Tom Jefferson held sway. And I quote:
“I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree." --Thomas Jefferson to Littleton Waller Tazewell, 1805. Well, I guess Rupert Murdock “to a certain degree” informs his readers of the WSJ, and mouth-breather viewers of Fox News, but that for another day.
My featured guests on the program represented the Long Island Media Task Force. They are doing everything they can to muster local resistance to the runaway corporate takeover of our society. I applaud their efforts.
I see 3 principal avenues of toxic fallout from media consolidation: 1. outright government and/or corporate propaganda; 2. corporate product marketing in drag: i.e. everything from product placement to story slant to VNR’s (video news releases that a corporation’s PR firm produced that is presented as “news,” often with video of a “reporter” on the scene); 3. the outright blackout of stories we really need to hear: e.g. Fukishima; the TPP; the drone wars; alternatives to capitalism. Im sure you can conjure up more categories for all of this. drop me a note with your thoughts!
The media mess is one area of “brokenness” that we all should be fighting. Do what you can locally; take mainstream corporate media with a grain of salt; find some online sources that are less ideologically filtered. Lets see if we can open our own roads to information, knowledge and the power that comes with that.
Mix your own media!
Hubris … a cultural tick? A byproduct of empire? The USA’s version is both in my opinion. Hubris is dangerous, as we learned with our slide into permanent war since invading and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq. Hubris kills. But has there ever been an empire that acted any different? Comes with the territory (no pun intended).
“Everything is Broken” yesterday delved into hubris and then switched to a life saved by going against the cultural grain. Brad Willis, a.k.a. Bhava Ram was an international war correspondent for NBC News. He pushed thru a broken back for 7 long years; he was addicted to just about anything that could stop the pain. He was also diagnosed with Stage IV cancer (courtesy of the First Gulf War depleted uranium bombs). He told us his story and his climb out of the pit of despair and self-pity. He turned to Yoga and ancient healing arts like Aruveda. Now he teaches others how to heal themselves. He described his “Type A” personality and career arc; he resolved to work harder than anyone else. He soared high; he fell hard, broken. Check out his most recent book “Warrior Pose … a War Correspondent’s Memoir … How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life", at his website.
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