Music: Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder
Last night whilst talking with Miss E. about the subject of consumerism, I came up with the above title that whimsically encapsulates my thoughts on this subject. People are eschewing activities that might bring them in contact with others such as going to the movies or attending protests against or rallies for causes that they find important. Instead they are working more so they can come home and be alone with their home theater systems where they can further unplug from the world.
Is television to blame for this state of affairs? What about the news media? Why are there more "news outlets" reporting on Britney Spears' crotch than about President Bush, Jr. sneaking a provision into a postal reform act giving himself the power to open your mail without a warrant? I guess if it really bothers you, there's always the option of going online and complaining about it to people who already agree with you instead of doing something about it in the real world.
It seems like the people who make their livings selling things have a vested interest in distracting the general public with cool electronic gizmos and the related empty media content. How else can they lobby the government to change the laws to benefit those in power without causing a riot? People don't want to watch C-SPAN because it is "boring" but when they are upset by some action by the government or a corporation they feel powerless to change anything. Most news outlets are not giving you news, they are all simultaneously scaring you with some "talking points." If you don't feel informed, just scared, it can seem a little too much and you long for the comfort and serenity in your darkened living room with your junk food of choice and your favorite TV show, away from the police sirens and traffic and surveillance cameras outside. It's certainly more interesting than writing a letter to your representative. As long as you're in your house, in front of your TV or your computer, you have the illusion of control.
So how are things going to change?