Letters to the Editor (11/03/2012)
Don’t believe anything you hear on TV
Do you enjoy creative commercials but believe yourself immune to the message in them? In fact, no one is immune. The reason corporations spend so much money to inundate us with words is that it works. One of the deep psychological reasons is not so deep: simple recognition, just as you begin to feel that your neighbor, whom you’ve never talked with and whom you viewed with distrust, is innocuous enough now that several years have passed. This is not a rational thought process, but one natural to the human beast.
The competitive spirit of humans comes into it, also. Seeing things other people want makes us want it. Other baser impulses, such as fear and schadenfreude, are also part of it.
Since the turn of the century advertising has researched the subject of indoctrination and they’re now very good at it. Nowadays there’s actually no boundaries between entertainment, news and advertising: Advertisers have control of all content, and corporations have control of advertisers.
Fox News is the proud pinnacle of that accomplishment. Fox is so good at what it does that the people who watch it have an ingrained, deeply felt conviction that they understand the world. They’ve gained wisdom: Key words and concepts trip lightly to the tip of the tongue and reactions to everything are instantaneous.
Citizens United is another, substantial addition to the corporate ability to inundate us with their message. (Fox watchers have probably heard very little about it, except one day there was a quote from McCain that it is very bad and another day a talking head said it is “the perfect antidote” to “numerical superiority of liberals.”) It’s why the political advertisements this year are so polished, and fun.
If you do watch tv, everything you “know” about the world and this election, is wrong: Small government means corporate power, not individualism. Obama is not a socialist, but of a socioeconomic class — black and a lawyer — that tends to be conservative and moderate, which he is. Raising taxes on the rich isn’t socialism, nor is healthcare regulation that gives corporate insurers millions of new customers. Obamacare did not promise to lower premiums this year, because it doesn’t go into effect till 2014. (Obama, as opposed to Obamacare, made such a campaign promise in 2007, but the delays in implementation required by compromises to get it passed undid the promise.) Just a few of the lies being told.
The lies are not the worst of it, however: it’s the unrelenting emphasis on alternate reality, where the American Dream, human rights and prosperity can coexist with Big Money. (The stark reality, that in an overpopulated world the only short term corporate solution — survival by warfare — is a lethal long-term solution because it entails high-tech, expensive exploitation of the earth; i.e., death by weather. Other, noncorporate solutions, do exist.)
If you want to get un-brainwashed, don’t watch TV.
Disappointed in sign vandals
Dear Socorro County Neighbors:
There was an act of vandalism committed this week having to do with the destruction of election signs located near the charter school, which is very disappointing, but which follows a similar act committed before an election for the Socorro Electric Co-op recently.
In our supposedly free country, people of good will declared their intent to serve us all in public office. However, others saw fit to destroy their opponents’ advertising by pulling over or removing their signs. This of course is illegal, but worse, it bespeaks a low morality in people who performed the act.
Anger, disappointment, even hate are possible responses in the general public. That can even breed war.
If we are to be worthy of our freedoms and our peace we have to discipline ourselves and instead of vengeance recognize that whether or not we believe in a higher power, there will indeed come a time of reckoning, and woe be to those who laughingly think they are getting away with such deeds.
It does not speak well for the opponents involved. Is that what you really want us to think of you?
Mrs. Martha S. Hatch