TED Conversations

Feyisayo Anjorin

Freelance Director, Afro-Carribean Media Group


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Do we have any nation where minority rights are as important as the rights of the majority?

The TED talk 'Danger of a Single Story' by Chimamanda Adichie is quite insightful.
But let us consider a democracy; in a democracy it is the decision of the majority that shapes the society. The media targets the majority and tries to please them.
Is it possible for it to be otherwise?
An effect of the media is that the voice of the majority is presented as the decent and right choice. A sort of societal face.

Only a few African nations have a prosperous majority. Some African states are dysfunctional; there are those who seem to be constantly at war.
So, I believe that some stories are believable than others; some things are easy to find in a certain place than in some other place;
some things are usual and common in certain places. There may be a few dots on a white wall, but if the dots are not significant in size we will still call it a white wall.

This affects storytellers and the audience in various way. Is it possible to avoid the art, social and media classification called 'mainstream'?


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    Aug 19 2012: I am very much more familiar with the United States than I am with other countries, but at least here people tend to hate thinking of themselves as "mainstream." It is possible that a vast majority of people here, in fact, scorn the "mainstream!"
    But more to the point, I don't know that I would say that the voice of the media here presents "the voice of the majority as the right and decent choice." There are tremendous disagreements about so many key issues, including opinions of what is right and decent, that no one could accurately think that there is some near homogeneous majority view on right and wrong. About 150 million people disagree with the other 150 million.
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      Aug 19 2012: Indeed, Ted seems, imo, a very non-mainstream site that attracts non-mainstream community. It would be more fair for the sake of a good discussion about mainstream if we had more "mainstream" guys.
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        Aug 19 2012: My point was that at least in the United States, people tend to pride themselves in not being mainstream. I wonder, in fact, what proportion of the population would labeled themselves as being mainstream in values and ideas. I wouldn't be surprised if a majority of people in this country would, in fact, express distaste at the views they would label as mainstream.

        It is often only OTHER people who are mainstream in a person's eyes.
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          Aug 19 2012: Hmm, I always thought that US was considered "mainstream," especially considering how Americanized some of the other countries I've been to, but I guess I can't really assess that myself since I've only been exposed to US things and haven't been to most other countries.

          "It is often only OTHER people who are mainstream in a person's eyes."

          Hmm, I'll have to think about this one...
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        Aug 19 2012: Hey James it seems like it starts attracting diffrent people then when i learned to love ted, the discussion pages arent flooded with them yet, but i cant read the comments below the videos anymore... its getting "youtubeish".

        That being said id go back on topic and say that as far as i know there cant be in the form politics currently works,... politicians are trying to get votes and some smaller parties (in germany) seem to try gettign support from the minorities as the majority elects the same party again and again anyways.

        In a democracy of massmedia (the media votes for people ... or makes them vote/not vote) minorities just cant shout loud enough.
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          Aug 19 2012: Hmm, is there possibly a way for minorities to shout loud enough?
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          Aug 19 2012: Max, what impact do you think popular opinion have on creators of art?
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        Aug 19 2012: Here is from English essayist, novelist, and books and culture writer Nick Hornby quoting another writer, Carl Wilson, as part of a book review:

        Hornby cites Wilson's swift summation of cultural snobbery:

        It's always other people following crowds, whereas my own taste reflects my specialness

        (This is in reference to the idea that people tend not easily to see themselves as mainstream but easily attach that label to others.)
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          Aug 19 2012: Everyone's a follower/sheep or someone who conforms to mainstream to some degree, while there's also degrees of individualism to everyone too.

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