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Mitch SMith


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Media and the divide of harm

That which goes between us is our media.

Colin Stokes asks us: Are we served by our media? He asks us: Are the movies we watch skewing the functions of our roles?

Here is Anne Summers aproaching the question from a broader outlook, but a narrower focus of intention:

But can we draw back further and discern broader implications?

If this is all true and that which is between us "media" is skewd from our benefit - what is the gap? What is it we are missing? We percieve harm, but what exactly is this harm?

I will lay down 2 ways to approach these questions:

1. Our world views consist of personal experience, and the report of the experience of others. That which we accept in report is assumption - untested, and yet we accept it as if seen by our own eyes. Here is one gap - can we truly separate our own experience from false artifacts in our media? If we can - are we training ourselves and our children to make thesse distinctions?

2. The deficit between Broadcast and Transactional media. In all broadcast media, there is only one active participant - the broadcaster. The reciever is entirely passive - In theatre we call this the "suspension of disbelief" - the material of the broadcast is taken as reality, and yet it is rarely tested. In transactional media, each participant mediates passivity by questioning - are we losing the art of the question?

I argue that the underlying principle goes before modern forms such as movies and internet. I argue that the absurdity of our broadcast-propagandised diet has its seeds well into the past - that it arises from an far older harm which is perpetuated in our media.

I name that harm violence. And I place it squarely at the door of the alpha male - and his ultimate form: the psychopath.

Here is Sapolski revealing the violent patriarchal culture of baboons, and the alternative matriarchal culture of baboons:

Can we learn from this?


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    Feb 8 2013: Knew you would hear me - so 'media' as a way oif saying 'communication'. Broadcast media is when there is a one way stream of information when there is no chance of reply. Transactional media is where there is cause and impact and a chance to respond and get that response heard. Loads of debates about the structure of society and attachment theory going on at the moment. The impact of the state on the individual and the impact of technology in 'locking people down' into really inflexible social structures. The impact of 'dramatic' cultural products like movies, that engage people in a common experience and give opportunities for dialogue using the framework of the movie to debate complex social 'values' and 'norms' and the role of 'deviance'. All this comes from the vocabulary of 'sociology'. Maybe some people can distinguish self from an artificial self created by the society they live in but it all depends on the penalties for being different. If it potentially involves life imprisonment people are going to hide their differences. Ever read Terry Pratchett 'Wintersmith' - one clever guy getting his ideas out there in fictionalised form. In older societies young pubescent males are taken away and 'tutored' in being a man and then returned to the social group as young men. There is often some kind of initiation rite involving pain and endurance. Possibly still way off message for topic of conversation so leaving it to more refined minds than mine. Do entirely agree when a system is flawed do tend to end up with violent, angry, disenfranchised young men. Keep dancing Mitch - get people talking and thinking !!!!
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      Feb 8 2013: Yeah, Pratchet makes me larf! He's so good at that.

      I spoke at length to a federal "staffer" one day walking up to the shops.
      I talk to people, sometimes they don't like it, but mostly you find yourself talking to someone with some real value. So this lady turns out to be good friend of Noam Chomsky and was on the staff of 4 of the last 5 prime ministers here. I won't repeat what is the convention to not repeat, but when I asked her:
      "well . Steve Pinker reckons that violence is on a decline trend and has been so even past 2 world wars."
      She said .. "it looks that way, but it's not true, it's just being supressed better .. it's a management thing. Nothing has really changed and it will get out sooner or later - and they all know it".

      The take-home on that is that most people aren't worried about giving value - if you give them a chance.. the few who resist give away their rapacious natures. Then you know the faces.

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