My Fellow Bloggers, We are part of the Problem (1)


This post was inspired by a conversation with the lovely author of applekaur.wordpress.com

In biology it’s called a signal transduction cascade. One molecule attaches to a receptor. The receptor undergoes some change triggering a large response inside the cell Whole pathways of genes can be turned on or off. I don’t want to go into G proteins and Ca2+ ion influx and the ramification on kinases or phosphatases. What I want to stress is that it all starts out with one small molecule, one signal which gets amplified.

During the course of the day many significant events happen around the world. Depending on a few criteria certain stories are chosen. I talked about this briefly in my post from a week and change ago: What Looking for an Angles means for Social Discussion. To recap, I brought up the “propaganda model”. The propaganda model views the private media as businesses interested in the sale of a product (readers and audiences) to other businesses (advertisers) rather than that of quality news to the public.


 

The size and profit-seeking imperative of dominant media corporations create a bias. Since media outlets are large corporations or part of conglomerates the information presented to the public will be biased with respect to these interests. 

Funding generated through advertising. There is fierce competition throughout the media to attract advertisers; a newspaper which gets less advertising than its competitors is at a serious disadvantage. The news is “filler” to get privileged readers to see the advertisements. Stories that conflict with their “buying mood”, along with information that presents a picture of the world that collides with advertisers’ interests are not given much attention. 

The mass media are drawn into a symbiotic relationship with powerful sources of information by economic necessity and reciprocity of interest. Business corporations and trade organizations are also trusted sources of stories considered newsworthy. Editors and journalists who offend these powerful news sources, perhaps by questioning the veracity or bias of the furnished material, can be threatened with the denial of access to their media life-blood – fresh news.

 


Bloggers

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Bloggers have an interesting role to play in the transduction of information. Sometimes we are, whether consciously or unconsciously part of the problem. By the way, when I talk of blogger I include myself as well. The media turns our attention towards a certain depiction of the truth. We (bloggers) go on to talk about it quite often in a reactionary way. We can polarize a lot of public reactions. We are an important stop in the signal transduction cascade. I feel the picture to the left summarizes a lot of what I mean to say.

I would like to give you an example from my observations and you can tell me what you think.

Example 1: Objectification

Objectification is big in the news. There are so many articles printed on sexual objectification. One common feature they each share is that while they may acknowledge the complexity of the issue they cannot and do not delve into the social, political, biological and economic realities involved in such a large issue. Furthermore, it’s never mentions that sexual objectification is just one of many forms of objectification. No one mentions how we objectify the innocent victims of drone strikes, or the prisoners that make the large prisoner industrial complex run, or minorities, or people of certain classes, etc. We are only “allowed” to talk about sexual objectification, and when we do so we have to talk about it in such a way as to not account for the diversity of people culture and other factors. In effect, our collective cultural cherry-picking is never mentioned.

Let’s Continue this conversation

I thought that now that I have introduced the outlines of my thinking. I can come back and further elaborate and give you more examples and the fruits of my musings. Meanwhile please leave your thoughts and comments.

Things We need to be Honest About # 1 – You cannot eradicate criminal behavior by policing ….


 

You cannot eradicate criminal behavior by policing words or

ways someone chooses to express themselves. 

You can campaign against the evils of murder, rape, or stealing and those things wont be eradicated. In order to police a persons expression requires  establishing oneself on a moral high ground. Unfortunately the rarefied air at such height of moral fortitude makes us overlook both the context of the word and the intention they were meant to be heard or read in. There is no evidence that a joke about or questioning an instance of domestic violence  promotes it. Actually jokes about race have done more to open up an open-minded dialogue in my experience.

Bryson_quoteWe have to also realize that the theories we read about do not accurately capture reality. Rape culture has linguistic, socio-political, religious, historical, implications. There is not one over arching “rape culture”. The victims of rape culture are always depicted in the news as young white women, who are preyed upon by men.  Bryson depicted here is not considered to be a victim of “rape culture.” Neither are Native American women living on reservations.

One in three American Indian women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape, according to the Justice Department. Their rate of sexual assault is more than twice the national average.  Rape, according to Indian women, has been distressingly common for generations, and they say tribal officials and the federal and state authorities have done little to help halt it, leading to its being significantly under-reported. The Justice Department did not prosecute 65 percent of the rape cases on Indian reservations in 2011. And though the department said it had mandated extra training for prosecutors and directed each field office to develop its own plan to help reduce violence against women, some advocates for Native American women said they no longer pressed victims to report rapes.

This is blatantly unacceptable!  Unfortunately the mass majority of us are no different than the Lotus eaters of the Odyssey sleeping in the peaceful apathy after eating the primary food and export of our society: bullshit. Do you think the poverty and the legal and juridical aspects to Native American culture just one day happened by accident.  This as well as prison rape was the result of careful planning on the part of some people. 

Since we refuse to admit that culturally some lives are worth more than other we rather stay blinded to many inhuman realities. I believe to fake that we care we come up with some half-baked ideas just to give the false impression that we care when we don’t. Did you know that poverty has a direct effect on rape, domestic violence, low test scores, depression, low birth rates and a myriad of other social ills. When the government favors the needs and wants of corporations lobbyist and special interests groups over that of their own people, they allow the environment that breeds crime to endure.

The native American reservation system was created to destroy a people’s culture. If you need more proof:

“Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination – by starvation and uneven combat – of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.” P. 202, “Adolph Hitler” by John Toland 

So with that said, let us change gears. Let’s perhaps before we address any problems let us look our own narrow conception of the world. Let us come down from the fictitious moral high ground we have been making some noise from and actually talk to the person next to us and ask them: “What do think about so and so” and actually listen.  Also can we get rid of the whole unless you articulate outrage like I do you’re against my cause.  That shit was old in elementary school.

Anyways just my two cents, I could be fucking crazy. I’d be happy to hear your ideas on this

Dave