Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thinking Hawaii

The value, meaning, and purpose of any culture and society, is not just to perpetuate rituals that are repeated mindlessly for eternity despite the changes in the world, but actually as a response to the greater challenges of change. One sees that in individuals as well -- as some seem capable of constantly adapting, adjusting and responding as their basic personality in life, while others are adamant that the rest of the world must change to suit them.

Our local newspapers boast of this latter captive audience and patronage -- of those who can only be happy if everyone from the President on down to the most dispossessed, get with “their” program of improvement -- but what’s in it for everybody else, is never revealed as well. Apparently, the increasing intimidation of their demands should be all that is necessary to achieve their way and their ends.

In the days when information and communications were scarce, newspapers often provided a useful service of keeping people informed -- until a few realized they could betray that trust more profitably, so it has largely devolved into the propaganda mechanism for the most devious in society, including unfortunately, the very ambitious people drawn to work in the media.

Quite notably, their language is the struggle for dominance and superiority, as opposed to sharing valuable and authentic information. One reads their “public service announcements,” wondering what lobbying agency wrote it for them to submit in their own name. In this way, the mainstream media became a victim of its own success -- in delivering an unsuspecting, undiscriminating and trusting audience, who if they never awaken, become distrustful of all information and communications -- rather than discovering that it can be done in other ways.

But this hostility to other ways -- is the worst part of the Island culture that drives away even those who have grown up in it -- recognizing that something is wrong about that vision of Paradise, as what it already is, as it is, with no deviation from that past possible. So for many, life just becomes an endless repetition of every day lived before, with no hope of change, discovery, growth or even respite -- except for brief vacations off island to explore the alternate realities of Las Vegas -- by which one is reaffirmed that the dreariest of absolute certainty is preferable to the vagaries of chance.

In reading the editorial pages of the newspapers, one is presented with those two exclusive possibilities of either going with the good life the editors have prescribed for us, or homelessness, destitution and prostitution, if we choose to think for ourselves. In other countries, the powers that be who wish to remain also so, send suicide bombers to enforce the correctness of their choices. But the intent and purpose is the same -- to remain dominant and in control, as the only meaning and purpose of that information and communications.

So it is quite shocking to see that information and communications can be used for quite different purposes -- that so threaten the status quo, that its denial and suppression must be absolute.


At December 03, 2006 10:06 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

It's pretty sad that some people have been brought up to think that the only purpose for information and communications is to control and dominate every other -- incessantly, ruthlessly -- as the only life they think is possible.

One sees it a lot on the animal shows -- as though it was just science at work instead of subtle propaganda too. In that way, we come to think of the most brutal and vicious behaviors as "natural," and ennobled by all the beasts of the world.

But that's why we think we're civilized -- and not merely justified by the lowest common denominator of behavior. The bad examples are the only examples the mainstream media allows us to see -- as though that were the fullest range of human performance and achievement, rather than its most primitive impulses.

Where's the high end?


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