We are in an exponential age, which means that things can potentially degrade and deteriorate at an alarming rate as well as progress, grow and spread. Integrity is at an all time low. Hypocrisy is at an all time high. It’s extremely tough to to stand up for your beliefs if you’d like to keep your job & benefits in an economy where we’re still in a recession and possibly even approaching a fiscal cliff. In order to survive and serve the all powerful bottom line people are willing to sell their own souls and disregard the well being and health of the common man just to fill their own bank accounts. So what if people and stupider than ever and more obese than ever? Look at these fourth quarter earning projections! Our shareholders will be pleased…
Due to this, pretty much everything has gone to shit over the past 15 years. Advances in technology in a rapidly changing world could have potentially made things better for all of us. What instead happened was corporations and special interest groups made sure to exploit everything, ensure their own survival and try to put the clamps on everything they possibly could to keep power and control in the midst of a rapidly changing world climate. We now exist in an unnatural, unbalanced state.
One where we feed cows corn that they can’t digest and genetically engineer skinless chickens on steroids to feed the populace. One where we flood the inner cities of America with high fructose corn syrup and illegal drugs. One where supposed Chicken McNuggets are actually made with pink slime as opposed to chicken and Taco Bell taco filling is only 36% beef. One where we claim to want to fight cancer but forgot to mention that one of the biggest causes of abnormal cell growth is constant exposure to electromagnetic fields which are radiated by electrical or electronic objects.
Now that laptops and handheld devices such as cellphones, music players and personal tablets are so widespread good luck with that. Let’s not forget that we add more towers to get better cell service and more and more wireless electronic devices so EMF exposure is far more widespread now since the 90’s when the connection between EMF’s and abnormal cell growth were first discovered. Now we’ve also discovered that fast food also contributes to abnormal cell growth and high fructose corn syrup and sugar is linked to obesity. In short, corporations make their money by slowly killing the same people they seek to make money off of. That’s pretty backwards if you ask me.
The mass media exists to keep the populace informed, right? Wrong. It’s a business. Profit is made by selling the most ad space and not by producing the most well informed and intelligent viewers. In radio it essentially works the same way. After the Telecommunications Act Of 1996 was signed which allowed for corporations to buy up all the independent voices in radio what happened on television was Viacom needed to ensure ratings. Music sales were down and it was harder to sell ad space to video shows after the advent of the internet so Viacom networks focused on original programming and reality television. After 2005, the introduction of YouTube and Dailymotion closed that door forever.
Now Fox News, CNN & C Span add in elements of tabloid television shows TMZ, Extra, Entertainment Tonight and similar shows on E! and Bravo in order to appease a wider fanbase of potential viewership. Things are so upside down that the shows most 18-34 year olds get their fix of world news and politics from are on Comedy Central (“The Daily Show” & “The Colbert Report”). It makes sense that hypocrisy runs rampant in a world where MTV doesn’t focus on music, The Learning Channel has no educational programming, Cartoon Network airs live action shows, G4TV no longer airs any tech or gaming shows and the History Network is all about “Ancient Aliens”.
On April 20th, 1999 an event occurred that should’ve changed this nation forever. There was a massacre at a high school in Columbine, CO where 15 people were killed and 21 were injured after two troubled teenagers acquired a small arsenal of firearms rather easily. The fallout resulted in people scrambling to find fault in contributing factors such as pop culture, violent video games, television & film, music, comic books, widespread diagnosis of ADD & ADHD leading to mass prescriptions of anti-depressants to youth and bullying.
In the end, the government put enough pressure on several facets of media that lead to censorship of Hollywood films (several were delayed in excess of a year following the Columbine massacre) and even rating systems imposed on video games. Films like “Fight Club” were delayed by 6 months back in 1999 for fear it celebrated anti social behavior and displayed subversive themes. DreamWorks was nervous about releasing it’s film “American Beauty” and the Tim Blake Nelson modern adaptation of Othello called “O” was shelved for over 2 years because of the Columbine massacre.
The least headway was made on gun control laws thanks to the widespread power and influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Since 1999, there have now been over 30 school and campus shootings in the United States alone. Do the math. There should be far less than that. It implies an increase rather than a decrease in the frequency of these events. The most recent event occurred in a Newtown, CT and among the 26 victims that lost their lives 20 were children between the ages of 6 and 7. This is yet another American tragedy in a growing list of ones that never should have happened.
Whereas with the Columbine High massacre in 1999, there were so many obvious factors to potentially spread the blame among such as “Doom”, Marilyn Manson, subversive teen culture and the list goes on and on. Following the Virginia Tech massacre in April 2007 many tried to spread the blame between mental health issues, American gun culture and subversive films like “Oldboy”.
In this particular case, nothing makes sense. There is nothing to finger to explain or rationalize how this happened other than mental health issues. The world feels like it’s going to hell in a handbasket but let us not forget that while we express outrage that young children were killed in a small Connecticut town with a population below 2000, hundreds have been killed in Chicago and more homicides are happening right now.
Is America’s inherent violent nature to blame? Is our gun culture which has been embedded since the inception of our nation to blame? In all of the facets of corporate run popular culture & entertainment it’s based around some form of violence or another, usually gun violence. There are numerous police shows, forensics shows and detective shows on television where they typically investigate murders or killings caused by handguns. Most action games involve the usage of firearms or some form of artillery. America has 89 guns per each 100 people as of 2011 and many people began buying more guns out of fear of Barack Obama becoming re-elected (and he was) and they would lose many of their freedoms in the near future. Let’s see how that works out over the next four years…
In conclusion, I have no answers. I never professed to have any. To be honest, I have no idea if what I just wrote even makes any real sense. I just had to write something as catharsis to help myself work through things that were rattling around in my own brain. As a writer and a creator of media, I often stay abreast of any events that might result in the censorship of art. I also try to keep tabs of how out of whack things are. I can’t help it being a child of the 80’s when I feared nuclear war was going to turn the world into an irradiated wasteland almost every day between the ages of 5 to 13. When I was 9 years old, scientists at the University Of Chicago set the Doomsday Clock at 11:57 PM. You tend to never forget things of that nature.
I grew up believing that safety was an illusion. I developed a cynical view of the world and it’s workings at a fairly young age. I studied the nature of things closely and noted that most of the motivations behind those in power were to maintain their money and power at the expense of the well being and health of the masses. Given what’s happened in the world recently I feel like a complete asshole for being so concerned about Hot 97 and Rap Radar when there are so many things that are far more important going on. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’ll never stop calling out those that put the bottom line above my culture. Ever.