Saturday, July 25, 2009

News Media and Reality TV

Today's media is like a cartel that traffics in bad news and bad habits. "News" isn't relevant information, but a paranoia-inducing sample of the worst mankind has to offer. And "Reality TV" is not reality, but a contrivance of shallow people, meant to make us feel better about our own poor behavior.

When are we as a society going to collectively wake up to the fact that these influences BECOME the culture? To the degree that we are inundated with the negative aspects of modern culture, we are justified in any actions or behaviors that are not quite as bad. The result of what could be called "mass programming" is that this effect is almost universal in our culture. People will rise to the level of what is expected of them. If nothing is expected, then they will sink to the level of their self-respect.

If the bar is continually lowered on the threshold of decency (i.e.: the representation of immature behavior on reality TV), then the expectation that society will behave any better also lowers. And this is a downward spiral: producers of mass media will not change the direction and risk losing the audience that their sponsors pay so dearly for. So they continue to seek cheaper means of producing entertainment, of which I can scarcely imagine two cheaper than News Media and Reality TV.

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