Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tragedy and "The Power of Un-reality"

As an amateur blogger, it's a bit unsettling when you work hard to make a particular point and some (as reflected in the comments) don't have a clue what you're trying to say.  You're stuck with a couple of options - you can believe most do get it and the comments don't represent the majority; or you can believe you're just not as good at making your argument as you think you are. 

And when you come across some evidence of option two, in this case you find someone making the argument clearer than you, it makes one wonder.  This is one of those times.

In my post on the Pearl MS shooting (HERE) I wasn't making a gun control argument.  In fact,I don't think in the 300 or so previous post on this blog  I had ever mentioned the NRA or gun control before... it's an issue that isn't really the topic of this blog and one that just isn't on my personal radar.  What does interest this blog is propaganda and those in power's ability to "shape what we see, read, and hear", and I would argue, believe.

Eric Alterman has a recent piece in the American Progress where he addresses the very same issue, relates it back to the NRA, and, I think, does it much better than I. 

"What many people fail to consider when the nation is faced with such soul-searching tragedies (or natural catastrophes) is how much of our debate is predetermined by the ability of powerful interests—whether they be interest groups, corporate lobbyists, or the newly expanding category of government and contract public relations workers—to shape what we see, read, and hear." ... "Of course, working hand-in-glove with the lobbyists are the public relations specialists of these same interests. Corporate PR has long exercised significant power to define what Lippmann called “the pictures in our heads,” but the problem has grown both significantly worse and more complex in recent times owing both to the fracturing of so many of our most important media institutions and the explosion of newly sophisticated means of public manipulation."
For those intent on having a gun control argument... this isn't the place to do it.  Others, I'm sure are much more thoughtful on the issue than I.  Having said that, I will link to another piece, one that does address the issue of Gun Control, HERE.  You don't have to agree with it, but it's strikes me that it's asking good questions.

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