Sanity is Nothing More than Your Own Perception

8 03 2011

 

 

Continue To Look Forward

We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”

 

Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage

In 1967, Marshall McLuhan wrote his influential book, The Medium is the Massage. According to the blurb on the back of my copy, Mr. McLuhan is “the man who predicted the all-pervasive rise of the modern mass media” which included the media global village and illustrates how the growth of technology reshapes society, personal lives and sensory perceptions. In a nutshell, MM was telling us that the human race would come to be defined by the means with which we communicate.

In 1969, a 27 year old army officer called Muammar Gaddafi seized the reigns of power in Libya, power with which he seems reluctant to lose control of. Despite a wave of anti-Gaddafi feeling in Libya and the disapproving eyes of the West, he has decided that the best way to deal with any popular uprising is to fight. The country is tearing itself apart, hundreds of civilians have lost their lives and (according to the BBC) the resistance movement may be fading in the face of Gaddafi’s determination to show his “beloved people” who is boss. Which isn’t him – apparently – as he is just an unelected figurehead who has no real authority.

Gaddafi blames Al Qaeda for the uprising saying that “Those people who took your sons away from you and gave them drugs and said let them die are launching a campaign over cellphones against your sons, telling them not to obey their fathers and mothers, and they are destroying their country“, whilst comparing himself to Queen Elizabeth – another unelected figurehead, just a tad more dignified and not mad as a box of frogs.

Which brings me to Charlie Sheen.

The actor was today fired from the hit TV show “Two & A Half Men” after spending the last few weeks slagging off the creator of the show, criticising the network on which it airs and complaining that he isn’t paid enough. Sheen collects $2 million per episode for portraying a character who drinks too much, sleeps with prostitutes, cheats on women and fills his days by tormenting his brother in the Malibu condo that they share. In other words he gets paid to be Charlie Sheen.

Sheen has now thrown himself into the social media world, tweeting about the “big day of gladness” that has arrived with his removal from the show – which stopped filming in February due to the actor’s erratic behaviour which included trashing a hotel in the company of a porn star. Sheen actually admitted himself into rehab to cure his demons, although it turns out that Sober Valley Lodge is actually…..Charlie Sheen’s house in Los Angeles.

This is what Charlie had to say about the actions of Warner Brothers today :

This is very good news. They continue to be in breach, like so many whales. It is a big day of gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge because now I can take all of the bazillions, never have to look at [expletive] again and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension.

One Leader, One Actor, both delusional about their place in the world.

But the reason for this blog isn’t to compare and contrast Gaddafi and Charlie Sheen – although this could prove to be an interesting SEO experiment.

This was supposed to be a piece about the race for the 2012 Presidential nomination by the Republicans which unofficially kicked off in Iowa last night. A full house was in attendance at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition on Monday night in suburban Des Moines where five potential candidates – sadly no Sarah Palin, she was updating her Facebook page – were given ten minutes each to state their case in front of (one assumes) a fairly conservative/evangelical audience.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Atlanta businessman Herman Cain (he used to be in charge of Godfathers Pizza) and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer were the men in the spotlight, but before they got the chance to prove just how God-fearing and conservative they were, the organisers decided that they would grace the crowd with some of their wisdom.

We are concerned that a country that was founded on European-style Christian moral values has now become a multicultural haven for every weird and kinky lifestyle.” – Gopal Krishna, member of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition.

My message to the national Republican Party tonight is real simple. If you turn your backs on the pro-family, pro-life constituency and on the values that they stand for, you will be consigned to permanent minority status” – Ralph Reed, Christian Political Activist.

I vote social issues, that’s my main thing. That’s our moral fiber. I’m so anti-abortion and pro-God in our government and our country.” Dora Lynn Underberg, 65, from Waukee, Iowa.

These three comments come from the electorate. These are the people who are starting to make their voices heard. Dora Lynn Underberg will be voting in the next election and she wants the country to return to letting God make all the decisions.

Think Gaddafi and Sheen are delusional? We only know just how bat-shit crazy they are because they are in the public eye. Just imagine how many millions of voters agree with Dora.

McLuhan may have predicted the pervasive rise of the media, what he didn’t take into consideration was just how persuasive it has become.

Power is no longer in the hands of the politicians, they are only led to believe that they have any semblance of control. The direction that this country will take will be led by the media, they are the ones who will shape the opinions and provide the information for the electorate to make decisions.

I think I will make my reservation for Sober Valley Lodge now, before all the beds are taken.

 

 

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2 responses

8 03 2011
KC

..and the people that control the media are a small yet extraordinary group of the richest 400 people in the country. These 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined (some odd 160MM shee…oops – people!). Pretty amazing fact…sobering too…as they are the ones who will pull the strings if we don’t have our own North African moment right here at home…

OK maybe its not that drastic – but who were the guys that caused my retirement savings to disappear, keep us addicted to fossil fuels and helped 20-25 million people meet new alternative employment options! Yup, those 400 guys…maybe its not too drastic an idea after all…

8 03 2011
davidjbolton

was kinda my point (in a roundabout, rambling sort of way). Are you suggesting that we should have some kind of revolution? A popular uprising to take the country back from the people who really control it? Wouldn’t that mean actually getting off our behinds and doing something!

I have a book recommendation for you, ‘Idiot America – How stupidity became a virtue in the Land of the Free’. Fascinating stuff but it all boils down to the fact that our reliance on the media to present facts actually means that the majority of people don’t see the wizard behind the curtain. As long as the pretty pictures flow to the occular range of the media consumer, the electorate will still believe that it is politicians who make the decisions.

Rant over, time to move onto something else.

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