I thought about writing another piece about the situation in Ukraine today, but I won’t. Maybe I’ll do it another day because people have to get educated and I have to be true to myself and expose what I believe is important about the topic, but not now. There is no point because, just as Ukraine, people and media are divided and it’s bad.
(My partner in crime in this site wrote some weeks ago that Ukraine is divided so check it if you want to read about that anyway.)
People who are going to read my position are either going to praise it or blast it. That’s fine in general, all people can’t think the same way, but what is happening lately in the media world make me feel disgusted. It’s a nasty media war that doesn’t do any good for the public, escalates the tension and increases the hate among people in the world. I don’t want my article to be part of this war because I don’t like the consequences of it. So I want to make sure I’ve addressed the whole idiocy of the massive media propaganda before I write any piece on any hot topic.
Our site Bitter Bananas is a small internet media (just a drop of water in the media ocean). We started it so that we can expose stupidity (see what is bitter banana). We believe that the biggest problem that people have is their ignorance and stupidity. You can be a good person, but if you are stupid other people will take advantage of you. We don’t like stupidity and we want to reduce it, which maybe makes us dumb too since according to Einstein it’s infinite. So lets say that we want to make at least some of our readers better and smarter and that’s not so impossible.
In an ideal world we are going to live in peace and prosperity, happiness and honesty, all nations will be friends, all people will live in harmony. Of course, this won’t happen even in the movies. The human nature is different. Actions are driven by self-perceived self-interest which almost always conflict with the self-perceived interest by another person or group.
So the ideal world never existed and will never exist but can we at least make it less horrible than it is right now? We should try at least.
Being divided and hating each other doesn’t help us. Many Americans hate Russians because they are portrayed as evil communists for the last 70 years. Many Russians hate Americans because they know them as capitalistic imperialistic bastards. In other countries people divide as anti-Americans or anti-Russians. (Of course the Americans/Russian relation is just an example, there are tons of other idiotic divisions based on nationality, race, social status, etc.)
We put labels on people we don’t know and we tend to generalize things that can’t be generalized only because of one common characteristic for which in some cases the generalized example is true. Saying that all Americans are stupid, all Jews are bad, all Russians are evil communists, all black people are thugs or all French people have great sex makes you an idiot because obviously it can’t be true.
When you don’t make a difference between black & white, you see just 1 color and that’s what makes you blind.
— Bitter Bananas (@bitterbananas) February 15, 2014
Another idiotic thing is to pre-assume that because you belong to a certain group of people, the actions of some representatives of the group are always right. You must always put in question the actions of those who represent you and think for yourself if they are correct or not. Sports fans critique the players of their favorite teams all the time but when it comes to other issues (especially politics) people tend to accept only the reality that’s imposed on them. Operating on stereotypes is almost always misleading.
The mass media is the tool that leaders and corporations use to polish the mass audience’s brains. It’s a huge manipulation that leads to nothing good even if the position imposed by the media is correct to certain extend sometimes. Too often it’s not just about the information that they are presenting but also how are they presenting it.
Every media has an editorial plot-line and content policy. So the idealistic beliefs that medias are independent and free is idiotic. Every media exists for a reason. Medias represent certain types of views and certain types of content that suite the particular editorial plot-lines which are made to assist achieving certain goals – get higher ratings, increase viewers / readers / listeners, make more money, deliver certain message to the public, influence people in a particular way.
Before you choose which media outlet to follow you have to understand that in their core they are all censored no matter if they are big or small. By censorship I don’t mean just the basic right of free speech but something on a hire level. It’s about the type of programs, authors, topics, guests, viewpoints and so on that are presented in the media.
It’s not a secret that he who owns, dictates. So try to understand what are the goals of those who own or fund the medias. But even when you do this you may be guessing wrong because often answers are not that obvious to some people. Instead of making fast conclusions try to understand what are the values that are imposed and how do they correspond to the other outlets. Are there double standards in the viewpoints? And yes, you have to be educated and know the core interests of the owners.
What we see lately in the geopolitical field on a very high scale is a cheap (as quality) media manipulation over important topics and unfortunately most people buy into it, at a very high cost. The cost of the truth and the perception of what really matters for the consumer of the information.
Recently, during the Olympics in Sochi most Western media outlets tried to ridicule the hosts of the games in all ways possible. It was a cheap attack towards what proved to be later the best winter Olympics ever. And during those games it was proven countless times that media deceptions and manipulations are very easy to create, just ask Jimmy Kimmel about his “wolf of Sochi prank“. All media picked the story seeing an opportunity to ridicule the Russian hosts again without seeking any proof and it looked real, but it was not.
The last example was kind of funny but when it comes to real issues and the life of many people it’s not funny at all and manipulation is as easy to be made as in any other area, the difference is that this time there are people and organizations who have stronger interest the manipulation to work. How can you blindly trust any of them?
Some people accuse us of being pro-Russian in our viewpoints and in many cases that happens to be true but it’s not because that’s the only way we know, our conclusions of our analyses lead us there. We are not praising anybody. Those who deserve credit in our eyes will get credit. That’s how many journalists, commentators and analyzers work. Which leads me to another point and it’s again the so called free speech and rights to express yourself and your views.
You don’t need to be censored or told what to say if your views and feelings by default comply with the editorial plot-line. If you believe in something, no one needs to dictate you anything. It’s easier for the media. That’s why you see many clowns and brainless people on your TV, they are authentic, they don’t have to lie, they feel that what they are saying is true.
Spectacles are better when the participants truly believe in their roles.
— Bitter Bananas (@bitterbananas) March 2, 2014
That’s why it is so complicated.
P.S. I know the article is very long. I feel like I can write a book but I realize that many people won’t even read this whole post. I hope that one day media criticisms will mainly consist of real arguments without name calling and cheap shots like it is today. It’s up to the consumers.