Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How the media framed my world today...

“The whole world is passed through the filter of the culture industry". Thus spoke Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer way back in 1944.

And this is how one particular newspaper framed my world today:

- First, it told me that even if there's proof for being guilty, you can escape by blaming the system. After an inquiry report found that cancer tests in one province in Canada were ridden with failures at all levels, the provincial health minister declared that this is not a reason to point fingers, because there's little value in looking for culprits. Ah, thank God, I really feel relieved knowing responsibility is sooo outdated!

- But it's not as easy as it seems, as the system cannot be blamed under all circumstances. So, you'd better learn the exceptions to the rule: when it comes to 'normal' people under 'normal circumstances', the system can be comfortably blamed for any problems. But then there are those who are 'abnormal' - the mentally ill. In such cases, it's no longer the system, but the individual who's responsible, and needs to be removed from the body of society. This other story sharing the front page with the previous one, details the first day of trial for a gruelsome crime in which one person was beheaded for no apparent reason by another person, who - as it turned out - was schizophrenic. That it was a tragedy, there's no doubt about it. And let me be honest here, I'm talking from the distant position of the one not directly affected by the event. It is from this position that I'm pointing out at how we scapegoat and assign blame without looking for... well, the system!

- Last, but not least, the front-page of the newspaper also taught me that once an immigrant, always an immigrant. And once you have an accent, you'll always be identified first and foremost through it - hey, it just adds a bit of color to the picture. After all, who wants to read that the accused simply answered "Not guilty"? It is: " 'not guilty' with a trace of Chinese accent" that always catches our eye making our representation of the situation sooo much accurate...

Hey, now that I think about it, I learned a lot about the world today!

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