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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Who exactly is revolutionizing the media?

So who exactly is revolutionizing the media? Is it really 'you,' as stated in Time's 2006 Person of the Year? Or, is it 'they,' the few multinational conglomerates who dominates the airwaves, newspapers, and the Internet? In a recent commentary from the Christian Science Monitor, 'you' are no longer the backbone in shaping and revolutionizing the 'media', but it is 'them' who do all the molding and manipulation to direct public opinion for their own use. An excerpt from the commentary reads:
Time's cover suggests that everyone has played a role in the world's new, dynamic media environment. But its premise is flawed. The evidence shows that only a small percentage of Americans are really contributing to the Web in meaningful ways - or even at all.

Surveys show that about 70 percent of adult Americans have been on the Internet at some point. That's a big number, but what do those people do?

Only 8 percent - about 12 million? - keep a blog, according to a recent survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Of those bloggers, 84 percent blog as a "hobby" or say it's "not something I spend a lot of time on." And 37 percent of them say "their personal experiences" are their primary topic.

To be fair, other studies that also measure the Web proclivities of users ages 12-18 do show more Net activity, so the potential for growth is there. But looking at YouTube, one can't help but assume a great deal of their time is spent posting amusing video clips. Someone has to put up all those Aqua Teen Hunger Force cartoons.

What the media revolution and Web 2.0 have really done is create a new and interesting class of media. It's not mainstream - at least not yet - but it certainly isn't "You." It's actually more "Them." And if Time really wants to make "Them" the Person of the Year, then why not? There are worse choices.
Come to think of it, it is really 'they' who is in control of the popular masses. In North America, multinational conglomerates are also "persons" where a "person", in legal term, is officially defined "to include any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation or other organization, or any government entity." The issue of media control is nothing new, but it has been studied and documented since the "modern-age" of communications began in the 80's. As mentioned in Noam Chomsky's book Rogue States, the multinationals are "to ensure that private [multinational] agencies will control the media and thus be able to restrict [your] thought to vested beliefs." Furthermore:
They seek further to "nullify the customs of ages" by creating "new conceptions of individual attainment and community desire," business leaders explain, "civilizing" people to perceive their needs in terms of consumption of goods rather than quality of life and work, and to abandon any thought of a "share in the decisions which often profoundly modify their way of life," as called for by Vatican extremists. Control of media by a few megacorporations is a contribution to this end. Concentration has accelerated, thanks in part to recent deregulation that also eliminates even residual protection of public interest. In the latest edition of his standard review of the topic, Ben Bagdikian reports a decline in controlling firms from 50 in 1984 to 10 today - huge empires such as Disney and General Electric, though the spectrum has broadened with Rupert Murdoch's entry.
Although this book was written back in 2000, everything in it still holds dearly true up to this day. Their ultimate goal is to indoctrinate the masses with an undeniable urge in "materialist consumption" in which "the negative aspects on others are considered completely irrelevant." This method of mass control is being dramatically simplified, with the help of merger and acquisition booms, and the emergence of a countable number of megacorporations, it has become significantly easier to direct popular masses and opinions to other non-senses, away from the state imperialism and terror, humanitarian aid, violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, apartheid, Global Warming, and Globalization.

So, are 'you' really revolutionizing the media, as stated in Time? Or, are 'you' the victim of a premeditated common goal set by the top 1%? Either way, I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year!

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