Review: News Media and The ‘Net
It’s been something like six years since I posted here. There is a reason. A lot of things have changed…
American culture, and society, have become a “gotcha” culture. The concepts of “forgiveness” and even “understanding” seem to have evaporated as completely as the Martian atmosphere. Coupled with the unforgetting Internet, the result is something beyond toxic.
If you ever said, or wrote something that was innocuous at the time, but has since become politically incorrect, you are at risk. Somewhere, there is the keeper of a flame of a political point of view different than yours who will eventually find that piece of the past, and use it to string you up in today’s virtual square. There, you will certainly lose your job, at a minimum, and possibly as much as your life.
Part of this problem is the unforgetting Internet. As if that weren’t enough, there is the “fear of illegal spying [by the NSA]”. If the Internet is unforgetting, the NSA is more so. If the Internet is vindictive and capricious [as lawyers like to say], the NSA is more so.
These are truly dangerous times to express an opinion, or say anything that might be used against you in your lifetime. It’s like being in the Star Trek episode, where omnipotent child creature Tremain, an alien with god-like powers who plays with planets as toys, stages a mock trial in which Captain Kirk is pre-determined to be found guilty and hung by the neck until “dead, dead, dead”. As the judge [jury, and executioner], Tremain intones: “You have been found guilty, and anything you might say has already been taken down in evidence against you”. Rather like being charged with sexual misconduct today, where just the mere accusation, sans credible evidence or due process, is enough to convict you in public and strip you of your job, your livelihood. Of course false accusers run the risk of defacto, or declared, discredit: but this rarely happens until the accused has already been permanently destroyed.
We now live in a word where the mainstream politic is the politics of personal destruction. In this cowardly new world, there are plenty of self-destructive nut-jobs who will still proclaim their opinions, like First Responders wanting to be heroes: reactively rushing into the fray. More like moths to the frame. When you consume an expressed opinion in these toxic times, you have to wonder about the motivations that lead to those opinions being expressed at all.
For these reasons, and more, I haven’t been posting much. The same is true for my radio shows. These are times in which keeping your head down and staying at least politically correct is essential to survival. And yet, they tell us “we are free”.
Posted in Essay