29 December 2004

These Snarcophagic Times

These Snarcophagic Times

SARC [From Latin, sarx]: flesh
+ PHAGE [From Grk, -phagos]: to eat
+ SNARK [From Lewis Carroll via MTS ]: 1. a system failure; 2. any unexplained or threatening event on a computer, often refers to an event that might indicate an attempted security violation.
+ SNARKY [dialectical]: ill-humored, irascible, irritated, nagging
= SNARCOPHAGY: n., the major media's cannibalization of the public brain through the use of pervasive spin, overblown rhetoric, and nagging pablum, the goal of which is to bypass rational voter thought, disrupt critical social dialogue, and cause a complete democratic system failure.
[Take note, OED: Word and definition created by TL Patten, Dec. 2004]

Do you know your opinion is being influenced even as you read this? In the course of 2 paragraphs, you have decided whether I am (1) an elitist, arrogant pundit worthy of criticism, or (2) a witty, intelligent commentator worthy of future reading.

Every opinion you have formed has been influenced by someone somewhere. So have mine. What chaps my arse about these snarcophagic times is the permeation of broadcast media influence on public opinion. Once it purported to disseminate the news. Now it has become the news. Ever since the first Greek chorus took the stage, the media has had a proprietary interest in spinning a tale. That is its job. But with that job usually came some sense of responsibility to the public. Responsibility has fallen by the wayside. Hard fact has been replaced by fractious opinion and hard news by celebrity causes.

Assertion is no substitute for research and glamour is no equivalent for substance. This insipid, Paris Hilton mentality is being shoved down our throats because the corporations and the government prefer their chattel dumbed and numbed to the lowest common denominator.

You may hate my blog, you may enjoy my blog, but at least I insist upon thinking. And here I will be thinking most about who is spinning what, how, and, most importantly, why. I look forward to our dialogue and dialectic.