Thursday, August 4, 2011

On Using Your Head

In reference to Jackie's comment on the previous post:

I don't think folks can't remember. They just don't want to. They're too lazy.

With the bombardment of 24-hour-a-day media, where millions of opinions are thrown around as if they are facts--with no burden of proof put upon anyone--these lazy folks can just pick their "history du jour."

Especially if it speaks to their own personal fears, prejudices or desires.

And don't those media geniuses know that!

A couple of days ago, I promised Cynthia I would post something here that she had posted on Facebook. It speaks perfectly to the point I am trying to make:

One of the things I love about political discussion on fb is the links that people share. Media has changed so much that it's too easy to read only the niche sources that suit our own political beliefs. I do not believe that objective reporting exists anymore. Even when articles and entire sites, papers, magazines stick to factual reporting, what is left out or under-reported reveals bias. It’s imperative that we read what is outside of our political comfort zone. It’s the only way we can remain the informed citizenry a democracy must have to survive. The liberal/conservative split in media makes this much harder and has contributed to a greater fracture of the overall culture.

More than ever, we need to use these great brains endowed upon us by the Creator for more than just media play-back machines. We need to analyze. Remember. Understand.

Now, listen to your old Aunts Lisa and Cynthia: Get out there and think!


JACKIE said...

Oh yeah. It's interesting and scary that two of the most influential pundits, Limbaugh and Beck did not attend, or if they did didn't graduate from a college or university. One of the saving graces of higher education is that you're forced to read material you don't agree with.

I'm seeing more and more comment on online sources like HuffingtonPost that basically say "you're claiming so and so, where's the proof?"

And then there's the Alice in Wonderland effect. Being able to believe in three impossible or incompatible things before breakfast. Such as the signs held by senior tea baggers who want smaller government but hold signs that say "keep your hands off my Medicare."

There used to be a class in high school called Civics. I think that might have been similar to my Modern Problems class. Teach the thrice blasted constitution and all the compromises that made it possible. Then teach how the country works. The infrastructure. How we built it, why we built it and the fall out from it. Took awhile to dig this hole, it'll take time to dig out.

sunflowerkat321 said...

There is such a small percentage of the population that is aware of what's going on past the headlines. These are not light topics and we're talking about the average person, more concerned about sports, video games, reality shows and social network games than what's going on in the world.

Once the pundits start, it's a dizzying spew of opinion that goes from bad to worse. Have you ever noticed that these experts focus everything they say on the negative details of the other guys plan? They'll all say "the plan my side supports IS the solution" but there are no concrete promises, just bashing of the other side.

Jackie, I'm intrigued by your Modern Problems class. It sounds like something that should be required for all students. How do you get the next generation to pay attention to what is happening and think about how it will impact their future? First you have to get them pried away from their reality which is facebook status, Jersey Shore and their high videogame score. We all need to get mad and the young adults need to get maddest of all. How does that movement get started?

JACKIE said...

I'm trying to remember what we got in US History and what we covered in Modern Problems. I suspect they overlapped. Small school, the same gal taught both. I know we had a unit on bigotry; part of the unit included that wonderful song "You've got to be carefully taught." I know somewhere in those two years we covered the basics of the constitution and those pesky first ten amendments and be able to tell the difference between them.

I grew up in a logging town. If there were dust ups about what was being taught, we didn't hear about it. I suspect there were very few. I've noticed that the adults who yell the loudedst about what little Jimmy or Jenny are learning in school tend to be professional people or ministers. Folks that are in a position to dictate to others and don't have to compromise or work as a group to get things done. Somebody like that in a logging crew won't last very long.