Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Beware the media beatup

A few months in the USA and I am not sure if I am quaking in neurotic psychosomatics or I am simply shivering with resentment.

Day in and and day out, the US media warns us of things which are just about to do us lethal damage. There are new poisons in common foods, terrible perils in simple activities, what was good for us yesterday is dangerous today...

Let's see. What's new this week? Tomatoes that were good for you are now not good for you? Sunscreen that was safe is now hazardous. Sun that was hazardous is now life-giving. Soda drinks are bad for your heart...

The American consumer market dies a zillion little deaths every day - thanks to the mass media.

Truth is that most of these health scare stories are insubstantial with only a slim margin of truth. They are the beat ups of the desperate news media. Media sets itself rules. It will have a health story every day - whether or not there is a valid health story around.

The constant browbeating of the trusting and not profoundly informed masses empowers the media - and also its important supporters, the pharmaceultial companies.

The pharmaceutial companies bombard the public with ads for drugs while the news media bombards the people with illnesses.

Is there a pattern here?

Sure thing.

Tags: consumer | drugs | food | Health | Media | medicine | news | Pharmaceuticals | sunscreen


Zax said...

"The American consumer market dies a zillion little deaths every day - thanks to the mass media."--

you are fantastic. this media and sensory onslaught was the main reason i moved from the city to the country- and hope to someday leave the US completely. it's too stressful to constantly be watchful and suspicious and AWARE of everything around you. it becomes draining- or turns you into a shivering wreck. regardless, it made me miserable, and tried to make me be someone i didn't want to be.

thank you, and THANK YOU for putting this into words, and letting me feel like i'm not alone- or just weak- for not being able to take it any longer.

and thank you even more for making the connection to the pharmaceuticals. the US media, while enjoying 'freedom of the press' has ever been prey to the almighty dollar, and it's very difficult to find sources of information that aren't tainted by someone's agenda.

sad, but true.

Sakura said...

Brilliant post. I feel the constant bombardment by pharmaceutical companies completely oppressive, as well as all these anti-bacterial products you can now get. The sprays, the wipes, the soap it is crazy. We are becoming paralysed by our phobias and the mass media are fuelling this for their own gain.

Finding the truth in the media seems to be getting harder and harder or was it ever there in the first place?

David B. Weber said...

Fear fuels the only standard by which Americans can know their level of happiness: the gross national product. Envy, lust, and jealousy all play a role, too, but they are really subsets of fear. In fact (I fear), our worldview, as a race as a species is really a fear-based one, easily manipulable by others, and conducive to the worst in religious corruption..