Apparently there was no chemical attack in Syria. Children are not starving here in the United States. Environmental ruin is not a problem. We do not have to worry about economic collapse here or abroad thanks to the inequities of capitalism. Brave, young men are not being pilloried for exposing the crimes committed by their government. I come to these conclusions because, outside a few particularly active people, I see nothing today on my social media about these. Instead I am reading about everyone’s offense at Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance. I know, of course, that people are still concerned about all of the above problems. Also, more than a few people may disagree with me about my position on those issues, though we at least agree that they are issues. I am not accusing anyone of forgetting any of this completely. Many are, however, letting themselves be distracted by what is ultimately a non-issue. A few talking heads toss us this juicy bone and all of a sudden so much of our attention and concern is drained away, and what for?
I agree that Miley was definitely just trolling for attention. There were no attempts at some great social truth about our attitudes about sexuality. No deep statement lay in her performance, though I think we can take one from it if we tried. We get too hung up on sex, in particular the suggestion that women can desire and enjoy it. All of that is beside the point. The point is someone, often a person with an audience, dangles these little baubles in front of us, and we cannot help but react.
And we never question. We never ask why is the media telling us to be outraged by this, or by those that are outraged by it. We never challenge a system that keeps us numb to real injustice. We never wonder why, when we are on the brink of war, when there are so many benefiting from the suffering of others right in front of our eyes, when our continued survival of our species is threatened by the greed of a few that when we realize all those things, when the dialogue starts changing, that suddenly we are hit with a new, petty scandal. Whether it is Miley, the Royal Family, or Lindsey, the media throws that meat in front of us and we gorge ourselves on it, letting it make us sleepy in the process.
Well, we can’t afford to let ourselves be lulled into stupor anymore. There are too many of us and the consequences too dire. Stop caring about things that affect no one and nothing but those who chose to be affected by them. We can complain about it being all we are fed, but we are the ones going to the table. In the age of the world-wide web, we can build our own banquet, and we have to before the old one makes us sick.
- Flogging Miley 3 (hipsterracist.wordpress.com)
- The Distraction Of The Masses (libertariancouple.com)
- Sports, The Greatest Hypnotic Distraction? (activistpost.com)