Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Exploitation, hot off the press

The economy. Everybody’s talking about it, has been talking about it and will keep talking about it. But as the months pass, it becomes more like a point of departure for sinister columnists and critics in the popular media.

In short, the reformed economy underlying everyone’s vision of future America ‘- future world ‘- is a press jackpot.

Ironically, as the situation progresses many people still do not realize that they must take account of themselves and live more responsibly. If the said change is to come, it must start with understanding that in the twenty-first century, global consequences do result from the actions of individuals.

It’s a double edged sword. It sharpens the institution, but endangers us when in the wrong hands. In the American mind, a wealthy country translates into a sort of cultural integrity ‘- one which every night good citizens are now told crumbles beneath us.

That makes sense because whenever you turn on the television or the radio ‘experts’ speak in one and the same breath of the spending in Washington and our definitively crooked times.

Flipping through the channels while eating dinner, you see ex-senator Rod Blagojevitch, the hip-hop Obama-Pepsi kids and re-runs of ‘Cops’ reinforcing the general notion of an unstable situation in the Union. Every evening on the 6 o’clock news, the nations ‘top analysts’ inform viewers that something must be done about the crisis at hand.

At the top of the hour ‘- every hour ‘- the news starts breaking and you would be a fool to miss it.It is great, too, that these analysts always have answers ready for the day’s big problem ‘- because I certainly don’t.

I wonder sometimes if we learned anything from the sixties.

Another tumultuous week for the country and Americans needed some soothing words from the Commander in Chief. This past Saturday, I thought I would tune in to our president’s weekly address with hopes of hearing the right words from the man who now presides over the world stage.

So when the hour came, I fumbled with the tuner on my radio ‘- as I imagined people did when they piped in Roosevelt‘s crackly broadcasts during World War times. After a few moments I was able to recognize the pert voice of President Obama and his succinct comment: ‘No one bill, no matter how comprehensive, can cure what ails our economy.’

My reaction was mixed. We have heard all these words before, from different mouths and faces. Of course, the president faces the altruistic, yet sticky, task of shielding the public from this alarming reality.

But one thing appears true, however: There are no fingers to point anymore and Obama seems to be responsibly holding the reins.

In general, people tire of hearing about the political games and misnomers. New officers come and go, but it is the people who receive the media bombardment day after day, year after year. Being called upon to judge those faces on the screen is tiring.

As a result, I fear that the media now occupies an overly significant place in the roots of popular opinions. This is most likely because people are exhausted from following such intense politics. In a way, they are vulnerable.

However, it does not cease to amaze me that the fickle nature of the media repeatedly dupes many ingenious American people ‘- especially younger ones.Perhaps it is an inevitable result of being an immense, but isolated nation.

Maybe it’s a lack of true ‘inter-cultural’ experiences (though I have never put much stock in that theory), or simply the result of our childhood impressions. But everything which is said on TV channels in the forties is not true by default. Even our beloved local news snatches up and exploits what is trendy.

That is, politically and culturally ‘fashionable.’ Could you ever believe that it would become chic to use expressions like, ‘A flawed policy,’ ‘change,’ freedom’?

Nietzsche once remarked something to the effect of, ‘What you call a thing is more important than what it is.’ What he meant was, essentially ‘- the name sticks and that’s all that matters.

To my mind, this is an especially relevant concept these days. For when engaged by the media’s influence, the first question we inevitably confront is: ‘Good or Evil?’

Evan Haddad is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]

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