Monday, September 21, 2009

A War Against Itself

In the wake of the First World War, Europe was a mess. Millions had died both directly from the war and indirectly from the Spanish Flu which had massacred the civilian population and the military alike, their resistance weakened by food and supply shortages.

What truly left Europe so devastated, however, was the shift from "traditional" means of warfare that had slowly accumulated over centuries into modern warfare, complete with machines that could kill with the press of a cliché button. Death had become automated and that had destabilized the complex power balances that had kept things running slowly before the war.

Something similar has happened in the American Media.

Instead of "traditional" censorship, where governments would flood the media with propaganda, out-competing alternative viewpoints, and threaten often at gunpoint those who had broken through the government's control.

Now we have something more automated. A censorship based on quiet omissions and a slow choking off of information, leaving what little information seeps through undecipherable, without context. While the mechanization of war roared into a European continent which had enjoyed a previously quite peaceful century and became inescapable as the horrors of the Great War embedded themselves in the politics and arts of the twenties, the subtle gaining of these means of censorship have gone largely unnoticed.

We are in the worst kind of danger. The kind you cannot see coming.

We should have known when it was England the reported more heavily on our own 2000 election and the following controversy. We should have realized what was happening when our media differed so radically from the rest of the world's total lack of the steady drumbeat into the Iraq War. We should have acted when the Pentagon irradiated entire Iraqi cities and the Gap bought members of congress to keep it's caged workers on Saipan working for scarily low wages.

What happens when the media starts refusing to cover bombs being built here, instead of just them going off over there?

(World on Fire coming by Friday, I swear!)

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