Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Social media explained.

Joe Nocera has a valuable op-ed in today's "New York Times," about the Fed's unwillingness to punish the banks that raped and pillaged our economy. (How do the super wealthy accumulate great wealth? They steal it--bit by bit--from millions of ordinary people.) Well Fargo, which tries to look friendly and human via the smiling people in its commercials and the homey stagecoach of its logo, is charged with paying about $105 million in fines for the frauds and deceptions they've perpetrated. In the last quarter alone, their revenues were over $20 billion. That's a fine equally 1/800th of their annual revenue. A fine of $100 on a salary of $80,000.

But my point today isn't about the "malefactors of great wealth," it's about the very real feeling of powerlessness that exists in our society. Because we are, in fact, powerless, we have created and fallen for allusions that empower us.

We vote for pinheads on TV shows. We tweet and 'like' things on Facebook. We rate everything from grocery stores to the guy selling hotdogs on the corner.

All these activities make us feel like the world is not out of our control. That we have a voice. That we matter.

Of course, we don't.

Our political parties exist for the enrichment of the few. Corporations pay little tax and destroy the planet while enriching a few more. The so-called news exists of coverage of the trivial and promotion of other programs. (It seems like 1/3rd of the time I spend listening to NPR is reporters saying their names.)

I'm sorry if my hopelessness is a bit much this morning.


Tim said...

Like Walt Kelly said in Pogo a long time ago - 'We have met the enemy and he is us."

Dinesh Bhadwal said...

... we have created and fallen for allusions that empower us... If we replace allusions with illusions, i think most of the advertising play a big role in making people powerless. The other day i was listening to Chomsky. He said that the money spent on Obama's presidential campaign was probably the highest that year by any brand.

alex hayden said...

As the conservative congress express its contempt for activist government, the kind that would actively provide a social safety net and help people. it is pursuing an activist class war to help the rich get richer (sorry "job creators") and leave the rest of us in the lurch.

It does seem hopeless, especially because in our system your opinion has a much value as the cash you are willing to give to our spineless fearful politicians.

peggy said...

amusing ourselves to death.
the opium of the people.
panem et circenses.

little has changed.

"happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing i know" (hemmingway if im not mistaken).
happiness is not too far from hope.