Question What You Read
by Alex Cosper

Guard Dogs of Pop Culture

You're only allowed to be so critical of pop culture before guard dogs of the old world begin to growl and say things like "you're just getting old" or "oh, man, you just don't get it." Those comments help market the product and can sometimes convert nonbelievers into supporters. Even so, everypne has a right to their own opinion. That's the moral of every argument on social networks - that everyone is an expert on their own opinion. Since the world is full of so many diverse opinions, perceptions and paradigms, it's a good idea to ask questions before assuming something is legit.

Are guard dogs of pop culture employees of entities that market pop culture? Many times, yes, but sometimes these old world types are just lazy armchair complainers who accept mediocrity as the norm, not realizing that three big companies are completely responsible for this mediocrity. There are enough supporters of mass mediocrity to justify keeping it going, from a corporate quarterly earnings perspective. Sometimes when you start to see several mediocre artists win music awards, it raises questions about the process that determines who gets to be a star. Guard dogs of the old world don't like these questions being raised.

Seeing Through Propaganda

There is definitely an art to seeing through propaganda. We are bombarded with propoganda every day, so it takes a sharp sense of awareness to to see through the pranks concocted to paint certain perceptions about news, people, places and things. The best thing I ever learned in my lifelong study of communications has been to "believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see." I picked up that statement from a high school teacher and it has stayed with me ever since.

Propaganda itself is kind of an old world notion that it's ok to bend minds with distorted facts. Twentieth century marketing relied heavily on this concept. Silly slogans that promoted dangerous products were usually not off-limits until someone got hurt. Back in the old world before the internet the media was limited and attention span was a lot more focused on programming from the three major television networks. If a news story was covered by all three networks, then it was considered major news no matter what it was.

One of the biggest differences between now and the old world is that we're all better editors of the news we read now. Instead of reading headlines from a newspaper, we spend more time clicking around and learning what we choose online. Newspapers represent the old world since they use up a massive amount of natural resources. When you consider how wasteful newspapers are just to be read once, it's no wonder that support for online publishing has been so tremendous. People who know how to read understand that internet news is much more efficient and eco-friendly as well as more diverse than a one newspaper town monopoly.

Next Chapter: "Assembly Line Music" Index to Mass Mania in Slow Motion