Thursday, March 19, 2009

Everything is Illuminated

Today is Media Day.

My post is dedicated to the people and industries that tell us how to live. These people package products, inform us about the world near and far, and elucidate issues that we must care about.

These people have dream jobs somewhere where jingles and graphics create a dream-like feeling of a perfect life. They are magic makers.

The fog is slipping in from the ocean and my mind is still in dreamland.
I'm reminiscing about my first job, in Hollywood. People came in the costume shop where my best friend asked me to help during Halloween. I was not going to any party; I could help people chose their costumes and prepare to live it up and pretend for a night. Everybody worked in some dream job, I thought, creating movies and producing magazines. Even our neighbors had dream jobs, working at Disneyland in the summer months, showing the Monsanto Home, the better and healthier home of the future. Life and chemistry helped by media savvy publicists and dream weavers.

I move through my day as though I have a programmed battery. I make Starbuck 's coffee now, not Maxwell House; I must have my macchiato before I open my eyes.

Martha Stewart chose the linens for my bed, until I heard about her big lie. Ethan Allen furnished the rest of the bedroom, and my lake view is courtesy of mother nature. My picture on my profile, all my pictures are mine, chosen and shot by me. The only exceptions are the award graphics, courtesy of a blog friend with media skills. These awards are passed out in blogland.

Without newspapers, television, advertisers, lobbyists, without the hoopla people and the picture people, and the p.r. people, and the publicists- without media we would all be still in the middle ages.

I knew a time without daily papers, radio, television. The only people who had any news of the world were the few people who could afford to buy the paper that was delivered to our small town from the big metropolis nearby. When radios became available in every household, after electricity, it immediately became a sinful escape for everyone. The entire family gathered around its twinkling lights, as father fussed with the dial across the screen trying to get a station that could be heard without static or other interference.

With the arrival of radio, information and entertainment personalities became magnets. Nobody knew more than those disembodied voices on the radio.
We followed their advice.
WE still do.
Television, radio, movies, the Internet, are our modern cathedrals, illuminating stories of New Heaven and Precipitous Hell.
We all participate as consumers and producers of these stories,
WE are all manipulating and being manipulated.
We are all in this dream/nightmare together.
Tonight, after I watch Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow and Steven Colbert, mixing up with news with entertainment, switching channels a hundred times before settling on BBC news or CNN or MSNBC, or Fox, I'll retire to read The New Yorker, or the New York Times on line. Around me, close bye, I can google for information around the world, read posts in blogland that might illuminate a condition I don't understand.
Will I be safe? Will my retirement savings last me? Is my insurance up to date? How do I know? How do I separate nights and days, real and manufactured? I know I'm fuzzy headed and on medications this week. Will I feel better if I didn't take meds?
I used to trust the Pope and my president to tell me the truth. I used to trust my doctors to give only the medicines I needed. Now, I know less and I trust even less.


jinksy said...

How about we all ban advertising...?

Renee said...

Rosaria well written and too true unfortunately.

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. We always think people know more and others will fill us up.

How is your shoulder. How was the physio but more importantly what did you have for lunch?

Yes, Wahid has always cooked. We both worked outside of the home so I preferred to clean and he preferred to cook. So he does all the shopping and use to do all the cooking.

Love Renee xoxo

lakeviewer said...

No. Too late, we are hooked on it.

REnee- my shoulder feels better. Still on meds. I haven't eaten lunch yet since breakfast was late and I'm not too hungry.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Very well put, LV! Are we any wiser now we have all this additional info? Do we invent more? Do we achieve greater things? Do we spend more time with our families and friends, or do we chase news and media hungrily, for information we never knew we wanted, and don't in actuality need? x

Lola said...

Did you see what the media are doing with the Natasha Richardson story? Ravenous vultures, feeding on people's grief. I hate it.
Look far out, over that lake. Not everything is man-made or marketed, thankfully.

Oh, and I shall ship you a crateful of Illy or Lavazza, please no Starbucks. Tsk, tsk... that is not coffee!

An English Shepherd said...

We don't need all the rubbish they want us to buy ;-)

Glad to hear your shoulder feels better :-)

Helen said...

There are times I feel as though I am spiraling downward ... with no place to go where I'm not bombarded with some form of hype. Usually a walk in the woods or along the river helps ... trust is fleeting.

Sarah Laurence said...

You raise good issues in this post. I don’t watch much TV etc, but I admit to being a huge fan of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and NPR radio. I also subscribe to the NYT and the New Yorker. Mostly I read novels. It’s best to be selective to avoid the bombardment.

marc aurel said...

My mother was in Russia before perestroika, when there was very little advertising and none on the subway. She found it depressingly dull. As to manipulatig and being manipulated, it reminds me of "My Dinner with Andre", when Andre Gregory says that New York is one huge prison camp, where the prisonners have become theit own guards.

distracted by shiny objects said...

Some folks I know have news blackout weeks and swear by them.
I find the ads for all the new medications coming out fairly helpful except I have to sing the jingle to remember what the drug does--then you have a group of nurses walking down the hallway singing,"Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go." Not so helpful for the trust factor:>)

Natalie said...

Fantastic post, beautifully written.
Not bad for someone of their face on meds!.xx♥

Mary said...

When I read this post early this morning I was so excited. I had some really interesting thoughts on the subject. As I was running a little late for work I had to have a chat to myself about media. I managed to jot down a few thoughts on a scrap piece of paper ready to reply NOW.

Flippin heck - I can't find the paper. But I will. And when I do, I shall be back.

That's a promise!

Kikit said...

we may listen, read and watch ads but we don't always have to be convinced. i think we just have to focus on our needs. :)

well-expressed blog. :)

Chairman Bill said...

Advertising - lovely. Couldn't live without it. How would I know what I should buy?

Dumdad said...

Great post!

"We are all in this dream/nightmare together." That's so very true.