Monday, October 31, 2005

Complete Control

Every now and then I'll read a newspaper op-ed piece that manages to articulate, in a way I never could, the nature of things that I have a general feeling of unease about myself. Today John Waters pens an excellent article on the misuse of the term perception...

"To perceive something was to be aware of it. If it didn't exist, you couldn't perceive it: a false impression is not a perception. Nowadays, to perceive something is to believe it to exist, even if it doesn't. What we call perception is actually misperception."

If you work for a corporation, like I do you'll know just how much the word 'perception' is abused. There's no such thing as a "right way" and a "wrong way" just different perceptions of reality that deserve equal... blah, blah, fecking blah.

I digress. Waters goes on to state that...

"[A] startling indicator of the gap between what is going on and what we think is going on is the recent study of the level of conflict in the world in the past 60 years. The Human Security Report, published by a team from the University of British Columbia, debunks the conventional belief that the world is becoming less safe.

The impressions, to be gleaned from even a cursory reading of any daily newspaper, that war is more prevalent than ever, that genocide is on the rise and that terrorism represents the greatest threat to humanity, are all, the authors declare, either suspect or 'demonstrably false'."

He comes to the conclusion that the media (or the hand that feeds him?) is largely responsible for the general public's increased perception of a more corrupt Ireland, a more dangerous world, a likelihood of pandemic...

"Once, the media traded in facts, opinion and analysis. Nowadays, competing with one another at an ever more ferocious rate, media seek to sell us material to provoke an emotional reaction. They urge us to mistrust or despise political leaders, to live in fear of fatal disease, to become incandescent about how corrupt we are becoming. Fear and anger sell newspapers and make us turn on our TVs."

Amen, brother!
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