Friday, 5 September 2014

The evil of the Mass Media - the greatest evil of which I know

I am now sufficiently detached from mass media outputs that I am continually struck by the alien-ness of the whole business. I particular, I am repeatedly struck by the fact that no matter what evils are being reported or discussed in the mainstream mass media: the mass media makes them worse.


No matter how utterly horrific something may be in and of itself - once the mass media gets hold of it, it becomes worse.

In 1001 ways, the mass media makes things worse - mis-attributing blame, blaming the innocent, hiding and excusing the guilty, dwelling sadistically on suffering, causing suffering, hounding victims, advocating violence on the wrong side and prohibiting violence on the right side, creating wicked taboos and breaking sacred taboos... in general propagating lust, spite, envy, hatred, confusion and inversion of values, despair and all manner of evils.


No situation is so bad that the mass media cannot and does - day by day, hour by hour, as a matter of routine - make it much, much worse.

And no situation is so bad, that the mass media does not encourage more of the same.


As an 'entity' the mainstream mass media is by far the most wicked THING that has even been in existence - because (not being a human personage and therefore not limited by the minimal intrinsic coherence of a human; but a spirit of evil using human personages - who consent to being used) the mass media can and does operate to destroy all Goods of all types in all directions - not simultaneously but sequentially.

This is (must be) the work of the greatest evil of which I know - of more than human evil - of the greatest evil in existence. 

Note added: I am assuming the truth of the standard Christian belief that advocating sin is far worse than actually sinning; because sinning is (to a significant extent) unavoidable while advocating sin is deliberate. 


Bruce B. said...

My wife believes that large numbers of celebrities have literally made a deal with the devil in exchange for mass media success. She watches videos online that are supposed to show evidence of this (interviews, etc.) Who knows?

Bruce Charlton said...

@BB - I don't think this would apply to many of them - since they lack any concept of the supernatural. I could easily believe it of Jimmy Savile however, since he was outwardly religiously observant (and was awarded a Papal Knighthood).

Ben Smith said...

Hi Bruce. Only recently found your blog and am really enjoying it. I wonder: have you read much of Jacques Ellul? He wrote about a lot of your concerns, about the media particularly in his book 'Propaganda'.

J. B. said...

"Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don't listen to him. Remember that - do not listen."

Father Merrin from The Exorcist.

Bruce B. said...

I guess I’ve seen supposed examples of American celebrities and entertainiers. They have these videos with clips of them saying things like “I made a deal with the devil.” They’re brief clips without context so it’s hard to tell if their statements were meant figuratively or joking and, of course, most celebrities are half-crazy.
There is an increase in demonic imagery being used in pop-culture, particularly popular music. It’s finding its way into popular black music which seems really unusual. When I was a boy (1980s and early 1990s) American blacks were definitely NOT into demonic imagery. That was the domain of lower class whites.

Leo said...

I recently read The News: A User’s Manual by Alain de Botton. It is well written, and while not explicitly Christian, the author seems sympathetic to ideas of virtue. How many writers today could use that word without embarrassment? The author is clearly alert to the dangers of the news. My favorite quote:

“We can’t find everything we need to round out our humanity in the present. There are attitudes, ideologies, modalities of feeling and philosophies of mind for which we must journey backwards across the centuries, thought the corridors of reference libraries, past forgotten museum cabinets filled with rusting suits of medieval armour, along the pages of second-hand books marked with the annotations of their now-deceased owners or up to the alters of half-ruined and moss-covered temples. We need to balance contact with the ever-changing pixels on our screens with the pages of heavy hardback books that proclaim, though their bindings and their typefaces, that they have something to say that will still deserve a place in our thoughts tomorrow.”

random thoughts said...

I am am sick of the cry call "Freedom of the press". Was it ever true? Or was it just another ploy to make us look at what they wanted us to look at?

Bruce Charlton said...

@random - Freedom from responsibility: power without responsibility.