Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, January 23rd, 2017 - 12 comments
Categories: activism, community democracy, International, journalism, Media, Politics, us politics - Tags: Media, politics, protest
So when I was a wee kid I played football. The way the games went was something like this. There was a rammy of us kids and the football would intermittently shoot out from the melee and wind up ‘over there’. And we’d all descend on it in a shouting and hollering tumble of brainless and tactic free determination. And this just went on repeating until the kids whose tops were being used as goal posts packed it in or who-ever owned the ball went home for tea.
Yesterday there were many marches and protests across the world revolving around Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the White House. These marches (it seems) weren’t organised by ‘the usual suspects’ and didn’t display the usual features of such marches and protests. They were varied. People brought their own reasons for being there and so generated a certain vitality that’s usually missing from ‘single issue’ or ‘single focus’ protests. And yes, mainstream media covered the marches and protests. For one day. And only by way of them being a spectacle.
Then some wee fella stood up and made some claims about the numbers of people who had watched a guy get inaugurated. Essentially, the football ‘shot over there’. And all of the media and all of the commentary went running. The protests and marches were old news.
Tomorrow there’ll be some asinine argument about whether the balls still on the pitch or whether it’s gone over the line, or whether that was a goal or not a goal, a foul or not a foul.
In a world devoted to news and information, those marches would be subject to follow up reporting. People would be asked “What next?” People or groups of people would be followed up on and actions or organising they’d been inspired to give their energies to would be reported on. And some stuff being reported on would act as a beacon to others.
But that’s not the way it’s ever been, not the way it is, and not the way it’s going to be.
The media will follow the ball as it skitters backwards and forwards and sideways. And they’ll have us believe that all the skittering (Have they even set down goal posts?) and all of their reporting on the skittering is important; that they’re passing information on to us and reporting news.
And we can go with that flow.
But here’s the thing. There is not a single mainstream media outlet in the west, that when the chips are down, will not side with institutional power and authority. And there is not a single major media outlet that will promote or encourage anything that might hold the potential to challenge institutional power and authority.
So yes, the likes of yesterdays marches and protests will get covered. But only in ways and to an extent that ensures everything remains safe and in its proper place.
So today, I see some headlines about audience or viewing figures. And I see opinion pieces and analytical wankery on what it all means or might mean or doesn’t mean. That, apparently, is where the ball is. And so that’s where we’re all meant to rush headlong to. And we’re meant jump in and see if we maybe get a toe on the ball – maybe poke it this way or kick it that way or just shout encouragement for whoever on our side is closest to the ball. Or then again…fuck it. We could just begin to get ready (know what I mean?) and leave the movers and shakers and opinion makers to their pointless hacking.
And I wonder how long it would take them to notice?