Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Media Allegory

This is a poem I wrote a while back, inspired by a number of things like the U.S. invasion of Iraq and being on the front lines of events in the prison where I work, and then seeing how the same stories were portrayed the following day in the media. Many of us are brought up under the belief that "if it's in a book then it must be true", as much of what we learn in life comes from experiences in school or what our parents tell us (and just think of some of the teacher's that you've had! Trusting other people to mould our youth's minds is a serious issue!). As a result, if one never exits this bubble of belief, they will tend to believe the slant presented on the 6 O'Clock News, and never truly challenge their assumptions. I think the mainstream, more often than not, tends to delude the masses into thinking that the world is black and white and that things can be neatly compartmentalised into beginnings and end. The fact is, truth is very subjective, based on your beliefs, culture, etc. For example, the whole "us" and "them" depiction of world conflicts gives us a clear "good" and "evil" image of the combatants. That might work in some cases, but, mostly is a clash of beliefs as delusional as they may seem to each side.

In the poem I use a "rat" as the allegorical symbol for media misleading. I thought initially that this was really lacking in creativity and redundant on the one hand. On the other, the rat, despised as it may be, viewed as "vermin" guilty of plagues and synonomis with the gutter, is merely a creature, like a dove, human or butterfly, simply trying to live, thrive and survive.

In closing, I think to an Edward de Bono book I read a few years back when he describes our thinking process as follows: You imagine a round hill of jello. Next, pour hot water over the mound and it will etch river like canyons down the sides. These channels represent how we think. Thinking and knowledge compounds by building on previous experiences. If you thus view each successive experience as an additional cup of hot water, it will travel the path of least resistance (which are the previously etched channels), entrenching that knowledge and its thought process deeper and deeper. In essence, how we think and process new information in our brains is determined by this entrenched process. So, if you are brought up watching the TV news and being bombarded with one side of history in school and educated by people who are similarly entrenched, you can see how difficult it is for us to change our views and see things objectively. So, if you grow up in a conservative suburban home with right wing white collar parents watching CNN, your views and values will differ from the inner city Black who has a single mother working three jobs and creating their images of the world through the lyrics of 50 Cent.

"Rodent (media, we get what we deserve)"

I've seen a rat's eyes, rodent red rhodopsin,
Bleach out from the Negative of day
And the positive exposure of night
Luminescence bleeding from black
Brazen, not limited to corners anymore;
Smiling newspaper photo, political,
Staining unsuspecting fingers with print-
Carbon, like all that we are after
Being burned beyond resemblance, after
The water disperses as steam- dissipating
Move toward the light motherfucker,
Move toward the light!
This is what you wanted,
In what you believed
On what you bet your life
Throat scratched from gnawing on lead pipes and cinder blocks,
Screeching radio static, from the
Neck, never the gut
Awaiting the irony of a poison never
Feasted upon - left in the corners with the traps
On trays, out of the way
Never frequent there, in the ghetto, anymore,
Out in the open,
Common and domesticated
No one even notices your tail anymore,
It flicks and snaps
Like a whip, a trap
Like a camera shutter In the negative of day
Or positive exposure of night;
Call you rodent now, not
Rat, remembering our manners.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home