Tuesday, January 31, 2006

National Geographic, Neutered?


Last night I had dinner with a few enlightened types, some executives from the National Geographic Channel and I made the horrendous discovery that perhaps even 'enlightened' types are easily duped when the improper information is given. You see, ignorance is one thing and deadly in it's own right, but well-arranged and subtle propaganda can work it's way through a population, give it the impression that they are in possession of the facts and the impression that their opinions are well-researched and, once again, 'enlightened'.

They were under the impression that the Middle East, currently under siege by the west, is actually welcoming to the 'progress' that America is imposing. They believe, with utmost assurance that now that the US has invaded Iraq, all of the 'goodies' they are restoring are items they never had in their possession in the first place. To be honest, they believe that Iraq did not have electricity and running water, or health care, etc. To clarify, for a good while Iraq's people were in misery, mostly due to sanctions imposed upon them by the western nations after the first gulf war. This had a reverse effect, as Saddam used this occurrence to his benefit... the people were fully aware of the sanctions and rallied around their leader.

Iraq was not a Kasbah in the desert. They had a very well-constructed society with many of the luxuries we take for granted and then some. We're not bringing fire to the natives, here, folks.

They believe (I use this term lightly) the same for Afghanistan, that they love America for coming in and building roads and dams and whatever. Sigh. That explains all the killing... It is out of happiness! I know when I'm happy, I like to blow shit up...

I guess the propaganda machine has become more pervasive than I thought. Also, external news sources are all but drowned out with the monopolization of media outlets in America. So, can I blame them? Is it battle fatigue? Have the National Geographic guys just given up in the face of such unrelenting misinformation that towing the line is easier than casting a new net?

The 'victor' writes the history, it seems, but I was expecting something a bit more eloquent and thought provoking than this current spate of revisionist drivel. At least wait a few years before putting words in the mouths of your victims.

And, shame on National Geographic for not taking a clearer, and more worldly, stand. They are supposed to bring the world to your doorstep, not be a doormat on which the lies of current administration may be tramped. Get the hell out there and expose, the way poachers, polluters and parasites of every kind have been previously exposed. A society that prides itself on all matters tooth and claw should bare these implements and thirst for jugular and justice.

...Otherwise, they are just a cartographer like every other, on the sidelines drawing ravaged roads and shifting borders with indifference as the world burns.

6 Comments:

Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

I agree with you 100%.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Mikey said...

Great post. The propaganda is suffocating, and I'm not just talking about Fox News. Spend time at mediamatters.org to fully appreciate the crap that is being shoved down our collective esophagus.

8:49 PM  
Blogger jj said...

All I know is that I have a lot of cool shit from Iraq in my bedroom which makes it look like a whore house, which I don't think is the look my Army son wanted. He said he was just damn glad to get the hell out of there.

11:01 AM  
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