Taking Sides: Black or White

September 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

It’s been quite some time since I last posted, mainly because I’ve been the subject of a mini spam attack. I don’t quite know why a Japanese designer bag retailer thinks people who visit my site would be interest in the latest Gucci, in fact I don’t know what makes them think anyone even visits.

In the time I’ve been away I’ve largely been trying to hide from the news. I find the way that news is presented to us quite offensive to me as a person. Mainstream media is a bit like the market trader who’s overstocked on poor quality, Chinese manufactured toasters. He/she’s desperate to get rid of them and expends a lot of energy on diverting the punters’ attentions towards these dreadful toasters. The trader tries to make you feel like you have much less choice than you actually do. This is essentially what our governments and press do day in, day out.

To test that theory, you need look no further than Syria. The next time you read, watch or listen to a news item about Syria pay close attention to what is actually being said. Try to imagine yourself as a customer, what are your options? What is your outlet of choice actually trying to sell you? Take closer look at the ‘product’, are they being transparent? Are they trying to conceal something from you?

In the case of Syria, the press are largely selling us two options:

  1. Military intervention in the form of airstrikes
  2. Do nothing, and let Assad kill more people with chemical weapons

If you believe what you’re reading/seeing/hearing, ask yourself this: If I was at the market, and this trader was trying to sell you a poor quality toaster, at an inflated price; would you be so insufferably stupid? Would you allow yourself to be led down the proverbial alley and mugged? Of course you wouldn’t. So why do the masses allow governments and media outlets dictate our choices?

Now go back to Syria, and this may seem a little crazy, try to think of some different options. Can you do it? Can your mind stretch beyond the simple binary equation of bomb/not bomb? Of course it can! Life isn’t quite as black or white as that, there’s a hell of a lot of grey in between. And buried deep within this large mass of grey, you’ll find the real options, the real choices. You’ll find that in all major news stories you’ll be given two options. Black or White. What’s it going to be? There are no alternatives. Choose now. Black or White. Don’t forget now, Black is so unpalatable you’ll be ridiculed if you choose it. White or Black. No pressure now. All your friends have already chosen. Black or White. Experts have chosen white already, what’s taking you so long. Black or White. Look at this photo, look what big, bad Black did to poor little White. WHITE or Black. Too late. It’s done.

Governments and Media revel in how stupid we are. In presenting information in a way that leads us deep into this alley, we become gripped with fear. We see we are being offered just two choices, even though we may think there is actually a third, much better, choice we are too far in to the alley. If we speak now, we’re certain to be beaten to a pulp. As we go deeper still, we find quickly that one of the two options becomes increasingly less viable. We have one option left, but it still doesn’t quite feel right. But all of your friends think it is, experts think it is, our Prime Minister thinks it is, so it must be… right?

It takes a bit of courage whilst in the alley to think the unthinkable, it takes courage to say ‘No, I’m not buying this’. But when you do take that step, you’ll find others who have made that step too. You’ll find that your own actions inspire others to think it too. You’ll find that whilst the world can be a horrible place full of horrible people, it’s also a wondrous place full of incredible people.

Once you’ve taken that step, then you’ll begin to see what our trusted sources of information have been concealing from us. We hear that Assad is the first to use Chemical Weapons since 2001. Really? What about Bush in Iraq, 2003? What About Israel in Gaza? We hear from President Obama that no nation would stand idly by and watch bombs rain down upon it, except Pakistan eh? We hear that drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen target and hit militants, yet we don’t hear that the US classes all males of military age as militants.

What do you think of that? Can it really be that Black or White?

What is quite frankly unbelievable is that Putin asked Assad: “Can you put your Chemical Weapons into neutral hands?’ and he said “Yes.” Our Government, our media never gave us that option. That wasn’t on the table.

Perhaps we’re sat at the wrong table.