FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

23 Apr

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

newspaper photo: newspaper Zaraki kiriban.jpg  I love analogies and here’s one.

My readers are probably mostly aware of my opinion of religion. It’s fundamentally a remnant of primitive thinking when men did their damnedest to understand the world they lived in, but with very little in the way of either observation or evidence to help them. So they created gods. After all, they reasoned, gods represent a rational explanation for the marvels they saw around them. Some societies had a fistful but slowly their number became one, and monotheism was born.

But why are they still around today? Surely we’ve expanded both observation and evidence to make deities redundant.?

Of course we have. But the words from the dawn of human thought were written down, have been translated innumerable times and are still there. And people read them and if they’re dripped slowly enough from birth into the heads of human beings, they’re hard to disbelieve. So there’s a Pope in Rome, vicars and priests, imams and other spiritual leaders everywhere, and it takes a bit of effort to be logical and see religion for what it always was: primitive man’s best attempt at making sense of the things he saw. Especially when it’s been massaged by self-interest and papal vestments.

But, you might ask, where’s the analogy here?

Bear with me.

A great deal of words have been written recently, in newspapers particularly, expressing the views of mostly magnates about how our country and, if they could manage it, the world should be run. Some of it has been down right insidious, and it’s been dripped (like gods were) into our heads for as long as we can remember. And many of us haven’t noticed the way our minds have been altered, our opinions influenced, in particular by the Murdoch dynasty.

Rupert Murdoch is a foreign national yet of all the people on the planet he probably has more influence than any other human being over what goes on in our own back yard. He once claimed, for instance, to be able to dictate who would form a government in our country. He owns the most popular press. He launched Sky television. He knows what buttons to press. And he presses them.

But there’s one thing he’s aware of more than buttons. He knows that if you say the same thing a thousand different ways, year after year, then it will become embedded in the human brain. Like religion has been. Like all the gods that have marched with mankind down many millennia, all repeating mantras of their own and all beguiling humanity, and in these later years all self-serving. After all, disband the ogre of Catholicism and you’ll have to find a new job for the Pope and his tribe of soul-soakers, and they might protest.

Murdoch’s interest, of course, isn’t that insidious. He’s got an honest enough job. No, being a magnate he wants two things: money and a dominant dynasty, with himself as its head. That way, when he dies, he knows his dreams of conquest will live on with his genes. And drip by blessed drip he’s getting it.

But he’s not alone. There are others, too, who skew facts as printed in their newspapers, who tease us with their variations on the theme of truth. And it’s easy. There’s a tendency towards xenophobia in many people. It’s self-preserving. If too many strangers come our way they may grab what we want. So we get teased by the easiest lie of them all, a half truth.

“There are 10,000 immigrants stealing our health services and homes…” and omit to report the 20,000 who went the other way at the same time….

Lies best told in halves. Minds made angry by falsehoods.

All because there’s a new god on the scene: dollars and pounds and euros…

And the freedom of the press.

© Peter Rogerson 23.04.15

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2 Responses to “FREEDOM OF THE PRESS”

  1. georgiakevin April 24, 2015 at 1:40 am #

    Your posts are always interesting and always make your readers think!

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