cj#405> re: media utilization


Richard Moore

Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996
Sender: Arun Mehta <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#400> re: media manipulation; bread & circuses

> Sender: •••@••.••• (Alan Dawson)
> But this is exactly why to get attention you must *create* news.

I can highly recommend a book by Abbie Hoffman of sixties fame called
"Soon to be a major motion picture." In this, he describes how creative
actions get media attention against its will. The media was extremely
hostile to many of the radical new ideas of the '60s, so getting
publicity was real hard.

For instance, Abbie and crowd threw several hundred 1-dollar bills from
the visitors gallery to the floor of the NY stock exchange (with the
media warned, of course). The ticker stopped while the "money-grabbing
capitalists" were, well, grabbing for money! Or the time they mailed
marijuana joints to a random selection of people from the phone book,
with a note explaining what it was, what one could do with it, that it
was relatively harmless, and oh, by the way, they could now be jailed for
possession -- it didn't matter where the stuff came from! That sure
raised a storm about how the innocent people of New York were being
bombarded with the stuff.

> I don't find that publishing a Web Page is a 1996 version of
> being Tom Paine.

Not everyone is a Tom Paine, so we do the best we can. I think its great
to have this explosion of creativity. If I take good pictures, I put that
on the Web, if I bake good chocolate cake, I put up the recipe.

> The Internet is a revolution, right? Scoff-scoff.

Well, maybe for someone with access to all sorts of information sources,
databases, libraries and so on, the Internet isn't such a big deal, but
for those of us who otherwise would be cut off almost completely, it really
is a revolution. I can amplify on this, but I'm sure you've heard it all

> Yet no one comes up with a truly outrageous, truly
> attractive alternative such as the pamphlets of old or the samizdat
> of just 10 years ago.

The American Reporter isn't bad, nor, ahem, our very own cyberjournal?
Else why not start your own? I'll subscribe...

> Sure, if people really *are* apathetic, then we might as well just
> put on our ties and go to work, screw it. But if they're so
> apathetic, how come I can get up a conversation about politics in any
> checkout line at any supermarket?

I do get your point, but for lots of people that conversation about
politics in the bar or the supermarket line is the extent of the
commitment they are willing to make. We are a highly manipulable society.
Any action you take outside the ordinary might easily land you in some
database which haunts you for the rest of your life. In Germany, there is
a database for landlords about tenants. So, if you fight too much with
one landlord, no matter whose fault it is, you could find it a lot harder
to rent a flat thereafter.

Arun Mehta, B-69 Lajpat Nagar-I, New Delhi-24, India. Phone 6841172,6849103
•••@••.••• •••@••.••• •••@••.•••
"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be
stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house
as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any."--Gandhi


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 •••@••.•••  | Cyberlib=http://www.internet-eireann.ie/cyberlib
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