Saturday, May 15, 2021

American Narcissism

If you look up "St Petersburg protests" on DuckDuckGo you get pages of stories about Florida, where last year in the wake of George Floyd's death, protestors confronted people they thought might be white supremacists and vowed to keep protesting against white supremacy.

No mention of the protests in Russia, where St Petersburg is a key but not exclusive site where thousands have been arrested.  The occasion is the release of an expose film about Vladimir Putin. Apparently we don't care about that very much. 

I get it.  I have mentioned many times here, even quite recently, that the expanded horizon of Americans with regard to the news is recent.  We now care what happens anywhere in the USA, and seem unable to take in the perspective that we are wired to treat the things we read about or especially, see on a screen, as stuff that is practically right next door.  As there is always an example of just about anything somewhere among 330,000,000 people, journalists can pick what they like to give you whatever impression benefits their tribe. It is much like Sauron controlling the palantir of Denethor, and even Saruman. They have great understanding and wisdom wisdom, but when their source of information is controlled they no longer have independence.

But numbers should matter in context. 1,700 arrested in Russia is a big deal.

Update:  It occurs to me that the Grand Inquisitor from Dostoevsky has always struck me as very Soviet. But of course he was at least forty, and more like sixty or seventy years before that. I have applied the later category on him retroactively.  If he knew the history, Fyodor might not mind very much.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

I have given up on the "news". Don't trust the big newspapers, don't trust the TV news.
Don't read them; don't watch them.