I think it was Neil Postman who first alerted me to the fact that although more people are texting and sms-ing and emailing than ever before, what they are writing about is becoming less and less. Or, to put it another way, as we move towards becoming a global village, we all start to live in that same village: that is, we live, breathe, and talk about the same things. If, for example, a political leader is shot in France, then wherever we live in the world that will be in our newspapers, on our radios and TVs, and in our Facebook statuses within a few hours.
This doesn't just mean that our personal identities are being swallowed up by our social identities; it means something even more serious. For media to become mass media, information must always be dumbed down; mass in this area means in practice the lowest common denominator. So more and more of us are learning less and less.
I was struck by this phenomenon recently when I heard high school students singing the lyrics of Rihanna's S&M single. The students also had watched the S&M video countless times. But, when asked, they didn't know what S&M meant. And they certainly hadn't heard of the Marquis De Sade or Masoch.
If you don't know where it's from, how can you know where it's going?
Yes, we're all becoming citizens of the global village; but in the process we're all losing our individual roots. If you don't know about De Sade and Masoch, then presumably you'll think S&M is perfectly normal adult behaviour: and before too long it probably will be. Without roots, everything is on the surface, superficial, without depth, and ephemeral. There is no context because there is no history; and without context there is ultimately no point of comparison; and without comparison there is no ethical basis on which to build.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I've noticed a new trend among Facebook users that in time could reduce Mxit's dominance in the message market. Many users are now using Facebook's email facility as a replacement for regular sms. The reasons I think are twofold: 1, almost everyone is on Facebook now, so no need to organise a Mxit account; & 2, using o.facebook means that a Facebook message is now only around 1cent in cost - ie, as inexpensive as Mxit.
posted from Bloggeroid
Monday, May 2, 2011
The rain falls on mosque & church alike. This is important to understand, for politics & religion are both nasty products of human culture but the fear of the lord is truly the beginning of wisdom. Why? Because it is obvious that we humans did not create the cosmos we were born into, & therefore to be aware of a power or energy greater than ourselves is normal, right, proper, & keeps us in the correct perspective: we are not gods, nor should we imagine ourselves so.
posted from Bloggeroid
I was sitting at home this week watching the kombies and open-backed lorries go past, cram-full of excited singing girls on their way to...
I came across this old photo the other day. It's of Whitney Houston in traditional Swazi clothing. I don't remember when this was....
the article is here: Baby-mamas and boyfriend back-ups