Random Thoughts: media literacy and the spectator sport


Hanl Brown

Staff reporter Aden McClune shares his perspective on various issues in his weekly column, Random Thoughts.

Aden McClune, Staff Reporter

I now feel as though I understand the atmosphere in this country during the invasion of Iraq. Complete 24/7 media bombardment, incredibly polarized opinions, both in the home and outside, and above all, a source of entertainment for those who either don’t know any better, or are purposely treating events as a spectator sport. Can you see a parallel between then and now? 

Unfortunately, the United States is such an incredibly soft nation for some as they have nothing better to do than give their opinion. I mean, there is an entire industry dedicated to people who have nothing better to do than spout drivel about whatever either they (if they are independent, “influencers”, etc.) or their handlers choose. And this leads to an increasingly propagandized society, in which people who cannot afford to pay attention simply pick up the lines or slogans from either the internet or the media, regardless of whether or not it is true.

Take the “Ghost of Kiev,” for example. If you didn’t notice, a viral video surfaced along with a news story about a Ukrainian fighter pilot who allegedly shot down several Russian planes. It was debunked almost instantly, with the footage unfortunately taken straight from a video game. While an excellent folk hero, and propaganda move, it was untrue. However, if you thought this would dissuade people from talking about it non-stop like it’s the Second Coming then regrettably you would be incorrect. It’s been mentioned to me an ungodly amount of times. Articles are still being published about it, and other brain-melting tweets still endure.

It appears that diversity of thought and opinion has also been thrown out the window in favor of blind, fanatical tenents delivered straight from the media Lord. Nuance is no longer on the table, and whatever you hear on the tv/Twitter goes. It’s quite shocking. Even typically skeptic people I talk to seem to be completely possessed with patriotic fervor. It’s pure dogmatism, and it can happen with any event, I suppose.

Another horrific issue is the bloodthirst. I have seen calls, on mainstream television, to drop nuclear bombs on Moscow, send troops to Ukraine, and generally start World War III. I simply cannot fathom the logic behind this. War profiteering aside, I’m trying to work out a possible angle on agitating for nuclear holocaust. 

As a person, a citizen, a worker, whomever you are, it is your job to question whatever you read or hear. Why is it being said? What purpose does it serve? Who stands to gain?