I gave up watching the corporate sponsored media after they fabricated a story about someone throwing marbles at horses during the Olympic torch protest in Victoria last year. Until then I had watched or read periodically, with hopes of extracting some truth about local and world events from their highly subsidized perspective. But I had witnessed the infamous marble incident firsthand, I was right there … and it looked absolutely nothing like what I saw described by those whose paycheques are so dependent on pleasing the same folks whose ads are plastered all over the Vancouver Olympics.
If you benefit from, and therefore enjoy the dominant social and/or economic order .... and think everyone else should just succeed as you have, there’s no point in reading any further.
It was a wise decision, giving up on the corporate media, and especially their most recent eight billion dollar fortnight festival. I witnessed some of it, it was impossible not to, but I never chose any of the channels myself. Sometimes I was in a room where it was present, and I did my best to avert my gaze.
“It’s the age of information,” that’s what they told me 25 years ago… nowadays I avoid poisoning my body with chemical laced food, and I no longer poison my mind with corporate media spin. Neither do I feel the anxiety and stress associated with yelling at the TV or radio when they manipulate the truth to suit their corporate slave-masters.
I don’t “google,” mostly because it’s the name of a corporation, but one day recently I was reading facebook (a ‘Google’ acquisition) and I learned about ONE CORPORATE MEDIA’S most recent lie or, if you’d prefer, manipulation of truth.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED …
I was there. In Vancouver. On February 25th. By chance I met this Shena Meadowcroft person and, with her permission, recorded a short interview as we walked, surrounded by many peaceful and colourful people, some of the distance between the Art Gallery and BC Place. Shena told me she and her husband/partner, who was walking alongside her, live on Gabriola Island, had made the long day’s journey because the Olympic spending is just too much, because she doesn’t want the US military invading us should an “incident” occur. What really got her, she said, was hearing about some “Rent a Homeless Person” project that VANOC had contrived ostensibly to help tourists understand the people of Vancouver’s Downtown EastSide. They were only in Vancouver for the day, she said. We talked about the Victoria Street Newz with which she was familiar, I asked her to consider submitting her thoughts for the next issue. I offered them some almonds (always a good choice of travel food), she took one or two and he took a small handful, she thanked me and gave me her business card, we parted our ways.
It doesn’t surprise me that she wrote to the Vancouver Police thanking them for their restraint as they were being spat upon and called names. She didn’t seem the sort to allow follow up with corporate media, though, and I wonder how they got hold of her letter, why her story was so important that they sent a crew to Gabriola Island to interview her inside her home, and how they attained that permission.
Sadly, it doesn’t surprise me that A Channel would stoop to a new low – showing video from the February 13th “Clog the Arteries” protest while referring to the rally Shena participated in, and had written about, on February 12th. Anyone who’s been to any protests knew way ahead of time that, if any non-peacefully motivated actions were to go down, those would be happening on February 13th. You just had to read the email, or check the websites. February 12th was billed as a “Take Back Our City” rally and, while it’s impossible to know what everyone will do during moments of civil disobedience and direct action, it seemed obvious to me that February 12th would be the family friendly parade, February 13th was scheduled as the day the Black Bloc might hand the corporate media their “if it bleeds it leads” video - and feel really really empowered while doing so.
I’ve read, and participated in, many facebook discussions about the perceived (or not) success of such tactics. I’ve also heard the entire olympic protest dismissed as one big stupid idiotic window smash. Heard a lot of that one, despite avoiding the corporate media. But when I saw A Channel using window smashing video (from February 13th) while talking about the family friendly parade (from February 12th), I was again reminded just how serious this battle for hearts and minds really is. Spitting and name-calling are childish tactics, probably inspired by agents planted in crowds and groups and neighbourhoods and condominiums for the purpose of encouraging violent and/or angry responses. The military industrial go-fuck-yerself-and-everything-else that-has-ever-lived machine seems to enjoy divide and conquer.
BTW the police weren’t the only recipients of this carefully devised spitting and name-calling strategy – my photographer friend was also on the receiving end of such venom just for daring to be part of the parade.
And then there’s the ultimate divide and conquer pie-ing of David Eby. And those who would defend it.
What’s really going on here? A Channel is, as usual, ignoring the messages of thousands upon thousands of people who peacefully, without spit or name-calling, chose to express their discontent at 8 billion+ of our tax dollars (and yes, we do all pay taxes) being stolen without majority consent. They ignored the destruction of Eagleridge Bluffs, the murder of native elder Harriet Nahanee who protested and died shortly after being imprisoned for her peaceful non-violent civil disobedience. They ignored the tent city – definitely the longest lasting (and I would argue, most creative) of all the direct actions these past two weeks.
I’ll be really glad when the cult of the Olympics, and all its spin-offs, has passed. I’m thankful that, since taking part in extremely peaceful and constructive and creative non-violent civil disobedience in Vancouver the weekend of the opening games, I’ve been tucked away looking after doggies whose motives never involve hatred. I don’t have to listen to co-workers raving about who’s on top with which medals or attempt, in my perpetual efforts to keep it all in perspective, to inform them about the planned destruction of Fish Lake and subsequent pollution of a series of waterways including the Fraser River just so more gold can be mined for pretty gold shiny things like medallions for stupid competitive exclusive games where women ski-jumpers are not welcome, where female hockey players are slammed for daring to celebrate with Cuban cigars.
Cults are commonly defined as having four central factors, according to Arthur Deikman, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. They demand compliance with the group, they depend on a leader, they don’t allow dissent, and they devalue those who aren’t part of the group.
No, thank you. No thank you Olympics. No thank you Corporate Media. No thank you Black Bloc. And if that means I take a pie in the face, and I’m all alone in the universe …. I’m okay with that.