The news is the snuff porn for the masses.

February 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Cynicism | 13 Comments

I never read or watch the news. Or at least I used to before but that was more like browsing and reading the interesting stuff. It’s not because I feel indifferent towards what’s going on in our society. Well, maybe a little bit. I mean, I couldn’t care less about our capitalistic society. I couldn’t give a shit if corporations go bankrupt or fail along the run, their stocks are doing poorly in the market, etc.

Of course, regarding major events like the earthquake in Haiti, I just find out about them from others, family friends, etc. so I am not exactly living in a cave. See our sense of detachment and the victims just being numbers in news articles. I’m really one to talk since I don’t do anything about it even after knowing about it. I only find out about the newsworthy front-page material.

It’s just that I find reading/watching the news depressing and horrifying. Depressing, in the sense that it always shows, you know, tragic events that have befallen other people. I quote Lorelai Gilmore when she says that there should be a newspaper dedicated and intended for only good news, like the birth of a new child, the stray dogs and cats that are adopted and taken care of, etc. But then again, people seem to find evil more interesting than good. Horrifying, in the sense that the public’s right to know everything seems to be more important than someone’s privacy in this society of ours. Not to mention it’s a sadomasochistic activity. Real-life crime, sex and violence for the reading pleasures of the masses, anyone? I don’t like reading about other people’s tragedies. The misfortune of others, to me, is funny when it’s someone who has been lucky most of his life and whom I personally know and loathe but severe accidents and unexpected turn of tragic events that happen to others are not. The news, the way they write it, seems to desensitize wars, tragedies, violence, etc.

Of course, you might be wondering why do I watch a lot of films that involve the most horrible deaths, sufferings and (emotional/mental/physical) tortures that humans could ever possibly go through then. Why don’t I read/watch the news then if I am already exposed to this kind of stuff in cinema then? True, some films fetishize or desensitize violence but cinema is mostly fiction. And if it is non-fiction/documentary or just a film based on actual events, there is usually some kind of insight to the human condition being shown in the film. In the news, there is none, only pure objectivity. No emotions, only neutrality. Then comes the desensitization. Their only care is to cover the news and broadcast or journalize it for the masses. They record the tragedy of people stuck in a flood, affected by an earthquake, etc. instead of finding means of saving them. Instead of assisting people whose houses have just been burned by a massive fire, they simply ask them how they feel. Oh yeah, they’re feeling just great.

And don’t even get me started on the news section for entertainment, showbiz and celebrities. You’re shallow if you even read the entertainment section, even if just out of curiosity. I don’t get care if what’s-his-face is rehabilitated for his drug addiction, if what’s-her-face has a new, uh, hubby (I HATE that word), if this-asshole-called-so-and-so is getting a facelift, etc. Not that I tolerate the lifestyle of the wealthy and the famous but it’s really their business. Why do we even make a big deal about them and what they do? Even if most of them are just a bunch of cunts and dicks in expensive yet tacky outfits and don’t give a damn about the masses, they are also human beings. We do not own their public life, even if the media says otherwise. Their films are for your entertainment, not their lives.

In the news, even though we might feel sympathy for the victims, the oppressed, the underdogs, etc., we still feel this sense of detachment from them. They’re not considered as human beings anymore. To the journalist as well as to the public, these people are only numbers, statistics, and stories. As painful as the truth might seem to you, the public is just glad that this is happening to someone else, and not them. Maybe, news is not for the public’s right to know but ultimately for its sadistic satisfaction in knowing others are going through worse situations than they are and making them feel better about their mundane routine life.



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  1. Well we share the same sentiments when it comes to news. But at least there you don’t get stuck with news that focus on fucking celebrities. I mean, our local news has half its airtime filled with showbiz gossip. And they’re not even juicy stuff, they’re just plain stupid bullshit.

    • Huh, come on, Hollywood has a very big influence on most of the countries and it’s impossible that the paparazzi in North America here won’t make such a big deal about the Hollywood celebrities. See: magazine racks, the evening news, etc. Eye-rollers for me. It’s the same thing, only with us it’s Hollywood trash.

      I don’t care if it’s even the juicy stuff. I mean, how could someone (the media) toy with someone else’s lives anyway (the celebrities)? It’s their own business. If they’re on their own bare feet while going outside, then let them. They could go outside without anything, for all I care. The media is just glorifying and glamorizing their superficial lifestyles, not condemning them.

      • Well they DID choose to work on a $1million/year salary range. They deserve the less of a privacy they get. I mean, kung hindi ganon eh wala ng celebrities na titigil sa pagtatrabaho EVERRRRR.

      • You’re just using that as a excuse. They’re still people. It’s people’s lives we’re talking about.

        You do know that’s why they get paid a lot. It’s because the media and the public seem to own them. It’s NOT a price to pay for their fame BUT the sole reason why they get paid a lot.

        So if we didn’t make such a big deal about their life outside the cinema, the TV or whatever, they wouldn’t get paid that much. Isn’t that what you wanted? Or maybe you still like the juicy stuff and don’t care if someone else’s life gets hurt in the process.

        This is what you get for watching too much MTV and all that shit :P.

      • I don’t think so. They will get paid millions no matter what.

        And that wasn’t even my point in the first place.

  2. yeah, I COULDN’T CARE LESS din. kasi practically wala ka naman mapapala kung malaman mo man kung sino ang namatay, nasagasaan, nabundol, nasunugan, o pababa ng pababa ang ekonomiya ng Pinas (kailan pa?)..nakakadepress lang..kasi sa dami ng baggages na hatid sa iyo ng isang buong araw eh nakaka-stress na, tapos manonood ka pa ng news..lalo ka lang maiirita..mas okei pang magbasa ng least ‘di lang puro news ang nandun.. :]

    • Crossword, Sudoku at komiks lang ba inaatupag mo sa broadsheets? Hehe :P.

      Broadsheets are still newspapers :P. But I guess you’re also referring to other ongoing events (sports, art, etc.) that are posted in the broadsheets. Right? XD

      Along with my own problems, I have the world’s problems to worry about too such as how it’s all going down the drain. Oh, I am such a cynic. πŸ˜›

      • yeah ganun Arts and Culture.. hehe..newey, okei lang maging cynic, as long as you “do something.” πŸ˜€

  3. You say you are not indifferent, but the mood of your writing shows that you are. Of course, you can’t do anything to the nature of Press. News is just all about cataloguing the events. You cannot put anything more to it. If you are a newsman, you cannot insert your sentiments in your article because it will defeat the whole point of making a real news. News is non-fiction, while movies are fiction. SO it’s kinda unfair to compare these two, highly indifferent genre. BUt I understand your points.

    The goal of making a movie is to entertain and to instruct. It has the capacity to move us, to purge our soul, and to make us realize that there is more in this world than our mundane undertakings. That is why it is called the highest form of art because it does not only tell but shows emotions. However, it is also through movies that we become either pessimistic or optimistic (which any news can make us). If you can talk about the finest satisfaction a movie can give, you have to realize that it can also destroy life. Sometimes a movie can go overboard. NOt only has it change the minds of people, it also move them and let the people think about themselves (which I think is dangerous). I say dangerous because the material a movie uses is twice or thrice removed from the truth. When this material go into the minds of the viewers, it is digested. What if the material used constitutes violence? Lucky are those who know the rethoric of movie making. BUt how about the masses, who know nothing about the unrealistic showcase of characters and cinematography?

    At least the news lay only the truth on one’s table while he is having coffee and has his own choice whether to read it. But when one is engrossed in movie watching, he cannot escape the spectacle, the hypnotic effect the movie has.

    News belongs to social sciences, while movies carry the flag of pure entertainment to the humanity. If you’re going to ask me, which is less harsher.. I’d pick the news.. At least, in its complete dullness, it does not change but lay only the reality. While movies distort life. Of course, people can get something epiphanic from movies.. but it is still up to them to believe in the theme or not..

    this comment deserves a single post. πŸ™‚ thanks to your thought-provoking entry. Sory for the the typos, I was carried away by my impulse. Keep writing.

    • Thanks for the effort of writing a long comment, I do appreciate it :D. I guess you got carried away. I tend to as well when I’m interested at the topic too.

      But there is what we call skepticism. Even though I might be harsh sometimes, I don’t think the masses are THAT idiotic. I think they can decide for themselves what’s real and what’s not. Unless they’re psychopaths, that is, but in most cases, they are not. I’ve seen a lot of horrifying and violent things in the movies (and I must say that I haven’t seen everything yet there is to cinema), and I don’t go doing those things to others.

      Even in the news even if they are trying to just bring the facts and be objective, they are still people. They can shape the truth however they like it. They have their own interests at mind. They can control what not to include and what to include. They can control the masses, more than cinema can. For all we know, there might be other horrors that the powerful groups of the world are currently causing to other small and powerless groups. For all we know, the newspapers that we trust so much are controlled by the most powerful corporations that hide the evil things they do in their own lairs.

      Cinema is not only supposed to entertain. It is not supposed to reinforce people’s preconceived notions about the world. It can also be used to turn the viewer’s world upside-down and completely change one’s point of view. Unfortunately, news and Hollywood just reinforce and reassure people’s ideas about everything. Nothing new, nothing revolutionary, nothing that is going to shake the earths and nothing that forces us to go explore someone else’s way of thinking and idea about this world.

      • you’ve changed your point πŸ™‚

        hahaha. that’s what i’m talking about.. whichever field of humanity you go, there’s this subtle conspiracy between the maker and the whoever-the-hell-is-supporting-the-making people.

        jesus.. your blog makes me crazy. i’ve been writing light stuff, avoiding things like this, and here I am going off the chain because of your skepticism. hahaha.

        you had me at your words, man.. that’s why i masturbate each time i visit your space.

      • I am glad to be of service. Whenever you’re feeling horny, cum right here. XD

        Bring out the heavy stuff, and I’ll be looking forward to more of your posts. πŸ˜€

      • you’re a naughty ass, baby!! yeah. be my outlet by let us go gentle into our minds.

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