Hollywood in the Media and Wider Thoughts

“But such slick, award-winning cinema isn’t about nuance, it’s just self-serving moral ambiguity – and in this sense it is a fitting cultural reflection of actual US policy in the Middle East.”

Today’s Guardian article on the recent main American movies and television shows depicting the Middle East, or Middle Eastern issues, to a Western audience, including the films Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and the TV series Homeland.

It is important to notice the variations in the publications regarding the US, and the West’s, perceptions and reporting’s of the Middle East as a whole.  Whilst I am not comfortable accepting a certain viewpoint (who can be in this over-saturated information world?), I think it is wise to try to read widely and understand the effect and implications that can happen from misunderstanding our fellow human beings.

I am not a big fan of the politically correct brigade, but I also realise change needs to happen, in certain respects.  The recent US election was a dismal failure, as the dichotomy of the Republican and Democrat thrashed it out, mostly to the horror of the world if the republicans had won.  Even so the US continues its unlimited drone attacks , and a nuanced approach to world wide politics and governmental understandings remain a distant dream.

This is a world issue which worries me, as both a citizen of a Western country, and as a citizen of the world.

However real change is happening, no matter how it is reported throughout the world’s media.  People are standing strong, and together, to fight injustice throughout the world, regardless of faith or governmental decrees.  One only has to look to India to the recent outpouring of protests due to the fatal rape of a promising medical student, to the on-going upheaval’s of the Arabic Spring and the birth of democratic nations, to the world wide community of Avaaz who are standing together for good of global ideals, to understand that people on an national and international scale are not happy.

We have to ask ourselves, and each other, what is the sort of world that we want to live in, want our children to live, and want our descendants to live in.  Do we let the fanatical minorities of religion win?  Do we remain brainwashed by the mass media into hating people and countries far away?  Do we remain ignorant of the effect that we have on our beautiful planet?

There are no easy answers.  There are no shortcuts.

This is the way that life has always been, and likely, always will be.

But it takes courage to stand up for your ideals, whatever they are.  And it is in this way that we can remain true to ourselves, and to make the individual heard.

Do we sit silent?  Or do we raise our voices?

Only you yourself can decide, and answer, that.

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Disgust

A lot of the time I am proud of the country that I was born in, but sometimes it frankly disgusts me.  No doubt you too have this feeling sometimes about your own countries.  For me, the following three links highlight something that is fundamentally wrong with the governing forces in my country, and actually make me worry for the future.

Please make the people responsible for the economic crisis pay, if they can be found to be held accountable.  Don’t force short sighted plans and cuts onto my beautiful country, and don’t target the young, disabled, or poor, as the ruling classes so often and ruthlessly do.

I am acutely aware of the broad range of crises in other countries, and that in context, my worries are largely superficial.  I do believe that in the next decade or so we will face possible drastic changes in the world, certainly in Europe and the Middle East, that will continue to impact the shape and structure of societies, and of countries, for a long time to come.  However, we can, as individual citizens of various countries, air our own thoughts and help bring our protests and views to the top of the food chain.  This year has seen radical change, and the effect of people power throughout the globe.

A few sites of interest are the following-

  • Avaaz are a worldwide community of activists that help to bring people-powered politics with petitions and various support projects around the world.
  • Wikileaks is a whistling blowing website and not-for-profit media organisation that deals with both companies and governments across the world.