The only good get-out of politics gotta be by saying goodbye when the going is good, or in glorious death. Democracy involves the freedom to exercise the right to change a leader – and ideally no elected leader should be immune.
There is a paper in Germany called “Bild”, not the best for depth through all lenses I’m told, but it claims, according to its slogan at least to “build opinions” or it invites you to “build yours” or to “do Bild to your opinion” . Whatever the case it seems to enjoy its place, and works for many in different ways. The BBC similarly builds opinions, as do pretty much any of the larger media bodies. I must say that while BBC moderators seem a bit heavy handed with the mic at times, the organisation on a whole still appears to be as positively influential as it is globally represented, diverse, well researched, grounded and inclusive. Interestingly, both approaches have integrated the use of new web-tools well. This is an unfair comparison, if it were it’d be between Axel Springer and BBC – apples and oranges I suppose.
As are politicians blamed for everything, the media is oft blamed for not recognising their “greater role” in the democratic process, tending to be too heavily guided by the maxim “if it bleeds it reads”. Sad really – but what to do in the age of 140 characters, keywords, LOLs, short attention spans, short term memories, short term plans, smileys, and overuse of “!”. While my greater self still has difficulty identifying anything virtuous about pushing story sensation for ratings, one might ask the questions – Don’t we all do that at some point? Where does the media start and end, who does it serve, and what of the notion of user generated content, how far does that idea extend; in this context don’t we get what we ask for – a reflection of what we as whichever society create ourselves, – a reflection? The bleeding reflection is me.
There was a time when I was of the impression that – “may you live in interesting times” was a token of well wishes, spoken to friend in good spirits; I later read or heard somewhere however that it’s actually meant to be curse. Interesting times indeed. Another haunting of late is the notion that with various web-tools in easy reach and the right savvy, I sense that it’s relatively easy to locate small scattered ripples of opinion and whip them up quickly into the shape of a massive tsunami of herded – very disturbing. If enough people believe that the tsunami is not wet who am I to deny?
I will always love and respect Obama, because of what he represents, and the poignancy of the still unfolding story of his challenges will always be loaded with meaning. Hopefully the death of the flower that The Presidency represents, gives rise to much fruit and many good seeds.
Anyway enough of that – he plays the game too – yes he can – that’s the idea right? But how the hell is he gonna ‘regulate’ the practice of ‘paying for prominence’ online? (Obama endorsed the ‘strongest possible rules’ to protect net neutrality – Guardian) It’s the same game in most every arena not just online – I could be wrong but the recent utterances do seem aimed at a less informed or more distracted populace, but then again who cares, every vote within a democratic ideal is no less ideal than mine.