Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Exercise Of Imagination


“The exercise of imagination is dangerous to those who profit from the way things are because it has the power to show that the way things are is not permanent, not universal, not necessary.”

—Ursula K. LeGuin

The Exercise of Imagination

by C.A. Matthews

My husband has a new hobby. Every evening he turns on the local newscast to view the weather forecast so we know how much watering our garden will need the next day. Lately he waits until the national newscast comes on. This is when his cathartic yelling at the screen begins.

“What the…? It’s not a war, asshole. The children of Gaza are being murdered. It’s a goddamn genocide. Say the word, you stupid bastard!”

Mercifully, the six o’clock newscast runs only about sixteen minutes or else he’d be permanently hoarse. I timed the commercials one night, and discovered the half hour is made up of mostly commercials for Big Pharma. That gives you some idea who their target audience is—older Americans with deep pockets who love popping pills.

National newscasts really don’t provide news as much as they give out headlines. Their headlines tend to be predictable propaganda soundbites courtesy of the Ministry of Truth or the government propaganda machine. The news readers with their Hollywood-movie-star looks aren’t trying to impart factual information as much as they’re trying to persuade and provoke emotions, such as hatred and animosity toward those whom the oligarchy wants us to hate. They want us to despise and fear others so much that we’d be willing to go to war with them and die—or at least we’re okay with our children or grandchildren dying for the cause.

After watching several national newscasts, the emotional manipulation became bleedin’ obvious (as my British husband says). Do the regular consumers of mainstream (legacy) media realize they’re being manipulated to believe and feel a certain way in the first place? (See last week’s post about who does the manipulating and why.) What do they really get out of it? Do they actually enjoy being lied to? Do the lies reinforce their deep-seated prejudices and feed their wildest fears, making them fat and content in their hatred? Is warmongering propaganda a source of entertainment for them?


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  1. I watched mainstream news one evening and they actually dared mention the words 'climate change' in a minor segment later in the program. This after the first ten minutes was spent covering the horrendous heatwave conditions affecting much of the US continent. If mainstream media was at all unbiased they should be screaming about the climate catastrophe on all channels, but no. Denial, denial, denial...

    1. You can't expect the mainstream media to call out Big Oil and the Military-Industrial Complex for their polluting activities. Those industries pay their bills! More evidence of how we're living in a corporatocracy.


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