I saw this bar graph on social media this morning and found it very telling. It explains a lot. The chart shows Democrats and Republicans differing wildly in their perceptions of whether the Trump administration is “uniting” or “dividing” the nation. How can that be? They’re looking at the same phenomenon.
So the irony is, at the very time I’m discovering how “American” my pedigree is, I find myself far, far away from the contemporary American poster boy with similar roots. I’m about the roots themselves, and maintain that I remain truer to those roots than the millions of angry, red-faced people who go around waving flags and demanding conformity to their values. I am forever seeking out the old, the fecund and the folkish.
…In recent months I’ve felt like I was really beginning to understand the ideological underpinnings of the American folk movement of the mid-twentieth century for the first time, and WHY there was such an uproar and feelings of betrayal when Dylan went electric and “commercial”. I’ve always had misgivings about corporate control of popular culture, especially mainstream Hollywood films since the 1980s (for their violence, materialism, and encouragement of conformism). And also the video experience, which happens alone, dispassionately, less empathetically. The danger becomes more apparent when you see corporate forces so closely allied with government power as they now are.
In the age of corporate media, the message is disseminated from the top down. It is controlled and it is designed to condition spectators to conform.