Sunday, December 20, 2009
Not Unlike Hollywood
Michael Medved,- American radio program host, conservative political commentator, film critic and author, in his December 1995 Reader’s Digest article “Hollywood’s 3 Big Lies” commented on how the US entertainment industry justify making offensive movies and TV shows. To know more how the man criticize Hollywood, you may click here. But allow me to juxtapose some of Medved’s insights to the on-going trash talks between the two local political factions in Occidental Mindoro over their respective radio stations.
Let us focus on the authors so- called Hollywood Lie No. 3 : “We give the public what it wants. If people don’t like it, they just can always turn it off!” Election time is just around the corner and the on-air mudslinging become more and more intense each day. Do the voters, especially the youth, really want or have a craving for excessive and even senseless political propaganda by “barkers” whose motive is to gain political mileage? I do not think so. The tertiary students of Occidental Mindoro State College or OMSC who invited me as a resource speaker for the topic, “Enhancing Right to Suffrage for Responsible and Effective Voting” last November 27, 2009 headed by Ms. Aleta G. Ramos,- adviser of the Supreme Student Government of Labangan Campus, told me that they are so tired of such free-for-all and subjective statements . Oh, those heartless and childish talks. The students have noted that the commentators even display their below- the- belt comments to defeat their rivals instead of their ability to inspire their listeners. We are like blood-thirsty spectators in a car race who are not interested on who will turn out to be the winner but to enjoy every crash and wreckage!
Again, here’s Michael Medved for you : “The last part of the lie, which says, “If you don’t like it, just shut it off,” has the same logic as the statement, “If you do not like smog, stop breathing.” Politics and politicians are everywhere like the air we breathe. Without exaggeration I am asking : "Is this verbal war over the air can be considered as an environmental issue?"
In one of the house I chanced to visit, I heard a little boy hurled this insult to his elder brother, “Ikaw nga, garapata na, extortionist pa!” They are fighting over a toy given to one of the boys as Christmas present from his godfather. The two kids probably do not listen to public affairs program but they still getting the message perhaps from parents themselves, teachers or other adults from their village even unwillingly or accidentally. The truth is, you cannot elude neither escape,- regardless of your age, sex, creed or religious belief, etc, the power of mass media,- specifically radio. Any message from radio personalities or mass media practitioners have impact or ripple effect in our lives as citizens and as human beings.
Now tell me, will turning off our transistor radio or changing its tuner change this reality which is an assault to our humanity and decency? When will our political and public affairs program be meaningful, rich and fundamentally decent? The answer lies in our hands.
In Mary’y visit to Elizabeth, the former offered her selfless presence,- without any self-serving motives or ulterior political agenda, but to truly care beyond words. To give witness beyond mere appearances, beyond mere presentation of pseudo-achievements in public service. This is one of the many messages of the Third Sunday of Advent. Pope Paul VI said it well : “The modern world is sated with words; it no longer listen to teachers. It only listen to witness; only true witness, can speak to people in our time.” But let me add : “And not the political-politician propagandists and commentators among us who are laying their lives on the line serving only their earthly taskmasters and not the Immanuel.”
Every radio personality is expected to be a true witness accompanying Mary on the roadways of Galilee carrying her Son to the world…
(Photo : http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/toppicturegallery/ig/Hollywood-Sign/From-Gower-Gulch.htm)