Fantastical Respite From the Unexamined Life
By Veronica Martin
The New Yorker
Readers, writers, academics, bloggers, the intellectually inclined, journalists, media professionals—they are invested in communication and awake to current changes in how people seek information.
My main point in this opinion piece is to show how, by ascribing importance and devoting personal consciousness to the daily rituals common to all humans, a more inclusive community of increased awareness and understanding might be developed.
By tying this idea into the current state of mass media in the U.S.—which mediates Americans’ understanding of local, national and international events—I argue that the media is failing, along with citizen participation and understanding in political events, in part because of an entertainment business model: the authority-disorder bias defined by Bennett.
The subject and discussion is universal; I try to make this clear by showing the accessibility of the blogging medium and its dialogue-inducing potential. Furthermore, the actions of the American public as a whole have fueled the popularity of online communities as well as the dwindling interest in traditional print media.
By shifting to a more philosophical tone with Ophir and Wallace, I try to further this point about the sameness of humans and the possibility of finding common places to converse and dwell.
Finally, I establish my ethos as a writer by citing first hand experience with one such failing media outlet: the Seattle P-I.
Bennett, Lance W. “News: The Politics of Illusion.” Pearson Education, New York: 2009.
Max, D.T. “The Unfinished,” The New Yorker, March 9, 2009. [http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/09/090309fa_fact_max?currentPage=1]
Ophir, Ella. “Modernist Fiction and ‘the accumulation of unrecorded life.’” Modernist Cultures, Vol.2, No.1, Summer 2006.