Have you noticed that all (or at least most) of
the entertainment, news and journalism we are
exposed to seems to be sensational or extreme in
some way or another?
Of course you have.
Its impossible to avoid extremist views in public
these days. Everywhere you go you are inundated
with dramatic attempts to get your attention. Fear,
profit, love and social popularity are just a few of the
tactics used to persuade you to adopt a certain
opinion on anything from toothpaste to government.
Everything seems to be based on the worst or best
with nothing in between. When an advertiser says
they make the best product, we take it in stride as
their opinion.We know theyll say the best about
their product, and the worst about the competition.
All in all, we are able to sift through the sales pitch
and just buy it if we need it. There are no life or
death matters involved here, so we let alot of things
This is not so harmless when larger issues are
at stake. Extremists are big news, and anything that
happens of an extreme nature is a big story. Well, we
can all agree that disasters and crime are sufficiently
important to cover, as well as social matters like
AIDS, abortion, drugs, gun control and welfare.
These are extreme SITUATIONS. They all warrant a
good solid exposure to the public. This is the only way
the people can learn to deal with the problems.
Extremism, though is a double-edged sword.
The media routinely practices extremism by not
covering events or even individual citizens unless
they are attached to a larger issue (usually one of the
those mentioned above). A local entertainer or small
business owner that has relevance to a current news
item or subject is more likely to be written up
than many others who may be more prolific in their
fields. As a result, including newsworthy side issues
has become a marketing strategy, skewing the
publics view of business, social trends and the arts.
Manipulating the media is a prime objective of many
organizations of every kind and size. This is not what
freedom of the press is all about.
The manipulation of government and public
opinion is far more dangerous using the press.
Extreme views get attention. Extreme acts create
So we have, for example; (Choose one only!!!???)
- Republicans vs. Democrat
- Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice
- NRA vs. gun control advocates
Smokers vs. nonsmokers. Right to life vs. right
to die. Welfare and domestic vs. military and foriegn
aid spending. All these important issues are
presented to us in the most extreme instances, and
the subsequent law that is written will almost always
reflect that extreme (and usually individual)
Compromise is not an option, they would have us
believe. Then, when the inevitable compromise is
reached, everyone looks quite honorable and
accomodating. Too often the resolution is based on
ceding to extremes from either side, rather than a
true acceptance of the middle ground.
Some obvious points are overlooked in many
cases, such as;
-The right to bear arms is one thing. Hundred
round per minute assault weapons are another. Do
we trample our rights by eliminating dangerous
aspects of an industry or product? We can encourage
the weapons industry to design more effective and
less destructive weapons for self defense. Once a
product like the Uzi is adopted by bad guys, everyone
else is in big trouble! The victim (us) clearly needs an
advantage- a better weapon. One that wont
accidentally kill the kids, yet will ensure protection
and disabling of an assailant.
- Abortion is medically extreme idea, anyway.
Make sure everyone knows that!!!! Its a shock to a
womans sytem, and its not to be taken lightly!!! ( If
your faith does not already preclude it.) Extreme
cases like rape or illness should be dealt with
individually, with respect for the victim as the focus.
Policy cannot be legislated through specific cases.
The LAW MUST REPRESENT EVERYONE.
-Making a substance such as alcohol or
tobacco easier to ingest through products such as
filtered, processed cigarettes and light beer makes it
easier to become addicted. Minimizing the effects (as
with cigarettes) makes it a daily routine rather than
a special event. This guarantees addiction in most
All the important objective truths are kept
hidden in a back pocket until needed to defeat the
opponent. Only the truths that help one side or the
other are made public and they are easily dramatized
to gain our sympathy. We can fight back. We can
make our lawmakers and industries do what we
want them to. We can tell our Congress to get down
here and explain things. We can demand that laws be
written and published in plain language before they
are passed. When we meet people in the arts or
media, we can tell them what we like or want to see
and hear, or not see and hear, instead of asking how
to get into the business or how much money they
make. We can avoid buying products that are
irresponsible or advertise through offensive means.
We can watch the shows that our kids are exposed to
WITH THEM, and explain and comment on them,
encouraging shows that are good and supplying a
constant discussion of WHY theyre good or bad.
We dont have to put up with extremism. The
capitalist system is based on our needs and desires,
not industrys desire to furnish profitable products.
Government, likewise, is based on our needs and
problems. We are the reason both entities exist. We
are their foundation for business and their only
source of revenues or power. That means that we are
in control, whether we know it or not, and we can
refuse to put up with extremism aimed at scaring us
or changing our opinions. We dont have to accept
that some corporation will get all the breaks they
want at our expense just because we dont think we
can stop them.
We can stand firmly in the middle and say If
you want our money and support, come here and see
what we need first!