Opening Arguments

Aug 21 2010 Published by under thoughtarrhea

I’m not a professional philosopher. I’m just a schmuck from Queens who has a lot to say.

I present thoughtarrhea, yet one more entry into the already over-saturated medium of blogs. I guess I’m trying to accomplish the usual – entertain, provoke, philosophize – and still manage to hold down my day job.

Expect me to be all over the place with my posts, just as my brain is during conversation. Most posts will consist of my political opinions – my take on current events and how the mainstream media reports them. In time, I hope to grow this into a multifaceted list of subjects reflecting my ever-diversifying interests. I plan to range the gamut from politics, literature, and sports, to everything in-between. Mainly social commentary and political philosophy, with a dash of cultural rumination, but overall I plan to share anything I happen to think about.

Hence thoughtarrhea as the name of this blog – because I can’t control the crap that comes out of my mind.

Really, I’m just trying to hone my writing chops. Above all, I’m writing for myself – writing what I think, writing what I wish the mainstream corporate-controlled media wrote for me. At the same time, I hope to bring a few people along for the ride and maybe cause some of them to stop and question what they’re being told.

It is also possible that no one on earth will ever read this. So please take the time to comment while you visit. After all, conversation is what the blogosphere is all about – getting your voice out there, and then receiving acknowledgment, praise, or the wrath of the mob.

Frankenstein mob

I will share links to some of the tastier nuggets I find on the Web – sites I find interesting, whether for entertainment or informational purposes – as well as links to news about current events. I’ll offer original commentary on those news items, with the aim of reading between the lines of constant bullshit the mainstream media rams down our throats.

Expect many sacred cows to be slaughtered during the making of this blog. Perhaps you will be shocked and awed – maybe even offended – at some point. I hope at least that you are provoked into thinking critically and independently, if nothing else, while visiting my blog.

The older I get, the further my views drift from the beaten path. I’m at the point now where it is instinctive to question the media. I don’t actively seek to shun the mainstream media. Actually, they’ve driven me to alternative media through their continued failure to appeal to my intellect. As far as I’m concerned, anything coming from traditional media outlets should be taken with a grain of salt, and I feel compelled to throw that salt out there for you. Pushed to the fringes in my search for intellectual satisfaction, I hope to take you there with me.

Expect a radically different point-of-view well outside the mainstream, and intelligent, lucid commentary from a free-thinking working-class guy, instead of the rehearsed malarkey cleared by Standards and Practices, designed to keep the masses consuming and advertisers happy.

That’s Real Change™ you can count on.

TV family

Ordinary people have sought to use the Web to give themselves a voice since its inception. From the early days when the Web was dominated by personal homepages, we’ve now evolved to the current world of blogging software that designs, publishes and does all the dirty work for you, and widely available hosting and Internet access. The bar for entry into cyberspace is lower now than it’s ever been, with minimal technical knowledge, design proficiency or financial investment required. The development and growth of the Web has brought us to a point where technology can give the common man a voice, if he chooses to use it. This blog is my choice to give myself a voice – no matter how low of a whisper it may be among all the noise currently blasting through cyberspace.

There are fantastic blogs of all stripes at every corner of the Web. Many common, ordinary people now have a voice, or even a following in some cases. And no, I don’t believe every blog needs to consist of society-shattering subversive thought. I think the proliferation of blogs and websites devoted to niche interest – such as cooking, crafts, or field hockey, to name only a few examples – is an excellent use of the Web as these sites provide ordinary people with information traditional media omits, whether by intention or ignorance. Anything that breaks people of their dependence on information from corporate-controlled media and turns them to information provided by individuals is a step in the right direction. Here we see the beginning of ordinary people taking action to fill the voids left by the mainstream media, and in the cases of blogs that develop and grow followings, replacing traditional media as a trusted source of information. The Web, and the blogosphere in particular, have changed the way ordinary people receive their information and how they view traditional media. This is a great step forward when you consider it wasn’t too long ago that all information came from a select few sources, all of them controlled by massive corporations. Now, it’s possible for an individual to have even footing with a corporation when competing for people’s attention.

However, corporate-controlled media still dominates the dissemination of information. The corporate-controlled media engage in controlled releases of information with the goal of limiting the masses to certain sanctioned views of society they deem safe and acceptable, and keeping all discourse chained within the framework they create. Though the Web has given rise to independent voices, we still have a long way to go before the majority of people are thinking outside the box the media has built for them. The traditional media have taken notice of the blogosphere, and now often adopts the styles and techniques found in blogs in order to compete for viewers, readers, listeners, or whatever the case may be. They have a real fear that one day people actually might not listen to them anymore, regardless of how strong their grip on information seems to be at the moment. (See The Fall of the Newspapers for reference)

So while the control of information hasn’t completely shifted yet – that’s still a work in progress – we are definitely heading in the right direction. Same as happened in the decades following Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, a couple of decades into the Internet Era and the Common Man is just beginning to use this technology to empower himself with a literate voice, though we are far from achieving that lofty goal. The power structures that have dominated society since the Industrial Revolution still exist, and are now exerting every effort to ensure the forward march of technology continues and strengthens their dominance, rather than giving voice to those who would oppose such dominance. Working people have been disenfranchised historically, and the corporate-controlled media hope to co-opt the current proliferation of technology to continue stifling their voices. Despite all the voices empowered by the Web, the world has a long way to go before we can consider ourselves free of the corporate monopoly on information which helps maintain the class system.

The Web and the blogosphere are important keys to ending that monopoly. Not that I think I’m going to (or can) change the world all by my lonesome. I know all-too-well the impossibility of such a task. But I do hope to do my microscopically small part, even if I end up just another barely audible voice drowned out amidst the din of the Web.

In the end I’m just a guy who has some thoughts he’d like to share.

Please note that comments are welcomed and encouraged. After all, conversation is what this medium is all about, right? Getting your voice out there, and then receiving acknowledgment, praise, or the wrath of the mob.

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