Watching the uprisings of Arabia, so eloquently tagged the 'Arab Spring', I couldn't help but be sceptical about many of the sources we were receiving information from. I had already fallen out of digital love with facebook; seeing the blurred lines between advertising, product placement, surveillance and censorship of information. I started slowly removing myself as a person from the social media site. Some friends of mine had posted images and videos of atrocities of violence in Palestine, and Facebook deemed the posts unjustified. They removed them within 24 hours. What makes information credible? What information is still taboo? Who makes the decisions for us? Who is watching me all day, man???
Watching Western Media, and I include Al Jazeera English in the bunch now, I could see how this uprising was being pigeonholed as a 'bird free from its' nest' story. It almost felt like they were bird-feeding us the information saying 'Look, Arabs can free themselves! Our wars were worth it! They learned!' (of course, Arabs can't do this without being tribal at moments and groping people in the herd.) How condescendingly freedom worthy.
Now, Let me track back. I do feel many of our 'revolutions' were very justified, and it was about time the children of our parents' generation stood up for the injustices they and we have seen (1st person, 2nd generation and in 3D). The countless despots that were supported by the same systems of government that were now funding their removal. The rising death tolls, the disappeared, the kidnapped, the forgotten. The Children. Enough was enough. It was time for a change.
Media is a mofo; it will give you a hug and slap you at the same time. It will show its support, but want something back for it. There is no gift baskets at this award show. There are no rewards in the recording of a biased history. We do this for our culture, to let them know, what a human looks like. Everyone deserves the same opportunity. The assumption that our realities in the East aren't shaped by the past relationships with the West is as much a part of the problem as, let's say, Qaddafi's Jacket and Violence Fetish was. There are two sides of every coin: you can always flip change on its back. If we dig and see the complex, layered and sometimes ugly realities that have shaped modern day ways of ruling over woman and man, then we can understand reactions, events, frustrations and truly become the so-called global community we tote ourselves to be. There are no Neos in this matrix, but we can all see the 1s and Os, if we try.
Facebook and twitter came at a pivotal time in history. The chicken or the egg theory can be applied here in asking: Did twitter and facebook help revolutions grow, or did they help track people involved in uprisings? (In both the case of the Arab uprisings and the Occupy movement.) I would say both. How do you feel? Sort of like a genetically modified clone chicken egg.
Not to oversimply or underwhelm, but I'll let the rest of our conversation on Pangaea take you on the journey of the modern day media-making thought process. Who are we becoming?
I would end by saying: Never trust the source, go do your own research. There is always a hidden hand. And that hand is always shaking another ones.
I would keep one eye open like CCTV cameras. all day/ Everyday, when the Tweets Is Watchin'/media off topic/ Waiting for News To Break?/That's your next mistake...
What's your world?