Just an oddity I’ve noticed over the years regarding mass media. In preface let me say I only read and write in good ol’ American English. I read the news practically every day about happenings around the world. News articles are often accompanied by captioned pictures that depict some sort of turmoil or protest taking place somewhere on the other side of the world. Today it was Rio but it could be Pakistan or anywhere else for that matter. When mass protests occur the protesters often carry flags, signs and banners. It doesn’t matter what the sign says (Death to America!) or whatever; the oddity I’ve noticed is that, no matter where the protest takes place or what language those people speak day to day the signs are always in English. English? Hmm?

It’s nice they think so highly of us that they take the trouble to paint signs specifically for our benefit in our native tongue. In Rio the language is Portuguese but the signs are all in English? Nothing in their own native tongue? Again, Hmm? Most people around the world know little to nothing about the United States and yet have enough brains to not blame us for their own politically backed-up sewers.

Call me paranoid (just don’t call me late for supper) but, granted, a protest is an organized event to begin with and is always filtered by the media. In this case this AFP story must have passed first from the Portuguese, into French and finally translated into English. For example, if the protest signs were written in Arabic script the photo wouldn’t make any sense to those unfamiliar with it. A great deal of unrecognized and unacknowledged thought went into the story before it was shoved under your collective noses. It is not so much that the protesters are in your face but the media itself. After all, the media decides which stories to cover, which to ignore, what pictures to use, which to ignore, and to whom it is ultimately distributed. The whole world is sizzling and popping with happenings that are never, ever reported.

What ever happened to the Hippies? You know, the peaceniks, the doves, the war-protesters?

I’ve seen neither hide nor hair of them in the mass media for a very, very long time.

As the ultimate news consumer a little skepticism is called for on your part. Signs in English? Hmm?


About The Twentieth Man

Age 67
This entry was posted in Expository Writing, Mass Media, Observations, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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