Saturday, January 06, 2007


Fatal Attraction

I was thinking yesterday about a colleague's comment regarding the lack of imagination in our fellow citizens, and took a moment to consider where most of those who bother to communicate are in their intellectual development.

Many have made considerable progress in their estimate of the situation, no longer attached to institutional conventions, but still return to ineffective tactics out of what seems to them a lack of options. Others, who have thoroughly abandoned hope for our society through established venues, are able to clearly express an understanding of what needs to be done, but find the isolation of this position too lonely, and indulge instead in less than coherent attempts at creating more popular disinfotainment. Some, seeing no social benefit for them personally of pursuing thoughtful discussion, even online, have opted for melancholia.

In this commentary on the role of media in public mental health associated with collective trauma, my colleague Paul de Armond noted that repeated exposure to disturbing incidents or news has severe psychological consequences. Applying this phenomenon to weblog communication, I think that the accumulated frustrations and sense of helplessness generated in part through the belaboring of our horrible state of affairs and absence of social leadership, has induced a collective state of disabling depression.

The only answer I have for people is to become involved in their communities where they can talk with and work with others. They don't have to take on criminal networks like Paul and I have, but they do need to experience success in meeting some social need.

Unfortunately, the present weblog focus on national power-wielders exerts a fatal attraction.


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