Why Are Misunderstandings about Arabia so casual?

In an article about Diane Arbus, a photographer of marginal persons who died in 1971 at her own hand, Louis A. Sass says that Jean Baudrillard, a French sociologist, describes the post-modern mind “as a new form of schizophrenia:  the person having lost all sources of passion or direction, or of personal individuality, and all motivation for introspection, comes to be little more than a “switching center for all the networks of influence,”” (1).  Although he does not say this, for that to happen the individual would have to become an active agency in switching off interjections from conscience or personal curiosity, working instead to master the juggling act of accommodating positions from their parameter comfortable to their power center.  In another note, a group of medical sociologists in Germany wrote about grueling working conditions and  health decline in positions available to freelance media workers.  They describe a society where “the steady growth of non-standard work contracts, increasing instability and flexibility and rapid technological change may have far-reaching effects on health and well-being.”  Specifically, “people on fixed-term contracts, contingent and temporary work and the self-employed may suffer from the consequences of increased flexibility and decentralization (Bussing & Glasser, 1998; Thorell 1996).  The media industry belongs to the sectors that are most intensely hit by these developments.”  (2)

 

Together these observations depict a post-modern world in which the mind is trained to be versatile at accommodation, swept into circumstances that require intensely rigorous, competitive self-definition or discovery of new ways to exploit a power center.  The saving grace in such an arrangement is a public unwilling, unable and disinterested in seeing the labors of influential media, both mainstream and independent, from exercising practical deviation from their standard scripts, pitches and entries.  What were once called “ink devils” presumably on the prowl for the truth, are now understood as navigators of acceptability and useful scandal.  The pace of technological change in other words, and what was once called “future shock” still has to cater to a consumer base that graciously accepts what is offered, provided it plays to their grasp.  Readers are not immune to this upheaval.  Media burnout, that is to say, has an ally in a society that doesn’t really understand what is going on and therefore cannot identify when what they are told is wrong, any more than those charged with explaining can find time to research, or the autonomy needed to bring comprehension to the table.  All concerned would certainly deny this and find it insulting, even though it is in the interests of everyone concerned to admit that freelance reporting, where independence of judgment is at stake, is also besieged  by hardship that makes the labor involved very forbidding.

 

While the most important industry for alternative views and forum to challenge mainstream opinions, independent journalism is also the least likely place for writers to develop the powerful research skills needed to vie publicly with established journals playing misleading tunes or successfully show when a powerful voice is being unreasonable, or lying.  Freelance writers, once also known as stringers, are caged by extremely difficult circumstances and subject to greater access by agencies hostile to freedom of the press, including their rivals or overlords in mainstream media.  This creates a particularly serious problem when it comes to affairs in Arabia, towards which there is  a lot of ignorance, bigotry, hysteria and a past of misleading information.  It is my goal in this note to help you understand what you are being denied an opportunity to by available media.

 

The art of Diane Arbus concerns subjects of deformity, mongoloids, individuals with mental illness and Downs Syndrome.  As she became enthralled with these images her mental health deteriorated leading to suicide, leading some critics to suspect she began identifying with her subject matter and internalized stigma.  As we are inundated with false ideas about the cataclysm in Arabia that has lurched from Cold War stalemate and  low-intensity conflict, into mass  exodus, starvation,  rivers of blood and threats of a  dirty bomb in a climate of shocking terrorism, we begin to identify ourselves within the  mess, trying to navigate the post-modern morass while ourselves on the receiving end of powerful media misrepresentation and alternative media burnout.  This swirl of mongoloid opinions affects our self-esteem, leading to apathy, coldness and cynicism.

 

The situation is even worse in Arabia, who know next to nothing about the true character of our people in the United States.  This paper cannot do anything but open the smallest door into understanding how the absence of viable independent media in Arabia affects the judgment of those in catastrophic straits, which is not my goal.  We do, however, have a legal obligation to help them, and towards this ends, I will present a sketch of what has happened and what tools are available to begin civil remedies.  Our legal structure is central to this mission, but it cannot be engaged successfully without the necessary background, and this project may not always be overly welcome among those who have brought us to this pass of our own making.

 

It is easier to discuss danger than paradox. For example, America is at war in the Middle East and been targeted with shocking attacks of terrorism. There is a danger of a dirty bomb against one of our cities, or devastating attack on one of our exposed and vulnerable nuclear plants, whether by foreign or domestic terrorist like Timothy McVeigh. Events in Fukushima, Japan have spelled out that natural calamity alone could result in catastrophe, just as Chernobyl gave witness to the pulverizing misfortune of human error. Large scale cataclysm, short of being fatal to the human species, probably would not conquer The United States of America. There is no terrorist syndicate or nation with sufficient manpower and artillery to both bomb and conquer America. Though daunting, the potential for disaster cannot be the guiding light for our attempts to maintain civilization and live by objective legal standards. It’s not being excessively cheerful to say that we must maintain a sense of enthusiasm for the procedures of education and dreams of Our Commonwealth in light of adversity and fear.      Paradox is at the root of arbitration concerning the fate of democracy in a world where there are Islamic nations. While it is possible to imagine a post-Fundamentalist world where legal institutions are in place everywhere that protect the dignity and human right of all individuals to live by their own private beliefs concerning religion and skepticism, that is not yet the case internationally. Further, the day of reconciliation may be far away. The article I am embarked on is motivated by a feeling at my school that research into the situation that has developed between America and Arabia, particularly the catastrophe in Syria, and appeal for asylum by refugees in the context of a country divided by controversy regarding illegal immigration, is called for and timely. It is too easy to forget, in light of public opinion barrages caused by dizzying news reports of sudden, unexpected violence in crowded public areas, that politics are not just an acid test of rival pressure groups proclaiming loud public opinions, but a problem of legal review and law enforcement. Accordingly, a sociological approach to understanding U.S.-Islamic relations in light of current affairs has to be comprehensive enough to explain confusion and misperception concerning jurisdiction and International Law. It is a matter of peace keeping and criminology. War, unfortunately, can be easier or at least simplifies, questions involving intelligence gathering necessary for capable diplomacy. Attacking Islamic society simply because of differences in our legal systems is a sinister gyration that oversteps reasonable exercise of American power. Hatred for Sharia Law and Islam is powerful enough, however, that I begin with this dreadful mindset.       Nothing is more well-known concerning academic disapproval of Islamic Law than its enforced oppression of women and punishment of atheism. This tendency in Arabia seems silly and backwards to all but the most determined. This paper will explore this problem, but first look into the mirror of our own heritage to comprehend the paradoxical situation and perhaps see how the unlooked for and seemingly unlikely prospect of Islamic cooperation can help us prevent self-regard that too readily gives rise to narcissism.

 

Next Topic:  Cotton Mather, aspirant to the Presidency of Harvard (his father was President of Harvard)

 

Epigram:

Acknowledging that oppression still exists among US subcultures        

                       Allows the coping skills developed by Iranian women over the ages

                      To be appreciated, emulated and admired for the cultural treasures

                      They are.

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