Sun. Jun 26th, 2022

Herd About It?

by Ana Grarian

A few years ago I started asking why the government wanted us all to move to the city? All the TV shows are about folks living in big cities or the suburbs surrounding them. Kids and young people apparently all hate the country life and want to live in Manhattan or L.A. Family life is supposedly boring at best and unbearable most of the time. Have you noticed how many movies, books, TV shows are about avoiding or wanting to avoid the family on the holidays or vacation? Why is that?

Because people are easier to manage when they are herded into large groups. Does that sound odd to you? Doesn’t that cause chaos and upset? Aren’t crowds dangerous? Yes in some ways they are. But herded into disparate groups and continually stirred so that strong cohesive groups such as communities and families are difficult to form, keeps a people ill at ease. Give them fake news programs to keep them fearful and add in TV shows and Facebook to distract them, and you have a populace that goes to the slaughter willingly.

Think about movies you’ve seen about cattle being driven across the prairie or sheep being herded into pens. The trick is to keep them moving. Don’t rile them to the point that they stampede. Don’t make them so fearful they forget to eat or drink. Just keep them moving so they will go where you want them to and won’t form a group that will turn around a face you off or go back home.

Put little fabrications (lies) out there that make people believe you have their best interests at heart or that they will profit somehow. This is like trying to get a horse or a few pigs back into a pen. You go out with a bucket with a little grain in the bottom or maybe even just a few stones to make it sound like something inviting. Keep just enough ahead of them so they don’t figure out the pail is empty, and they will follow you back into captivity.

Of course some folks have to stay behind to do the dirty work of production for industries that are taking some natural resources for profit, while destroying other resources we will need long term. Ideally these will be immigrant populations that will be happy for low paying, benefit lacking jobs, and easily cowed by threats from immigration officials – even if they are legal immigrants. If not that then the “statisticly insignificant” rural population. Keep this population poor and struggling to hold together the fabric of their communitites.

Is there a reason that communities of faith feel under attack? Why does most media portray religious people as stupid or out of date or superstitious? Because faith communities have in the past been well springs of action to make change – think Martin Luther King.

I’m working with a group fighting gas companies who want to extract natural gas from shale formations. The leases may bring financial relief to rural landowners if they were able and had the foresight to negotiate good leases. The public awareness of the problems inherent in this process lag the leases by about 10 years. Media coverage of the problems caused by this type of drilling out west is almost non-existent (though we ALL heard about Brittany’s panties). Knowledge of the process by local lawyers was negligible at the time we were being pressured to sign up.

Our politicians are often still pressing this as a good thing for our economy (especially if the Gas Co’s contribute to their campaigns). The best success so far is to get people fired up about drinking water. Drilling in the NYC watershed is now questionable because of the millions of people who depend on those reservoirs. I have even heard concerns around the watershed for cities like Syracuse. Wait a minute! In rural NYS w have wells. Our small municipalities have wells. They are drilling in OUR WATERSHED! My drinking water is as important as your drinking water. The air I breathe is as important as yours. The crops and livestock you and I eat will be grown (if that’s still possible) on this land with this water. What happens here is important to all of us.

Sometimes I feel like a Who from the Horton story. We just need everyone in Whoville to yell at once.

Just one more voice to make us heard through the fog.

By AFarmer

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RS Janes
12 years ago

Another good one, Ana. To pick up on your theme in a slightly different way, I heard that such classic TV shows as “The Honeymooners” and “Life of Riley” would never be produced these days. Why? Because yuppie TV execs think Americans aren’t interested in anything a blue-collar family does, even if it’s funny. Generally speaking, the media portray blue-collar workers as lazy slobs and babbling morons, or union guys sleeping on the job, just as farmers are always shown as clueless yokels.

I’m also reminded of the story of the ‘man on the street’ interviewer asking passersby for their opinions on the war in Iraq. One guy, an electrician and Vietnam vet, gave a very good, reasoned opinion on why he was against the war, as did a few other working folks. But the one ‘working person’ that made it on the newscast was a ditzy woman with a giant beehive who said she was a beautician and didn’t know what the hell she was talking about, a Jaywalking All-Stars type. She was offered up as typical of blue-collar workers who were against the war, which she decidedly wasn’t.

For at least 30 years there has been a media bias against poor and working people as well as farmers, coinciding with Reagan’s war on unions and the elevation of corporatism uber alles and, no, I don’t think it’s an accident.

RS Janes
12 years ago

True, and it’s this horrible media attitude that anyone without a high-powered white-collar job, preferably in sports, show business, law or medicine, doesn’t have an interesting life or anything intelligent to say. In my experience, once you get past the small talk, everyone has had an interesting life and very few are so dumb they have absolutely nothing intelligent to say. It a sign of what hacks are the writers and producers of most TV shows and films that they can’t tap into that. (And, BTW, reality TV shows don’t count — they are anything but ‘real.’)

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