But a similar question awaits those who seek to heal the culture of the United States. For a lot of money, time and effort has gone into poisoning the culture of our nation. Contrary to the propaganda many of us learned in grade school, the culture of the United States was never very virtuous. But it seemed that during the late 1960's and 1970's, this country was stumbling toward the first grudging acknowledgement that all humans are created equal and ought to be treated as equal, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, country of residence, or economic status. However, there were people at that time who regarded such an acknowledgement to be an intolerable threat to their self-created identity as masters of everything, "more equal" than everyone else. So these people began working to create a toxic culture which glorified the wealthy, the powerful, and the Anglo-American at everyone else's expense. They began with people like Wally George and continued through the building of the radio empire of Rush Limbaugh and the rise of the media empire of Rupert Murdoch. By now, their control over most of the organs of mainstream American media is nearly complete. And they have done a really good job of poisoning the culture of this nation, having accomplished the revival of a sort of ugliness that hasn't existed since the Jim Crow days of the American South.
Cultural messes are created by people who want to legitimize the raw use of force to achieve selfish ends and to victimize the powerless. And when cleaning up a mess, the first thing that must be done is to put a stop to whatever is making the mess. If the pipes burst in your house and the floor gets flooded, it makes no sense to grab a mop and bucket until you've shut off the water. Similarly, it may not be too useful to have public and private employers host "equity workshops" and "diversity trainings" for people who will simply turn around and sit in front of a propaganda-spewing TV set when they go home. Maybe the first thing to do is to stop the river of sewage flowing from the outlets of mass media.
The thing is, it looks like that stoppage may be happening in the United States, and that it may be the result of the choice of an increasing number of people to get rid of the sewage outlet in their living room. I've been reading lately about the increasing numbers of Americans who are going without TV, and the increasing number of households who do not even own a TV. And while some analysts blame the decline in TV ownership on Internet entertainment and live movies, there are reports that revenues from online entertainment and live movies has also been dropping. Here are a few links to what I'm talking about:
- "These Charts Show that Netflix is Killing TV", Business Insider, December 2013
- "Netflix Shares Tumble As U.S. Subscriber Growth Falls Short Of Company's Forecast", Forbes, October 2015
- "Cord Cutters and the Death of TV," Business Insider, November 2013
- "Nielsen Reports Sharp Growth In Zero TV Households", Deadline Hollywood, March 2013
- "Broadcast and Cable TV Ratings Keep Declining," IBTimes, June 2015
- "As Live TV Viewing Declines, How Can Networks Fully Monetize Their Viewers?", Adweek, October 2015
- "Zero TV Homes Are Really Starting To Worry Broadcasters," Huffington Post, April 2013.
Yet all is not rosy. There are other ways of creating a cultural mess besides the use of legacy broadcast, cable and print networks, and these ways are being exploited by the supremacists who are behind the great American culture-wrecking project. In the age of the Internet, our best weapon against such people and their tactics may well be to display an unwavering decency, both in realspace and in cyberspace.