CNN in Botswana

Been here  a few days, still haven’t seen anywhere but the hotel and the festival. It’s al good.  On the first day everyone went to a game reserve but having just got off the plane I opted for the hotel.   I’ve been to a game reserve before.  I’ve watched alot of CNN though, which is disturbing game,  the Deep voice “today on CNN”,  the arresting stab of music, the flashing graphics....

But poets have been the news gatherers since humans could communicate.   And poets communicated the emotional as well as the action, acknowledged the physical and spiritual.  Look at those great newspapers of religion,  the bible and the Koran. The Koran is one long poem and the bible is full to bursting with poetry.  The messengers,  the communicators, the storytellers   have been poets all along, contemporary, informed and unconstrained. 

But “Today on CNN”   is supposed to be unbiased news. There is some unspoken belief in the journalists integrity “today on CNN”.  A journalist would scoff that anyone believes that news is not biased.  But the truth is most people see news as the axis point to which all angles should be debated.  The question “why is there no good news” is a serious one. The human psyche is driven to action by fear, it is the same reason why we watch horror films and action films and this impulse relates back to early man.

I met an anthropologist novelist at the vancouver literature festival  in Canada who told  me that our need to feel close to fear is a basic instinct.  The more man is comfortable, the more he needs fear.   A physical representation of fear is the hypothalamus gland. This gland which gives us goosepumps and  relates directly to when man had hair upon his body.  All of this could be relevant as we  are near the 200th anniversary of Darwin and the publication of his theory.

Think of the news as one long advert for fear and you become closer to the truth of what news actually is.   A relentless campaign  “today on CNN” A relentless, unforgiving, finance driven power stream beating us into submission “Today on CNN”.  And there you have it, fear in turn means that we can be sold ideas – the idea that we must go to war for example. What is my world view?

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