Calling the Kettle BlackDecember 5, 2012 | Print |
Among other things, the material showed the tragedy of the homeless, whose ranks now include many veterans of the war in Iraq. It showed how they suffer traumas that have turned them into social misfits, psychologically maladjusted for life.
These are aspects of US society that of course aren’t shown in most movies. They’re not among the glamorous and hypnotizing images from the empire that are shown to us, the poor of the Third World.
But at the same time, as I watched the interview I couldn’t help questioning how many of the ulcers of Venezuelan society could have also been shown by those same journalists. Likewise, I had to ask how many of our own sores and lesions could have been revealed to us by Cuban national television.
It seems that this approach fully reflects the axiomatic phrase: “We see the speck of straw in our neighbor’s eye, but we don’t see the plank in our own.”
If humans were less impressionable or manipulatable, I think the world population would have long ago become disgusted with deceptive announcers and guileful commentators. They would have become like “the Murderer” in Ray Bradbury’s short story, eager to destroy televisions, “machines that yak-yak-yak,” magnifying glasses that scrutinize other people’s problems and spokespeople of foreign scandals and gossip.
Nevertheless the seduction of the media is very effective, and one finds themself trapped in the news. It doesn’t matter if they’re seeing the faces of these homeless people in the US, whose personal dramas frighten us, what they’re doing on TV here is omitting our own homelessness, which of course I’ve never seen on Cuban television.
Or is it that they’re making us forget about those who — so very close to us — are suffering repression for disagreeing publicly or for trying to talk about those hidden elements that our state censors have determined unfit for publishing.