If all gentlemen are created equal, who governs?
Comfortably-fixed, propertied, white males with influential connections (if the historic record is entered into evidence) have ruled an independent American nation since long before it existed.
Gentlemen govern, but the definition of Gentlemen (which is only properly understood by Gentlemen) is an incindiary semantic discrimination that’s especially provocative when tucked into a justification for rebellion, or a constitution of rules of governanace limiting the power of government to infringe upon the rights of Gentlemen. Far better to leave the Gentle out and concentrate on Men…better still, People…when the fundamental proposition is that The People will lend indispensible support to the Gentlemanly representatives of choice.
So how in the world can Gentlemen persuade the rest of us to vote for them? Pretend that government of/by/for Gentlemen is of/by/for People; that voters know at least enough to vote prudently…but secret matters of national security, ruinous scandals, and the partially-revealed intrigues of special interests continually demonstrate the fact that we do not, cannot, must not know facts that are best left to be sifted by the greater intelligence, experience and know-how of the Gentlemen who lead us.
So, disinformed, misinformed and led, we vote for comfortably-fixed, propertied, white males with influential connections.
Now that Journalism, The Fourth Estate, the Megaphone of Freedom is in desperate financial difficulty, I’ve begun to wonder that it was ever allowed to become a commercial institution; IF the necessary function The Press performs is the punctual distribution of valid information about the factual state of the nation to an informed constituency…why have they always charged for printed newspapers?
“Free” news depends upon advertising, which turns the voter’s (guarded and reluctant) attention over to the special interests of the advertiser. And the information provided by anchorpersons is usually less informative than it is diverting, persuasive or incomplete; bent on serving the interests of the commercial entities that broadcast less information than the People generally need to make informed decisions.
When the Writers Guild of America struck, about 27 months ago, they stopped working for networks, studios and production companies that constitute mainstream media; and by a Gentlemen’s agreement chose to restrict presentation of their side of the collective bargaining disageement to weblogs and various forms of alternative media…so there was practically no broadcast news of the strike until it was over; officially proclaimed by networks, studios and mainstream media. Consequently, much of The Public still believes that the tantrum of pampered, overpayed screenwriters ruined the 2008 television season, damaged movie production and played a small but detrimental part in this ongoing recession — particularly in L.A.
If the screenwriters are presently engaged in educating The Public to the meagre trickles of compensation afforded the creative comunity by transnational conglomerates that own their intellectual property and dabble in mainstream media, I’m not seeing it. I think the architects of our entertainment squander their primary weapon (which ought to be brought to the rapidly-approaching next round of negotiations) by failing to educate Us.
A strike wreaks havoc across the board, but a strategic, global boycott of studio product strikes terror in the hearts of corporate giants. And the threat of the call for a global boycott doesn’t exist without the voluntary support of People who buy DVDs, watch television, go to movies. The WGA and the wider creative community cannot get that voluntary support by leaving mainstream media to tell us all about the next catastrophic writers’ strike. Nikki Finke, United Hollywood and independent cinema didn’t win the They Get Paid, We Get Paid fight last time, either.
So, disinformed, misinformed and cruelly led, we’ll vote for comfortably-fixed, propertied, white males with influential connections…again.
(I still don’t know how much of every dollar I donated to the Obama campaign was instantly given to Rupert, Sumner, Les, Bob and Jeff for my candidate’s spots in broadcast media. And I probably never will know.)