Thinking Your Way Through a Labyrinth of Contemporary Issues
Do you remember the South Park episode (It hits the fan) where the word ‘Shit’ reaches a ludicrous notch of 162. Of course a lot of people don’t agree with swearing understandably. The point of course was that when something keeps getting mentioned and said over and over again it loses all its meaning. While watching the news it’s been very hard to be interested in issues that one should be bothered about. As a UK citizen, leaving the European Union is of course considered important. The implications of this decision will be felt for generations to come. There is just one problem. It is boring. And it is boring because it get’s mentioned again and again. ‘Brexit’, ‘Brexit’ and more ‘Brexit’. Of course there are many issues that need looking at and it would naturally be a long process to leave the E.U. Yet with all the commitments that the average person has it is hard to remain interested in a subject that appears to be mentioned all that time in the news.
Take the example of Donald Trump. While there is probably nothing that ever ceases to amaze people in terms of what he has done or has said, Donald Trump get’s mentioned so much that it is hard to remain interested in what he is doing. For good measure the day he met with Kim Jong-un was a sight to behold. The North Korean president meeting with the American President is rather an amazing feat even for the most disillusioned and disinterested person watching the news. Certainly the sexual misconduct allegations involving Donald Trump do raise the eyebrow when mentioned on the news. Yet even these can become tedious when different variations of the same subject are told over and over again. I am certainly not taking away the importance of these issues but when the same subjects are mentioned too often it becomes boring.
The war in Syria is of course another important topic. One can only imagine of the devastation and human suffering that is happening in Syria. For a long time all the information that could be gathered about Syria was being fed through news channels (obviously). As it is now an unlikely place journalists could go it is little wonder it has much less coverage these days. Yet I suspect even if journalists could go to Syria, would it honestly be that appealing to constantly be mentioning what the situation is like over in Syria. Subjects of this importance can get undermined when they are constantly force-fed down our throats. It’s not that many of us are not bothered. We simply do not have enough time to be experts on the War in Syria, experts on Brexit and experts on Donald Trump.
There is a reason why when you do a PhD at University you have to contribute something new to research. The same thing being done all over again does not interest people. When you have heard the same story told over and over again it becomes redundant.
Of course with our ever increasing 21st century mind’s being more distracted than ever and concentration at an all time low it is good to be focused on a particular subject. Various tests have even shown that the brain need’s new pornographic material for it to have the same affect for users. This is absolutely not a good thing or perhaps even natural. But it is no more natural to be reminded every day of topics and subjects that other people get paid to work on. Could you imagine the news constantly giving updates about your day at the office? It would obviously not compare with the importance of these world changing events. Yet the principle is the same constant reinforcement and over coverage of any subject becomes tedious. There is the opportunity to of course to research these subjects in the plethora of information and data available online. But choice is nice, turning on the T.V, and your favourite news channel and newspaper blurting the same material over and over again is less of a choice. Yet still a choice so why even watch the news then?
There was a recent rather funny satirical take on football which you can watch below courtesy of YouTube. It was done by the actor and comedian David Mitchell. The point of it was not just the over the top adverts that are shown on channels such as sky sports. It was also obviously a dig at the way a 24/7 coverage of football is done. Even the world’s most popular sport can lose its appeal when there is constant coverage.
If we are to remain interested in a subject we should perhaps observe the more important events and not every minute detail of someone’s actions. The news works well when we are learning about a subject for the first time and for so long. Constant coverage however does us all a disservice. No matter how important the topic you simply cannot remain interested in a topic or subject when there is no break from it.
Oliver Wilson, (2018)