Saturday, December 10, 2005

Crossing Streams

  • noun - The prevailing current of thought, influence, or activity
  • adjective - Representing the prevalent attitudes, values, and practices of a society or group

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and (yes, it scares me too) I've been trying to figure out the word I have mentioned above: mainstream. You hear it often when talking about mainstream media. This of course means a magazine, Web site, newspaper, radio station, television station, cable network or book publisher that represents the prevailing current of thought. I wonder how we find that out. They either must have a license or a specialist on staff to check with to make sure they aren't straying. Maybe they check the latest polls. I wonder if that means being for prohibition, against a women's right to vote and for slave ownership were mainstream at one time.

I started thinking about this during Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' recent hearings. Several claimed that Mr. Robert's views were "outside the mainstream." Which views these were, I'm unsure. Did you know that is a Web site for advocacy and news for disability rights? Heck, I didn't know being disabled was prevalent. I do wonder though, if the people elected into office by a popular vote aren't in the 'mainstream' does that mean that people just forgot to vote, aren't old enough to vote or we have inaccurate polls deciding what prevalent ideas are.


Teri said...

You can't always fit logic in one nice little neat box. It makes me think of the groupthink "they".. they say you should do this or they say eating this is bad for you.. who is they? How do they get that job?

RT said...

Wow. I was actually thinking about doing a post similar to this (or at least, I think it's similar...)

Teri has it right with fitting logic into a nice, neat little box, but the problem is, 'they' are being paid handsomely (either in money or power) to do just that. They make whatever it is that they're trying to sell sound totally plausible, and use every trick in the book (guilt, fear, anything that plays on your emotions) to push us into believing it. And too many tend to buy it without thinking it through.

I'm too tired to elaborate right now, but think about this... When we watch a commercial, we can clearly see that we're being manipulated into buying a product, but when we're being continually fed an idea via the media (the news, talk shows, movies or what have you,) we absorb the opinion without really realizing it.

Does that make sense? I'm really tired, lol.

RT said...

Aw... OK I'm awake now, and that didn't make much sense. Maybe this will help...

You asked how the mainstream media knows what the prevailing current of thought is? They know because they've already told us what to think. I suppose they can do polls to see if a particular thought has taken hold, but if we've been bombarded enough with an idea, they don't even need to do that.

I didn't see the hearings, but if they're saying that John Robert is "outside the mainstream", then they're probably trying to market him as someone who is innovative and will change the world with his unique style of justice.

It's all a load of crap if you ask me.

Beth said...

I'm convinced that I'm not really a mainstream kind of girl, and that it's totally fine with me that I'm not.

Fred said...

Mainstream is defined by each individual person. Unfortunately, certain groups want to tell us their version of what mainstream is, and they have the money to try and convince those who can't make up their own minds.

Unknown said...

I have never been nor ever will be mainstream..its a birth defect I think..but I like it nonetheless :)

LoraLoo said...

It really is too bad we can't fit logic into that nice little box... I agree with Teri.

Media has been cramming what they want us to believe since the dawn of time, I think we've just become more and more aware of the propaganda.