San Diego Poetry Guild

notes on guild, poetry, and San Diego


F.C.C. R.I.P.

Rushing as we are toward the eventual gutting of the FCC, one has to wonder: Why listen? Why watch? Why read? Why try?

The greatest farce in all of this has to be the way the word "diversity" gets kicked around -- kind of like "community" on the other side of the debate.

It works like this, sort of: Media consolidation promotes program "diversity" since in the absence of real competition producers need not pander to middle markets to capture share and can therefore offer a wider array of product. On the other hand: Media consolidation hurts "community" because local interests are of little interest to corporate execs running the show from New York or Paris and therefore community issues/politics fall under the Viacom, e.g., radar.

The poetry here, need I say, is perfect: Do you love diversity because it:

A. Gives you more options?
B. Kills off community?
C. Makes communities more diverse?
D. Makes diversity more communal?

The corporate media blackout on the issue of corporate media consolidation makes sense, of course, but should not distract us from the irony (the dramatic kind, I believe) implicit to the gesture:

What better proof do people need that corporate consolidation leads to a shortage of available information than the fact that so little is available on the issue of information shortage with regard to this issue, let alone on the issue itself?

Logically, that's a little off, but you get the point: The absence of coverage disappears into its own absence, thereby becoming present in (by virtue of) its own absence. And thankfully we don't really need Derrida to see the humor in all of this.

People are writing in to object, no doubt, thanks to and others. But most experts agree, the fix is in, the deal's pretty much done.

The trickery and thievery endemic to business-as-usual in this countery [sic] never ceases to astonish [sicken] me.

More than that, though, I find myself wondering about all that stuff we won't ever find out about ("we" in the larger "we the people" sense) precisely because the powers of United Media will not only cease to recognize it but will cease to recognize it as stuff to be recognized in the first place.

In other words, if the worst case evolves even close to the worst-case scenarios dreamed up by opponents, we won't know what hit us precisely because we won't be hit (and won't know we've never been hit). The blow will never come. The blow-by-blow will hover perpetually in the ether of no-wind, of no news. This is indeed a new kind of silence.

The pending (June 2) FCC decision, therefore, is not news, is not an issue, which is a slightly different thing than being a non-issue. Gone are the days, in fact, of non-issues, which at least in their negative relation to issues had a place in the information world. Not-an-issue has no place in the world, doesn't exist in that pure way that escapes qualification, even in the negative.

Silence is an issue, obviously, and maybe that's one angle of attack that might work in the remaining days -- that is, mobilizing voices against silence. It's true we haven't been asked our opinions, which is normal, but even worse we haven't even been given our opinions (i.e., in the guise of poll-projections on behalf of the American People).

Anyway, there are longterm tricks being played on us here that remain, sadly, in the realm of no news and not-an-issue.

We can wait all day for news that the news won't come, but then again we won't know what we're waiting for.


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