99 Seats is talking about media complaints about the media in Most Everything That's Wrong With American Journalism.The specifics are helpful and the analysis right on - and connects with a thread I've been thinking about for a while.
In a large group discussion about, I think, politics and theatre from a year or so ago, we got to complaining about how the "media" told stories a specific way, creating identities and fault lines, how they were responsible for keeping the "people" down.
I think there's a lot wrong with various media types and modes and I think it's useful to name the damage they can do (see 3:15 - an oldy & goody)
But when we, as people who make things for others to see, talk about media as not us - denying that it is something we participate actively in by creating events that create meaning - it drives me a little crazy.
Of course small scale theatre is a different, less broadly influential than networks or newspapers - but that doesn't change my responsibility to make work for the world I want to live in - to resist trends in other media and power structures that create fear and alienation. Because of our scale - because of the freedom it can give - we can speak towards a better, different way.
It is an amazing trick that even Newsweek writers seem to take part in, and the CBC does it all the time (with questions like "Do you think the medias reaction [to the story we've spent 3 hours in a row talking about] is overblown?") – so I guess it's no surprise that we on the margins can play too.
But it doesn't make it better. And I'd like to think that we can do better.
Is this unfair?