When the ruling social elite perceives the media exclusively as a political tool, then its benevolence towards the forms that will keep a man (and for the aforementioned elite the man is, more than anything, a voter) closed off in the zone of private trivia and banal entertainment is to be expected.
What we might now call the classical concept of media was largely based on a certain dose of mystification of the media’s role and structure. The relationship between the creator and the consumer of media content was built on this type of experience, so information was trusted only when its source was known and reliable, or if it was placed or used in a form backed by someone whose authorship was recognizable. Simply put, in this now almost archived model, the rule was that the relationship between society and the media must be based on the already somewhat classic notion of responsibility.
Today’s demystified and rather anarchic media space – less and less dependent on institutional logistics and less and less conditioned by professional, ethical and aesthetic tasks – was disrupted by something that could be conditionally called media guerrilla. Anyone can be watched and listened to a million times and can say anything, easily providing them with the status of an influential person in the endless sea of media arbitrariness and mostly triviality.
But the main problem with this phenomenon cannot be understood from the perspective of the invading guerrilla, but from the position of society in retreat. This begs the key question – why is society, with all its regulatory, non-censorship mechanisms, so defeatist in its behaviour? Assange’s case, for example, shows that the bearers of power in society are very agile when content ‘harmful’ to their power appears in the uncontrolled world that is the Internet. On the other hand, the socio-political elite does not see any harm in the fact that various colorful characters, convinced that their life experience is the best school one can have, build a value system for young people from their virtual platforms.
If, on the other hand, we look at the problem from the perspective of a content consumer, an ordinary person, then we will see that they are only guided by their own desires and expectations, and let’s not delude ourselves – they are mostly focused that which doesn’t require much effort. From that private cycle of desires and fascinations of the common man, a winning formula emerged that enabled the expansion of influencer, vlogger and YouTuber works, which do not require effort in creation or consumption and which, like any trivia, are very seductive.
And now let’s go back to society (any resemblance to ours is purely coincidental). When the ruling social elite perceives the media exclusively as a political tool, then its benevolence towards the forms that will keep a man (and for the aforementioned elite the man is, more than anything, a voter) closed off in the zone of private trivia and banal entertainment is to be expected. In the calculations of this elite, it is much better for a teenager to spend time deeply invested in the controversy over the price of Baka Prase’s Ferrari than, God forbid, consume educational content. Just like it’s better for an influencer to speak to her army of followers about new recipes for happiness, give recommendations for what is ‘fancy’, and warn them of what’s ‘out’, sharing her dramatic pedicure experiences, than for virtualized followers to get angry at our destroyed reality.
And, in the end, how can a poor ordinary man resist this, when it’s all so light and fragile, it doesn’t strain the brain and it seems reachable. Especially as it doesn’t contain the darkness of stories about crises, corruption and crime. Let the classical media deal with that, who, by the way, have already largely taken over the mechanisms from all those virtual and reality forms.
Marinko Vorgic, writer and literary critic