Posted by: martinworster | September 25, 2008


Monken Hadley Church

Monken Hadley Church

I just read a review in the LA Times of a Beck concert I just saw (Sat 21st Sept) under the headline ‘Beck Conquers The Hollywood Bowl’. I’m wondering if the journalist who wrote the piece was actually at the gig for what I thought was a very lacklustre show?

con·quer      (kŏng’kər)  Pronunciation Key 
v.   con·quered, con·quer·ing, con·quers
v.   tr.

Def: To defeat or subdue by force, especially by force of arms.

Beck did many things that night but there was certainly no conquering going on. I had been looking forward to the concert for a long time and I have to say overall it was disappointing. Beck seemed disengaged throughout, it was a strangely passionless, totally forceless, even dull, performance. Maybe he’s been too busy touring and he’s shattered? Or perhaps the Scientology had all gotten too much. You’d think he’d get it together for his LA home crowd for his first ever gig in the hallowed Hollywood Bowl.

Reading that sycophantic hyperbole courtesy of the LA Times journalist made me think wider on the media and how they frequently misrepresent my perceived truth. I’m an avid media consumer – in all forms. An addict. Newspapers, magazines, news, music, films – I’d inject them into my testicles if there was a way. But I sometimes wonder why I’m filling my space and time with the endless, monotonous din of essentially meaningless media-chatter. And by writing this now I’m only contributing to it.

The news media would like you to think the world is soon about to end. Terrorism, global warming, recessions, nuclear war, rogue states, economic meltdown, famine, war, suicide bombers…the world is hanging by a thread. But is it? Of course there are major problems for many people in the world, but to be constantly bombarded with these stories is stressful and exhausting. I suppose you can always change the channel, or better still, not watch any TV at all and go outside and do something better instead.

There’s also a sense of ‘I’m alright jack’. I haven’t witnessed terrorism first hand (apart from when I was in an early 70s IRA bombscare as an infant in Harrods in London). I am not homeless due to the ‘credit crunch’. I am not starving. That’s not to say any of these things – or worst – will never affect me. But what’s the point of being freaked out by things I have no control over? The only solution is to lead a completely media free life and to do that you really need to live on a desert island with your head burried in the sand. I’d suffer a few weeks withdrawl, news cold turkey, but after that I imagine the world would become a much better place in my mini world.

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