13 May 2008

Killing The Tiger! Gen X Destroys News "Experts"

The following is an exercise in visual rhetoric...
Ironically, it is the newsprint publications that are reporting on their own demise. Subscriptions and advertising revenue continue to drop for nearly every major and minor newspaper and magazine. Speculation abounds in regards to reasons for the plummet of these scions of current events.

Most notably, disinterested young readers and those who turn to the internet for their news are cited as the main cause for the decline. Although, not untrue, these "causes" don't dive deep enough to hit at the heart of the "problem": Gen Xer's!

Let's take a bold step forward here, shall we?
Generation X is known for turning their backs on authority. In turn, they teach this to their children, who are now hitting high school and college. These students, whether they exhibit the trait or not, have learned not to take anything at face value. They learned that you must evaluate the source of the story. I may give Gen Y too much credit here, but you have to admit that they tend to eschew much of what Baby Boomers declare as proper.

Suits are a prime example of something that both Gen X and Gen Y have (mostly) refused to accept as signs of expertise. Just like with glasses, you can throw a suit on nearly anyone to create the appearance of intelligence. After all, don't the experts wear suits? Not anymore!

Compare the photos on the official SXSW site to the photos from The Week's Opinion Awards. Notice how the current experts are younger, and despite their still predominately male role call, they wear casual (not Casual Friday) clothing like raggedy t-shirts and sport messy doo's. If they do wear anything resembling a suit, it's jazzed up or the wearer tosses the tie and blazer.

Now, compare those photos to the Opinion Awards. Once again, predominately male but all Anglo in descent. Also all wearing suits and all over age 55. These are the supposed "experts," the ones with all the answers. This is where Gen X steps... time and time again, these established experts have misreported or served as nothing more than mouthpieces for corporations or world governments. They have repeatedly discredited themselves in the eyes of the people, and the Middle East debacle only furthers to destroy their credibility.

At first, the masses had chosen to label anyone who called out these "experts" as whack-a-doo's. Then, ironically as more news came out about the prevalent deception in news reporting in the same papers that initially reported the deceptions, more people became aware of how untrustworthy the news can be.

Now, we all know that sheeple (people who are nothing more than sheep following the flock) are still in plenty across the world. Yet, I think that most of those sheeple may just be groups of scared individuals. They don't want to believe that they are fed lies on a daily basis. They believe in the establishment and long for the days of McCarthy, whether they admit it or not.

Magazines like The Week hold the best cards in the deck, in that they don't take responsibility. They gather differing opinions then present them in a back-and-forth debate style in their weekly magazine. It's up to the reader to decide which side to take, or hopefully, to develop a completely new take on the issues they present. Yet, The Week hasn't figured out, based on their Opinion Awards, that suits don't build authority.

Imagine the day when most people openly laugh at those who choose to don their Armani before spewing their supposed authority.

No comments: