The Pixies are Terrorists? Part II
In the earlier post that I wrote on the Pixies’ career as terrorists, I ended by pointing out a couple questions raised by the satirical article that had been written by Larry Haiven, and people’s reaction to its claim that the Pixies were now terrorists in the eyes of the Canadian government.
In this post, if you don’t mind, I’d like to deal with the first question. I’ll tackle the issue of cultural terrorism some other time…well more likely I’ll just never bring it up again. Anyways, as I’m sure you remember, the first question was: “how it could be believable that the Canadian government would actually label a band as terrorists for canceling a gig?”
I had raised the question under the auspices of thinking that:
1) People should know better to read things they see on the internet without anything to back it up…unless you read it here.
2) The Canadian government would never label an American band as terrorists, besides the political implications, it’s just plain stupid.
3) Some people must think that the Canadian government is, well, that stupid.
As I was doing my best Socratic pose (that’s what I call sitting down, resting my elbow on the table, putting my chin in my hand, and looking really serious) and pondering how I was going to try and answer that question, all I could think about was a video I saw of Douglas Coupland talking about his new book, Generation A.
In the video, he talks about how the idea of “generation” is becoming obsolete and people are instead becoming increasingly re-tribalised. He says he agrees with Marshall McLuhan in that “electronic technology stops us from being individuals and turns us back into tribe members.” I haven’t read the book yet, but on Coupland’s website it says “Generation A mirrors the structure of 1991’s Generation X as it champions the act of reading and storytelling as one of the few defenses we still have against the constant bombardment of the senses in a digital world.”
Why, I think, my best Socratic pose kept bringing me back to the above, was because of what role the internet played in this whole ohmygodthecanadiangovernmentcalledthepixiesabunchofterrorists thing.
The internet allows us instant access to information from a diverse range of sources. Unfortunately, however, rather than open people up to new ideas and perspectives in a wider “global village” there is the danger of the internet making people more tribalised.
– So they read things from sources that are in line with their thinking.
– So they believe things from these sources that prove their preconceived notions, like that the Canadian government is dumb.
– So they stay stuck inside their tribe drawing on these sources and resting on these ideas instead of branching out.
The whole instant access to information through the wonders of the internet machine is great, but it’s amazing how such a gateway can lead to a small dark tunnel. It’s better to be balanced and look at an issue from different angles than simply finding other people out there that agree with you.
Here’s some handy examples of how to be more balanced in this digital world:
Left wing? Read stuff off the Fox News website for as long as you can without throwing up.
Right wing? Use Wikipedia (for a start) to look up what socialism actually means before calling someone a socialist.
In the middle? Do both of the above, and then try and pick a side. Really, try and get off the fence.
And remember, whether it’s charges that the Pixies have been added to a terrorist list, or the latest news on which celebrity is in rehab, take everything you see with a grain of salt. Not everything on the internet is the truth.