Conflicting images

How contradictory the world of news has become! One day stray dogs are dangerous, they attack and bite «unsuspecting» pedestrians – the camera focuses on torn trousers, on lacerations. Suddenly the dogs on your street seem to have leapt out of yesterday’s horror movie. The next day, the dogs are the victims. Italian department stores sell dog-skin jackets and the newscasters are suddenly transformed into animal lovers concerned about the fate of all living creatures and the ethics of human beings. This is an approximate representation of life through the lens of journalistic Manichaenism. The point is for us to envy and despair, then to take quick break before the fear returns again with the Satanists, extortionists, rabid dogs and ruthless bag-snatchers. A good example is the television coverage of the northern suburbs. Daytime documentaries show us streets of luxury villas, projected as the modern Greek ideal. But on the eight o’clock news, these same suburbs of unclouded happiness become the target of «relentless robbers who do not hesitate to destroy the achievements of others.» The general aim of such coverage is to make us fear we haven’t succeeded, and to dare to hope to buy a dream on installment, only to be fearful once again when it comes to protecting that little dream – the epitome of the lower-middle-class quest for possessions and security.

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