OPINION

TV circus

“The screen is sinking, the crowd is shaking»… The crowd, yes the crowd is shaking, revolting, protesting in the streets of hundreds of cities across the globe, in a never-seen-before universal rally. Millions of people, of every race, language, age and faith, joined their anger to stop the war armada – which, according to the humanitarian generals, is already on its way, suggesting that there’s nothing left for us to do except lay back on our sofas and consume the spectacle projected on our TV screens. We are meant to swallow tragedy as if it were another cheap reality show, thereby conceding our crushing cultural defeat. This big, worldwide «no to war,» which could spawn an alternative future, was by far the most significant event of recent days. Nevertheless, our stagnant private TV channels, both the populist and the more pretentious ones, rated the news according to their own ahistorical and uncivilized criteria. As a result, they deified absolute nothingness (the arrival of an ex-king who finally found himself a name: Constantine De Grecia), in what was a heavy insult to people and values. And when they finally turned to the anti-war demonstrations, after about an hour of empty talk, the only thing they noticed and rushed to magnify with their terror-obsessed lens was the usual rampage (save a couple of famous people whom they spotted among the crowds and on whom they focused with such insistence; a future researcher watching their videos would think this was a demonstration of Costas Laliotis and Alexandros Lykourezos). Apart from being small, the TV screen is also trivial, meanspirited, and petty. It cannot stand or tolerate that which is bigger than itself or against it, what is at odds with the values that it serves and imposes. This is why it tries to downgrade the real world, to bring it down to its own level, to hypnotize it. And it’s sinking. It keeps on sinking.