Have Disintegrated As A Society?

There are so many of us asking ourselves the question, have we disintegrated as a society? Is it the overwhelming concentration of wealth that is undermining democracy? Was it Trump’s vile behavior giving people the ok to act in the same abusive manner? Is the media turning us all into fearmongering crazy people who lost all neighborly ways? Is it watching the right-wing attempt again, as they historically tried multiple times, to hold on to power through gerrymandering and fear, making politicians more extreme? Is it the rise of everyone pushing their outlandish ways through social media? Is it reading about the abuse in Government and the Supreme Court? Or maybe just a combination of all of the above.

I watched a fascinating documentary this past week that I might have to watch again. The doc is called Recorder, the Marion Stokes Project, directed by Matt Wolf. Some might point to Marion Stokes as an obsessive nut, but Wolf highlights what a protagonist she was. I can’t get it out of my mind.

Stokes was way ahead of her time; born in 1929, she was a civil rights organizer, librarian, and archivist. She bought Apple at $7 a share, making her a wealthy woman. She purchased over 192 Macintosh computers at the start of their inception. At one point in her life, Stokes was a member of the Communist Party, and a producer and co-host of Input, a current local affairs show.

What is most fascinating was that she was a hoarder and obsessed with how media news outlets were skewing our thoughts with rhetoric and disseminating false information. And so she recorded for 35 years, 24 hours a day, on every news channel streaming on TV, such as Fox, NBC, C-Span, CNBC, and all the rest. It is a treasure trove of data.

Stokes captured revolutions, lies, wars, catastrophes, commercials, etc., believing her archive would show the truth. There is a segment in the film where four grids of news channels are being offered in real-time during 9/11, and there it is on TV how each network reports the facts differently. Watching Fox is mind-boggling, mainly because of the settled Dominion lawsuit this past week.

Stokes was a visionary who should be revered. I highly recommend the film. It is excellent and should be part of every high school curriculum. Question everything, mainly what large media organizations are feeding us.