Once upon a time, Television was the wave of the future. A promise to bring information to our great nation, to help us see into the lives of others, and gain understanding toward our differences, compassion to those we once couldn’t understand, and tolerance, even appreciation, for people, places and moments in time that so drastically affect our own lives even when they’re ten states away.
Then television saw its opportunity for profits. Large companies purchased the moments in between the content, and over the decades, began purchasing the content itself. Now we’re left with “According to Jim” and “American Idol”; these are our insights into understanding, compassion and tolerance.
The Internet has risen, perhaps largely due to the dissatisfaction with the television medium, which gives a voice only to those with enough dollars, enough bought influence to exhibit their views. In a world where lobbying affects government decisions, where the interests of keeping costs down at Megalomarts forces small businesses to lower quality, lay off employees, degrade their customers. The Internet has given us a voice, all of us, anyone who can gain access to a library can manage their own blog, and if there opinions are alike to others, if what they have to say seems valid and offers us something we need, then we can lap it up like cold water on a summer desert afternoon. If we don’t like it, we can complain or ignore it. Advertisers don’t control the content, the free flow of information: Americans do.
And that is the essential reality of democracy. Every click is a vote, a fair and equal vote.
Please don’t let the Big Bells and Comcast take this, a true demonstration of democracy, away from us.