It's not often I get to bookshops and less often still that I buy anything. I did both recently - walking out with a copy of the latest Adbusters magazine. I've listed their website for quite a while [POLITICAL: activism] and must say as a consumer, community mental health nurse and would-be human ecologist there's a lot to read and think about....
Sustainability : Advertising : Well-being : Public Mental Health
Now, subscribed to their e-letter the Sao Paulo item proved a real revelation. A breathe of fresh... fresh... vision no less!
“The Clean City Law came from a necessity to combat pollution . . . pollution of water, sound, air, and the visual. We decided that we should start combating pollution with the most conspicuous sector – visual pollution.”So, add to this the news at the end of 2006 or early this year of European cities starting to take light pollution seriously, to the extent of turning the lights off for a night and hey change really can happen.
If amid the advertising information overload what Adbusters refers to as mental pollution ('brain damage') there is a vacuum in terms of values, self-respect and social responsibility...; others will fill that void with what is most likely to be another form of pollution.
Jeremy Paxman, BBC presenter and media luminary was on the Beeb's radio 4 this a.m. highlighting the need for media with a conscious. His lecture at the Edinburgh TV festival made the news. He criticised the BBC and the media in general regards quality, public service and the pursuit of the bottom-line. An Adbusters article describes problems in the Canadian media. This appeal has been heard before: but I wonder if there's a realisation finally sinking home that in a 21st century society how do you achieve secular sanity? In the UK the spate of terrible gun-crime killings, youth gangs, the TV phoney phone-in scandals and the need for inspirational creativity in the media is really fuelling debate. If the media reporting is correct this past week then some elements of the media - music industry included - are into trafficking. From a very early age the public is subject to an info-toxic OD. Is this the real reason why in health care we need information prescriptions?
I've no universal panacea Mr Paxman for the rehab of the prison population, the feral kids on the streets and the quest for an agreement for quality standards and public service throughout the media; but if as you say you want to hear from people - well, amid your busy schedule take a look at the interpersonal-social resource here.
Thank you for speaking up and the same to Channel 4 for their support in the BBC-R4 interview. Please don't let go of the tiger.
*Speaking of which let's also pray for a shot of long-acting religious sanity. It may be a long road, but even if this proved slow release that would be a true blessing.