Eating an Elephant: The Media Circus

Given the title of this piece, one might wonder if it will be another op-ed about the media and the Republican Party. If that is a concern, rest assured, that would be akin to carrying sand to the beach. No, this piece is about another aspect of how the media circus is being used to attack and alter the very fabric of U.S. culture.

The late General Creighton Abrams is credited with the quotation leading to this piece and future pieces dealing with the thought explored here. He allegedly used the analogy as a way to describe how one dealt with huge challenges. Whether the comment originated with him or not, it has merit.1 For example, consider the recent history of the media in the United States.

By history of the media, I am not speaking solely of the changes in media technology. Instead, I will focus on some aspects of how media is being used, consciously or unconsciously, to alter society. For example, one of the inspirations for this piece was a comic strip some might call edgy.

Generally, the writer uses the strip to poke fun at typical human behavior, make a pithy comment or pun about some aspect of life, or use a twist of phrase in an attempt to engender a laugh. Some, such as a play on words attempting to use a medical disability as the punch line, are less than amusing. Others, as with many such attempts at humor are funny because they are groan-worthy. The panel that helped spark this piece missed the humor mark in several ways but shows how something as innocent as a comic panel can be used to legitimize destructive behavior.

In this case, easily recognized comedic advertising characters, the candy-coated chocolate characters who melt in your mouth, not in your hand types, are displayed in a sadomasochistic themed panel. One character is tied to a headboard while the other stands, whip in hand, ready to dish out some pleasure and pain until the yellow-shelled submissive cries out the safe word, “Dentist.”

I know! We’ve witnessed that scene played out by humans multiple times on television and in the movies. In the overall scheme of things, it is a pebble thrown into raging rapids. Still, the idea that newspaper publishers are willing to publish something such as this in the comics should be alarming. Yes, many will say it is merely the evolution of the media, and kids do not read the comics anyway. That may be true, but it does not nullify the concerns being expressed here.

In the name of progress and societal evolution, there is little today the media will refuse to publish in one form or another. Unless, of course, it is something that does not fit the progressive agenda. Within that agenda, it is anything goes, and then some.

Just a few years ago, so-called “girlie magazines” were not displayed prominently at the news counter or convenience store. If they were, they were presented in a manner that hid the most risqué aspects of their nature. Today, in the era of “me-too” and don’t objectify women, photos that were considered borderline porn a few decades ago are in public view everywhere.

In our efforts to be “enlightened, ” we have become a society that will vilify a man for something he may have done or said toward a woman decades ago. At the same time, we push an open sexuality agenda that makes the free love ideas of the hippies seem puritanical. Additionally, at one time, a child would be embarrassed to voice their need to urinate. Now, we live in a society that overlooks people voiding their bladders and emptying their bowels on the public sidewalk.

Something or someone has been following the late general’s advice. They have been butchering and consuming society, one small bite at a time for decades if not centuries. Only time will tell what the new society they hope to bring about will look like. In the meantime, one only needs to pony up the money for a movie, spend a few minutes on streaming television services, or, in some cases, watch network television to get a taste of the future.

  1. For the record, this piece or any piece in the future using a derivative of this title is not an endorsement of consuming elephant or other forms of so-called bushmeat. With that said, elephants have been and still are it seems considered a delicacy, if not a necessary food source in some societies.



About S. Eric Jackson

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1 Response to Eating an Elephant: The Media Circus

  1. Pingback: Eating an Elephant: Even God? | An Old Sinner's Place

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