[For Occupy NZ’s aggregated #MillionMaskMarch media post please click here]
It is no secret my favourite band of all time is Kiwi Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame legends Shihad. I have grown up with their music, attending their shows and their album content and lyrics have always seemed to run parallel to my life experiences.
When they recently released their latest album “FVEY” – the acronym for the Five Eyes (of Sauron!) surveillance network – I just about cried with joy. Not only was it, yet again, a perfect reflection of everything my generation was experiencing, but the artistic freedom and mass appeal that only a band with the longevity and core support base of Shihad enjoys, meant that the mainstream was forced to accept and participate in the penetration of the status quo with serious, weighty issues.
But FVEY doesn’t just discuss the pervasive governmental surveillance of the First World and the privatisation of the mechanisms of that surveillance… it also addresses poverty, destitution, corporate theft, irreverence and hypocrisy.
Even more importantly, it lays the same conventional media whose channels it has invaded and monopolised, completely bare. Splices it wide open and forces us to see it for exactly what it is.
“We’re reading articles where murder’s sanitised.
Signed off by men in suits who you won’t recognise.”
– Shihad: The Big Lie [FVEY]
So succinct, and so spot on!
The mainstream media is largely trash. A lost cause. More and more people by the day are realising that the media doesn’t just omit and black-out key facts; they deliberately warp and misconstrue them. There is an agenda where money, power and “access” trump truth, justice and evolution, to the detriment of our society. For Shihad to call it out so plainly, and for that message to penetrate the very channels that so regularly broadcast disinformation, is truly remarkable.
While covering Auckland’s annual “Million Mask March” Anonymous solidarity event for Occupy NZ yesterday, I received an object lesson in exactly why as an independent journalist, I must never inadvertently become, or imitate, the mainstream media that we rightly rail against.
As always, we offer all present the chance to speak to the world through the camera; to amplify messages which the corporate media never would. Many jumped at the opportunity. Courage, as they say, is contagious.
But as each began to speak it soon became clear that the disparities in message, delivery, emotion and motivation may eclipse the likenesses. Diversity being one of the greatest strengths of Anonymous, this did not particularly bother me.
However, for a mature female Anon who spoke first, the subsequent passionate outbursts of the younger male Anons present risked causing damage to her perception of the ways in which Anonymous should be seen and projected in the public sphere.
She understandably wanted to keep the messages positive, keep them calm and sincere, keep them in the tone of a single voice. Keep them focused on “light” and “love”. In the spirit of Ethersec, she wanted me to emit messages of healing and not of pain.
As with all potential sins, manifested in the form of temptation, combined with the best of intentions, only instinct saved me from the slippery slope that paves the path to that particular hell.
So I retorted that, although I empathised with her logic, Anonymous is about free speech, and all have a right to their voice, their opinion and their feelings. I was committed to amplifying them all equally.
For while there is undeniable power in the higher goals of love, light, harmony, empathy and peace – in this world we live in, they are largely aspirational. Individuals may strive to and achieve that state however humanity as a whole is nowhere near it.
Pain, hate, loathing, rage, anger, resentment and dismay are the voices of the hurt and the disempowered. Given that almost everything about our society disempowers those who do not comply, it is inevitable that these voices will be present, and they equally deserve to be listened to.
More – by listening to them, amplifying them as equal voices, empathising with them, we begin the healing. We begin the reestablishment of trust. We begin to manifest the solution. We begin to show the love, and the light.
“Anger is a gift” Rage Against The Machine famously sung in their closing anthem, Freedom, on their self-titled debut album. Were these young men not angry, they may not have been present. They may have stayed at home, internalising their rage in an inebriated silence, until they began to rot from the inside out and ultimately act out their dissatisfaction, creating other hapless victims.
Instead, they believed in the democratising promise of Anonymous. Enough so to overcome personal discomfort and speak to their counterparts the world over.
For despite subtle variations in accent, race, age; the issues we face are universal. While mainstream media typically colour their lens, our refusal to do so is our point of difference; our authenticity.
As such every voice was compiled into one playlist, and despite the lack of unison, all were able to speak.
Our only hope to bridge our divisions is to listen. To respect our differences; to unite in spite of them, and to forgive.
For while our adversaries will seek to divide us by their scorn and judgement, we must never seek to homogenise our messages; we must never sanitise our media.
Written by Suzie Dawson
Official Website: Suzi3d.com
Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!