How was your reading week? Think back to your week and can you observe anything you witnessed through the media, relationships, or events that somehow relates to the ideas & theory we’ve been discussing this semester?
(you may just come up with something related to what you want to write about reading week)
Here I provided the two of the classmate’s posts that can respond to, and the response as a reference
Classmate’s post #1
I hope you all had a good reading week. Thinking back on my own week, something that I witnessed through the media that relates to ideas we’ve been discussing this semester is in relation to the war between Ukraine and Russia. What I witnessed connected to what was discussed in this week’s lecture in particular. As many significant events unfolded throughout the week between Russia and Ukraine, there was a great deal of online activism across social media. I feel that this really connected to what Professor Gildea discussed in class today about how posting something online alone does not necessarily change something. In order for the world to change, you have to change yourself and your actions. Unfortunately, it is often the case that many people who engage in these forms of solidarity online do so out of following a trend rather than making a real effort to make changes. It may be possible to say that these people are living in a state of narcosis if we were to apply McLuhan’s theory here. However, perhaps any awareness about important causes may be better than no conversation at all.
Response to classmate’s post #2
I think the Western media’s propaganda offensive in this Ukraine incident is worth learning from. First of all, I’m an anti-war activist, and I don’t agree with the existence of war at all. On the other hand, we must realize that public opinion warfare is also a significant part of modern warfare as media workers. International public opinion can guide the trend of war. As you said, many people live in a state of paralysis, and they will not go to the root of the incident. The direction of public opinion essentially controls them. This phenomenon is something we need to reflect on.
Classmate’s post #2
The biggest event of the week was the Ukraine conflict. As far as the current situation is concerned, international public opinion has primarily condemned Russia’s aggressive behavior. On the other hand, I have observed the position of the Internet in China, and the views of Chinese netizens can be divided into two factions.
One faction is the primary battle, supporting Russia to defeat the Ukrainian government controlled by the United States.
One faction is anti-war and advocates a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian issue but does not oppose de-Americanization and de-NATOization of Ukraine.
Both factions agree that the eastward expansion of the United States and NATO is also harming China’s interests. So now Russia is at war and is taking into account China’s interests.
The masses under the influence of China’s Internet-connected mainstream media believe that both the pro-war faction and the anti-war faction should realize that this war is in China’s interests. Therefore, Chinese media supports Russia in resolving the Ukraine issue, despite disagreements over whether People should resolve it peacefully or by force.
In my understanding, I think world political issues are diverse and complex, and media control exists in every country. Therefore, media control at every level affects the opinions of the masses.
Response to classmate’s post #2
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has certainly raised a great deal of discussion over media control and the role that the media plays in global conflicts and political opinion in situations such as this. During times like this, we could apply the theories we’ve been discussing so far in the semester to help navigate the complexity of information we are currently seeing in the media. For example, if we look at what McLuhan calls ‘narcissus narcosis’ we can better understand how some media outlets and audiences may be responding to this crisis. In a state of narcissus narcosis, one is left in a sort of sleepwalking state and may be somewhat numb to the media they are consuming. These recent events remind us how important it is to awake from this narcosis and consider the news we read. One way McLuhan suggests we do this is by using art which comments on and questions the norms which shocks our system and in turn wakes us out out the narcosis.