The praise of stupidity

Image: João Nitsche
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By DANIEL BRAZIL*

The globalized media, allied to economic and political interests, started to define tastes and choices

watch the series The Queen's Gambit it can make anyone over forty a little melancholy. It is the story of a girl who, in the late 1950s and 1960s, excelled at chess, winning major championships in the US and going on to play tournaments in Europe. The hegemony of the time belonged to the Russians, considered unbeatable. The youth of the 1960s were interested in the game, they knew the names of the world champions, newspapers and TVs reported the electrifying finals. Half the world accompanied the match Fischer x Spassky, in 1972, with the backdrop of the Cold War. In fact, there were chess columns in the newspapers, and even specialized magazines, as the series illustrates.

Let's jump to 2020. Today's young people follow and know the names of MMA fighters, that imbecility that someone has already defined as two men in their underwear making out inside a chicken coop. Gone are the chess columns, and even the crosswords.

Of course, we also liked (and I include myself here) sports, the Olympics, three-time champion football, São Silvestre, volleyball and even boxing. Does anyone know who is the world boxing champion today? In the 1960s-70s-80s everyone knew. Even though it was a rough sport, the men wore padded leather gloves so as not to hurt their opponent's face. And we had Muhammad Ali, nonconformist champion, symbol of black resistance to the system. Who is against status quo in the UFC? By the way, are there any rebellious and politicized soccer players in Brazil today? Only the volleyball player Carol Solberg outlines a solitary protest, and it will be “cancelled” by the media dictatorship for a long time.

No, today's youth are not to blame for not knowing these things. It is the globalized media, allied to economic and political interests, that started to define tastes and choices. He made chess and crosswords disappear and dried up the literary sections in the newspapers. The current press is like a poor supermarket, from some outback lost in the world, which only offers one brand of pasta on the shelves. The consumer survives thinking that there is only that.

The contemporary media scheme has brought to the headlines what, in the 1th century, was considered the sewer of journalism: gossip about the intimate lives of artists and personalities, the exaltation of the physical to the detriment of the intellect, the manipulation of data, the depoliticization, the brazen propaganda of financial interests. Open the portal of any of the largest contemporary media outlets (GXNUMX, Uol, et caterva) and measure the space devoted to culture, the debate of ideas, the discussion of the nation's real problems, comparing with the space devoted to gossip, idiotic videos, the most banal crimes. There are even columns dedicated to commenting on execrable programs like BBB and A Fazenda, reality showsthat would put the creators of television to shame, if they had any.

In the communication faculties of the XNUMXth century there were subjects such as Deontology and Ethics. They seem to have disappeared in current courses. Something was lost along the way, and this is one more symptom of the serious illness that affects journalism today. Generations being (de)formed by the most mercenary media, cultivating individualism, arrogance and contempt for social causes. The journalist (or the) leaves college without knowing who John Reed was, but dreams of covering a fashion show or music festival with the right to free lunch.

The damage is worldwide, and there is no way to dissociate this from the advance of conservatism, totalitarianism, religious fanaticism in the 2009st century. In Brazil, the project to renew the country's media, encouraged by the democratic advance of the Lula era, was buried along with the conclusions of the National Communication Conference, in 1962. After mobilizing dozens of entities, unions, associations, universities, employers and employees, shelved the indications that would update a regulatory framework in force since 2020. It is the one that remains in force, in the middle of XNUMX, maintaining the privileges of the old and oligarchic monopoly, colonized and vile press.

Among other points, Confecom proposed regional quotas for audiovisual production, respect for diversity, right of reply, end of cross-ownership of vehicles (as in the USA), creation of municipal, state and federal audiovisual channels with public funds managed by community councils. Considering that there will be presidential elections in 2022, would it not be the case to put this issue back on the agenda of all left-wing candidates right now? The watchword has been around for some time: democratization of the media, now!

* Daniel Brazil is a writer, author of the novel suit of kings (Penalux), screenwriter and TV director, music and literary critic.

 

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