on The Death of Princess [Archives:1997/39/Last Page]

September 29 1997

Diana, Mother Teresa and President Mubotu MANIPULATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS…
By: Saad Salah Khalis
Three years ago, I have written in this very paper about the manipulation of the mind, and how our minds are so boldly controlled by the flow of very well conducted news and point of views that has succeeded to create new concepts of the world, and to presetting our priorities, up to the extent of managing to overturn the looks of many recipients even towards principal national issues.
What has become commonly known as the “CNN culture”, has successfully overcome the real deep culture based on the written material. Where the sons of this end of the century would rather sit for long hours facing the TV screen watching all that variety of satellite-transmitted material, rather than spending half of that time going over a serious book. The fast meal of superficial culture presented by such media means seems much easier to absorb by the layman, sitting relaxed in the warmth of his household, not even taking note of the deceit created behind the scenes by the manipulating master minds of this world. Very shortly, the “Internet” is likely to kill written press and news making once and for all.
Any passing by-stander watching the “CNN”, as a leading example, would surly believe that the mighty Lebanon is occupying the poor innocent state of Israel, and that Libya has invaded the USA, and that Iraq is a super power! Even the history witnessed by many that are still alive, is being gradually changed and re-written. In a few years, probably by the turn of the new century, our kids would not even recognize their being Arabs or Middle Easterners.
The great wheel of international media is not confined to manipulating our minds, as our consciousness seems to be an equal target. As an example, and talking mainly about Arab media, one would wonder what would make a women like princess Diana such a celebrity, and how would her death be much more important event than the massacre of tens of innocent Algerian citizens in the same week. Who would even know the name of the village where this massacre has taken place, let alone the names of the dead. How many citizens, intellectuals, or officials have called on the Algerian Embassy to offer condolences, compared to those who personally visited the British Embassy to express their deep sadness for the death of the princess. Of course, her Egyptian mate, who also died in the same accident, has no chance of being remembered.
Most of the TV watchers were switching the TV sets away from the “unimportant” news of Algeria and Lebanon, looking for the latest on Diana’s case, funeral and theories of death, which has the priority of all other news of the world and was transmitted live by almost eight TV channels. Many have cried in real tears, with a genuine sadness! I am not to criticizing the true passion here, but I do wonder what has overturned our consciousness priorities, and the directions of such passion. British citizens have all the right to feel sad, and it is their problem to throw away sixty million dollars worth of flowers, but do we have an equal right to do so?
The second example of manipulation is Mother Teresa, a struggling lady who devoted her life to the poor and the weak. She passed away immediately after the death of the princess. It was funny to see the difference between the two funerals, and the extent of media coverage for the two events. And now, after all those years of struggling, it seems that Mother Teresa is on her way to be totally forgotten, except for those who were really served and saved by this courageous woman. Should Mother Teresa were as young and beautiful as Diana, should she has all that never ending chain of scandals and love stories, should she wear thousands of dollars worth soiree’s, would she have a better chance to be honored? I believe that the answer is yes, and yes indeed.
Facing the truth, we have to admit that princess Diana psychologically represent and materialize all what the layman and laywoman of these manipulated generations would dream of: beauty, sex, wealth, illicit love, an as the right end of the story, … a tragic death. On the other hand, there lies Mother Teresa, with all her cancer ailments, sleeping with the sick and the poor, working day and night with the sole objective of saving humanity. What dream would such a person create to the manipulated masses, she would be a night mare that the visionaries of this age of “CNN culture” would highly disappreciate. This would take us to the third example, a man who died in almost the same period; Muboto Sisisikou, the Ex-President of Zaire (regained its older name of Congo now). Being one of the most feared, as well as one of the most corrupt, dictators of the third world, the man died in isolation in his exile in Morocco.
Very few Arab media really concentrated on this piece of news, “the dictator is dead,” as most of the Arab leaders are just modified copies of Mubotu. Any publicity of this event, which took place in a manner most dictators would never like to face, would surely bring the seeds of hope into the millions of the oppressed throughout the Arab World.
The idea of being mortal is highly disturbing to the leaders, who just like Muboto, set themselves to rule throughout their, unfortunately long, life spans. It is just natural that in the policies of media means, the death of princess Diana is much more important than the death of the African tyrant. This is not due to the fact of her being a more important news maker as many believe. It is rather due to the importance of drawing the layman’s attention away off the tragic way through which the tyrant was overthrown by his people.
The media flow tries to impose an assumption that it is easier to be lead an manipulated, rather than being alert and rebellious. To live in this new age, one has either to believe that the “CNN” is always right, and that princess Diana’s death is the event of the century, and there is nobody called Mubotu Sisisikou, or to believe that the number of children that die daily in our Arab World, either through hunger or through violence, worth even a few minutes of our time . . . and the option is ours.