Mirrored context: how do we contextualize global news?

I started to watch a finance TV channel called Bloomberg a couple years ago. My contact with people in the United States led me to a spiral of self-doubt, but also a great interest in the American life, their ways, their dreams, in comparison to mine. Fast forward, skip, who cares: the big four are more talked about than McDonalds and Hollywood. And so it takes a bit of contextualization to understand how we got here. CNN tries. Let’s go back to the history of the Olympics. Let’s talk about the phonographic record. Personally, I think, and I’m not alone, that music is more universal than marathons. But back to finance. I’m an artist who’s using a joke to try to be funny on social media, where I try to advertise my content, which includes music: “gimme dollar”. Recently, I wore my dad’s black polo shirt covering my mouth and hair, uttered the phrase and got comparisons with a terrorist group you might have heard about on the news. Good thing I studied humor in college. But in terms of payments, even an industry giant with 165 million people paying to use their service still can’t guarantee that you’ll make a significant earning. Podcasting, real language, real issues. It all makes sense, except that language is still filtered in mainstream platforms and media in general.

How do I know what part of American life I can actually relate to? Is it the fight for health care, racial equality, closing of gender and income gaps? I could quote this or that study, article, TV interview, but these topics are essentially political — or rather, social. And yet, Facebook says you have to provide proof of identity in order to be talking about social issues on social media. Yeah, exactly: they tell you how to socialize, they conceptualize what society is and should look like, then they ask for your social security and show you ads (promoted content, let’s update the terminology since Mark won’t) that basically make you question all your social interactions, because what matters is the picture, and what matters is how many likes you got being successfully bipartisan. But wait a second, Brazil has over 30 different political parties — and we’d probably be asking questions about Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, given recent news that sound just normal for an accustomed, humble and domesticated Brazilian, but pretty insane for everybody else: the president wanted to close Supreme Court because one of the judges was arresting disseminators of fake news for profit, funded by his base, while claiming it violated freedom of speech. It reminds me of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and that memorable CNN debate, when the evidence suggested collaboration between Republicans and Russian influence groups (excuse me, robots), while her private communications had been leaked:

Now, I wanted to give a shoutout to Charlie Brooker, who inspired me to write this. From sex lives of politicians being in the public conversation to online voting for who dies next and violence over family control of social and romantic relationships, there’s a lot that he saw or maybe teased with before the pandemic had even started. But that is far from the point. The pandemic happened, lives were lost, and it’s not the fact that some of us watched a semi-fictional work on a paid streaming platform that matters, it’s still the risk and the loss. But risk and loss are almost glamourized by, coming back to where I started, financial culture. The man up in your friendly GIF ran cassinos; one of the points raised by Republicans was Hillary’s handling of a crisis in Lybia. Very different situations, I’d say. But this case, after people already knew about the NSA, was around her use of private email for work. House of Cards, ironically, played with that notion. But our lives are not always intersected with politics, and the narratives of media channels very often abuse retelling stories of real people with distorted points of view for audience. But isn’t that just the American point of view?

For a blogger, it takes some time thinking about what you’re going to build on, and a few searches to indicate that you’ve done your part and got informed before you started speaking freely about a certain subject. But it’s madness. The case for privacy is one thing — and the political approach to a question that affects us all can be very toxic, for lack of a better word; the concept and process of globalization is another; dystopian scenarios that we can’t possibly enjoy make a whole different discussion, though privacy is related; every social issue is going to relate to each background and environment; financing is a complicated issue to debate with people who have different positions at work, and I didn’t even mention people working online. But my blogs are like COVID lungs: let’s call it the day. I have several personal questions that could be addressed, but I’m not here to make an analysis of a C-SPAN video with Ron deSantis talking at the Republican convention or whatever just because I met a girl from his hometown. Actually, I refuse to give any attention to this particular figure, and who the hell is going to tell me my approach is faulty, dumb, dishonest? Because faulty is one thing, dumb is another. Good criticism, that exists. How to improve. Then there’s insult. But dishonesty isn’t something you’re going to see here. I don’t criticize Instagram because what I want to do is keep sending private messages to 13 year olds; I criticize Instagram because, after I moved back with my family and lost contact with all the people who made up my social life, I had to find work and I couldn’t, so I wrote a master’s project that analyzed Instagram marketing (and I got kicked in the ass). Of course, kick is a metaphor. So my question is: if I think Facebook isn’t the greatest and most ethical company in the world, and we assume that’s a macro analysis just because I’m supposed to be older and, um, wiser, then where’s the micro? Where’s the 13 year old saying “he’s a cool guy and all”? They’re absolutely not doing that. And it’s time you realize that the problems we try to fight today are inconveniences for a generation that believes in something else. And while we try to navigate discussions about big platforms’ internal workings, these are moderator’s opinions, not actual feelings or ideas from the people who are likely to think about addressing issues in some metamorphosis of blogging, 10 years from now.

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