Tuesday, March 8, 2011
who would want to be the last human on Earth?
Working at a coffee shop, it has come to my attention that there may be a tendency for the country of origin of the bean can influence a persons' preference in selecting a brew. For example, the day that I write this, the coffee shop is offering either an Ethiopian or Costa Rican blend of coffees. The Costa Rican blend was exhausted many times over before the Ethiopian needed to be brewed again. Granted, as has been noticed, a darker roast (which the C.R. is) tends to be preferred overall by the clientele at this particular coffee establishment. With that being said, the idea that the mental reflex of media imagery between these two particular countries is drastic and may influence where people would gravitate towards, even in as something as nominally consequential as selecting between 2 coffees.
When thinking about Costa Rica vs. Ethiopia, unless you have visited them both first hand, whatever imagery comes to mind is only shaped by media. Whether it is a lush pictorial essay on the tropical rain forest of Costa Rica or the starving children of the desert of Ethiopia as said by Sally Struthers, the portrayal is of drastic polarity. One, abundant, thriving and brightly colored, a vibrant portrayal of culture whose rhythmic pulse is seductive and virile. The other, a monochromatic, flat portrayal of a bleak, needy place, cultivating an image of no one's preferred destination.
These stark differences, these immensely varying topographical and psychological mental images, where are their role in our decision making process on such a benign situation? Is there room for considering the region and the consequences of supporting its exports? That snap judgment of what best serves me in this time of desire for synthetic energy and pleasant taste, does the consideration beyond self-service? Yes, evolution has conditioned this human, and other animals to mostly focus on self interest (self preservation) but in this cushioned, highly comfortable life that the Western World finds itself in, this pervasive and unwavering idea of "everything is about me", will (as I see it) come to drastically effect the preservation of the species as a whole. Who would want to be the last human on Earth?
As media exploits our innate propensity for self preservation, in a name of capitalist infatuations, our proximity to extinction of either our physicality, spirituality, or morality becomes more and more intimate.
Viva Marshal McLuhan!!!