The Media and War

Almost a century ago we had a war to end all wars. But we could say we’ve had nothing but since! Millions dead. Homes torn apart. Artistic and philosophical movements stopped dead in their tracks.

While some may rhapsodize about the war years being the best years of their lives, perhaps this is an example of selective nostalgia.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, The Media and War.

I remember the Edwin Starr hit from the ’70s – War: What is it Good For! And the strong exclamation point in response – Absolutely Nothing.

Now, this is a delicate subject because many people have lost loved ones to war situation, so I do not in any way to come across as disparaging their memories. My point of view is that it’s a terrible thing that we have any situations here on earth – especially here in the 21st century – where any human beings are losing their lives because we have not found a way to live together without killing and torturing each other. I believe we should be able to live in a world where the laying down of life for country or religious group or tribe would simply never come up.

So it is from that perspective that I would like to step out and explore this subject. And I hope I can express myself well enough here to add something valuable to the conversation that we actually have very seldom – to our shame.

That being said, most of us can agree at least with the idea that war is a last – and I mean way, way distant last – option for solving problems.

So let me try to offer a psychological perspective on war and aggression here on the 5th anniversary of a completely unnecessary war in Iraq.

Norberto Keppe is a Brazilian psychoanalyst whose work can give us a profound view of all aspects of human experience – particularly the sick ones. For Keppe, the essence of life is goodness, truth and beauty. All that exists, by itself, naturally, has those qualities. Any deviation from that is created and maintained by we human beings. And the moment we stop feeding destruction and evil and sickness, they stop.

This is a profound basis from which to move out in analyzing life and social situations, of course, and is the one we will adopt in looking at human war today.

My guest is Italian journalist, Fabrizio Biliotti, who sat down with me recently for an expansive discussion about the role of the media in analyzing the world we live in – especially as it relates to war – and our most high profile war in particular.

Click here to listen to this episode.

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