Sunday, May 17, 2009

Opium of the people

One of the biggest time-sinks on the Internet is Twitter. For me. It's an easy method of procrastination. I can open it up & follow strange links to useless and amusing sites. This morning I remarked on this characteristic of Twitter - after reading somebody's account of the survival of tomato seedlings.

(I'm glad they survived - but why would I care?)

Anyway - I told my friend that Twitter can be useful for searching for subjects, and just for kicks I searched "Azerbaijan," to see if there were any news flashes about continuing civil unrest there.

Nothing about that - but all sorts of tweets and twittering about the Eurovision song contest. I remember last year - how that was all people were talking about in Azerbaijan. I couldn't get away from that tune that the was the entry that year- the one with the histrionic demon & angel screaming at each other.

My thought - reading all these tweets - was how Marx needed to be updated. Religion is not the opium of the people. Pop is the opium of the people. In the USA, people are more concerned about American Idol entrants than they are about Supreme Court justices. In Europe, I guess the priorities aren't that much different.

Perhaps it's a question of agency and transparency. The public can see the singers perform. They can cast their votes by telephone. The public in Azerbaijan seems to have far greater input into the winner of a Eurovision song contest than it does in the formulation of government policies.