The day of the briquette…
There is a prevalent phenomenon which is deeply embroiled in the fabric of our modern society. Initiated by the first mass produced portable cameras of the 70s was the ability for the amateur to document their world through photography; since then the slide towards an ever more pervasive social state of passive observation has ensued. With media becoming ever more pervasive and working its way into every recess of our world, from the personal to the global, we have now entered a time of the briquette.
The briquette has been described as moulded block of coal dust, the soul of convenience where transportation, storage and combustion are concerned.
The briquette is the complacent bystander to all that passes them by, showing no willing to intervene where there is a clear role to. This nonchalant pacifism is prevalent at many layers within our society. From traffic jams which accumulate as a result of those passing drivers observing the disaster, not from those embroiled within it; to watch the unravelling of revolutions and wars on 24 hour news channels.
The Briquette absorbs the headlines concerning revolution occurring simultaneously in several countries around the world and can hold these actions equal, to headlines outlining the importance as what to wear this coming spring.
To be clear this problem is not at the political level. It is at the feet of the citizen.
At its most problematic it stops us from acting as citizens or within groups of citizens in response to occurrences, if we only experience through a sanitised media outlet then by return our response becomes sanitised as we surf from one factoid of information to another.
There is no conspiracy here; the focus is on the missed opportunities, with citizens dis-empowering themselves through inaction. It is startling in the extreme that 1,000,000 people line the streets of London to observe a monarch exchanging vows with a non-royal in a union of marriage, with a fraction of this number prepared to march on May day to proclaim their social or political desires in the same long weekend of holidays.
We choose of focus in a society by our in action as much as our actions.
This article was written in 2011 and as such is written in the context of the social and political conditions of the time