On April 18 in Las Vegas, Lowry Mays, chairman of radio giant Clear Channel Communications, will receive the broadcast industry's "Distinguished Service Award." This is the same Lowry Mays who has obliterated local news and music, buying up 1,200 radio stations and scrubbing homegrown artists from their playlists.
Even the technical media are relentlessly forced into uniformity. Television aims at a synthesis of radio and film, and is held up only because the interested parties have not yet reached agreement, but its consequences will be quite enormous and promise to intensify the impoverishment of aesthetic matter so drastically, that by tomorrow the thinly veiled identity of all industrial culture products can come triumphantly out into the open, derisively fulfilling the Wagnerian dream of the Gesamtkunstwerk – the fusion of all the arts in one work. (Adorno and Horkheimer) (via)
And to help maintain my status as a useful political blogger, because status is what we all crave so much:
I, _________________________ (fill in the blank), being of sound mind and body, DO NOT wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means.
Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of peckerhead politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it.
If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to sit up and ask for a scotch, it should be presumed that I won't do so ever again. When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my spouse, children and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes and call it a day.
Under no circumstances shall the members of the Legislature enact a special law to keep me on life-support machinery. It is my wish that these assholes mind their own damn business, and pay attention instead to the health, education and future of the millions of Americans who AREN'T in a permanent coma and who nonetheless may be in need of nourishment.
Under no circumstances shall any politicians butt into this case. I don't care how many fundamentalist votes they're trying to scrounge for their run for the presidency in 2008, it is my wish that they play politics with someone else's life and leave me alone to die in peace.
I couldn't care less if a hundred religious zealots send e-mails to legislators in which they pretend to care about me. I don't know these people, and I certainly haven't authorized them to preach and/or crusade on my behalf. They should mind their own damn business, too.
If any of my family goes against my wishes and turns my case into a political cause, I hereby promise to come back from the grave and make his or her existence a living hell.
Wondering if to put one's own right to death in someone else's hands isn't to ask them to commit a violence against themselves, against the very condition of possibility of your friendship, fidelity and trust. To demand to be preserved solely by machines is also to consign one's body to a biopolitical violence, to wager on a miracle future with, in some important sense, a hand already empty. Surely there is a reasonable period for holding out hope. But the fanatical clinging to 'life' at all costs, is little more than a hollow, sentimental act of default desperation. What does it mean to be truly responsible for one's own life? Don't bluff away the duty of death's sentence, maybe.
Related, belated link or two.