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Getting the Message Across

June 11, 2008

Last night, Tom and I were discussing the most effective ways of getting messages of awareness and change out to people who have been blinded by mass media and the government.  He argued that light-hearted videos such as The Meatrix and Grocery Store Wars were more likely to be a catalyst for change (or at least awareness) than more hard-core videos like Earthlings,because the general public would find them amusing and would tolerate watching them (even I haven’t been able to get through Earthlings in one sitting).

He has a point. The hardest part about exposing the truth is getting people to listen, and these animated videos put forth important messages without making you queasy.  But… Will these videos prove effective for inspiring actual change??  

I think most people in our society are unwilling to transform how they live or modify what they believe in until they are personally impacted and/or shaken to the core.   What is getting SUV drivers to re-think their means of transportation?  It isn’t warnings about global warming (after all, who cares if polar bears are dying?!).  It’s “the pinch at the pump”!  

I don’t exclude myself: I dated Tom – a vegetarian of 20+ years – for almost four months before I became convinced to give up all meat.  What was the catalyst?  The astounding, courageous book Fast Food Nation.  I had watched all the requisite cow cartoons an intergalactic store wars videos that Tom is a fan of, but nothing convinced me prior to reading the book.  

Would I have been as receptive to the book’s message if my mind hadn’t been primed by these deceptively cute videos?  Perhaps they play a much more important role than I give them credit for.  What do you consider the most effective means for getting your message of change across?

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