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Modernity (being composed of both objective and subjective realities)

The essay “The Braindead Megaphone” written by George Saunders present both a smart as well as complex commentary regarding the United States culture. The title of this essay is a metaphor that is well-built, which is comparing the U.S. mass medi...Read More

~Posted on Aug 2017


The essay “The Braindead Megaphone” written by Ge...

The essay “The Braindead Megaphone” written by George Saunders present both a smart as well as complex commentary regarding the United States culture. The title of this essay is a metaphor that is well-built, which is comparing the U.S. mass media to a guy who is at a party and is in possession of a megaphone. Saunders claims that although the things that this guy is saying is dumb, everyone who is in the room is listening to him since he is the loudest individual speaking. They end up responding among themselves from what he is saying.

Social factors, as well as technologies are increasingly significant to my sense of whom I am, where I am, as well as what is going on in the world. Whom I am is tremendously determined by the people who form my social circle, that is, friends, classmates, and family. Technological development in communication field has resulted into social media platform where I socialize with other people. “But I think we are in an hour of special danger, if only because our technology has become so loud, sleek and seductive, its power of self-critique so insufficient and glacial” (Saunders 18). Most of the time, the things that my friends talk about are nonsensical as Saunders in “The Braindead Megaphone” refers the media noise machine. Saunders uses the phrase “braindead megaphone” metaphorically. A megaphone refers to a big funnel-shaped instrument that is utilized for amplifying as well as directing one’s voice. However, in the above phrase, Saunders refers to the device as “braindead.” This implies that the megaphone is not functioning properly. Saunders utilizes “The Braindead Megaphone” to represent the U.S. mass media, which, despite having a great voice globally, it normally offers the public half-baked truths, therefore dumbing down their usefulness to the society, “hasn’t our mass media always been sensationalistic, dumb and profit-seeking?” (Saunders 17). The problem with the mass media is that it is not informing the media about the truth, but it is rather feeding the public with lies for the motive of making money.

In the article “Partial Recall,” Daniela Schiller is a neuroscientist who is exploring the relationship that exist between pain as well as memory. Daniela Schiller’s work is a response to a number of works that have been done by different artists which ranges from comic to tragedy. Nevertheless, memory is the loose themes in all the works. While living in Ukraine during the Holocaust, Daniela Schiller was captured by the Germans during WWII and was sent to a labor camp. Her father, who also survived the war, had deep emotions and would never talk about the memories that he had with the Germans during the Holocaust. Daniela Schiller’s curiosity on what had happened to her father later formed her careers’ focal point, “But I grew up with that fear in the background. What was he hiding? Why? How do people even do that?” (Spector). At the end of the story, the author argues that pain and trauma should not be suppressed, but one should release the pain through emotions, such as through crying, “I think it’s good to cry—you should bring back memories and relive them. And since you are not in the war anymore, it might be a good experience” (Spector).

In conclusion, there is a relationship between the articles “Braindead Megaphone” and “Partial Recall.” Whereas “Partial Recall” addresses the pain and trauma that result from past nasty experiences, that is, the Second World War,“His daughter (Unreich), asked him once again, for the film, to discuss his memories (Spector),” the article “Braindead Megaphone,” which pays much attention on the mass media, shows that instead of the media covering such stories to make people heal from past traumatic experiences, it is busy providing the public with inaccurate copy of what the truth is, accompanied by shallow entertainment for the mere motive of earning profits. 

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