How amusing it was to read the "history lesson in unreliable journalism" provided by a professional in the public relations field! (Mailbox, "Perils Of We," March 24).
PR has become the primary media source of misinformation, reckless optimism, fake sincerity and irrational exuberance, funded and disseminated far beyond the imaginations of 16th and 18th century media critics.
A good example is provided in the Spring issue of the Humboldt State University Magazine, where said professional, Paul Mann, is listed as a writer yet no article bears his name. But there's the telltale evidence of good PR writing: unrelenting cheerfulness and moonstruck optimism framed amid the usual tyranny of positive-thinking that has become an ideological force in American culture today (to paraphrase Barbara Ehrenreich in her book "Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America.")
Meanwhile, our reckless addiction to consumerism remains the thousand-pound Gorilla in the living room demanding immediate attention, an uncomfortable truth that is universally self-censored due to conflicts with the prevailing orthodoxy (a hallmark of tyranny). We are blanketed hourly with "positive" delusions of "plenty," despite the glaring reality of rapidly depleting resources, biodiversity and clean water. It has been described as the greatest inter-generational theft in human history.
Until we demand reality based leadership in government, academia and industry to address the Gorilla, technological-based solutions to our problems will remain largely irrelevant. With increasing amounts of public wealth required to extract diminishing quantities of the planet's resources, and "cheap" labor, public funds become less available for our schools, infrastructure and fundamental public programs, resulting in our further departure from economic self-reliance - to the benefit of fewer and fewer citizens.
George Clark, Eureka*