Monday, August 25, 2008

more War Words

Our culture is swimming in the words of war.

When people have a serious illness like cancer, they are said to be battling cancer. (When Danielle had breast cancer, she didn't feel comfortable with battling, so she imagined a bunch of little social workers escorting the misbehaving cancer cells out of her body.)

And we have so many more: the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the battle for equality, fight for rights, and so on.

Words are like tools. A quotation attributed to Abraham Maslow: "When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail".

This is an allegory for how media and technology offer us metaphors for thinking about the world, and thus limit or frame our way thinking. If we use the words of war, we frame the linking between ourselves and others in the hierarchical form, rather than the heterarchical form.

[music example Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar]

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