Good Essay On Anthropology Reading Response

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Disaster, America, Hurricane, Series, People, Wind, Politics, Information

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/17

Based on the past week’s readings, one thing can be inferred and that is counter-narratives exist for a reason. In fact, most counter-narratives do not only exist for a reason, rather, they are also filled with reason, and at some point, enough justification for a significant number of people to believe them over more mainstream narratives such as the ones that are being published in news TV shows, newspapers, and radio programs. In Katrina’s Imprint, for example, the author highlighted the significance and implications of the sentinel American event that is the attack of hurricane Katrina, and its continuing reverberations in contemporary forms of culture, politics, and public policy.
One good point in that work is that it can be seen as a certain form of encouragement to the government to further improve the services that they provide to the people in terms of location, access to healthcare and transportation, disaster resilience, among other aspects of public policy making that have been exposed, albeit in a negative manner, following the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina . In another article published in the Chicago Tribune in 2001, that one may also classify as a form of counter-narrative, the author described how the effects of the age or irony have deeply penetrated American culture and how even the most serious things such as the series of bombings that occurred in September 11, 2001, still led to a series of jokes mainly because of the works of the scholars of humor .
These two counter narrative works alone show how different the aims, goals, purposes, messages, and qualities of alternative forms of information aside from mainstream sources can be different. In the first example that has been used and referred to, it can be said that the goal of the author was noble and not just to profit from the spread of information that is fairly common goal among operators of alternative media firms and channels. Specifically, the goal of the authors were to increase the Americans and the American government’s awareness of the lapses in policy making and more importantly disaster preparedness that were forcefully exposed during the devastating results of Hurricane Katrina so that in the future, similar events would not happen again. In the second example that we used, on the other hand, it can be fairly said, with credits to the person who authored the journalistic piece on the effects of the age of irony on the American people’s collective response to the 9/11 series of devastating attacks, that the purpose was not so noble and social significant.
The most accurate answer to the question what types of counter-narrative merged in the midst, wake, and even months and years after the 9/11 series of bombings and Hurricane would be “a lot”. With the advent of the internet and most states’ unregulated method of spreading and sharing information, often by means of using the World Wide Web as the medium, the sheer number of counter narratives and other alternative sources of information aside from the mainstream ones have exponentially grown. In the case of the 9/11 incident, for example, there have been counter narratives suggesting that the United States government itself planned and executed the attack in order for it to have a formal, domestically and internationally-recognized reason to wage a war against Afghanistan, Iraq, and other key countries and territories it targeted; that the planes that crashed into the world trade center buildings were not really hijacked but was controlled by the American government in order to make the plan to pin down the Al Qaeda and justify the Bush administration’s costly and expensive war on terror.
Some authors of these counter-narratives even went as far as suggesting that such drastic events were nothing but a product of a huge conspiracy perpetrated by the U.S. government, even providing evidences to their claims. The same is, in fact, true in other significant and at the same time drastic events (some of which are naturally occurring disasters). After reading all the past week’s reading materials, I have come up with the conclusion that most, but definitely not all, of these counter narratives make the situation worse because of several reasons. Firstly, they stir confusion.
People have always been driven by the herd mentality and so news, regardless of how accurate or inaccurate it is, would easily spread to other places until that news becomes the generally accepted truth or belief in the areas where it has spread, again, regardless of how inaccurate it is. In essence, this is the main mechanism how counter narratives trouble the mater narratives concerning the 9/11 series of attacks and hurricane Katrina. The most important thing that people have to remember however is to use their heads and be selective when it comes to the things that they believe; they can read as many narratives as they want but when it comes to choosing which ones to believe, they must use their head and instincts because in this world and era where there information is easily accessible, lies can easily poison a person or even an entire nation’s mind.

Works Cited

Neuman, J. (2001). Hear the one about the traveling Taliban. Chicago Tribune.
Wailoo, K., O'Neil, K., Dowd, J., & Anglin, R. (2010). Katrina's Imprint. Rutgers Press.

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