How is information controlled in our society? How does this add to or detract from our overall happiness?
Oftentimes, there is censorship on the television and radio. For example, watch the Jerry Springer Show, and count how many beeps you hear when the guests spring into a bout of profanity. Or, how often do you see the censor blur when someone takes off their clothing? This allows us to watch otherwise obscene television without all of the obscenities getting in the way. Sometimes you'll hear voice-overs in movies shown on network television, rather than a beep. Some CD's with explicit lyrics simply cut out the voice in questionable or explicit parts in order to sell their CD's to a younger or more conservative audience.
Newspapers throughout the country are known as "conservative" or "liberal," thus, they give certain political slants to what is reported. Likewise, television news stations give a liberal or conservative slant to news. And, of course, there are radio stations specifically designated as "liberal radio" or "conservative radio." Interestingly, there is a move to abolish conservative radio stations and not allow them to broadcast. Also, selections are being made of who can attend press conferences and ask questions of the president of the country.
Often, news from overseas is not even broadcast, or it is softened by representing in drawings the perpetrators of crime as other than what they are. For instance, in a recent pirating crime, the pirates holding an assault gun on the hostage captain in the lifeboat were drawn in a sketch as of another race. Perhaps, this was done to "soften" the effect, or to not offend someone.
Be that as it may, such renderings and screenings by media change reality. This kind of thing has been done in such novels as "Fahrenheit" and "Brave New World" and "1984" so that people remain comfortable and pliable by the controllers of the worlds. The greatest danger to man is control of his mind. In "Brave New World" the efforts are made in order to keep people "happy." However, their happiness is a pseudo-happiness, for there is no counterpart to it, sorrow. Afterall, one cannot really know happiness without having known grief; no one can be fully human without both. This concern was a great one to Ray Bradbury, the author, who foresaw American society becoming dehumanized.
No great changes are ever effected without the existence of discontent. Working to keep everyone "happy," keeps people from being truly human.