Scott and Maha,
These are very interesting observations about constructed realities. They aren’t socially constructed realities, which are indisputably real, but ideologically engineered ones: a world without Israel and a world without pigs.
The cancer one has me stumped though. Have you read Illich’s book, Medical Nemisis? This may be relevant. Illich says that the the medical profession constitutes the greatest single threat to public health and accuses it of forcibly transforming the entire population to the status of “patient” as a means of ownership and control. You may not speak to your oncologist. The reason may be political – it is about power.
Essentially, this is about voices – who is allowed to speak and who must STFU. The violence of this act cannot be underestimated. Where ever control of media is possible, someone will attempt to control it to amply their voice and to stifle others. This is why Cunningham and Groom are right, everyone must control their own presence, own their own space, tend to their own voice. Whenever we speak through channels others own, we can be shut down at a moment’s notice, with no explanation and no recourse. We become like the guy in the Phillip K Dick story, disappeared in plain view.