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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Journalism At Death's Door?

I read about the death of newspapers and journalism, much of it blamed on the straw woman called the Internet. But everybody seems to be skirting the real culprit in this issue, and that is the quality of today's journalism. People haven't stopped reading newspapers because they prefer getting their news online. People have stopped reading newspapers and stopped watching main stream news on TV or listening to radio because all of them offer little to nothing of value.

Radio has become a sad, and dangerous, joke. During Katrina, people who couldn't read could get zero emergency information on the radio. That's because FCC Chairman and Bush Appointee Kevin Martin was too busy jumping up and down on hotel beds in front of an industry lobbyist and an XM Satellite Radio media executive - you know, those guys that Kevin was supposed to be independently, soberly and professionally overseeing. Meanwhile, he was helping Rupert Murdoch and Clear Channel turn news into global news monopolies. The fall-out from this during Katrina was that independent guys had to erect their own news radio towers (examples here and here and here) in order to broadcast helpful information to people who were stranded. All of the "local" news was prerecorded somewhere in other far-away cities and so, there was zero local information available.

When news companies decided that news was entertainment for the masses, shit started to literally roll downhill, and across the country. Now there are buffoons like Jim Cramer, who makes an ass out of himself for one thing, but more importantly, spewed, and continues to spew, WRONG information about the financial markets. The other day I was excited to see that Arianna Huffington was going to interview Elizabeth Warren and Eliot Spitzer on ABC's Squawk Box. I don't even know the names of the goofballs on Squawk Box, but during each show, I kept thinking, STFU! every time any of them opened their mouths. Of course, they tried to focus on Spitzer's salacious prostitution scandal (because they think viewers love that shit...and the media loves that shit), versus listening to what he had to say (of great value) about the current economic disaster. I wrote about Spitzer's connection with AIG, and even though he's a huge putz for paying for sex while he was an elected official, the Attorney General for fuck's sake, I believe he was taken down by BushCo in order to shut him up about AIG. Of course Spitzer had to leave office. But so should diaper-wearing David Vitter and men's room foot tapper Larry Craig.

What I'm trying to say here is that the contrast of Arianna Huffington trying desperately to stay on point and allow Warren and Spitzer to enlighten us, against the backdrop of her empty-headed, entertainer co-hosts, was stunning. I'm lucky to be in Paris and not have to watch American shit TV news, but even before I left I never watched them. There's NO CONTENT. That's why.

Future news is also a big problem. Huffington Post is also guilty of this. American news in all formats is plastered with conjecture about what might happen. What Obama might do, what Congress might do, what so-and-so might say. What could be the problem, could be the cause, could be the next imminent disaster. Just pick up any newspaper right now, or go online to any main stream media website, and count the number of future news articles. What's left might be worth reading. But I doubt it.

The problem with the American media's recent swine flu orgy is a classic case of crying wolf. The headlines screamed impending death and destruction, while 100 people IN THE WORLD were sick. Heck, by now I think it might be a total of 1000. I don't know the exact figure, and I don't care. But the problem with sensationalist horse shit like this, is that it gets us all cranked up, and then it dies. Meanwhile, in the last day or two I've been watching a headline on CNN's home page "WHO reports big jump in swine flu cases" start at the top of the article list and quickly descend to the bottom and now it's landed in nowheresville because the media has exhausted the public with their overblown coverage, and nobody's clicking on that news anymore. The problem is, right now, if any vital information about swine flu needed to get out there, the media has made it difficult, or impossible to get the public's attention.

Even though the American people have been easily led around by their noses by the media, I think at some level, they know that they're being fed pablum, and aren't getting the news they need, in a professional format, uninfluenced by money or power. This is what has destroyed newspapers, and what will destroy TV news. People will start looking elsewhere for real, in-depth, fact-based journalism, and leave the buffoons choking on their own fairy dust.

If you want to read about a real journalist, whose biographical statement is just as true today as it was when he wrote it in 1963, check out Izzy Stone.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Welcome To Shangri-La

I've been reading about these red states that are considering succession, and have been amused at some writers who talk about what the residents of those states would be losing if they disconnected from federal aid. Then I read about the fact that Faux News is the "bright light" of Rupert Murdoch's empire and how it commands the best TV ratings over CNN and other "real" news networks. This, of course, saddens me. The fact that so many Americans actually watch that shit. Regularly. So....it got me to thinking...

What if everyone who faithfully watches Faux News got their way and got rid of all the socialists, liberals and other bad people like us in America. What if America became a country dominated by Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly fans? What would it be like?

Well, first of all, there would be no Mexicans. Not even naturalized American Mexicans. Because, you know, we don't want any of that stinkin' swine flu that those wetbacks brought to America because they lived next to American factory farms. You see, because studies have shown, and US health authorities have declared, that overcrowding of factory pig farms have increased swine flu. So, the good ol' American capitalists, fearful of the dreaded business-killing regulations, moved their overcrowded pig farms to Mexico, where the laws are lax or nonexistent, and where they can have rivers of pig urine and feces a-flowin', unregulated. The first child to get swine flu in Mexico during this latest bout lived near an American pig factory owned by Smithfield Foods. I liked the subtle comment made by elevator on the article I just linked to: "A major corporation using the 3rd world as their own private dump? No one saw that coming."


So, in Limbaugh-O'Reilly land, there won't be any Mexicans living here, nor will any Mexicans be allowed to enter the U.S. Only white anglo-saxon Americans can come and go between the two countries, because somebody from the ruling class must go and make sure that those ignorant Mexicans aren't stealing anything down there in the pig swill.

I'm not sure what happens if a white anglo-saxon person falls in love with a Mexican and gets married and has kids. There will have to be laws about that, I'm sure. I also don't know who will work in the service sector, like maids in hotels or ditch diggers or construction workers or potato pickers or lawn cutters or house cleaners. If no migrant labor is allowed, I guess the children of the white anglo-saxon ruling class will have to take those jobs. Good luck on that one.

Then, all the black people will have to go. I don't know where, but they'll just have to go. Because they are responsible for all the crime in the U.S. dontcha know. And those welfare jail birds breed like... Mexicans. So, they've got to be banned. This will happily result in the disappearance of hip-hop music and Michael Steele. This will please the KKK people, including Limbaugh and O'Reilly. It will also get the Obamas out of the White House, which is a very good thing because the White House chefs are very tired of cooking chitlins in watermelon sauce and the White House gardeners are tired of tending Michelle's organic collard greens and arugula garden and well, hell, having little black kids running through the hallowed halls of the White House is beyond the pale, so to speak.

Arugula, and putting mustard on burgers, will be banned too.

Next, all gay people absolutely, positively must go. They'll all be deported to Sweden, including Larry Craig and all those those log cabin Republicans.

And because America is a Christian nation, all non-Christians will have to leave as well. This is a little sticky. Which kind of Christianity is acceptable? That will be the question of the hour. But there are also many Christians in America who actually like Obama and who allow gay people in their churches and who support gay marriage. There will have to be a McCarthy-like commission that decides who is a real Christian, and who is not. Since all the black, Mexican and gay Christians will already be gone, this will simplify matters a bit. Jews will be allowed to stay, but only if they are members of AIPAC. Because, you see, the Christians tolerate the Jews temporarily, because they know that if they fund the Israelis to wage war against Syria and Iran, then the Middle East will soon be leveled, all those brown people will be killed and the Christians can finally take over the "Holy Lands" as it is written in the "Holy Bible." And Dick Cheney and Halliburton and Osama Bin Laden and the Bush family will finally own all the Middle East oil.

The fact that Jesus was a brown person from the Middle East will be surpressed, just like it is now.

All poor people will have to go too. And people who lose their jobs. Welfare and unemployment will be abolished. So, if you lose your job, too fucking bad, just get out. Go to Mexico and live with the pigs. As a matter of fact, the entire prison industry will move to Mexico, where they can do whatever they want to prisoners, including overcrowding them in cells, just like the pigs. Torture will be OK, too. And anyone who Limbaugh or O'Reilly don't like, well Limbo-Reilly will just torture a false confession from the prisoners in Mexico to incriminate the malcontents so they can be arrested and sent to Mexico too.

But who will fight all the wars that O'Reilly and Limbaugh will start, in order to rpove they have big dicks? I guess we'll conscript the prisoners in the Mexican jails. But they can't live or train in pristine America, so Blackwater will set up their training facilities in Mexico. Blackwater will become the American army, navy, marine corps and air force. Uh-oh. Are all those Mexicans and black people smart enough to fly planes and navigate ships? Hmmm. We'll need to have a lot of smart anglo-saxon white people doing the brainy stuff. But they'll be tainted from hanging out with all those Mexicans and black people, so they can't live in America either. And the gays are too gay to be in the military, so no problems there.

Prostitutes will be allowed to stay in America. As long as they're white. No more Mexican or Asian trim, boys. So sorry. But, shhh. Don't tell anyone. All those white Christians need an outlet for their sinning ways. After all, they'll need something to confess from time to time. And O'Reilly will need somebody to stick a vibrator up his ass, surely.

Women. What will we do with all those mouthy women? Well, with all the gays and non-Christians gone, the women who will be left will be much more pliable and obedient, like Michelle Malkin and Anne Coulter. Limbaugh will pass a law that Michelle Malkin must always wear her cheerleading costume and O'Reilly will spank Anne Coulter on TeeVee each week, just for kicks. All the rest of the women must dress like the Mormon polygamists and wear their hair in braids so they can be pulled around a lot. The Mormons will probably be gone too, along with the Catholics, so the women will have to look at pictures supplied by their husbands to get the costume right. The filthy internet will be banned, so the ladies won't be able to research their costumes. And libraries will be gone, because they are state funded and that's Socialist. There were way too many books to begin with. Books are a big problem. Sorry, Anne Coulter. You were a useful mouthpiece of the good ol' boys club when they needed you, but now it's time to shut the fuck up and do as your husband tells you. Oh, you don't have a husband? Then you can be a secret prostitute, if you're lucky.

Medicare will be stopped, as well as social security, since both are Socialist evils. So, when you're old or sick-and-old, you'll just have to die. OK? Medical care will only be available for the rich. But that's OK, because all the poor people, Mexicans who are currently crowding our emergency rooms (causing white people to die on a daily basis from lack of access to medical care) and people who lose their jobs will be in Mexico.

I don't even have to mention the Muslims, because they'll all be killed, and fed to the pigs.

Mexico is going to be a very crowded place. It will be a gay, criminal, indolent, infidel pig farm.

Health Care For All Americans

I like this new MoveOn ad about Obama's health care plan. Here in France, when I tell people I have no health insurance, they're shocked. Then I say, "Well, I'm an American." And they nod knowingly and say, "Ohhh. I understand."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Torture In Lego Land

Like somebody said in the comments on Legofesto's Flickr Photostream, how these cute little plastic figures assembled into torture scenarios can look so dark and terrifying is beyond me. But maybe it's because torture is dark and terrifying, no matter how much you sex it up with legal memos or little plastic dolls.

This slide show includes torture and rape at Abu Ghraib and the death of an innocent guy during protests at the G20, etc. So you can go to the Flickr site to read the captions for more information. And his blog is great too.

CNN's Deep Investigative Reporting Wizardry

And my deep sarcasm.

Here's today's CNN article title: Blackwater Era Ending In Iraq.

CNN never mentions that Blackwater mercenaries will just move onto DynCorp's and Triple Canopy's payroll. Blackwater, CNN and our government might think we're stupid enough to forget the past just by the flip of BW's company name to the unpronounceable XE and a press release masquerading as journalism, but I know some people who aren't buying any of this shit. The Iraqi people.

The (wanna-be) big-dick commando 'tude of the ex-XE-Blackwater boys isn't going to change. It's just going to be repackaged. So, CNN? It's a big stupid lie when you say the Blackwater era is ending in Iraq. OK?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Amazing: The Mathematics Of War

Thanks to Matthew Good for posting this fascinating video from TED (if you receive this post in an email and can't see the video, please click through to my blog to view it):

Sunday, May 3, 2009

He’s Entertaining, But He’s No Pueblo, Colorado

I don't know why I love this line so much, but I do. I do.

He’s entertaining, but he’s no Pueblo, Colorado.

It's a line from a blog that I like very much, probably because of its title: World O' Crap. And also the very, very funny writer, Scott Clevenger, who has his very own Mall O' Crap and a scintillating book called Better Living Through Bad Movies. And since I've done more than my allotted time trying to cure sleeplessness with old episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I am an expert now in bad movies, and therefore have the authori-tay to recommend the book (even though I didn't read it).

The blog post with the above-mentioned great line is about a pastor named Swank. I had never heard of him, but when I first read his name, I couldn't resist thinking "Schwank," and then, of course, "Schwing!" entered my dirty little mind. Schorry, Paschtor Schwank. Scho Schorry.

But when I looked up the Schwankster, I discovered he's just as "funny" as Garth and Wayne, but in the opposite way. Kinda. Schorta. Like the kind of opposite defined by a recent beauty contestant with pageant-paid breast implants (Disclosure: I have a Set O' Them too, except mine are older, literally older, than the beauty queen, and were drug-smuggler paid. Same diff.), who disclosed during the extremely important intelligence-test phase of the beauty contest, that she preferred "opposite marriage" over, well, butt fucking, I guess.

ANYhoo. I won't link to Mishter Schwank though. You'll just have to go find him your damn self. Because he is a bit, well, frightening. In a glasses-wearing, lips-that-allegedly-never-brushed-against-a-cock kind of way. He's opposite. Très opposite.

However, I did find, during my inveschtigation, another post from another blog I really like, called Sadly, No! It's a post about Hanky Schwanky from all the way back in 2006, so this Scwanker's been around, well, probably longer than my breast implants. So that means his tea bags have my breast bags beat, so to speak. Here's an amazing quote from the Paschtor:

Muslim murderers global are now taking names for suicide bomber squads who have AIDS. The Islamic fanatics have refined their murder craft now to include death by AIDS splash.

Shouldn't Schuwanee River Schwankerbocher have capitalized Muslim Murderers Global (MMG)? You know, the famous Mmm Mmm Ghuhs? Just sayin'. Anyway, again. All I know is I actually understand what he's saying in this quote, even though it's so very opposite of anything remotely sane. It's all about the blood and bones and flesh of Muslims with AIDS, schplasching their disease upon the world and killing everyone a second time. I guess. But the stuff Scott quoted from The Maschter of Schwankiness in his post yesterday wasn't even remotely understandable. I'm afraid that Schwank's schanity is schlipping fascht.

Perhaps I really love the Pueblo, Colorado quote because I've actually been to Pueblo, Colorado, and lived to tell the tale. It's the home of every mail-order advertisement's shipping center, and my ex-boyfriend's drug smuggling operations. Other than millions of mail boxes and pounds of pot, it's not what I would ever call an entertaining place. So Scott's irony is deep. Very, very deep.

The next time I talk to Schcott, I'll be schure to schwank him with my breaschts, in an opposchite kind of way, of course. I'll tell Schcott that he's entertaining, but he's no AIDS schplash. No siree.