< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 816 OF 879 ·
|Mar-13-12|| ||Domdaniel: <twinlark> Thanks for the Pilger link. I haven't always agreed with the old boy, but he's invariably worth reading. And I quite often *do* agree.|
A closely related topic was covered in today's Guardian ... the psyche-war methods that armies now use to turn their troops into affectless killers. It seems too many soldiers in the past had scruples, or had been conditioned by religious maniacs telling them frankly unAmerican stuff like 'thou shalt not kill'. Can't have that, obviously. So they reprogram 'em.
And when some unfortunate reconditioned killing machine shoots some of the 'wrong' people, they say he must be 'crazy'.
As are they all.
|Mar-13-12|| ||twinlark: <Dom>
I've sometimes felt Pilger's too apocalyptic and pessimistic and the first to see a downside when others are seeing the upside, but events and situations usually turn out to be worse than even he describes or expects (publicly anyway - I suspect even he feels the need not to express his deepest private opinions about what he sees in his travels).
He makes no attempt to be unbiased, which is simple honesty. He tends to get his facts right, and then interprets them in historical context and through the filter of his humanitarian values.
Can more be expected of an investigative journalist than that?
|Mar-13-12|| ||frogbert: apropos reading: i'm currently enjoying kahneman's 'thinking, fast and slow', which i recommend if you haven't already picked it up.|
|Mar-13-12|| ||achieve: <Can more be expected of an investigative journalist than that?> Yes and no, Larks... I lean toward the former. Yes, for several reasons I feel, and perhaps you touched on this yourself here: <but events and situations usually turn out to be worse than even he describes or expects (publicly anyway - I suspect even he feels the need not to express his deepest private opinions about what he sees in his travels).> What's the point really in addressing and documenting the greatest humanitarian tragedies; massacres; the main perpetrators and politically responsible -- if you are not relaying your "deepest" feelings/opinions on them? Re-address them even, especially in light- and <because of>- what you say?|
Political correctness or fitting a job description seem to be out of the question (at a point one passes that stage), considering the direness and persistent nature of the crimes against humanity and the times we live in.
My point of view may be much less "optimistic" than yours (was/is), and in my view it is my duty to express them - and my deepest feelings - as candidly as I can, of course given the appropriate setting, timing, and platform.
<Dom> Well played, good results, and - umm - "best of luck" with "work." Re the roof of votre Chateau Dom, et cetera. Can't have it leaking through the night.
|Mar-13-12|| ||Domdaniel: <twinlark> Maybe I'm being snobbish, but I like Pilger's contrarian side while not quite trusting his old-school journalist ethos. I have worked among hacks, I've even *been* a sort of arty semi-hack, and I don't trust any of 'em.|
Of course Pilger can't be compared with the likes of Murdoch's goons -- he's ten heads and a shoulder clear of all of 'em together. Yet there are still basic journalistic tropes and habits of thought that I don't quite buy into.
It's probably snobbery. Give me intellectual dissidents from consensus reality like Chomsky and Vidal, not some ... *populist*. Yep, definitely a case of snobbery ... I'll have it seen to after I've sorted out the roof on Chateau Dom.
While in Murdochia, all art aspires to the condition of Michael Winner. "Mr and Mrs John Stool have written in - using the internet, of all things! - to say what a fine fellow I am." The future of journalism.
|Mar-13-12|| ||achieve: And to avoid misunderstanding - I have great admiration for <John Pilger>'s work, especially from his superb documentaries, which are of high quality in my opinion, well-balanced, although one could and ought to make the case that Pilger doesn't go into the "who and why" deep enough. On the other hand that may be someone else's job, and really it's remarkable that Pilger can go as deep as he does, coming up through the corporate media filter to receive awards for eg 'Stealing a Nation' ... I can not recall having seen one single Pilger docu here on Dutch television, though, although - read because of - his film War on Democracy would be highly relevant with regards to Dutch participation in invasive action in Afghanistan, which was subject of potential parliamentary investigation a few years ago. That effort was thwarted, though.|
|Mar-13-12|| ||Domdaniel: <Niels> Thanks for dropping by with your pensees. My current 'work' is a commission to write a long piece about the Rolling Stones ... the popular beat combo, m'lud ... despite the fact that I don't usually write about music.|
I suppose I can skip the noise they make, and talk about what fine guests they make in one's castle or chateau. These days, anyhow. In their youth, I believe they took 'drugs' and threw butlers and under-footmen out of upstairs windows...
Crikey, that's some job description, innit? What do you do, young man?
"I'm an under-footman, sir. My job is to position myself under the feet of celebrities and lords and such, and let them walk on me. Ever so rewarding, it is. Lord Ouanquer de Banquer tipped me one of his personal farthings once."
|Mar-14-12|| ||achieve: <Dom> Of course, you should be "perfect for the job" - writing a not too long piece about the Stones, not being distracted by the Noise, you're a privileged man! heh Sorry, couldn't resist. I actually *do* think you could write a remarkably good piece on the cultural phenomenon, by mostly ignoring the noise, really. And for sure weave in: |
"The Under-footman" -
Speaking of a steady drip - your forum has reached 811 pages on my screen, fascinating number, but also reminding me of what you said 3 odd years ago to Jess, about catching up on her. Haven't checked her maj's count, and my ignore list might imply that you are well past <811>! Vous pouvez confirmer, ca?
And I was a bit too demanding on Pilger in my pensees, I realize, but one more question, what are the tropes and habits you speak of, and how can you ascribe them to Pilger? Just curious, as I am no insider, san.
You do know that "playing by the rules" doesn't get you anywhere, when acting in that type of journalistic arena.
As I said, just curious.
|Mar-14-12|| ||achieve: I've got our Queen on <895> pages by the way, which I *know* is considerably below the real count because of my iggy list... |
You've - gulp - attracted, or assembled, over <20,000> entries chez frogspawn, over the years, and Jess well on her way to 25,000 ...
|Mar-14-12|| ||frogbert: achieve, unless you start to post more nonsense more often, my nonsense will make me catch up with your kibitzing stats ... :o)|
and if you want your own forum to compete with dom's in terms of pages, technical draw and myself accept money transfers - it would make me a professional writer like dome, rite? (writing for money is writing for money)
|Mar-14-12|| ||achieve: <frogbert> Rite! It's not a money-issue, nor am I in the "competing business," not anymore ;)|
I do like to rile up others, though. And I prefer not to have an active forum, as it allows me to better handle my "time control" real/online life - and occasionally I miss it, the preemy status that is, because of the search kib function, mainly, OE, so I'll renew it no doubt at some point in the future.
A propos Pilger/Chomsky:
Wiki: <The English writer Auberon Waugh, writing in The Spectator in the 1970s in response to an article Pilger had written alleging Thai complicity in child trafficking (whose research was challenged), coined the verb "to pilger", defined as: to present information in a sensationalist manner to reach a foregone conclusion. The word was included in the Oxford Dictionary of New Words in 1991, but removed from the subsequent edition after Pilger complained and, according to some sources, threatened legal action. Noam Chomsky responded to Waugh's neologism by stating that "pilgerize" was "invented by journalists furious about his incisive and courageous reporting, and knowing that the only response they are capable of is ridicule."> (Reference is the article 'Chomsky answers the Guardian'.)
|Mar-14-12|| ||twinlark: <Dom>, <achieve>|
The term "pilgerise" was also coined back in 1983 and 1984 when Pilger took on Bob Hawke head on in a TV interview over breaking his rock solid promise for uniform land rights legislation in Australia to accommodate his Labor mates in the red neck mining State of Western Australia, and is trotted out by the right wing types on a regular basis.
In that context it meant something like bleeding heart hectoring combined with being fast and easy with the facts (as interpreted by the same right wing types).
<not quite trusting his old-school journalist ethos>
Pilger's made some interesting observations and comments about the origins of modern accredited journalism. Democracy Now ran published a transcript of his talk given at the launch of his "Freedom Next Time" book launch. A sample:
<Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations, wrote about an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. He was referring to journalism, the media. That was almost 80 years ago, not long after corporate journalism was invented. It is a history few journalist talk about or know about, and it began with the arrival of corporate advertising.
As the new corporations began taking over the press, something called "professional journalism" was invented. To attract big advertisers, the new corporate press had to appear respectable, pillars of the establishment — objective, impartial, balanced. The first schools of journalism were set up, and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around the professional journalist. The right to freedom of expression was associated with the new media and with the great corporations, and the whole thing was, as Robert McChesney put it so well, "entirely bogus".>
The rest is here: http://www.democracynow.org/2007/8/...
One of the ultimate ironies of modern journalism is the fact that John Pilger's expose of the killing fields of Cambodia has somehow morphed into Pilger having been a supporter of Pol Pot.
When bullshytte of that magnitude hits the rotating dispensary and propagates exponentially as it disperses, you know the man in doing something right. I have sometimes wondered whether Pilger now - and his coverage of Wikileaks/Assange - is the same as the Pilger back then, but he has if nothing else been entirely consistent over the years.
My query is, is Pilger's old style journalism described by a style that predates corporate-accredited journalism or does it refer to something a bit more recent?
|Mar-14-12|| ||Domdaniel: Whenever I feel the urge to fire off a snotty/sarcastic/appalled Letter to the Editor of some rag - which is most days, for a few seconds - I repeat Dr Johnson's mantra: "No-one but a blockhead ever wrote, other than for money".|
I'll get around to monetizing Frogspawn one of these years. They tell me there's something called 'the real world' and people who want to live in it are motivated by this money stuff.
I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm motivated by it. But ...
(1) Money can't buy you love (etc) ... but have you ever tried to buy it *without* money?
(2) I forget who wrote this bit of doggerel. Somebody googlable, no doubt:
"You cannot hope to bribe or twist,
Thank God! - the British journalist.
But seeing what the man will do
Unbribed, there's no occasion to."
|Mar-14-12|| ||achieve: <twinlark><My query is, is Pilger's old style journalism described by a style that predates corporate-accredited journalism or does it refer to something a bit more recent?> I think corporate journalism dates back to the 1920s, possibly even before that, depending the definition. Pilger was born in 1939, so he will have learned his craft in the age of corporate journalism, naturally, though equally naturally it can be expected that he chose to "go his own way" possibly "inspired by" old-school journalism, if there is such, in the same way as there are groups playing "Jazz"- even still at this moment in the present, in the style of the 20s-30s, 50s bebop style and era. No mistake the era has changed in character, as to what music industry dictates. But these root movements rightfully attract both performers and a certain listening audience. Rightly so, and consequently old-school can refer to both recent, and more distant, schools of thought, expression, and ethos.|
Not sure if this is a valid analogy regarding Journalism, but nonetheless worth mentioning.
Pilger has seen it all, developing over more than five decades.
As Chomsky confirms his voice is still unique and more than worth listening to.
My guess is <real> old school refers to pre-20s, but revived old school can occur at any subsequent available and appropriate timeslot.
|Mar-14-12|| ||Domdaniel: Niels is putting this much better than I could.
On the subject of media dissidents, three cheers for Doonesbury. Trudeau's strip is up there with Swift in the satire dept. Some people think it's 'just a comic' and should restrict itself to being blandly amusing, rather than lacerating those in power.
Especially men in power in Texas who say things like "do your parents know you're a slut?" to young women.
|Mar-14-12|| ||twinlark: Thanks guys. Basta.|
|Mar-14-12|| ||achieve: Well, I'm not finished, yet, as I was looking forward to Dom's explanation of what he himself brought up -- surely my innocent little jazz analogy mustn't qualify as clarification, let alone as "<Niels is putting this much better than I could.>"|
Meaning little more than "uhhh, sorry, haven't got the time right now" - and as such is mildly insulting, to me, possibly twinlark.
Who knows. "I will not (be) object."
|Mar-15-12|| ||twinlark: <achieve>
I'll keep track of Dom's response. I guess I'm still interested in understanding what there is about the old school journalistic ethos of Pilger's that he distrusts, especially the <basic journalistic tropes and habits of thought that I don't quite buy into>, as well as Pilger's purported populism.
Maybe the style of narration in Pilger's articles and documentaries tends toward the emotive, but unlike Moore, who wants to be the star of his show, I always felt Pilger was inviting us to share his concern, even anger, disdain and outrage at the abuses of power on which he regularly reports, and to feel compassion for the people who are downtrodden through little or no fault of their own. It's a thin line, but the right wing types are generally identified by their raucous tones and lack of anything resembling empathy let alone compassion.
Populists - aka rabble rousers - try to whip mobs up into an emotional frenzy, and there are many right wing hacks and shock jocks that do just that; it boosts their ratings amongst the immature and the jaded who want someone to tell them what to think and what to feel, and ensures their own pay packets remain stuffed with notes.
I don't see Pilger in this light. For me, he is inviting us not so much to be whipped into a frenzy, but to feel compassion toward the downtrodden with whom he spends much of his time - he even had the guts to be one of the first to point out how little progress has been made in post-apartheid Africa economically, when the rest of the world turned away assuming that particular Mission was Complete. He's one of the few to continually remind the world of the sheer cruelty and barbarism expressed by the Israeli regime toward the Palestinians on a mundane daily basis, a position that is deeply unpopular in the West, never fails to attract hostility where he goes, and is probably even risky to him physically.
In Stealing a Nation, he let us know of the sheer callousness and barbarity of the complete dispossession of the Chagos islanders of their lands by the British who set up that military base in Diego Garcia for the US Americans, one of the main staging posts and launching sites for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, a decision confirmed last year by Britain's highest court.
He's also smart enough to know that some problems just don't disappear regardless of the apparent transformations and revolutions that may shake the place up and he's always brave enough to visit the places on which he reports.
He ain't perfect, but he'll do and keep on doing, and going where even the likes of George Monbiot and Seumas Milne and just about everyone else fear to tread.
|Mar-15-12|| ||achieve: <Twinlark> While I was about to log out, closed all my other tabs, I just one last time checked the forum activity page - sounds familiar? - and was immediately drawn back in here in this humid chateau, seeing you have lit up and warmed the place with a stellar post.|
Really, I couldn't have, gulp, said it any better than you just now have.
Thinking back here, remembering that while watching the Timor Conspiracy where Pilger "grilled" (actually very decent conversation, as you distinguish as well) key players, most of whom *were* (ah!) involved in high positions, I kept thinking how long will this guy remain unharmed, digging as deep as he does, for decades; when will he be the next "unfortunate casualty"...
I also feel Pilger's enormous empathy and pain, and he relates that mostly in a subtle way, understated, but for the close observer it is there in spades, and his anger and indignation is often worded unambiguously, in clear language, not whipping up emotional frenzy, but expecting the good listener to be sufficiently alarmed.
Gotta go now, good to see your additional thoughts.
|Mar-16-12|| ||Nemesistic: <Dom>, I'll get an email to Jess and ask her to forward it to you. It's about what i mentioned a few pages back! |
I just really want to explain where i got mixed up, and how i did, so you know 100% that i would never normally say what i said.. No matter how angry i got, i know the rules whether it be here or on the street.. You NEVER accuse somebody of something like that unless you're 100% sure, and i wasn't! But you'll definately see where i got mixed up if Jess forwards the email !
Its kind of been weighing on my mind because im getting a bit disillusioned with the administrators here and if i do leave id like to leave with my conscience clear..
Apart from those posts directed at you, and a few at Goldsby when the light hearted banter got really stupid, i dont regret anything iv'e posted here..
Even if i planned on never coming back here, which is the only place we're ever realistically going to meet, i still need to get that off my chest..
As for the rest.... Line em up one by one, or all at once for all i care lol..
Anyway, iv'e got to go to some LoLers anonymous meetings today, i have so much to share right now and there's so much LoLery round here iv'e had a full blown relapse.. ;)
Speak soon (maybe?)
|Mar-16-12|| ||Nemesistic: One more thing Dom.
I only came in your forum last week and told <quant> what i thought of him because he was weighing up his "options", and one of those options was whether to "Trash your forum", and given what id said to you before i thought i kind of owed you one.....or 10!
I know you're big enough and ugly enough to look after yourself, but i just wanted you to know we're not enemies, and i had your back..
You know, as do i, that you could have dealt with him yourself so i apologise if you didn't want me to say anything..
Im not that bad a guy you know, and you'll realise this once you get that email.. I'm just not the type of man that takes crap from anyone, be it here or on the street..
Anyway peace out for now Dom :)
|Mar-17-12|| ||waustad: I hope that you in Ireland have enough sense to avoid the streets running with green vomit on this particular day. In any case, have a good one!|
|Mar-17-12|| ||waustad: People in the US will always find an excuse to tip a few, but I avoid bars on these days. It's amateur hour. |
A similar bizarre thing happens on May 5th. I expect that they even celebrate this in San Antonio, though very few people know that they are celebrating a victory by Antonio López de Santa Anna, the same guy who stormed the Alamo.
|Mar-17-12|| ||Domdaniel: <twinlark, Niels> Actually, Niels *was* explaining 'it' better than I could. Not the jazz thing as such, it's simply that I can't explain it *at all*.|
There is *something* in journalism that I don't trust. Maybe 'journalism' itself - whether left or right, there are built-in assumptions. Such as the assumption that politics, finance and 'stories' matter in a way that arts, sciences, games, puzzles, etc never do. Every editor I've met thought that things like chess columns, film reviews, crosswords (etc) were for the kiddies. The 'real' stuff is what the minister of munitions is rumoured to be planning.
There may be good reasons for this. Ministers for munitions have certain powers to affect the world, not normally available to chess players, filmmakers, etc. And yet that's not why I read newspapers.
There are common journalistic assumptions - in favour of dogged commen sense, broadly anti-intellectual - that I just don't share.
It's difficult to say precisely why. Pilger is all the fine things you say, but he's loyal to his tribe in ways that go deeper than politics.
|Mar-17-12|| ||Domdaniel: Here's part of a conversation I had earlier today:
Me: Is this some kind of holiday weekend or something?
Another: Well, erm, yes.
Me: Which one? Is this 'Good' Friday? Is this Friday?
Another: Yes, it's Friday. But Good Friday is before Easter ...
Me: And it's not Easter yet, because I'm playing chess at easter? OK? What's this one? Not that mother's day tripe, surely?
Another: Could well be. But the main reason is St Patrick's Day.
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