The Intellectual Wilderness There is nothing more useless than doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

2007.08.16 10:04

Trashy Media and Trashy News

Filed under: Ancient Posts — Tags: , , — zxq9 @ 10:04

I couldn’t help but notice this book cover… I’ve never seen such an outstanding example of a meaningless title before. The amazing thing is not that the title and the subtitle are in direct opposition to one another, rather that this is the sort of thing that not only sells well but is expected in political discourse today. Further, its not just tabloid trash — this kind of crap is taken seriously.

At any rate, its hilarious.

In other news… New York is worried not about centrally controlled groups, but about Middle Eastern immigrants who will project their personal problems on the society they now live in in a violent way. Wrap that in a little Islam and you have a terrorist, true. Nobody has dared to actually say this before, though, because it sounds too much like profiling.

Here’s another ridiculous tragedy in the making. If this guy killed his wife first, then his son, then the estate will pass to his surviving children. If he killed the son and then the wife, the mother-in-law will be entitled to part of the estate. How is she entitled to the estate when all she did was push her daughter off on a steroid-freak wrestler who later murdered her? So we’re giving her fabulous cash prizes for being negligent and raising her daughter to hang around dangerous, unstable men? This seems completely ridiculous. Also rather callous of her to fight some children over an estate to which she shares no blood relation. Nice going, Inheritance Law.

In other worthless news we have more empty gestures from people wealthy enough to engage in such self-therapy. Where was she when the crisis was actually still going on I wonder? I could research this and find some way that her apathy in the 1990’s somehow assisted the genocide in occurring, but why waste my time?

In somewhat worth-while news… This is an amazing turn of events, if it works out and doesn’t get exploded by some nutbag Palestinian… Japan has decided to support a special economic zone in the West Bank that is for Israelis and Palestinians both. Israel has done this many times and my recollections of living and working in Israel in the late 90’s and early 2000 was that there were no problems and the Palestinian peace party was all supported by Palestinian businessmen who understood that peace and hard work bring prosperity and eventual true democracy. They also understood that Israelis are outstanding technical achievers and impeccable businessmen and the benefits of working and investing with them instead of against them far outweigh the personal disgust they may have been educated to feel when dealing with Jews.

Economic progress is not something you can give someone, though. It is also something that you can’t really teach. Its like giving a car to a tribal society that in all their years never invented the wheel on their own. You can’t expect that car to run or be well maintained a year later. So this might work out, if the timing is right, but on the other hand, there have been numerous business parks in the West Bank since the late 1990’s, and they were all bombed into oblivion by the anti-Israeli Palestinians who know that if economic progress really takes hold and there is peace, they will be out of a job. The freedom-fighting industry tends to shrivel up and go away when you have real freedom, and then you have to get a serious 9-5. Its far more fun to call yourself a freedom fighter and run around the hills with guns taking what you want and oppressing your own people (in the name of freedom!) than buckling down, managing a family and a business and exiting this world in a quiet and far less spectacular way than self detonation.

Politics, Media, Synthetic Experiences

Filed under: Ancient Posts — Tags: , , , , — zxq9 @ 10:03

I mentioned earlier that this would be good news for the Democrats and the media types who have staked their careers on a failure in Iraq, and in fact, they are playing it up. Weirdly there’s not a lot of space to expand this story to sound worse than it is because its a fairly unambiguous event and it happened too close to Syria to be completely blamed on a “failing policy in Iraq” or on Bush himself.

The bombing news will likely fade away soon since it involves Kurds and ethnic cleansing, and people do not like to talk about that right now, as it might indicate that we’re doing the right thing by being there. This leaves the anti-Warrists with a choice between two unpleasant alternatives in media focus: they can focus on the bombing event which looks bad on first look, but upon deeper inspection reveals some serious and strong motives for actually being in Iraq as opposed to abandoning it to mass slaughter; or they can focus on the troop reduction plan Petraeus is working on now.

Which type of media event an anti-Warrist will focus on reveals which type of anti-Warrist he is. There are those who genuinely do not accept war as a policy (which in practice every society accepts war, or they soon cease to exist and are quickly stricken from the record of human history), and there are those who wish to be seen as original and free thinkers who are bravely rebellious antiestablishmentarians.

The vast majority of anti-Warrists are of the latter category. It will be easier for them to focus on the bomb news but not deeply explore the issues that go with it than to focus on the troop reduction plan. This type of political thinker will recognize that without a war to stand resolutely against they will be out of a job and require a new thing to stand resolutely against in order to maintain their perceived relevance. The focus on the scary aspects of the bombing and ignorance of the underlying issues it raises that are potentially pro-War is made easier by the contemporary media consumer’s lack of interest in complete stories. Very few make it to the end of a serious in-depth piece even on TV today. There are so many other things to do now that are more entertaining than understanding the real world. WoW, pr0nz, drinking, pr0nz, football, pr0nz… man, the day just fills up with synthetic experiences so fast.

The political media today is usually little more than entertainment anyway — just another synthetic experience. My words here are written just for me, read for the reader and in any event have no impact on what happens in Iraq or anywhere else. It is completely plausible for me to enrage a reader and start an online posting war back and forth over issues that are completely removed from us in space and time but we both simply feel very strongly about. Our realities are defined by our perceptions, and with that in mind, I restate that the news media is largely about entertainment value and not the faithful relay of current human events.

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