Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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I'm not your television

Today 60 minutes ran an expose on mainstream media companies involved in the distribution of porn. While this is nothing new, and in my opinion nothing particularly bad, it got me thinking about the pure crassness of American culture these days. I've been watching a lot of cable news recently, for a class, and it has been an eye opening experience. For example, in a story about a recreation facility for American soldiers in Iraq I learned that the R&R facility is called "Freedom camp" or something similar. This bothers me deeply. Calling everything "Freedom X" or "Y of Freedom" is dangerously close to 1984 territory. George Orwell did a fantastic job of showing what the corruption of language can do to a society and the Bush government is treating it like a handbook. Sure in World War II we had freedom cabbage and hot dogs but the intent of that was obvious. This new round is a little more insidious because there are no names other than "operation Iraqi Freedom" and "Freedom Camp."

I also saw a Fox News Report called "Breakingpoint: the educational crisis in America." It was actually at least somewhat balanced, although naturally the sources for the side of less testing tended to be extremists. The title of the broadcast is really what bugged me though. If you want to be fair and balanced wouldn't you say "Breakingpoint: Education in America." and then let the sources say whether or not there was a crisis (I loved the clip of the guy from the teacher's union claiming that American education is really great, not just because I disagree but because the show made him out to be astoundingly defensive.)

Now it's not that I was unaware of the fact that cable news is a den of manipulation and lies, it's just that when confronted with the fact it takes on a much more sinister vision. Millions of people (okay more like 2 guys) watch this stuff and absorb it. The few who disagree with it are still likely to end up being swayed by it due to the fact that you forget the source and reliability of a statement far more easily than what the statement was and often integrate things into your knowledge base that at the time you didn't believe one bit.

There was also some sensationalism on CNN. They were talking about the new Bush advertisement that essentially states that democrats are pro terrorism because they are criticizing him on matters of homeland security and the like (I've always found this an odd accusation. You're running against me and you disagree with me on various issues. Bad you. You should run against me on a platform of supporting everything I say, just like the dems did in 2002.)

I've been focusing on outsider/insider labels in the upcoming campaign and I've found it fascinating how basically any time Howard Dean's name comes up people feel compelled to question whether or not he can win in the actual election. This is not just bad for him in the primaries but it also usually comes with an accusation of his being a radical leftist. Since the only real policy he's come out with is us leaving Iraq, something that about 1/3 of the country desires, I'm not sure why he's seen as such a radical, unless you consider his governorship of Vermont as the reason, in which case I'd expect some explanation of what he did that was so extreme. Being conscious of and deconstructing the media is actually pretty interesting and useful. Damn you post-modernism, you've won this time but only because your opponent was the even more horrific crass commercialism.

Went to (and by went to I meant was dragged to) the Columbia/Brown football game. Due to the tardyness of unnamed parties (not me) we didn't get there until halftime at which point we were down 21-10. During the second half we managed to rally to 42-10 and lose in style with 2 interceptions and a fumble at their goalline. The highlight of the game was this one male cheerleader who looked like he would rather have been ANYWHERE else for about 2/3 of the game and then got to do one position where he lifted a female cheerleader up by her butt after which he looked quite happy. Naked lust on the sidelines and thoughts of our president in his cute little cheerleading skirt kept me warm for the rest of the game as we were beaten like a carpet and the stadium managers didn't even have the decency to show us the score of the huge Michigan Ohio State game.

I also read a little booklet on britain which brought up the oddity of how the English language uses transitives like get and up. When you think of it the phrases "Let's get up" and "Let's get out of bed" are very odd if you try and look at them literally. Always fun to learn about the English language, and a sharp contrast to the English course I'm taking right now in college *rimshot.*

Not much else to say. Kill Bill was entertaining. I'm still in the lead of the Livejournal Sports_Debate football poll. My 22nd birthday is approaching as is a new computer.

I want to be somebody when I grows up.
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