Tuesday, November 21, 2006

View from the Treetops (22 Nov '06)

Hijacking the Images

Long time readers of The Far Queue might have heard me allude to the hijacking of historical protest figures by the very agencies who spawned that protest.
Mickey Z spells it out better than I ever could in this piece entitled Will the real Dr. King please Stand up? posted on ZNet


Stick This in Your Ears

I'm always astounded by the way our system allows and encourages talentless and empty-headed avatars to parade their unjustified fame and fortune in books and music, while real talent goes unrecognised; unheard or read.
For those of you out there who are sick of being fed bland and unimaginative crap (like Robbie Williams or The Da Vinci Code) please join me in celebrating the creative talents of Tonefish76.

If, like me, you are entralled by the strange and wonderful sounds and the pick-me-up-swirly-whirly graphics offered by

then join me in spreading the word...



Jams O’Donnell’s recent post regarding censorship in Iran prompted a negative reaction in me that I’ve been struggling to articulated in the comments left there.

I believe we must ask ourselves who benefits by the spreading of this news?
Given the USA’s current campaign to demonise Iran (admittedly aided and abetted by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad); I feel we should always be careful about whose cause we take up.
Sure, censorship is an unacceptable concept for those of us who care about what governments do to us, and I do not for a minute condone the actions of the Iranian regime.
But it is important too, not to believe that we are free from manipulation.
Splinters and logs may be reversed in biblical eyes but nevertheless…

This having been said, I do not for a minute wish to suggest that Jams is a tool of the US administration (lol), on the contrary, I am a regular reader and long-time fan of The Poor Mouth and know him to be no tool.

Perhaps what follows will clarify my view:

There are various depths of sophistication when it comes to governmental censorship.
Everybody knows about the blunt edge employed by the Nationalists in South Africa during the Apartheid years or by the USSR; China; to name the obvious few.
These are relatively unsophisticated and overt methods that basically say to the population: “you are not allowed to read this book because it is bad.”
For those who wish to question these restrictions there are various scenarios depending on the regime:
  • you may be arrested as a dissidenter if you ask your questions too loudly
  • you may well disappear if you voice is heard by too many
  • On a lower level you may only be frustrated by this infringement on your personal liberty and this frustration may lead to further questioning of the system under which you live.
Whatever the consequences, those living under a regime that openly censors the information available to its citizens are, if they care to notice, confronted with a question:
And there is nothing the human mind likes more that to ponder a why.
Therefore, for those who live under such a regime, it is relatively easy (albeit in all likelihood dangerous) to realise that something is not right.
The more sophisticated ’democratic’ regimes are far better practiced in the use of censorship. Rather than agitate a populace which is a least nominally responsible for the election of its leaders, censorship takes on a far more translucent face.
Rather than dictate, it manipulates, using various tools, not least market forces or just plain repetition to drum home what is, and what is not, acceptable to the good of the nation.
Sure you can read what you like, and this is good, but this does not mean that you should accept that you live under a regime that does not seek to pervert the way you see things, since what you read is your choice, but media intrusion into our lives is unavoidable.
In the US censorship is taken up by the so-called moral majority fuelled by the corporate media wholly owned by those money groups who finance the presidency. Parents are fed an emotional hook and are mobilised to protest the contents of a school library and a figurative (and sometime literal) book burning mentality is cultivated.
Refer to treatment of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5 and J.D.Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye or more recently the theories of evolution practised in US schools.
In the UK the moral majority model is practiced, reasonably successfully by the baying of The Sun et al, in addition the population are lulled by the ‘fact’ that the BBC is the world’s most respected and fair News Corporation (given that it is financed not by advertising, but by the population direct through tv licence fees.)
The BBC may well be all of the above, but that does not mean it cannot be (and is not being) manipulated - even by those parties who howl about a ‘liberal bias’.

Question the terminology used to describe the occupation of Palestine by Israel.
Question the terminology used to describe the occupation of Iraq by the USA.
Question the terminology used to describe the occupation of Afghanistan by the USA/UK.

Question everything.


Tonefish76 said...

Thanks for the plug, I really appreciate it. You are a very kind genius and it's an honour to have your support.

red-dirt-girl said...

Thank you for the link to WSB's thanksgiving prayer.....I agree wholeheartedly with its sentiments...we are no longer a nation that is by the people for the people of the people.

But note that on this day, my children and I will take the time to give thanks to good friends, for having food on the table and the means to get it there while most of the world goes hungry. And we will be thankful for all who remember what once was and now has been lost.