Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just say Noh

When is a journalist not a journalist? It's a simple question with a very complicated answer and that answer has little to do with credentials or degrees. It can have nothing to do with whether the reporter reports the news or creates it from air like balloon animals at some kids' birthday party.
"Mr. Assange obviously has a particular political objective behind his activities, and I think that, among other things, disqualifies him as being considered a journalist."
said assistant Press Secretary Philip J. Crowley to assembled reporters at a December 2nd press conference. You'd expect gasps and guffaws and whispered comments like "what about Fox?" but I didn't hear any. Perhaps the disturbing idea of objective reporting was a touchy and disturbing subject for the assembled employees of corporate entertainment interests whose jobs depend on the proper slant and the ability to make headlines out of flimsy and innocuous or even non-existent words and deeds. No, says the political actor, the presidential mouthpiece, under US law, he's to be considered a "political actor."

Welcome to quantum politics, where things that are said and things that are appear and disappear like virtual particles in a vacuum; where things are sometimes their opposites and truth is relative and ephemeral.

So when political actor Glenn Beck gets teary eyed and hysterical about the proposed ability of the FDA to take poisonous, contaminated food off the shelves because if they can control what you eat, they can control your lives: so when worn out beauty queen and political actress Gretchen Carlson can pose as a news anchor and get her botoxed and painted face twisted around her rehearsed outrage that a year ago, Tulsa exercised our American freedom of religion and started calling its annual December parade a "holiday" parade, just what the hell is this journalism that it could include this foolishness but be contaminated by a hatred of secrecy and the objective of exposing a government that has villainously smiled and smiled and smiled at one lie after another while millions died in consequence.

So truth, as we can know it, is political since the concept resides in the heads of humans and not in the stones and gas and vacuum of the universe and no one can see the truth but through the filter of his mind. Just who then can we call a real journalist and why not then just make it up as we go along and accept it all as improvisational theater.

Too many people have compared it all to Kabuki, with it's exaggerated expressions and dramatizations, but it's really Bunraku, where puppets are manipulated about a darkling stage by shadowy figures dressed in black. Figures that the audience is trained not to notice.


  1. This post should be archived as “The Best of Captain Fogg,” and perhaps the most relevant exemplar is this WikiLeaks release that received scant attention, Vatican Pressured Ireland On Sex Abuse Scandal:

    "The only issue for the Vatican has been the supposed 'failure' of the Irish government to protect the Vatican from intrusive questions. Self-interest ruled the day when their priests were raping children," said Madden, a former altar boy who was molested by a Dublin priest.

    To which the Vatican replied:

    Saturday's official Vatican press statement said the WikiLeaks cables "reflect the perceptions and opinions of the people who wrote them and cannot be considered as expressions of the Holy See itself."‘

    Critics of Julian Assange have accused him of maliciousness without point or purpose. My only wish is that Assange had released the most egregious and incendiary examples of chicanery, duplicity and corruption first. Had these leaks followed a carefully edited and scripted plan, his critics would have lacked the credibility to prosecute him. In other words, how could Assange be accused of espionage and cyber crime when his accusers are shown to be criminal co-conspirators with blood on their hands? In having no such script or strategy in mind, Assange set himself up for persecution.

    Before you provoke the centers of power, make sure you master the conventions.

  2. Thanks. The official reaction to the leaks is expected, the public allegiance to institutions and officials that lie to them, cheat them, get them killed and bugger their children is astonishing.

    I truly wish we could stop affirming our apehood in every way possible.

  3. Capt. Fogg,

    I find that I am more and more coming to a negative assessment of the WikiLeaks phenomenon.

    On the one hand, sure, governments tend to classify everything that embarrasses them, which is an illegitimate reason for a government to keep secrets. Using law to cover up wrongdoing is tyranny.

    But on the other hand, are we sure the WL people are doing what they're doing for noble reasons? Or is it mere anarchy? Why are diplomatic cables a good thing to release to the public? Isn't some degree of secrecy vital to legitimate diplomacy? Doing this sort of thing simply because one can doesn't strike me as a positive development at all.

  4. Well said.
    Two things.
    1. Fox news makes a shit ton of money for their 'political objective', not just from its own advertisers, but also probably from white house, the republican party, and others.
    2. When is a journalist not a journalist? When he is not revealing his advertisers. :P

  5. Any government of secrets presents the danger of corruption, and then tyranny, no matter the activity. Reveal secrets and never be surprised to find hidden pestilence under the veil. Especially between enlightenment steps of long duration ..

  6. I know what your saying Dino, but with government secrecy at an unprecedented pinnacle and so much evidence of criminal behavior on a massive scale, my sympathies do not lie with the diplomatically indiscrete.

  7. In a democracy where people vote on issues It is vital the the people are informed. While there are legitimate reasons for state secrets they should be rare. after all how can you may an informed choice at the voting booth without information.

  8. What the leaks show is government incompetence more than anything and that provides a powerful motive to hide it from us. Cowardice is very unattractive. I am humbled by those within the system who have the strength and decency to expose the rot. I honor the American people for speaking up. Please look after Bradley Manning he is a gem.

  9. What the leaks show is government incompetence more than anything and that provides a powerful motive to hide it from us. Cowardice is very unattractive. I am humbled by those within the system who have the strength and decency to expose the rot. I honor the American people for speaking up. Please look after Bradley Manning he is a gem.


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