|THE NEW RULERS OF THE WORLD
Dick Jones’ Patteran Pages introduced me to the remarkable work of writer, film-maker and award-winning British investigative journalist John Pilger. I recently picked up his prescient book The New Rulers of the World, written shortly before the US decided to invade Iraq.
The book consists of four very substantial essays and an introduction that pulls them all together. The introduction, a scant 14 pages, is a breathtaking and articulate summary, a perfect snapshot, of the political and economic world we find ourselves in right now.
Here’s how it begins:
You can read the entire introduction here. But buy the book. The research is impeccable and well-documented, and Pilger has an uncanny ability to bring what look like disparate and unrelated events into blinding focus, and expose the terrifying, systematic and ruthless logic behind the activities of the massively powerful business/political elite, the New Rulers of the World.
Last week there was a rash of news stories lamenting an across-the-board disastrous drop in viewership of television. The drop was most marked in young men, a key demographic for advertisers, and in viewership of the season’s new, mostly dirt-cheap ‘reality’ shows. There were dire warnings that if viewers didn’t return soon, huge rebates would be owed to advertisers who had been guaranteed a certain minimum number of passive consumer eyeballs. What’s interesting is that all of these ‘bad news’ stories have disappeared behind the ‘pay-per-view’ archive windows of the newspapers and network websites. All that’s left are choppy abstracts. Are the media prematurely burying stories that threaten to hurt their own advertising revenues?
I’d argue that the best blogs have all this, and more. Maybe Ms. Paglia should look more closely, or at least hire a better researcher. It’s too bad interviewer Kerry Lauermann didn’t show her what some of Salon’s own bloggers have been doing.
The annual Tech Museum award winners have been announced. Winners are those that have developed and deployed innovative technology that improves the world: in education, equality & diversity, environmental protection, third world development or health. Read the stories: They’re modest but inspiring successes, and demonstrate that not all businesses are greedy and careless, and not all technology is bad.
This multimedia flash presentation is a year old, but still relevant and moving.
The MIT Blackjack team’s amazing story is now a best-seller. Wired broke the story last year. Mezrich is an engaging writer, and if you’ve watched the new James Caan series Las Vegas you’ll get a kick out of Mezrich’s view from the other side of the surveillance cameras.
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“Today’s slogan, ‘war on terrorism’, also reverses meaning. The war is terrorism.”That sounds like the same sort of “pseudo-information” and “orwellian” twists of language that Pilger pretends to condemn. Not to mention the old extremist practice of dodging tough moral choices, and pretending to be evenhanded, by arbitrarily calling both sides by the same epithet.Thank you for quoting that passage and illustrating Pilger’s massive credibility problem.
Paglia…Paglia…Isn’t she the professed lesbian who bashes gay men for their “unnatural” behavior? That would be in keeping with the utter hypocricy of her latest ramblings, in which she bashes celebrity-addiction and pop culture, then judges nearly all of the Democratic candidates for the highest office in the USA on their physical attributes.She has some interesting things to say, many of them spot-on, but she has a major credibility problem, especially when she calls pro football her “pagan ritual,” or calls herself a “libertarian,” then boasts of voting for Nader.She’s just like Rush: making controversial statements solely to get public attention and ratings. What a joke!
Hey Dave: I respect your opinions. I would appreciate it though if you’d go back to signing your posts ‘PonyTailed Writer’, since there are too many ‘Daves’ out there and people have sometimes assumed that your posts come from me.
Y’mean like this?Let’s see if it takes. The last time I tried to change my handle, I got some wierd and inconsistent results.And what’s this about going BACK to calling myself PonyTailed Writer? I don’t remember ever doing that. Have you been intercepting my email porn? :-)The PonyTailed Writer Formerly Known as Dave
I don’t think Pilger has ever claimed to be “even-handed.” Quite the contrary, I think he acknowledges that he has a definite agenda, based heavily on his reaction to what he sees in the world. While his strong, unreserved opinion of the modern world might make him an arrogent extremist, it doesn’t make him wrong.
If you like Pilger his ‘Breaking The Silence’ documentary has apparently been released on the net. It’s realmedia, about 13 megs, and almost an hour long (the video has been compressed considerably). It’s downloadable, I got mine from here:http://www.weholdthesetruths.org/public/pilger_breaking_the_silence.ram
Mike: Thanks — I’ve been scouring the listings for both my US and Canadian satellite dishes for this program in vain.
I agree Paglia is an unreliable judge, but she’s an entertaining provocateur, and her tips for what makes a good blog (as reported by Dave P.) are right on (if a bit obvious), especially in today’s polemicized and image-saturated agora. Though I just wish I had the time & talent to follow her recommendations.