McGregor’s Miscellany (2017-02-09)

No News Is Good News (for some)

The motivation for this post is to link to James Cambias’ blog post, “Where’s My Flying Journalist?”

(Don’t let my bitter cynicism dissuade you. Cambias’ much more temperate article is very good and important and worth a read so, even if you read me at all, go read him first.)

This really resonates with me after a long time searching for something that didn’t tell me about the latest car crash or Hollywood divorce but instead, gee, I dunno, the latest city council resolution or international “trade” treaty deal. And especially after everyone of every political stripe was handed a load of nonsense from all sources regarding US politics for the past couple of years.

The multimedia multinationals can make money from all kinds of things so don’t need “news” for that (though that is certainly an objective orders of magnitude more important than actual journalism). I suspect what they want to do, when not tying in to their other money-making properties, is misinform any who persist in continuing to try to educate themselves and to corral everyone into easily manipulated social media bubbles/echo chambers, many of which generate nothing but venom towards a government intended to be of, by, and for the people. A free press whose objective is genuinely to inform the public, on the one hand, and to convey its true mood, on the other, is vitally important to a healthy democracy. But a healthy democracy makes it harder for corporations to do what they want to do, which is to pile up money and power without limitation. Corporations are plutocratic oligarchies and, like Midas, would like to transmute all things into their form of gold. Free presses and essentially any other form of government, especially democratic ones, are necessarily hindrances to them.

(There’s a saying that one shouldn’t blame on malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity. So maybe the people running news organizations are stupid and, as Cambias points out, can’t come up with ideas a science fiction author can come up with after moments of casual reflection. I’m not sure that’s an “adequate” explanation, though.)

New Musical Birthday

On a happier, um, note, I’d also like to wish John Williams a belated happy birthday. File 770 reminded me he turned 85 yesterday.

Old Musical Birthday

Also, it’s been bugging me that the Elvis songs in the last Miscellany, great as they are, were kind of down, especially for a birthday (which put me more in mind of his death). To remedy that, I’ll call on uptempo Elvis himself, plus another of my favorites, The Cramps. Continue reading