Friday, July 13, 2012

A Spotting In A Posh London Gallery

As NPR Check Wraps 'Er Up...

Recently, a blog I participated in for the longest time very sensibly called it quits as far as carrying the burden of critiquing that tiresome entity known as NPR News. Here is my sendoff: 10 July 12 By chance, I happened to visit this site today after some considerable time away. I was delighted to read of Matt's eloquent and accurate farewell address, as I myself couldn't agree more. Under the same pretexts, I have endeavored to do the same for several years now. NPR News is in my past, but awareness of it and other media forces that trade on their kind of 'reasonable' or 'comfortable' deception is more present and developed - with some thanks to this blog – than ever. Any media source, whether it is Democracy Now!, Al Jazeera, Guardian, or many others, has to be consulted, weighed, juggled, and worked through. NPR News is, to me, a failure, and my wish was for it to just fade away because of its irrelevance. And because it wasn't likely to do that, I had to take the initiative and turn down the dial, as it were, myself. Critiquing NPR News is entirely valid and necessary, but it can sap your vitality, your energy, and even your soul. The level of frustration encountered can be so dispiriting as to put one in a depressive and even hopeless mindset, and that’s wrong for two reasons: energies are better spent elsewhere and that's what 'they' want: to defeat critical thinkers by wearing them down. As a regular contributor (or annoyance) to this blog for a long time, I salute Matt in the fullest sense of the word for his and others' outstanding - and necessary - examination of NPR News. It has been a tremendous success, and to those of us who care, it resonates on a daily basis. The most confounding thing about NPR News is that it is categorically NOT what it purports to be. That being the case, the whole question of the public trust becomes vulnerable to corruption on a sustained and unprecedented basis. As a pessimistic optimist (whatever that is), I do find that NPR News is a side effect of an Empire in its Late Phase, when individual critical thinking goes the way of the dodo and the majority think that there are no alternatives to, say, a Reaganesque conventionality. As an international traveler, I think that one the greatest handicaps for Americans is that they not only have to figure everything out, they think they HAVE figured everything out. Thus, there was always something intolerable (and even unsavory) about NPR News presenting THEIR view of the world to listeners - with the gentle and reasonable proposal that they do have things figured out, and they're just trying to indoctrinate the public in the most painless and (faux) intelligent way possible. Things always get very weird when empires are late - very late - in their game. It could also be incredibly fun and fulfilling to come together with (mostly) like minds in critiquing what I myself thought might be an impossibly esoteric but super-important field of interest. That being, the effects of manipulated media on 'thinking' audiences, e.g. those who do not settle for Fox News, or traditional mainstream media sources or even the vastly overrated 'New York Times'. I myself was fond of burlesquing the god-awful (to me) people on the air at NPR – who, it seems, were actually commanded to inflict their insipid personalities on listeners genuinely concerned about issues, who are seeking somewhere to find answers, if not a little intelligent discussion. Indeed, agonizing over NPR via NPRCheck could be a genuine joy. As Telly Savalas said to Burt Lancaster in 'Birdman of Alcatraz', "them's was good times". In fact, taking part in NPRCheck was instrumental in helping me endure the Bush Dark Age at all. Surely the power and progressive critical thinking herein can inspire one to not only endure any old Dark Age to come, but to understand it and thus, to help transcend and transform it. With best sendoffs, PM (Porter Melmoth)