Saturday, 11 November 2006

Boot of The Beast

Robert Manne's piece in the current Monthly about the worse than sorry state of Australian media (media concentration + News Ltd + stacked ABC board + no satisfactory alternative / substitute in evidence = we are stuffed) is deeply depressing reading and manifestly correct. "The more the media is concentrated, the greater the problem for the health of democracy. Yet the more the media is concentrated, the less likely it is that the issue will be debated freely in the only appropriate forum for discussion, the media itself." I agree with Manne that participation in the blogosphere is actually not a solution, except inasmuch as venting on blogs provides some temporary relief to the anger some of us feel when we read The Australian.

I guess it's necessary to keep up with the latest lies the forces of evil are broadcasting if you have some idea of opposing those forces and clearing up in the wake of the lying wherever you get an opportunity. But who gets an opportunity? People either agree with you already or else they don't, and those who don't will not be convinced otherwise by anything you say to them.

I mean, postmodernism went on a long march through the institutions and now airheaded marxists who hate our freedom spelling and encourage children to disrespect their parents have infiltrated the education system, leftist teachers unions preach that everything (except Keats) is just as good as everything else, and besides, university English departments are probably not called english any more, and back when I studied Othello we had no feminist deconstruction and that was good enough for us! It's just the same warmed-over swill. Perhaps with a splash of extra bile, for zing.

Given that there is actually nothing at all I can do about combating the ignorant, dangerous, spit-flecked, demagogic bigotry monotonously displayed on the Oz's opinion and comment pages day after day, enlightened self-interest would suggest I should stop reading it altogether. So I will.

11 comments:

Galaxy said...

I always admire people who have the energy to engage with Andrew Bolt et al, I don't know how they get the energy to continue in the face of such vitriol.

And I don't know where Andrew Bolt et al find the reserves of bile within themselves to continue such a sustained assault on the life's work of so many.

On the one hand I agree with Alison Croggon's recent call to arms that people in the Arts (I would add Humanities, too) need to figure out how to counter the misinformation in a sustained way, but mostly I just want to curl up and disengage from the ill will and hatred that seems to surround the whole debate.

Kent said...

I second that about the rather monotonous parade of the Oz's opinion page. Every day it lands on the table in front of me, and every day, without fail, I can count on someone, somewhere in there, bemoaning the education system and/or post-modernism.

If it weren't for climate change, I'd burn it every day!

Bernice said...

Though as Manne said, there will be s certain pleasure in watching the climate deniers turn and begin the long march toward rationality. Still can't bring myself to buy the thing though.

David said...

It's the people outside Sydney and Melbourne I feel sorry for. Imagine only having The Australian and whatever lousy tabloid Murdoch or cod-Murdoch produces locally.

David said...

Of course some people reading this wouldn't have to imagine it.

Neil said...

I learned long ago to avoid the Oz (except on Wednesdays). So-called postmodernism - which has little to do with Derrida, and nothing to do with Foucault - is almost as silly as these people think. But it's not a threat on the left. It's the right that is politically postmodernist today. Climate change: well, there are many opinions, who's to say which is right; the experts have distorted views because of their funding, it might be "true" but look! inverted commas! etc. We get the same thing from the right on the history wars, and in the US on intelligent design.

Kate said...

You are right to feel sorry for us out here in Perth where our media is outrageously awful. I don't even read The West. I get all my local news from gossip and the ABC.

lucy tartan said...

Kent, I think burning the Australian qualifies as carbon neutral.

TimT said...

I feel the same way about all the Fairfax papers I've ever come across. It's terrible to see what Fairfax monopolies do to smaller markets, like Newcastle, and the way editorial opinion is inevitably marshalled by small-minded, parochial career-seekers who don't mind letting extremists like Pilger get published - so long as they agree with them.

I think the best thing that could be done for the Aussie market is to throw it completely open to foreign buyers. There are far too many restrictions on foreign ownership, and foreign content, which encourages this small-minded parochialism and prevents large foreign investors from putting money into the Aussie market. Sadly, no government seems likely to do this. In some ways, Labor media policy is marginally better than Liberal media policy, but in practice, it hardly ever makes a difference.

Mary Bennet said...

Oh my! Postmodernism is stopping kiddies from learning to read? Ridiculous! The SMH had a different extract from the airhead book - about how airheaded consumerism made us not care about politics or something. I couldn't quite see the connection but it was much less of a leap from Derrida to whole word recognition.

Zoe said...

I AM THE QUEEN OF BAZLOTTO!