Friday, November 28, 2008

Haven't changed a bit

From a report on the re-trial (aka crucifixion) of Canadian Aboriginal leader David Ahenakew for 'wilfully promoting hatred' (aka lèse majesté):
"Ahenakew recalled for the court how he was peacekeeping in the Gaza Strip, the coastal piece of land bordering Egypt and Israel, in 1964 and trying to maintain fences where landmines were killing children.

He told the judge he believed the Israelis kept taking down the fences.

'I thought it was unjust. I thought it was cruel.'"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

November 27, 2008

I've been trying to be a better blogger and find myself beset with new distractions. The huge conspiracies are flying so thick and fast I'm suffering from a kind of Bloggers Block. Anyway:
  1. A somewhat optimistic view of the "Agreement on the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organisation of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq". Optimistic because the Americans have no intention of actually complying with it. Can you believe that Iraqi parliamentarians have delayed considering it because they want a chance to read it first? American legislators should take note (both the Patriot Act and the recent financial bailout boondoggle were approved without anyone having had the chance to read the relevant legislation). The most notable thing about the agreement is the extent to which the Bush administration and the Wars For The Jews have laid low the United States. The terms of the agreement are simply embarrassing for a country which pretends to be an empire.
  2. Funny as hell: out of Africa. Could the dirty, dirty tricksters have been dirty tricked?
  3. You'll have been reading a lot of bullshit from the Bloggers For Exxon - the most disgusting people in the world, far worse than any neocon - about Arctic Sea Ice. The facts from the November 10, 2008 report (I didn't include the links in the text; my emphasis in red):
    "As discussed in our September 16, 2008, post, this year’s annual minimum represented the second-lowest point observed in the satellite record, surpassed only by the 2007 minimum. However, if we look at the total extent of ice lost between the March maximum and the September minimum, 2008 set a new record for total ice loss over an entire melt season. For more on the relatively high levels of ice that started the 2008 melt season and that led to this new record, see our April 7 post.

    During the 2008 melt season, Arctic sea ice declined by 10.58 million square kilometers (4.08 million square miles). This was slightly more than the previous record for loss over an entire melt season, set in 2007, which was 10.51 million square kilometers (4.06 million square miles).

    Arctic sea ice and climate are behaving in ways not seen before in the satellite record—both in the rate and extent of ice loss during the spring and summer, and in the record ice growth rates and increased Arctic air heating during the fall and winter."

    Note this story from The Register, and especially note the corrections at the bottom. Irresponsible Bloggers For Exxon will fail to note the corrections (the scientist who was cited simply made a mistake, which he, to his credit, acknowledges). Their MO is to play up every early snowstorm as conclusive evidence of disproof of Global Warming. People who do this can't be trusted on anything! I hope they enjoy their checks from Exxon.

  4. Note how traditional Noamian leftist Naomi Wolf is sounding exactly like the Militia Movement shortwave broadcasters like Mark from Michigan that I used to listen to back in the 90s.

More on the bigger conspiracies - Pakistan, Iceland, the final looting by the American elites - later.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Babushka Lady

This is the time of year when those who want to make a buck off the Kennedy assassination appear in the media to flog their books of creative literature. It is also a time for some new thinking to appear. I thought this was an interesting thread on whether Beverly Oliver could actually have been the "Babushka Lady" (her claim is well debunked here, at a usually unreliable site).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Anti-Donkeycism

The greatest exemplars of the world's most lovable people prove how lovable they really are (this is a completely fair comment given the position of the settlers in the estimation of World Jewry). Where's PETA when you need them? Of course, the Israeli police have their priorities straight:
"The Israeli police were called four times before responding to the incident. They did not initially respond to reports of settlers attacking Palestinian shepherds and internationals, but only responded when they learned of the attack on the donkeys."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

State of the Art

As long as you stick to the truth, you just have to wait around long enough to find yourself back in the mainstream:
  1. Avraham Burg on the Zionist misuse of the Holocaust.
  2. Khalid Amayreh on the comparison between Israelis and Nazis.
  3. Jeffrey Blankfort on the Jew-controlled American media.
  4. Hasbara Buster on the political control of language in the case of 'antisemite' (found via here).

Now, who is going to step forward and make the obvious point that the problem is caused by:
  1. A tiny number of very rich Jews who fund the settlers and the propaganda efforts in favor of the settler movement (blaming rich Jews for anything remains the ultimate taboo);
  2. A movement whose goals are de facto supported by a healthy majority of the diaspora Jewish population (those who 'stand for' Israel), despite the fact that most of this population would deny that they support the problems caused by the settler movement (it is this mindless support which lies behind my insistence that this is a Jewish, and not just a Zionist, problem)?

The main reason why controlled demolition makes no sense

Conspirators couldn't have known what the effect of an airplane hurtling into the towers would have on the wiring of the charges (link found via here). In fact, they couldn't be sure that the planes wouldn't stop the demolition process entirely, leaving a building or buildings standing filled with damning evidence. Controlled demolition is a difficult enough process without the wildcard of the effect of a plane crash. It is not possible that an intelligent conspirator would take that chance. This isn't even a debatable point.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November, twenty years ago

Everybody on the American 'left' is gloating about the demise of the Republican Party. This is certainly premature. All Obama has to do is stumble a little bit, and with a terrible economy, the disgusting American media, and the crooked voting machines, the Republicans will be back in power in four short years. It is too early to write Obama off yet, but if all the talk about Hillary as Secretary of State is true - a complete and total fucking disaster as she is the chattel slave of the Jewish Billionaires, as arranged in a package with the pardon of Marc Rich - he will be demonstrating all the signs of the poor judgment that will make him a one-termer. On the other hand, I'm still convinced that the people who pull Obama's strings really want a settlement in the Middle East. As Hillary guarantees that this will never occur, you have to wonder whether Barack Machiavelli isn't at work again. He offers Hillary the job, with the proviso that Bill pass the background vetting, which he knows Bill can't pass (in part because of Bill's association with Marc Rich!; you have to wonder if Eric Holder's connections to Rich will come back to haunt him, or is Holder part of the Barack Machiavelli trick?). Then he can offer Hillary the job for which she is best suited, on the Supreme Court, where her reliably liberal values will make for a very distinguished career as a jurist.

Obama has been planning to be President for at least the last twenty years - as a black in the United States in the 1980s, that is close to a sign of insanity - and probably has had his whole cabinet planned months ago, with all the intrigue just part of the normal course of American political excitement.

It is interesting to note that, leaving aside a crooked Supreme Court and crooked voting machines, the Republicans last won an American Presidential election in November 1988.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Half-an-hour, mid-January solution

It is difficult to know what to make of this:
"Barack Obama is to pursue an ambitious peace plan in the Middle East involving the recognition of Israel by the Arab world in exchange for its withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, according to sources close to America’s president-elect.

Obama intends to throw his support behind a 2002 Saudi peace initiative endorsed by the Arab League and backed by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister and leader of the ruling Kadima party.

The proposal gives Israel an effective veto on the return of Arab refugees expelled in 1948 while requiring it to restore the Golan Heights to Syria and allow the Palestinians to establish a state capital in east Jerusalem.

On a visit to the Middle East last July, the president-elect said privately it would be “crazy” for Israel to refuse a deal that could “give them peace with the Muslim world”, according to a senior Obama adviser."


If you take the premise that Obama is working for the Old American Establishment, and the Old American Establishment has decided that the peril facing American power requires an immediate and obviously made-in-America solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the only possible solution to the conflict is the Arab League plan, then a quick American imposition of the plan on the Israelis makes perfect sense.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mini nuclear plants

I'm sure I blogged about the proposed Toshiba mini nuclear power plant in Galena, Alaska, but I can't find it. It is inevitable that our electrical power will come from a network of mini nuke plants. This will reduce the need to consume fossil fuels and remove the problems of large grids, problems which we saw in the blackout in northeastern North America a few years ago. The plants will be self-contained, and require no human intervention, essentially nuclear batteries.

Trying to make a liar out of me

I've consistently held that the attack on Iraq was a War For The Jews, and not a War For Oil, and predicted that no American or British firm would receive any more than a nominal oil exploitation contract in Iraq. There is now a story floating about that Shell is going to receive a huge gas deal in the south of Iraq. Strangely, given the size of the deal, the original announcement caused no change in the share price of Shell, something which should have raised some flags. If you read the story carefully, there is no deal. The Ministry of Oil, no doubt well bribed, is attempting to work behind the backs of the Iraqi Parliament to sneak in the deal. The Iraqi Parliament, and the people of Iraq, won't be happy about it. Watch for the senior and corrupt members of the Ministry of Oil to receive visits from the finest tailors in Baghdad in order to have their necks measured for the inevitable necktie party. Some of the usual suspects - Raw Story and the Washington Times (!) - are doing the spinning, desperately attempting the maintain the delusion that the attack on Iraq was a War For Oil.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Commentology

I've been asked by somebody to remove a comment. Aside from the fact that I have no idea how to do that, I have reasons not to tinker with the comments. For one thing, the comments are already out there in the internet ether. Removing a comment won't change the stored memory of the web.

The comments aren't my work, and I don't take any responsibility for them. If I started to edit them, I would arguably assume a sort of authorship, or at least be understood to stand by the comments that remained.

I find it amazing how many bloggers review and remove comments they don't like. These deleted comments are invariably described as 'offensive', although I suspect most of them are critics of the blogger. I don't think these bloggers really understand the point of comments or the nature of the freedom of the internet. Censorship is so old-fashioned. Modern readers are capable of skipping the iffy bits. I also note that the community of commentators tends to be self-policing. Idiots generally feel unwelcome, and head to places where their contributions will be appreciated.

If I had to spend all that time editing the comments, I wouldn't allow comments.

I try not to change my own postings unless absolutely necessary, and with a note that I have made the change and why. There is an ethics to blogging, and commenting. If you aren't ready to stand up for what you write, save us all the trouble of having to read it.

This is a cautionary tale. When you write something, it is out there for all to see, forever.

To be helpful: anyone who is in trouble about a posted comment on this blog can tell the authorities/police/thought-controllers/fussbudgets/censors/busybodies/sticks-in-the-mud that they seriously repent of the comment, and have contacted the blogger to have it removed, but the blogging principles of the blogger make that request impossible to fulfil.

Philo-Semitism

That 'anti-Semitic' scandal at Oxford tuns out to be an example of philo-Semitism. It is the gentile girls who have a complaint.

Looking for people to hang

Why did the media fail to raise the alert that the American economy was about to go down the shitter? Conflict of interest. Makes sense, but it doesn't explain why almost every professional economist made the same mistake. The worst culprits are the credit rating agencies, who allowed their massive conflicts of interest to corrupt them to the core. Why isn't there more of an outcry about these jokers?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Now they'll get to hear about the Holocaust, again

The price of mockery, as you can see from the last paragraph, is . . . OMG No! . . . education.

Rahm Ari Fey Palin

From this week's popbitch:
"FYI: Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's brother is
Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel. One of Ari's clients: Tina
Fey."

Of course, Fey single-handedly turned Palin into a joke, and is being rewarded for her efforts with a multi-million dollar book contract (Fey's literary agent is Richard Abate). This is a strategy right out of the Republican playbook.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Barack Machiavelli

Rahm Emanuel, the son-of-a-racist-terrorist son-of-a-bitch Israeli firster, as Obama's chief of staff seems to send an awful message, that despite all the damage that American fealty to Zionism has done - to itself, Israel, and the world - and despite all the hopes and wishes of true American progressives - who of course can't elucidate what they really want without being slurred! - Obama is just another traitor who couldn't wait to don the shackles of the Jewish Billionaires. I wouldn't give up being suspicious, but I think the Rahm appointment may have been a bit of genius.

Rahm has to be dealt with. He has an immense power base in the Democratic Party. He isn't going anywhere. If Obama had left him in the House, Rahm would have been running things, and could have held Obama's legislative agenda to ransom for the only issue that concerns Rahm, ultra-Zionism. Making Rahm chief of staff, a position which sounds good, but carries no real power, cuts Rahm's balls off. It was a brilliant move - a position important enough that Rahm couldn't turn it down (and Obama made sure the offer was made public to put the pressure on Rahm), but a position that denies Rahm any real sway over American politics. The Head Jew, whose approval Rahm would have had to seek to ensure the move was in accordance with the tenets of Organized American Zionism, must be shaking his head at the cleverness of this schwartze.

Don't give up on Obama yet. The Rahm move could be a sign of American patriotism, not more treason. I am still convinced that the people pulling Obama's strings are the Old American Establishment, and the Old American Establishment really wants to try to save American power (and don't forget that American economic woes caused by the Wars For The Jews have greatly reduced the wealth and power of the Jewish Billionaires - this kind of embarrassment would not have been necessary before they lost their power). To do so, there can be no more Wars For The Jews, and there needs to be a real final settlement of the Jewish Holocaust against the Palestinians, a settlement that the United States can take credit for. In order to make this happen, needless to say, Obama's senior cabinet has to be Judenfrei. That's because there are simply no Jewish American political operatives who are not Zionists. It remains to be seen whether Obama is an American Machiavelli or another American traitor.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Forgery of antiquities is big business

Forgery of antiquities is big business . . . "in Israel – the only country of origin in the world where it is legal to sell such things . . . ."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Towards a deeper understanding

From The Daily Star (Lebanon):
"Two men arrested for running an Israeli spy ring in the Bekaa Valley are relatives of a suicide hijacker who piloted a plane in the September 11, 2001, attacks, a security source told The Daily Star on Sunday. The Lebanese Army announced on Saturday that it had arrested two people suspected of involvement with a spy network that gathered information for Israel's intelligence services.

The army said that the men had been arrested on Friday, but the source said that they were actually captured two weeks ago and the discovery of the arrests by the media prompted the army to announce their capture.

The army said the men had admitted 'gathering information on political party offices and monitoring the movements of party figures for the enemy.'

The statement added that the men had been found with 'communications devices and other sophisticated equipment,' which they used to gather information and transmit it to Mossad agents.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source said the men are relatives of Ziad Jarrah, the Lebanese who helped commandeer United Airlines Flight 93 before it crashed into a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001, killing everyone on board. Jarrah's family is from the town of Al-Marej in the Bekaa Valley, where the arrests took place.

The Jarrah family have repeatedly denied that Ziad was part of the September 11 plot, claiming he was instead a innocent passenger on the plane, but an official investigation concluded that he was a senior member of the hijacking team who had undergone flight training in order to carry out the attacks.

Residents of Al-Marej told As-Safir newspaper that the men were arrested when security forces raided a home in the town and seized equipment from a car. The newspaper said investigators had found documents which prove that the men had been in contact with Israeli intelligence agents. Investigators said that the men had passed information about the location of Lebanese and Syrian army outposts to the Israelis.

One of the two men arrested, identified only by his initials 'A.D.J.,' is believed to have been the head of the spy ring. Security sources told The Daily Star that the man was a member of the Palestinian militant group Fatah al-Intifadah, which is known to be active along the Syrian border."

Fatah al-Intifadah, an offshoot of Fatah al-Islam, the Palestinian resistance organization active in Lebanon, was the group that was under attack by the Lebanese army under the orders of Israeli agent Elliot Abrams. Collaboration is a curious thing. If Israel tells its loyal servant Abrams to call off the dogs - the Lebanese army - and stop attacking the Palestinian refugee camps, what will you do for us in return, particularly if we can convince you that your short-term interests and our short-term interests happen to coincide? Ten years ago, what kind of deal could the Mossad propose to Ziad Jarrah to allow them to appropriate his identity for the purposes of a secret operation?

Monday, November 03, 2008

I understand the Americans have an election tomorrow. They are so self-effacing you really have to fight to find out about it. I also like the fact that an American election campaign is over so quickly: blink and you might miss it. Finally, who can't fall in love with a people who have years and years and years to fix their huge vote fraud problems, and yet decide to leave everything unfixed to make what should be a landslide into a more interesting race?

And the media, striving always to turn every possible policy issue into a celebrity issue, and thus remove even the possibility of rational discussion. In fact, the woeful ignorance of so much of the American populace - something we've seen a lot of in the reaction of so many of them to Obama - comes from a combination of native stupidity and racism, poor education, and the complete failure of the mainstream media. Via Metafilter, Peter Watkins (my emphasis throughout in red):

"THE GREATEST responsibility for the global media crisis falls on those controlling - and participating in - the American mass audiovisual media. I don't need to write here about the extreme dangers to which President Bush and his right-wing cohorts are exposing our planet. The manner in which the USA administration chose to respond to the events of September 11, 2001 - with an attitude of REVENGE rather than RECONCILIATION - has thrown global society into a state of grave instability and peril. And the point here, is that the American MAVM have adopted the USA government's militaristic and hegemonic agenda as their own, completely jettisoning any remaining vestiges of professional media equanimity or fairness, let alone plurality of views or opinions.

In a word, the American MAVM now hold precisely the same position regarding Washington, as Dr. Goebbel's propaganda machinery held vis-à-vis the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, and the Nazi Party. They have become nothing less than the propaganda arm of the state. Thus we saw 'embedded' journalists from CNN, Fox Network, ABC-TV, etc., reporting directly from Iraq, wearing their 'objective' USA combat uniforms - and having precisely the same role as the German Wehrmacht cameramen who stormed across Poland, bringing newsreel images of the blitzkrieg to non-critical and manipulated audiences throughout the Third Reich.

Striking as well, was the religious zeal with which the American MAVM adopted this posture - thereby abandoning their own officially proclaimed professional standards of 'journalistic objectivity'.

One wonders what is happening at this present time, within media education across the United States? Is professional media training also taking on board this agenda of manipulative nationalism, and inventing new 'codes of ethics and professional standards' to justify its practices?

At the same time, we should remember that - as far as the media goes - all of this has happened before. Repeatedly. Though it maybe argued that the sheer scale of contemporary events marks a watershed in this respect - that the present play for world dominance by the United States is a major step towards a totally destabilized world - we should not overlook the fact that the mass audiovisual media have been moving in this direction steadily since the mid-1970s. The role of the media during the Falkland Island Wars and the First Gulf War already offered glimpses of the machine in motion. Yet we chose (or were encouraged) to ignore the warnings.

Elsewhere, I detail the various negative aspects of the MAVM which were being put into position by the 1970s. These include the development of the Monoform, and later the Universal Clock, the commercialization of documentary and history programming, the development of a highly effective system of repression, and the growing refusal to involve the public in democratic debate about these issues.

To explain to new readers: The MONOFORM is the internal language-form (editing, narrative structure, etc.) used by TV and the commercial cinema to present their messages. It is the densely packed and rapidly edited barrage of images and sounds, the 'seamless' yet fragmented modular structure which we all know so well. This language-form appeared early on in the cinema, with the work of pioneers such as D.W.Griffith, and others who developed techniques of rapid editing, montage, parallel action, cutting between long shots/close shots, etc. Now it also includes dense layers of music, voice and sound effects, abrupt cutting for shock effect, emotion-arousing music saturating every scene, rhythmic dialogue patterns, and endlessly moving cameras.

The Monoform has several principal sub-categories: the traditional, classic monolinear narrative structure used in cinema films, TV soap-operas and police thrillers; the seemingly disconnected and fluid melange of themes and visual motifs in MTV shows; the chopped, fragmentary structures in global TV newsbroadcasts and many documentaries (what one filmmaker described as the 'cookie-cutter' method: a repeating pattern of brief talking-head interview, cut-away, narration...).

These variations on the Monoform have certain common characteristics: they are repetitive, predictable, and closed vis-à-vis their relationship to the audience. Despite any appearance to the contrary, they all use time and space in a rigid and controlled manner: according to the dictates of the media, rather than with any reference to the expanded and limitless possibilities of the audience. And it is crucial to understand that these variations on the Monoform are all predicated on the traditional media belief that the audience is immature, that it needs predictable forms of presentation in order to become 'engaged' (i.e., manipulated). This is why so many media professionals rely on the Monoform: its speed, shock editing, and lack of time/space guarantee that audiences will be unable to reflect on what is really happening to them.

At this point, it is ESSENTIAL to understand that the audiovisual process per se - the manner in which TV and cinema are shaped and presented - could encompass countless different language-forms, involving highly complex and free-ranging combinations of images and sounds, and using length, space, time and rhythm in ways which are as distant from the Monoform as night is from day. Many of these language-forms could also - partly because they are different - involve varied processes of relationship for and with the audience. These alternative processes could use length and complexity, disassociation and ambiguity, etc., to break the hierarchical grip that the Monoform and related Hollywood narrative structure now have over the audience.

Since this language-form also fragments and divides, it drives undemocratic impulses deep into the civic process. The marked lack of will for collective behaviour in Western society, and the predominance of its anti-form - increasingly egotistical, self-obsessed behaviour, and privatization - are but two manifestations of the long-term subterranean effects of the Monoform. The tightly-knit relationship between these qualities, and the power of the MAVM to drive the engine of mass-consumption, is becoming increasingly apparent."

They get you with the speed and the editing and the sheer lack of time you have to reflect on one subject before they are off to the next. I suppose the conspiracy issue would be whether the use of Hollywood editing in news programs was intentional, in order to misinform and trivialize political and policy issues, or was it an accident. Watkins on speed (is that a dig at Marshall McLuhan?):
"One disturbing legacy of the constant use of the Monoform by the MAVM is that speed - excessive, repetitive, blurring, fragmenting SPEED - has become the required 'norm', including within much of documentary filmmaking. This factor - possibly more than any other described here - has resulted in an increasingly hierarchical relationship, in the past decades, between TV-makers and the public.

Rapid pacing, in and of itself - e.g., as exemplified in cinematic montage - obviously has its own place in the language of the audiovisual media. The amazing juxtapositions by early Russian filmmakers Eisenstein and Pudovkin, for example, are one possible and complex use of fast-moving images. (The juxtaposition of two seemingly disparate images to create a third image in one's mind was a startling break from the rigidity of the traditional narrative process at that time.)

Speed can be used in creative and complex ways in the audiovisual language; as can a slow pace and a sustained length. But when the latter are eliminated almost exclusively in favour of speed, then we are in trouble. Speed usually equals brevity, and when that is made the central aspect of a language-form, it becomes anti-process - despite media academics' arguments to the contrary.

The constant use of excessive speed becomes anti-process because a characteristic feature of the human species is that we require time - length - space (in the same way that we need oxygen). We need these elements in order to consider and reflect, to pose questions, to liberate our thoughts, and to ground ourselves; we need them in countless ways as we grow and develop; we need them to communicate with ourselves and others, and with the environment around us.

Unfortunately, several decades ago, media academia pronounced that we no longer needed time / length to grasp complex ideas - we had become 'literate' in the use of fast-moving images, and it was therefore quite acceptable to continue increasing the speed of our image ingestion.


But a consistent use of the Monoform - with its total absence of time for reflection, its apparently seamless (and thus unquestionable) narrative thrust, its constant monolinear direction forward (denying flexibility of memory, and complexity of human experience) - has had both obvious and incalculable long-term effects on our feelings. It has desensitized us to many of the things that occur both on the screen, and everywhere around us (particularly to violence, and the fate of others).
"

The 'universal clock', and narrative structure:
". . . the contemporary practice of rigidly formatting all TV programmes into standardized time slots (a total of 47 or 52 minutes for 'longer' films, and 26 minutes for shorter ones), in order to comply with a regulated amount of commercial advertising in each clock hour or half-hour.

In this way, pieces of audiovisual 'information' which have already been standardized by the Monoform, are further standardized in their presentation to the public by the uniform lumps of time in which they are wrapped. This neatly eliminates any priority regarding what is shown on TV, or any idea that different subjects or filming styles might have different requirements in terms of their length: all are thrown into the same time-mincing-machine and spat out in the same Monoform grid-lock.

The Orwellian assumption here - shocking in its arrogance - is not only that the meaning of time can arbitrarily be altered by TV executives (a clock 'hour' on TV = 52 minutes), but that this new 'time standard' can and should be applied globally! Thus: 'the universal clock'. Further, advertisers are (successfully) pressuring TV executives to continually increase the amount of time available for advertising, and to reduce the time available for what is euphemistically known as 'content.' One current plan is to implement special technology which - unbeknownst to the audience (and probably to the filmmaker) - will invisibly remove a certain number of frames from each second of film, in order to speed it up, and thus allow even more time within the 'hour' for advertising.

As a TV executive calmly explains in THE UNIVERSAL CLOCK, standardizing the length of all TV programmes, films and documentaries has an added advantage for TV stations which have to fill an unexpected empty 'slot': there is no problem finding a replacement programme, since all films are now precisely the same length - regardless of theme or subject matter. TV people simply reach into the film library, and pull out the first programme their fingers find - the sole criterion is that its length conforms to the 'slot'. Content is virtually irrelevant, in the sense that everything shown on TV is not only formatted, but ideologically neutered (actually, this is not true - it is ideologically shaped to fit the globalization model).

The Monoform and Universal Clock are not the only worrying standard media forms and practices. There is also NARRATIVE STRUCTURE, which is the story form governing scenes and sequences, as well as what happens within them - before being given spatial shape and rhythm by the Monoform.

Of concern here is the standard HOLLYWOOD narrative structure, with its monolinear process of (apparent) beginning, middle, and (so-called) ending, with climaxes and lulls along the way to 'sustain tension and interest'.

Here we face another aspect of the media crisis: the overwhelming obsession by the large majority of MAVM professionals, including TV journalists, not only with pace - 'the faster the better' - but also with the need for a traditional narrative structure - 'telling a good story', and "having a conclusion". Many of these professionals, including those who provide funding for TV documentaries, insist on 'a strong story line' and 'strong characters'. Should TV executives beg to differ with what I write here, test it out for yourself. Watch TV for a week, and sit in your local cineplex for another week - anywhere in the world. Dispassionately disconnect yourself from the story, actors, etc., and simply watch the form and narrative structure. The evidence is right there.

For a long time now, Hollywood executives have been denying that their films have anything to do with politics or social situations: "... all we want is to tell a good story - with emotion, passion, things like that - with good strong characters that people can relate to."

This refusal to take responsibility for the social and political effect that all films have on audiences, has long been a fundamental reason underlying Hollywood's ability to avoid any analysis of its own devastating impact on global society - especially in these recent decades.

The problem is not necessarily that of the 'story' per se - the problem is that the narrative model which Hollywood and the MAVM insist upon, has become a completely uniform one.

A second problem is that virtually all of Hollywood's 'stories' are deeply manipulative ones, with hidden social and political agendas which sustain and advance many highly questionable values and role models. These stories - and the narrative structures driving them - have played a major role in maintaining imperialistic visions and stereotypes of the worst kind, in sustaining unimaginable levels of violence, sexism and racism around the world, and in prioritizing militaristic attitudes and consumer agendas which continue to ruin our planet. That these agendas lie hidden within the seemingly 'harmless' process of 'entertaining' and 'telling a story' only compounds the danger."

Watkins is particularly hard on CNN, but doesn't let the rest of the world off the hook either (it has always seemed to me that the Toronto station CITY-TV has been a pioneer in trivialization through the use of speed and crazy editing - the news readers are moving so fast, they don't even get to sit down! - and has had a massive influence on the rest of the television news world).

The media and the damage done

I understand the Americans have an election tomorrow. They are so self-effacing you really have to fight to find out about it. I also like the fact that an American election campaign is over so quickly: blink and you might miss it. Finally, who can't fall in love with a people who have years and years and years to fix their huge vote fraud problems, and yet decide to leave everything unfixed to make what should be a landslide into a more interesting race?

And the media, striving always to turn every possible policy issue into a celebrity issue, and thus remove even the possibility of rational discussion. In fact, the woeful ignorance of so much of the American populace - something we've seen a lot of in the reaction of so many of them to Obama - comes from a combination of native stupidity and racism, poor education, and the complete failure of the mainstream media. Via Metafilter, Peter Watkins (my emphasis throughout in red):

"THE GREATEST responsibility for the global media crisis falls on those controlling - and participating in - the American mass audiovisual media. I don't need to write here about the extreme dangers to which President Bush and his right-wing cohorts are exposing our planet. The manner in which the USA administration chose to respond to the events of September 11, 2001 - with an attitude of REVENGE rather than RECONCILIATION - has thrown global society into a state of grave instability and peril. And the point here, is that the American MAVM have adopted the USA government's militaristic and hegemonic agenda as their own, completely jettisoning any remaining vestiges of professional media equanimity or fairness, let alone plurality of views or opinions.

In a word, the American MAVM now hold precisely the same position regarding Washington, as Dr. Goebbel's propaganda machinery held vis-à-vis the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, and the Nazi Party. They have become nothing less than the propaganda arm of the state. Thus we saw 'embedded' journalists from CNN, Fox Network, ABC-TV, etc., reporting directly from Iraq, wearing their 'objective' USA combat uniforms - and having precisely the same role as the German Wehrmacht cameramen who stormed across Poland, bringing newsreel images of the blitzkrieg to non-critical and manipulated audiences throughout the Third Reich.

Striking as well, was the religious zeal with which the American MAVM adopted this posture - thereby abandoning their own officially proclaimed professional standards of 'journalistic objectivity'.

One wonders what is happening at this present time, within media education across the United States? Is professional media training also taking on board this agenda of manipulative nationalism, and inventing new 'codes of ethics and professional standards' to justify its practices?

At the same time, we should remember that - as far as the media goes - all of this has happened before. Repeatedly. Though it maybe argued that the sheer scale of contemporary events marks a watershed in this respect - that the present play for world dominance by the United States is a major step towards a totally destabilized world - we should not overlook the fact that the mass audiovisual media have been moving in this direction steadily since the mid-1970s. The role of the media during the Falkland Island Wars and the First Gulf War already offered glimpses of the machine in motion. Yet we chose (or were encouraged) to ignore the warnings.

Elsewhere, I detail the various negative aspects of the MAVM which were being put into position by the 1970s. These include the development of the Monoform, and later the Universal Clock, the commercialization of documentary and history programming, the development of a highly effective system of repression, and the growing refusal to involve the public in democratic debate about these issues.

To explain to new readers: The MONOFORM is the internal language-form (editing, narrative structure, etc.) used by TV and the commercial cinema to present their messages. It is the densely packed and rapidly edited barrage of images and sounds, the 'seamless' yet fragmented modular structure which we all know so well. This language-form appeared early on in the cinema, with the work of pioneers such as D.W.Griffith, and others who developed techniques of rapid editing, montage, parallel action, cutting between long shots/close shots, etc. Now it also includes dense layers of music, voice and sound effects, abrupt cutting for shock effect, emotion-arousing music saturating every scene, rhythmic dialogue patterns, and endlessly moving cameras.

The Monoform has several principal sub-categories: the traditional, classic monolinear narrative structure used in cinema films, TV soap-operas and police thrillers; the seemingly disconnected and fluid melange of themes and visual motifs in MTV shows; the chopped, fragmentary structures in global TV newsbroadcasts and many documentaries (what one filmmaker described as the 'cookie-cutter' method: a repeating pattern of brief talking-head interview, cut-away, narration...).

These variations on the Monoform have certain common characteristics: they are repetitive, predictable, and closed vis-à-vis their relationship to the audience. Despite any appearance to the contrary, they all use time and space in a rigid and controlled manner: according to the dictates of the media, rather than with any reference to the expanded and limitless possibilities of the audience. And it is crucial to understand that these variations on the Monoform are all predicated on the traditional media belief that the audience is immature, that it needs predictable forms of presentation in order to become 'engaged' (i.e., manipulated). This is why so many media professionals rely on the Monoform: its speed, shock editing, and lack of time/space guarantee that audiences will be unable to reflect on what is really happening to them.

At this point, it is ESSENTIAL to understand that the audiovisual process per se - the manner in which TV and cinema are shaped and presented - could encompass countless different language-forms, involving highly complex and free-ranging combinations of images and sounds, and using length, space, time and rhythm in ways which are as distant from the Monoform as night is from day. Many of these language-forms could also - partly because they are different - involve varied processes of relationship for and with the audience. These alternative processes could use length and complexity, disassociation and ambiguity, etc., to break the hierarchical grip that the Monoform and related Hollywood narrative structure now have over the audience.

Since this language-form also fragments and divides, it drives undemocratic impulses deep into the civic process. The marked lack of will for collective behaviour in Western society, and the predominance of its anti-form - increasingly egotistical, self-obsessed behaviour, and privatization - are but two manifestations of the long-term subterranean effects of the Monoform. The tightly-knit relationship between these qualities, and the power of the MAVM to drive the engine of mass-consumption, is becoming increasingly apparent."

They get you with the speed and the editing and the sheer lack of time you have to reflect on one subject before they are off to the next. I suppose the conspiracy issue would be whether the use of Hollywood editing in news programs was intentional, in order to misinform and trivialize political and policy issues, or was it an accident. Watkins on speed (is that a dig on Marshall McLuhan?):
"One disturbing legacy of the constant use of the Monoform by the MAVM is that speed - excessive, repetitive, blurring, fragmenting SPEED - has become the required 'norm', including within much of documentary filmmaking. This factor - possibly more than any other described here - has resulted in an increasingly hierarchical relationship, in the past decades, between TV-makers and the public.

Rapid pacing, in and of itself - e.g., as exemplified in cinematic montage - obviously has its own place in the language of the audiovisual media. The amazing juxtapositions by early Russian filmmakers Eisenstein and Pudovkin, for example, are one possible and complex use of fast-moving images. (The juxtaposition of two seemingly disparate images to create a third image in one's mind was a startling break from the rigidity of the traditional narrative process at that time.)

Speed can be used in creative and complex ways in the audiovisual language; as can a slow pace and a sustained length. But when the latter are eliminated almost exclusively in favour of speed, then we are in trouble. Speed usually equals brevity, and when that is made the central aspect of a language-form, it becomes anti-process - despite media academics' arguments to the contrary.

The constant use of excessive speed becomes anti-process because a characteristic feature of the human species is that we require time - length - space (in the same way that we need oxygen). We need these elements in order to consider and reflect, to pose questions, to liberate our thoughts, and to ground ourselves; we need them in countless ways as we grow and develop; we need them to communicate with ourselves and others, and with the environment around us.

Unfortunately, several decades ago, media academia pronounced that we no longer needed time / length to grasp complex ideas - we had become 'literate' in the use of fast-moving images, and it was therefore quite acceptable to continue increasing the speed of our image ingestion.


But a consistent use of the Monoform - with its total absence of time for reflection, its apparently seamless (and thus unquestionable) narrative thrust, its constant monolinear direction forward (denying flexibility of memory, and complexity of human experience) - has had both obvious and incalculable long-term effects on our feelings. It has desensitized us to many of the things that occur both on the screen, and everywhere around us (particularly to violence, and the fate of others).
"

The 'universal clock', and narrative structure:
". . . the contemporary practice of rigidly formatting all TV programmes into standardized time slots (a total of 47 or 52 minutes for 'longer' films, and 26 minutes for shorter ones), in order to comply with a regulated amount of commercial advertising in each clock hour or half-hour.

In this way, pieces of audiovisual 'information' which have already been standardized by the Monoform, are further standardized in their presentation to the public by the uniform lumps of time in which they are wrapped. This neatly eliminates any priority regarding what is shown on TV, or any idea that different subjects or filming styles might have different requirements in terms of their length: all are thrown into the same time-mincing-machine and spat out in the same Monoform grid-lock.

The Orwellian assumption here - shocking in its arrogance - is not only that the meaning of time can arbitrarily be altered by TV executives (a clock 'hour' on TV = 52 minutes), but that this new 'time standard' can and should be applied globally! Thus: 'the universal clock'. Further, advertisers are (successfully) pressuring TV executives to continually increase the amount of time available for advertising, and to reduce the time available for what is euphemistically known as 'content.' One current plan is to implement special technology which - unbeknownst to the audience (and probably to the filmmaker) - will invisibly remove a certain number of frames from each second of film, in order to speed it up, and thus allow even more time within the 'hour' for advertising.

As a TV executive calmly explains in THE UNIVERSAL CLOCK, standardizing the length of all TV programmes, films and documentaries has an added advantage for TV stations which have to fill an unexpected empty 'slot': there is no problem finding a replacement programme, since all films are now precisely the same length - regardless of theme or subject matter. TV people simply reach into the film library, and pull out the first programme their fingers find - the sole criterion is that its length conforms to the 'slot'. Content is virtually irrelevant, in the sense that everything shown on TV is not only formatted, but ideologically neutered (actually, this is not true - it is ideologically shaped to fit the globalization model).

The Monoform and Universal Clock are not the only worrying standard media forms and practices. There is also NARRATIVE STRUCTURE, which is the story form governing scenes and sequences, as well as what happens within them - before being given spatial shape and rhythm by the Monoform.

Of concern here is the standard HOLLYWOOD narrative structure, with its monolinear process of (apparent) beginning, middle, and (so-called) ending, with climaxes and lulls along the way to 'sustain tension and interest'.

Here we face another aspect of the media crisis: the overwhelming obsession by the large majority of MAVM professionals, including TV journalists, not only with pace - 'the faster the better' - but also with the need for a traditional narrative structure - 'telling a good story', and "having a conclusion". Many of these professionals, including those who provide funding for TV documentaries, insist on 'a strong story line' and 'strong characters'. Should TV executives beg to differ with what I write here, test it out for yourself. Watch TV for a week, and sit in your local cineplex for another week - anywhere in the world. Dispassionately disconnect yourself from the story, actors, etc., and simply watch the form and narrative structure. The evidence is right there.

For a long time now, Hollywood executives have been denying that their films have anything to do with politics or social situations: "... all we want is to tell a good story - with emotion, passion, things like that - with good strong characters that people can relate to."

This refusal to take responsibility for the social and political effect that all films have on audiences, has long been a fundamental reason underlying Hollywood's ability to avoid any analysis of its own devastating impact on global society - especially in these recent decades.

The problem is not necessarily that of the 'story' per se - the problem is that the narrative model which Hollywood and the MAVM insist upon, has become a completely uniform one.

A second problem is that virtually all of Hollywood's 'stories' are deeply manipulative ones, with hidden social and political agendas which sustain and advance many highly questionable values and role models. These stories - and the narrative structures driving them - have played a major role in maintaining imperialistic visions and stereotypes of the worst kind, in sustaining unimaginable levels of violence, sexism and racism around the world, and in prioritizing militaristic attitudes and consumer agendas which continue to ruin our planet. That these agendas lie hidden within the seemingly 'harmless' process of 'entertaining' and 'telling a story' only compounds the danger."

Watkins is particularly hard on CNN (piece written by Geoff Bowie), but doesn't let the rest of the world off the hook either (it has always seemed to me that the Toronto station CITY-TV has been a pioneer in trivialization through the use of speed and crazy editing - the news readers are moving so fast, they don't even get to sit down! - and has had a massive influence on the rest of the television news world).