"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

You've Probably Noticed

That I haven't been around lately. Two reasons: recovering from surgery, which has been slow and painful, and the only thing in the news, aside from the occasional hate crime or terrorist attack, is Donald Trump, and to be quite honest with you, he's a crashing bore and certainly doesn't deserve to be slobbered over the way the press is doing.

PS -- forgot to mention it yesterday, but there are more republished reviews at Green Man Review, and a new one, my first in about a year. Go over and visit.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. . . .

So, I'm away from the Internet for five days, and this is what I come back to:

Eric Boehlert of Hillary-friendly Media Matters examines how the media's obsession with Donald Trump has yielded millions in free air time for the billionaire:

We seem to have entered unchartered territory where campaign coverage, at least Trump’s campaign coverage, is based on what’s popular (or what makes money for news outlets), and not based on what’s newsworthy. Casting aside decades of precedent, campaign journalism seems to have almost consciously shifted to a for-profit model.

Boehlert seems to be a little slow on the uptake. Hell, I don't even watch TV and I've seen broadcast media heading in this direction for years.

And it's not only yielded millions in freebies for Trump -- it's translating into millions for the corporate media as well:

As CBS chairman and chief executive Les Moonves told The Hollywood Reporter last month, "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS.

"I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us," he continued, adding that the "money’s rolling in.

Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going."

It gets better:

Writing at The Observer, Ryan Holiday suggested a new paradigm is in play this campaign season:
Politicians have always sought to manipulate the public. What’s changed is that media is now not only a willing co-conspirator, they are often the driving force behind the manipulation. No longer seeing itself as responsible for reporting the truth, for getting the facts to the people, it has instead incentivized a scrum, a wild fight for attention in which anything that attracts an audience is fair game. And as long as theirs is the ring where the fight goes down, they’ll happily sell tickets to as many as will come.

Well, yeah -- can you say "Fox News"?

Digby brings us this:

This has got Fox News all wound up:
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria offered some commentary on his show Sunday about the rise of Donald Trump in the GOP and its similarities to the rise of Islamic extremism.

Zakaria said, “A main cause of the rise of extremism in the world of Islam has been the cowardice of Muslim moderates who, for decades, chose not to condemn bad ideas and ugly rhetoric.”

He believes they made the dire mistake of avoiding the “cancer in plain sight” and there is “a similar dynamic” at play in the conservative world.

Zakaria argued that the very same people trashing Trump these days aided and abetted his rise by, over the years, embracing “the rhetoric and tactic of the extremes.”

Tack this on to the post about who's aiding and abetting, and it's not a pretty picture.

And, from a slightly different angle, the breathless coverage of Sanders' upset in the Michigan primary: Maybe it's just that voters in Michigan know first-hand what it's like when you're living under a corporate-owned government.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

About the Whole Sam Smith Oscar Speech Thing

Gods, get over it, people! Poor Sam Smith is getting all kinds of grief for what people heard, not what he said:

So he misquoted McKellan. Like no one's ever been misquoted before, and Smith was obviously overwhelmed. Any grown-up would cut him some slack. Even Matt Baume, who should know better, took advantage of the opportunity to show how "wrong" Smith was.

He quite plainly qualified his statement -- "If that's the case, or even if that's not the case" -- before getting to the real substance: a loud, proud proclamation he is an out gay man who has won this award, with full awareness that there's a lot more to be done.

I think I'm a little fed up with all these nattering queens who need to criticize something, anything. And frankly, the mere fact that this has been plastered all over the blogosphere as a negative story about Smith is really beyond the Pale.

OK. End of rant.