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Servetus
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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 12 March 2007 at 10:38am

Quote:
"Only a modern intellectual could imagine that Tocqueville, Bryce, and Chesterton would recognize rap lyrics as just another manifestation of the individualism they saw in the Americans of their time.  They would call it by its proper name: depravity …" (Robert H. Bork)

 

 

This is Radio Free Serv, lo fi and low brow, and this just in:        

 

Snoop Dogg Released After Drug Stop in Sweden
Mar 12, 6:09 AM EST

The Associated Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Snoop Dogg was held by police overnight on suspicion of using illegal narcotics but was released after questioning and drug tests, a police spokesman said Monday.

The artist [sic] was heading to a party … Snoop Dogg, who performed with P. Diddy in Stockholm's Globe Arena late Sunday, was the latest international artist [sic] to get in trouble with the law following a gig in Sweden.

Source:  http://entertainment.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=254716

Continuing the theme, this is what that presumably unsuccessful, friendless, self-hating malcontent and curmudgeonly -at times of course annoyingly opinionated- constitutional lawyer and past Attorney General, Robert H. Bork, says of what the braying journalists at Associated Press so generously call not only an ‘artist’ but ‘international artist’ at that, Snoop Dogg.  An international artist in this case, by the way, is one who, with the support of his financial backers, which includes the blokes at Geffen and Universal Music Group, exports his so-called ‘songs’ and artistry to adolescents and especially young people the world over.  Are you ready children?  Now everyone can sing along:

“The distance and direction [USA’s] popular culture has traveled in less than one lifetime is shown by the contrast between best-selling records.  A performer of the 1930s hit “The Way You Look Tonight” sang these words to romantic music:

 

Oh, but you’re lovely/With your smile so warm/And your cheek so soft/There is nothing for me but to love you/Just the way you look tonight.

 

In our time, Snoop Doggy Dogg’s song [sold to children with a “parental warning” label, no doubt] “Horny” proclaims to “music” without melody:

 

I called you up for some sexual healing/I’m callin’ again so let me come get it/Bring the lotion so I can rub you/Assume the position so I [portion deleted] you.

 

Then there is Nine Inch Nail’s song, “Big Man with a Gun.”  Even the expurgated version published by the Washington Post gives some idea of how rapidly popular culture is sinking into barbarism:

 

I am a big man (yes I am).  And I have a big gun.  Got me a big old [expletive] and I, I like to have fun.  Held against your forehead, I’ll make you [word deleted] it.  Maybe I’ll put a hole in your head …I’m hard as [expletive] steel and I’ve got the power … Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot.  I’m going to [graphic portion deleted] … me and my [expletive] gun, me and my [expletive] gun.

 

The obscenity of thought and word is staggering, but also notable is the deliberate rejection of any attempt to achieve artistic distinction or even mediocrity … It is difficult to convey just how debased rap [type of music] is … songs like “Horny” and “Big Man with a Gun” are not, as one might hope, culturally marginal; they produce best selling records.  Nor is this “black music.”  Some of the the worst rappers are white, and by far the largest number of records are sold to white suburban adolescents ... One who is absorbed in himself and his sensations, believing in few or no moral or religious principles, in nothing transcendental, is a nihilist.  A culture that preaches narcissistic nihilism is asking for trouble ...

 

… Only a modern intellectual could imagine that Tocqueville, Bryce, and Chesterton would recognize rap lyrics as just another manifestation of the individualism they saw in the Americans of their time.  They would call it by its proper name: depravity ...”

 

Serv

 

Ref:  Bork, Robert H., Slouching Towards Gomorrah, Modern Liberalism and American Decline, HarperCollins, Inc., 1996, ISBN 0-06-039163-4, pp. 123-133



Edited by Servetus
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Duende
 
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Quote Duende Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2007 at 3:04am
Hola Serv, I'm back after a long visit to the Land of the Pure (AKA
Pakistan) where it's amazing to see the pure becoming depraved by
the same rubbish as is found swirling in your very own full blooded
American commode. ....

Can't help commenting on the Nicole Smith story, as this was
'breaking' all over Fox 'news' every time I glimpsed the channel on
frequent channel hops. Having been thankfully deprived of a chance
to view Fox for quite some years now, it was an interesting chance to
do some studying. It was a bit obvious how the story was being used
to keep enquiring minds from enquiring into something a bit more
wheighty, i.e the Lewis Libby trial and the ongoing demonizing of
Iran.

Only a channel such as Fox could manage to get so much air-time
from such an empty subject (tragic though it was) and totally ignore
any real news. ( on re-reading, I correct myself, Fox news is joined
by the Sky network in the UK, owned by the same Lord of
Underculture, Murdoch) Viewed from afar, it is increasingly obvious
how the US and globalised media manipulates viewers and feeds
them only censored stories, twisted to suit corporate interests.

Once the Libby verdict broke, some talking head on Fox with his own
moment of fame, something like the "No Spin Zone" proceeded to
explain how come Fox news had practically ignored the whole Libby
story: he said Fox didn't really know what was going on, and didn't
like to report on stories based on speculation.... wow! Isn't it
remarkable how the entire Fox channel could admit to not knowing
what was going on during the Libby affair, yet the entire blogosphere
had been following every detail closely, not to mention national and
international press. Which must mean that only Fox News reports on
the real stories while everybody else bases their stories on 'hear-say'.

On another channel hop a few days later, I caught an Al-Jazeera
programme reporting on Fox news using the popular TV show "24"
to support the Bush admin's stance on torture, and how the show is
becoming something of a propaganda tool for the same cause.

I feel we should be as worried about the depravity and culture of
immorality being forced upon thinking adults as much as we should
worry about the obscenity and pornography being sold to our
children in the guise of 'pop culture'.

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Sign*Reader
 
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Quote Sign*Reader Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2007 at 1:16pm
Originally posted by Duende

Hola Serv, I'm back after a long visit to the Land of the Pure (AKA
Pakistan) where it's amazing to see the pure becoming depraved by
the same rubbish as is found swirling in your very own full blooded
American commode. ....




Interesting read, thanks Serv n Duende;
 I am very curious about the land of the Pure, what is happening over there!
Kismet Domino: Faith/Courage/Liberty/Abundance/Selfishness/Immorality/Apathy/Bondage or extinction.
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Duende
 
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Quote Duende Replybullet Posted: 14 March 2007 at 11:21am
The same old story Sign*reader: the West's lap dogs are taking
advantage of their brief tenure, while the population on the bottom
rungs cleans up after them.

The thinking classes sit huddled in the golf clubs discussing how to
improve life and publishing their views in the English-language
press, while the rest of the population sits obediently awaiting the
next messiah to tell them what to do.

I hear the use of alcohol is on the rise among the moneyed youth,
while there are still two meatless days a week all over the country. In
other words, (except for the deeply ingrained colonial attitude) pretty
much the same as every other so-called developing country.   
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Servetus
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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 14 March 2007 at 5:43pm

Thanks, Sign_Reader.

 

Quote:
Hola Serv, I'm back after a long visit to the Land of the Pure (AKA
Pakistan) where it's amazing to see the pure becoming depraved by
the same rubbish as is found swirling in your very own full blooded
American commode. ....

 

Welcome back, Duende.  I was beginning to wonder if you and Whisper, among others, had been Mc-banned. 


Quote:
Can't help commenting on the Nicole Smith story, as this was
'breaking' all over Fox 'news' every time I glimpsed the channel on
frequent channel hops.

 

Right.  From my side, I see the Anna Nicole Smith media spectacle (as spectacle) as the post-modern version of, say, the medieval Feasts of the Assumption of the Virgin.  The main difference is that, these days, the masses are feasting upon little more than celebrity carrion.      

 

Quote:
Having been thankfully deprived of a chance to view Fox for quite some years now, it was an interesting chance to do some studying.

 

Right.  It’s good to at least try to deprogram the programmers and to be a “reality hacker” as R. U. Sirius and the amazingly creative others at that great, now defunct, magazine from Berkeley used to state it.     

 

Quote:
It was a bit obvious how the story was being used to keep enquiring minds from enquiring into something a bit more weighty, i.e the Lewis Libby trial and the ongoing demonizing of Iran.

 

It’s, like, who is Lewis Libby?  Doesn’t he make pumpkins or something (just joking)?

http://www.verybestbaking.com/products/libbys/

 

   

Quote:
Only a channel such as Fox could manage to get so much air-time from such an empty subject (tragic though it was) and totally ignore any real news.

 

“The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.” (W.B. Yeats)

 

Quote:
… ( on re-reading, I correct myself, Fox news is joined by the Sky network in the UK, owned by the same Lord of Underculture, Murdoch) …

 

Lord of Underculture: ; that, yes, and one of the Masters of Ceremony at the ritual drowning of the innocent, referred to above. 

 

Quote:
Viewed from afar, it is increasingly obvious how the US and globalised media manipulates viewers and feeds them only censored stories, twisted to suit corporate interests.

 

Speaking of doing some studying, or at least observing, I was once visiting my father and we were watching so-called news.  I think it was either the Fox or CNN face of Janus-Geminus, I cannot remember which.  In either case, it was April, 2002.   A Palestinian suicide bomber had done his damage and in the background, in a continuous loop, was a film showing the carnage and mayhem inside Israel. The show host, for the moment or two that I watched, had two guests on the program: James Zogby of the Arab American Institute and Mortimer Zukerman, owner of the New York Daily News and US News and World Report.  While Mr. Zogby suggested that the interviewer and his network, in order to provide some balance, move their camera a few miles over to Jenin to broadcast what the Israeli forces and American arms were doing there, Mr. Zukerman, ostensibly a provider of “news,” as the name of his publication suggests, defended the news “blackout” then being enforced by Israel.  I’ve not read a publication by Zukerman with the same eyes again.


Quote:
I feel we should be as worried about the depravity and culture of immorality being forced upon thinking adults as much as we should worry about the obscenity and pornography being sold to our children in the guise of 'pop culture'.

 

We should be, absolutely.  This is one of my ongoing complaints: that the only ones who seem to be pushing the First Amendment (free speech) envelope are well-paid pornographers, while the dissident, especially political, voices of America have to be sought out on a blog somewhere and are rarely heard in public.  We have 1,001 talking heads on any given channel and, though there are slight variations on any given theme, they tend to spout the same line and it’s called “pluralism.”   

 

Best regards,

 

Serv



Edited by Servetus
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ummziba
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Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 21 March 2007 at 1:26pm

Came across this today and thought it might be a {good?} addition to this thread:

HEATHER MALLICK

It's the future: st**id

America's dumbed-down game show brings insults to idiocy

March 19, 2007

I have seen the future and it is st**id.

So that you don't have to, I watched an episode of the Fox Network's massively popular (among Americans) new game show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? The answer to the question is, of course, no you aren't.

The show pitted six contestants against each other. Five were charming little kids and one was an American adult with a college degree. He chose Grade 1 English and was asked "How many times does the letter e appear in the following phrase: 'Pledge of Allegiance?'" For all us Canadians, that's something Americans recite every day in school.

The crewcut, bull-necked young white male contestant struggled, his wife and child watching in the audience. Painful is not the word.

I was rhythmically hitting my head with a hardback copy of Jonathan Rose's The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes and scrunching up my face to weep, but the tears wouldn't come somehow, only a gasping sadness.

The man began his calculations. "Well, there's one e in 'the.'" Then he said how tough it was not to have pencil and paper. Then the kids started giggling. It went downhill from there. As things do on Fox.

On the Fox website, even the viewers posting to the show's message board couldn't spell. It was way worse than Amazon.com reviews, the ones that Guardian Talk readers collect online like precious stones. The Washington Post, a literal-minded, ponderous and timorous newspaper, wrote about the Fox show but spectacularly missed the point, as always, by deploring the sad decline in the intellectual standards of game shows.

But a website loved by me, www.defamer.com, advised readers not to link to the Post's lumpen history of how quiz shows reached their current Just Hold Up Two Fingers And I'll Give You Ten Thousand Dollars! Can You Do That For Me, Guy? state, and instead ran a clip with the headline "Aren't We All Dumber than a 5th Grader, When You Really Think About It?"

One viewer complained (complained!) that Fox was making money off st**id people, as if this were not an explanation of the entire history of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., from topless teenagers in the London Sun to the coarseness and racism of Fox News. But the trick of this game show is that Fox is profiting from the contestant's st**idity while humiliating and mocking him for it.

It's a circle of government and industry working in tandem: the Bush Administration guts the American education system, which makes Fox programming attractive to larger numbers of people, who are then ridiculed by people like me, but now also by Fox itself.

It's an achievement, of sorts. The problem when you're Canadian is that the show evokes not laughter but horror. I would pay not to watch this. I regret seeing it as much as I regret watching the beheading video of Daniel Pearl, another gift of the internet that I have repaid with nightmares and wishing I were already the coarse unfeeling heart-of-Plexiglass person I will inevitably become if I continue in this line of work.

Canadians don't laugh at learning-disabled people. It's not what civilized people do, and you learn that from your parents fast. Am I alone in being astonished at the return of the word "retard" to everyday conversation?

And it's particularly wrong for an American audience to laugh at this guy because he's so clearly the type of person the U.S. employs in the army and at border crossings. All that Homeland/Heartland nonsense spewed out by Fox and the U.S. government doesn't disguise the fact that they despise these people even as they hunt their votes to sustain a tiny class of rich men with pale faces and scary glasses. I give you Dick Cheney, Roger Ailes, Kyle Sampson, Karl Rove…

On that same day I saw this, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the man in charge of the Stalin-style purges of federal attorneys deemed to be "disloyal" to the Republican party, essentially pleaded for his job on the grounds that he was poor once and Hispanic to boot. So he had clawed his way out of poverty to a job where he essentially runs the American secret police, and asks that he be allowed to stay on by virtue of once having been the kind of person he'd stomp on now.

This is one of the virtues of a badly educated electorate. They fall for this reasoning.

When I say that a st**id future lies ahead, you might well think this a good thing for writers. All we have to do is aim our work at the st**id, which is presumably easier (shorter words, simplified ideas, no tangents, frequent use of the word "fave"). But the problem is that it takes more effort to write badly than to write well, and I'm lazy.

I speak as one who runs the gamut, a combination of educated and clueless.

The London Review of Books is my favourite publication. So I'm smart, right? No, because I think the nude fight scene in Borat is the funniest thing ever filmed. Simple-minded, then? No, I drool over the northern Flemish still-life painters of expired eels but Rembrandt leaves me cold. Complicated to the point of idiocy? No, I live for Margaret Atwood's poetry, her most pared-down and greatest achievement. Just idiocy, then? No, my husband wouldn't have married an idiot. He, who chose British newsrooms over a university education, is the most wise and clever person I know, and that's not a compliment I hand out easily.

Being humane is the most important quality. The fact is that education is the fastest, best, cheapest and most joyous way to get citizens and civilizations to that point.

I watch Americans sink from the relative civilization of the late 19th century to the point where smart and beautiful children are paid to mock the st**id adult and I know what's next: Bear-baiting.

We're back in Elizabethan times, but without a Shakespeare.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Quote Duende Replybullet Posted: 22 March 2007 at 4:15am
Ummziba, this is an absolute gem!

Thank you
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Patty
 
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Quote Patty Replybullet Posted: 22 March 2007 at 8:02am

I don't know where all of you live, what religion you are devotees of, or much else....but I can tell you this, you do NOT know a LOT about most Americans.  You are taking excerpts from st**id, idiotic programming and attempting to portray the majority of Americans as fitting into your particular "potter's mold".  Well, I've got a newsflash for you (Servie, I am a little (though not much) surprised at your bias), MANY MORE AMERICANS ARE QUITE INFORMED ON ALL ISSUES, DON'T WATCH THE TRASHY SHOWS YOU THINK THEY WATCH, AND HAVE QUITE INTELLIGENT LIBRARIES (NO, NOT PORN) IN THEIR HOMES. 

They also have wide circles of friends who do/have the same, and are involved in many organizations where extremely enlightening and varied discussions transpire.  Most Americans are truly disgusted with American Idol (I've never watched more than 3 minutes of one show), Anna Nichol Smith? (who cares)...sorry she died, that's it!  We have quite an extensive library in our home, watch mostly documentaries on television when we do watch it.....and ignore news channels.  We get our news from reading, and watching it on PBS.  All of our friends do the same.  We have lived many different places, now preferring Maine because of the lack of crime, beauty of nature here, and peacefulness, AS WELL AS the easy availability of culture, libraries, arts, good conversation, and the knowledge that many more people are likely to feel as we feel regarding trashy news reporters, game shows (never), and immoral activities increasing in the world...NOT just in the US.  We are considered middle class, but have several close friends who are quite wealthy and informed.  Strange as it may sound, they love us for who we are.  Our closest friends are a multi-millionaire couple...the husband of this union is a world renowned oncologist, who's name you would recognize immediately if I gave it out, which, of course, I will not do.  So, please stop throwing the proverbial "blanket coverage" over all, or most, Americans as being inbred neanderthals who do nothing but imbibe, read porno, and watch game shows.  What a lack of knowledge you are exhibiting!!!  I have read it for years on here, and have never rebelled against it....until now.  Get over yourselves.  We are all just people, and we are not what you are trying to make us, as Americans, out to be.

I think it would serve each one of you well to actually talk to more Americans from many sections of this country.  Try to get to know more than just a few who are exploited by the news as the "norm".

See, now you've really got me wound up like a two dollar clock!

Respectfully and Intelligently Submitted.

Patty

I don't know what the future holds....but I know who holds the future.
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