BREAKING NEWS RIGHT NOW
MAN-BOOKER PRIZE TO AN AMERICAN FOR TOUR-DE-FORCE
An incisive briefing from the Times about the unprecedented, not to mention unanimous, Man-Booker Prize win by Paul Beatty for his skewering indictment of ‘race relations’ in The Sellout, a first-time American instance of garnering the award, and for an obviously brilliant and yet nonetheless challenging narrative at that, an eventuality that today’s edition of The Conversation examined in terms of the impacts of celebrity success on scribes and how Beatty might have the temperament to weather such storms inasmuch as he’s aware of their lurking presence, advice and counsel that, should they be so lucky, scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens might put to good use.
This Day in History
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, today is a moment to remember a Day of the Establishment of an Independent Czecho-Slovak State, and all over the globe is also International Animation Day; during the Battle of Milvian Bridge, seventeen hundred and four years back, the emperor Constantine’s armies defeated Maxentius, thus becoming the sole Roman emperor of the West; one hundred forty-four years after that illustrious moment in time, in 456, the Visigoths brutally sacked the Suebi’s capital of what is now known as Portugal; MORE HERE
A Thought for the Day
While every language, unavoidably and by the nature of its operation as a way of representing an underlying existence, depends on figurative speech, elliptical suggestions of reality that evoke in listeners and users what the actual meaning is that words hope to convey, perhaps no tongue so boldly and bounteously embodies as does the Bard’s the idea that “the key to English is metaphor, calling things what they are not in order to depict or understand what they are,” a pattern that extends to the very roots of words themselves, where for example prefixes that speak to space purvey terms about movement and energy, and sentences and paragraphs and passages follow threads that their creators seem to have woven from a single fabric that the cosmos itself, rather than linguistic construction, has stitched together in a warp and woof as natural as the eruption of volcanoes or the passage of the spheres through all the distances that yield all the happenstances of all that is, the ultimate subject matter for all that we would spin into yarn about the world and our place in it.
cfr OR "council on foreign relations" OR "bilderberg group" OR davos "monopoly media" OR "corporate media" control OR "interlocking directorates" manipulation OR propaganda OR "half truth" OR "hidden agendas" "public relations" OR "manufacturing consent" bernays OR "father of PR" = 4,710 Linkages.
In relation to a prominent thinker and writer, an acclaimed activist and strategist, and a more or less authentic grassroots politician, an account from TruthDig about the just passed Tom Hayden, whose work with Students for a Democratic Society constituted a signature moment in regard to heralded 1960’s student, antiwar, and human rights activities, which took tangible form in the event in the Port Huron Statement, a new version of which is part of this article–part of an outpouring of encomium and memorialization for Hayden and his work, such as a Consortium News brief that focuses on his courageous stand for peace, or a Portside piece that passes on a Nation Magazine text that emphasizes the ‘work-in-progress’ nature of America’s vaunted ‘democracy,’ or another TruthDig bit that contextualizes immigration issues; material that parallels various more standard obituaries, such as this one from LA Progressive
TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, & AWARENESS VIDEO
MEDIA MANIPULATION TRICKS THAT WOULD FRIGHTEN EVEN BERNAYS
In contemporary environs in which vast majorities of the individuals who comprise the populace of public opinion have zero direct access either to experience or knowledge about crucial events and decisions, a to-say-the-least troubling report from Waking Times about various aspects of convincing people of untrue representations and manipulated events, the upshot of which comes in the form of a briefing from a company, the Woolshed Group, that has pulled the wool over the eyes of hundreds of millions of viewers of eight faked viral videos, and additional elements of which look at techniques that permit complete faking of actual speakers’ and actors’ filmed words and actions so as to transform the impact of the original images on viewers, and more such instantiation of the warning to watchers to be wary of what they ‘see with their own two eyes,’ manifestations of the present pass that meld with such persuasive magic as a recent short about how one can ‘ethically’ use the psychology of what convinces people to say ‘yes’ in order to sell them whatever one wants to purvey, an arena of pushing people around perfectly congruent with what more corrupt and corporate mediation induces constantly, as a lengthier investigation of the influence, some would say imprimatur, that groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations have on the messages that meander onto our screens, the propaganda that the ‘networks’ and other media monopolies propagate on a daily basis—all of which adds up to a dire call to scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens to attend carefully indeed the advice of the passionate proponents of social justice and human freedom at Storm Clouds Gathering, who say that the background of Edwin Bernays and his ilk, and even earlier theorists of mass psychology, informs every component of the current scene, from virtual reality to printed matter that comes through the mails, and that we’d better get a sense of our own interests and our own stories if we don’t want to end up buying in to agendas that will definitely bring us gloom, and that could spell our doom.
Nearly Naked Links
- The William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers awards a $2,500 grant to one writer each for, to help complete a manuscript in the “malice domestic” genre, loosely described as mystery stories of the Agatha Christie type. The deadline for entry is May 1st. Learn more here.
compensation: Varies (but around $20/hr)
employment type: contract
A Portside repost look at some Southern bands to look out for if one cares about the state of the world and where our creative minds stand on important issues: “From police treatment of African-Americans to the current presidential election, the issues roiling America today have led the Truckers to drill down on the topic that has preoccupied them for 20 years – the South – while bringing a relatively unheard perspective to pop music’s discourse: that of the progressive white Southerner.
A great guide to all scrappy scribes who wish to see all the words that it is possible to see: “Green’s Dictionary of Slang is the largest historical dictionary of English slang. Written by Jonathon Green over 17 years from 1993, it reached the printed page in 2010 in a three-volume set containing nearly 100,000 entries supported by over 400,000 citations from c. ad 1000 to the present day. The main focus of the dictionary is the coverage of over 500 years of slang from c. 1500 onwards.”
A Tikkun appreciation and defense of Bob Dylan’s recent Nobel Prize, both from an artistic standpoint as from being an important voice for an entire movement: “Dylan’s strange surrealist lyrics were new to rock and had roots in poetry we both loved – in Rimbaud, but also Eliot. Like Eliot in “The Waste Land” or Rimbaud in his Illuminations, Dylan suggested entire worlds in just a few lines in songs like “Desolation Row” “The Gates of Eden” and “Highway 61 Revisited.” Rimbaud had shown me the magical world after the deluge. Eliot, the disintegration of old beliefs. That strange new broken world terrified Eliot but exhilarated Dylan and me. Unlike Eliot and the other so-called modernists who hated everything we loved about modernity, Dylan and I were marching on the same side.”
A Citiscope article that discusses a future meeting of 140 countries who seek to lay out a unified agenda for sustainable urban existence for future generations: “The future of cities will be shaped this week high in the Andes mountains, as nearly 50,000 people converge for a summit aimed at adopting a new global vision on how to plan, build and run cities equitably and sustainably….
By the end of the conference, national governments will adopt a voluntary, non-binding agreement known as the New Urban Agenda. The document, which was finalized in September following four months of negotiation, is an urbanization strategy designed to guide national policies and local priorities over the next 20 years.”
An Atlantic look at a recent unfortunate development in academic spaces of protecting students against what they purportedly don’t want to hear, and that speculates possible consequences of the trend: “The dangers that these trends pose to scholarship and to the quality of American universities are significant; we could write a whole essay detailing them. But in this essay we focus on a different question: What are the effects of this new protectiveness on the students themselves? Does it benefit the people it is supposed to help? What exactly are students learning when they spend four years or more in a community that polices unintentional slights, places warning labels on works of classic literature, and in many other ways conveys the sense that words can be forms of violence that require strict control by campus authorities, who are expected to act as both protectors and prosecutors?”