Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saturday night with CSpan, or not

[As we all know, the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are to be found in our Library.]

Yes, it’s Saturday night, and I know what havoc I’m wreaking to the notoriety of my reputation by just being here. Instead of somewhere naughty.

But since I am here, I’m in the mood to chatter on a bit about a comment left by one of our dear Anonymous ones last night. Lamenting the fact that the scooplet about someone’s amorous pursuits garnered more coverage than any serious examination of the Sexta.

Um, yes.

Certainly most all the major media – wire services and newspapers – provided at least fairly minimal reports, starting with the Red Alert through the Plenary. But thorough, incisive? Well, when was the last time we saw a thoughtful exegesis in the mass media on Bolivia, or Argentina, or Venezuela, or Uruguay, or Brazil [that spoke of anything other than “scandal”], or any of the movements anywhere in the world?

This is the mass corporate media of which we speak.

I fancy there are just the obvious two options. Either outsmart the mainstream media, literally, as the Daily Show has so ably done. Or do something with alternative media. Unfortunately, however, most alt media out there leaves me shuddering with moral and intellectual outrage at the lunacy contained therein…or makes CSpan2 look like an engaging, fun-filled romp.

There has been, forever perhaps, a deeply held tenet on the left that they must be Serious, or at the very least deadly boring. And god knows they’ve been brilliant at it. Sometimes I think it has to do with a subliminal need to prove their worth, their competence. After all, they have chosen, in a very real sense, to move outside traditional circles, whether political, academic, social, cultural. And so sometimes it seems that, even as if they draw their own circle ever tighter, they must appear better, smarter, more filled with endless footnotes and gravitas than the morons in those “traditional” circles.

I do serious, really.

Even really serious. I’ve read, I read and I shall read. As much of it as I can bear. But after NC’s 689th book or the infinite raging stream of articles all saying the exact same thing about the exact same subjects, I ache for wit, passion, silliness. Or, just occasionally, to be surprised.

Which is why I so often adore anarchists, why spark and ms. b are so delightful, why Don Durito and old Uncle Antonio brought tens of thousands of persons, literally and figuratively, to an odd and amazing little corner of the world.

Perhaps tomorrow I might present a prototype for my little alt-Hola.


TripleJ said...

I don't mind Chomski, but I admit not having read his 689 books :^)

And now that Irl has told me they're all the same, then I won't waste my money on them. I have two and that's enough :^)

I admit my daughter (well one of them anyway) is biased against him. She thinks he should have stuck to linguistics and his foray in political activism is a betrayal of his potential in linguistics. But then again, she's just done the same herself :^) Something about pots and kettles ...

Glorious day today here! Sailing was a total pleasure. I did not even think about the Zaps at all...!

miguel said...

I've noticed a lot of repetition in Chomsky's work but I can't blame him. A lot of his interviews are nearly identical to one another, but in his position, if I was being interviewed that often, and being asked the same questions, I'd probably repeat myself too.
I tend to read only one version of a topic he is discussing. I have Manufacturing Consent but I also have Hegemony or Survival, and they are quite different.

Ah, I thought you might have been sailing, so I didn't bother calling you and asking you to be my taxi service for the day :-) instead I spent a lot of time flirting. Irl I hope you're proud :-)

Comrada B said...

From the heart, thank you Irl!

What a sweet compliment from someone who is truely a Lady of the first order...

The Parlour is a friendly, intelligent...a sometmes inspiringly peaceful place, where I like to go to escape from chaos that seems to be everywhere in this world.

Fuertes Abrazos,


TripleJ said...

MJ. You were flirting? And with whom may I ask? :^)

I thought your cute next door neighbour was away in Europe at the moment :^)

Spark said...

Hey there beautiful pro-sanity and commonsense people

Irl, thanks SO for appreciation. Have waited a long time for it. The right kind.

Will certainly take yr advice re the sign up and contribution to the Other Campaign.yea thanks for the encouragement

also - exciting news about the masque! Halloween is a comin my pretties and we have something gorgeous cooking. it's all rather hush hush though, if i tell you i kill U and all that

I am moving house this week and next [well, more accurate = ending a 2 year rollercoaster period of homelessness by moving in to a flat of my own. yipee joy of joys, really] so it'll probably be a while before I can contribute properly to the OC. but, 2006 looks like the working year so I will get on and combine the work with a badly needed GN website update :)

yeah folks i reckon yr right about some of this academic stuff - it becomes too much commentary and not enough action. point is to change the world - it's a War on Error, stupid

still, i do miss good written stuff as a result of my go-by-the-seat-of-pants undisciplined non fully scholarly attitude but all in all i trust the big picture. yes i'll get the info i need at the right time/in a magical way

Regarding 3J's response to my somewhat incoherent howl for grassroots global movement demanding access/ring fencing of land etc for direct democracy - thanks for the link, and yr point is well taken.

But also I believe in/about scale. direct democracy is viable at local level where person to person relationships are possible. at the larger scale, especially in our mass impersonal society its undoubtedly more tricky, but we need to explore all possibilities so as to find a way that properly engages the apatheticas. neo-liberal leaders barely try

i'm hopeful though [perhaps you'd guessed that already :-) ]best practice will evolve as nations try new paths - internet makes it more feasible than before but we also need to look at practices in eg Brazil as to how to link up the direct aspect of the local and the chain running to the national and beyond. good book with examples and theory Hilary Wainwright Reclaim The State

ok time to go enough waffle. Check out its rather fun for a Christian site

Christianarchy anyone?

Love, Cuddles, Etc
Sparky Spark
PS alter Hola-la la lol
[l is for love]

Anonymous said...

This is related to your last post.

I want to register my support at Revista Rebeldía... but my spanish is bad at best. Any help suggestions. I found the email I think.

Is it ok to send an email in English?


irlandesa said...

Anon the Last:

It's absolutely fine to send your note in English, and, yes, that is the right place.


Comrada B said...

If I remmember correctly, Irl had posted in earlier in the Parlour, that they would accept support in any language and EVEN encouraged it!

I sure hope so anyway...sent mine in before the 11th in



Anonymous said...

i heartily agree that good old noam, though his politics are generally sound, has a sad tendency to repeat himself. and his delivery could be better - i've dozed off every time i've heard him speak.

but i have to disagree with triplej's daughter. chomsky's linguistics is pretty dubious, and his refusal to deal with the ways in which its implications directly contradict his politics is sketchy as all hell. briefly: chomskian linguistics holds that language is all about a brain organ using a logical system to generate sentences using a common-to-all-humans 'deep grammar' through the filters of a particular language. it completely rejects any consideration of the significance of interaction among humans as an element in what its proponents would term the 'serious' study of language. it wraps itself in the mantle of 'abstract science' as if the past century of work in physics, biology, mathematics, and sociology hadn't torn that ideological fiction to shreds.

alas, poor noam! to believe at once in a libertarian (in the sense of libertad) political vision and a linguistics of mechanistic Authority! in a society based on the free interactions of human beings and a concept of language which denies human contact! it is to weep.

Spark said...

Hi there Anon

Please can you explain what you mean by this

"briefly: chomskian linguistics holds that language is all about a brain organ using a logical system to generate sentences using a common-to-all-humans 'deep grammar' through the filters of a particular language. it completely rejects any consideration of the significance of interaction among humans as an element in what its proponents would term the 'serious' study of language."

as it is rather difficult to understand


Spark said...

My guess is that you mean emotional intimacy between humans is more/as important than the intellectual?

TripleJ said...

Anon, actually I agree with Chomski's linguistics. I too believe that languages rely on an inborn part of the brain, and I suspect animals (at least some) also possess this, so they also are capable of certain nuances in their communications, like future, present and past concepts for instance. Certainly experiments with chimpanzees prove they understand 'English' like grammar, including subjonctive forms.

I guess babies have this part fully switched on at birth and can learn all and any language, then the unused part ceases to work after a while and they find themselves locked into a single 9or maybe 2 or 3) language.

Furthermore, abstract science hasn't been torn to shreds at all, certainly not by either mathematics (which is the purest form of abstraction) or physics where the greatest advances of last century were almost all abstract thoughts from Einstein's relativity to Schrodinger's cat (dead and alive at the same time, now that's a very abstract cat!), and Feyman's time space diagrams where a positron is simply an electron travelling back in time.

Sociology though is not an abstract science, sometimes I even wonder if it is a science at all :^) (in my mind it's often more closely related to BS)