RAB: Why So Little Posted?

Hey there, everyone.  You’re probably wondering – why are you posting so little?  Well, here’s the thing – I don’t have much to talk about.  I’m currently watching Ken Burns’ new documentary The Vietnam War, and will be doing a review on it soon enough.  It’s a truly superb work, that you should check out on PBS.org.  Trust me, it will be worth your time.  It’s one of the most tragically-misunderstood conflicts in history, and a huge black mark against this country that shows that our attempts to control our little world always make things worse.  We really need to stop.

As for what’s been happening, I honestly have no dog in this fight.  The more I watch President Trump go on Twitter and play chicken with Kim Jong Un about who is going to blast who first, the more I realize that this country is bananas.  I love when North Korea’s prime minister called Trump “full of meglomania.”  A couple of things.  1. Good point, but 2. Isn’t this kind of like the pot calling the kettle black?  It really feels that way.  Just wondering if someone will post a comment about that being racist.  Anything to do with the color black anymore is racist.

Speaking of, I didn’t really care about PewDiePie’s usage of the word “nigger.”  That’s right, I didn’t go “the n-word.”  Context matters.  I used a word that he used in the context of him using it.  Am I suddenly a racist?  George Carlin had a great bit about this.  Here’s a link.  Was what he said in poor taste?  Sure.  Do I care?  Not really.  He’s a let’s player who got rich off it.  His channel means nothing to me.  With that in mind, that meant absolutely dick.

What about all this kneeling shit with the NFL?  Surely I have opinions about that, right?  Nope.  Couldn’t possibly care less.  I really couldn’t.  People who throw a ball around have opinions about kneeling during America’s theme song.  Do all you patriotic motherfuckers get up off your fat ass when it comes on during a football game and put your hand over your heart?  No!  I’m sure some idiot will find this and comment “I do!”  Well good for you.  You’re probably the only fucking one.  Some overpaid asshole on a field kneeling for America’s theme song means about as much to me as whatever the drunk Native idiot was spewing at my local Fred Meyer’s while he was being shoved into a police car.

Maybe I can talk about the novel I’m writing.  It’s true, I am.  May post a chapter or two form it on here, but probably not.  Been having a little writer’s block lately.  Been uninspired.  But hoping to get some back this weekend to finish a chapter.  I told a dear friend before she went to basic for the Navy that I would be finishing it before she got home.  Hooyah!

What other stupid controversy am I seeing that people feel the need to insist I talk about?  None that comes immediately to mind.  I think I covered them all.  Still seeing shit about this kneeling nonsense with President Dumbshit feeling the need to get his butthurt on.  I swear, the only political figure more thin-skinned is the one that he’s playing chicken with in terms of who will nuke who first.  Thank Groj the Chinese said they want no part of this.  That tells me that we won’t have World War III.  I think everyone has realized that Kim Jong Un is crazy.  But there won’t be a nuclear strike from him.  I guarantee that if he actually goes the distance with ordering a nuclear strike, one of his generals will blow his fucking head off and call America up and be like, “hey!  Any chance we could totally de-escalate this shit?”

So, what do you think?  I’m leaving the floor open to you.  Tell me what I should write about.  What stupid shit in the news do you think is worth my time.  Leave a comment and I will actually genuinely consider it and let you know if I pick it or not.  If nothing strikes my fancy or annoys me enough to get me to write, I won’t.

Until next time, a quote,

“There’s a nice campaign slogan for someone – the public sucks, fuck hope!” – George Carlin

Peace out,

Maverick

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PewDiePie and the Death of Old Media

Before you go off and say that I am doing what everyone else has been doing and mining what has happened for clicks, hear me out.  I got me degree in Journalism and Public Communication.  I have an understanding of this medium better than most.  And it is because of that that I feel a great sense of shame and pity for what has happened here.  Everything about what has happened was a sign of how the medium that I grew up loving, who was supposed to be the vanguards of democracy, is failing.  And there is no coming back from it.  But here’s the thing – we all should have seen this coming.  From a long ways off, this was apparent to me.  It’s happened before, and it now it is beginning to happen again.

Where did it start?  You could make the argument that it most recently started with the Wall Street Journal putting out a video which was an unfounded hit-piece on the YouTube personality PewDiePie.  There was no defending that video.  None.  It was such blatant bullshit that you felt ashamed of yourself watching it.  To think that a news outlet that was once believed to be a very respectable source could make an attack video against a YouTuber for a video where he was blatantly satirizing the people calling him racist and making a joke about finally giving in and becoming a Nazi.  It was all so obvious, and the Internet tore the Journal to pieces over it.  But that isn’t where it started.

Maybe it started back in 2014, with a little uprising known as GamerGate.  Indeed, the parallels between what happened to Felix and that instance are rather shocking.  We have a corrupt press colluding together to take on an Internet culture that is clearly a threat to their industry, and now we see the beginnings of a new culture war.  And just like with the “Gamers are Dead” articles, now we have every major media outlet releasing a barrage of articles lambasting Felix and his politics.  Also just like GamerGate, this is blowing up in the media’s face so badly that not one person involved is walking away clean.  I don’t think this is where it started either.

The first time I truly got a taste of the downfall was looking at a video on NPR.  I didn’t believe what I was seeing.  There was a link to a video that was, quite literally, an unboxing video.  That’s right, NPR, one of the most respected journalism outlets who does some truly biting work from time to time examining critical issues. was doing an unboxing video.  It was of a PS4.  A lot of people tried to make the argument that they were trying to talk about unboxing videos.  That’s wrong.  It wasn’t a video about unboxing.  It was a fucking unboxing video.  I was so embarrassed for them at that point.  However, that most certainly wasn’t where it started.

So where was it?  Where was the great downfall of the media’s beginning?  The beginning of the Internet?  Getting closer, but still no bueno.  It was actually around the time when Princess Di was killed.  The news at the time wasn’t talking about the facts of her death.  Instead, they were creating narratives.  It couldn’t be enough that a great woman died.  No, the narrative had to be that a wonderful, fantastic woman died.  And her passing needed a good catch phrase and sad music to be played over it.  It was when cable news decided to come into the picture and turn the news from a discussion about the events of the day that transpired, to a narrative telling their audiences how to think about the news.

Here’s the thing – this idea of unbiased reporting is bullshit.  There is no such thing.  You can strive to be as unbiased as possible, have a rigorous vetting process to remove the scruples of bias to whatever extent you can.  But the cold hard truth is that you still have to deal with the fact that bias exists, and it will always be there.  Edward R Murrow admitted his bias, but his way of counter-manning it was to let the other side have its day.  He let Joseph McCarthy come on his show and give a very passionate defense of his position, where he called Murrow and his ilk all sorts of unprofessional names.  In giving his stage to his opposition, Murrow did more to cement how right he is in the eyes of the public.  Still, Murrow was biased.  The best minds are.  Walter Cronkite told some harrowing stories about the war in Vietnam, but he did so with an agenda to get the troops out of there.  He had a bias, but he had enough dedication to his craft to make sure to get people to the truth as close as he could.  It wasn’t hard to sell people on the war in Vietnam being a bad idea.

PewDiePie is the victim of a medium that is lost.  Print media is dying.  I feel it all the time.  I am just one of a thousand blogs that are ignored by the masses.  My audience is still pretty awesome, but I realize that I am part of a bygone era.  I don’t have video-making chops.  This is the best I can do.  Like all animals that feel their end coming, the media is lashing out.  PewDiePie makes for an easy target.  His popularity cannot be overstated.  Traditional media has to work very hard for all of their stories.  Felix basically just gets in front of a camera and plays video games, then he makes millions.  He makes astronomical amounts of money just by exaggerating his expressions while playing video games, and now making more original content.  Of course the media who has to work hard to make any content would despise such a person.

And for those who will say “it’s not anything to do with that!  It was the fact that he used Nazi imagery in his videos!”  First, the video they went after was so cherry-picked and avoided context where Felix showed that he has no love for Nazis, but decided to give the media who attacked him to no end what they wanted.  They do everything they can to take his videos out of context.  And when the Internet took them to task for it, the media overall decided to try and make it in to a big deal about how context doesn’t matter.  Actually, dumb fucks, it does.  It really does.

Old media is dying, and its final death throes will not be pretty.  But I don’t miss them.  Sure, the person who spent $40,000 on a degree like me would be pissed that some guy on YouTube can make boatloads of money.  But I don’t see any of them trying to make a niche for themselves.  I mean, when a high school dropout can become the biggest atheist channel on YouTube and last for longer than anyone else on the site, that means that if you can keep a fresh idea and change up for your audience enough, then you can make a new brand for yourself.  Media has to change with the times.  Its refusal to do so leads to some unbelievably sad things.

Until next time, a quote,

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha

Peace out,

Maverick