So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by GHT, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    Oh please. As if Starbucks couldn't afford to just give each customer a free newspaper daily. :rolleyes:
     
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  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Yep. I've been using the internet for twenty-three years now, and I'm no more comfortable with the way it delivers news than I was the first time I saw it. I find that scanning an unfolded page top to bottom makes much more sense than clicking my way from story to story, and I tend to better understand the context of what I've read when I read it in print as opposed to an online style of presentation. And social media is even worse -- the whole idea of news delivered surrounded by poorly-informed, overheated commentary is like trying to concentrate in a room full of random people screaming incoherently in your ear.

    The internet is the most significant human invention since movable type -- but I don't think we really understand yet what it's doing to us, to our ability to absorb information, and I don't think we *will* understand that until it's too late. Newspapers were also deeply flawed in their dependence on and subservience to advertisers -- but even at their most mendacious I don't think they had the effect on the mind that the internet does.
     
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  3. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    My greatest misgiving about the Internet is how easy it makes life for totalitarians. If everyone gets their info via one vector, it’s a helluva lot easier to control what info is disseminated. Witness China.
     
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  4. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    You missed a rather sly pun.

    The assumption was that "consious" was a euphemism. Unfortunately, puns, though they are reputedly the lowest form of humor tend not to be obvious to those who did not grow up with the idiom of a particular language. The exception which proves this rule is a friend of mine, a retired Classicist, who routinely simultaneously puns in two or sometimes three languages, inenof which is usually dead. I still cannot quite figure out how he does it.
     
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  5. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    +1 on that for sure. I really appreciate the search-ability of electronic media when it comes to tracking down an article. Though I certainly can agree to preferring actual print media when it comes to general reading. What I DON'T miss with newspapers is them taking several paragraphs to get to the point, and reading a continuation title on page six that sounds interesting and wondering why it didn't spark my interest when I read the original full title on page 1.
     
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  6. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    What you describe is not just the internet. It applies quite well to our own mainstream media. As I caution my 13 year old son who has recently begun of his own accord to monitor news stories, our media outlets not only decides what news is presented, but how it is presented. One must be skeptical and read between the lines to try to understand the real meaning behind the all too often editorialized and hyperbolic presentation. Imagine if the news media were forbidden from using adjectives. Does anybody know, do malpractice laws apply to journalists?
     
  7. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    ^^^^^
    There are libel laws, so yeah, false and defamatory accounts can get one’s ass sued.

    I don’t know who first noted that freedom of the press belongs to him that owns one. These days, it takes very little by way of financial resources to own a “press.” And there are few disincentives to disseminating false (or at least misleading) information. Joe Incel, the king of his laptop and not much else, has little fear of being sued by whatever person of note he may be libeling on his website. He has very little to lose, so he has very little to lose. And he is but one of thousands if not millions doing the same. They’re like gnats.

    A major media outlet, on the other hand ...
     
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    "Journalist" itself is a term that's basically obsolete in the internet age. When people complain that "journalists" aren't even-handed and fair, they're talking about analysts, not reporters. A reporter is the person who sits in the back of the district court or the city council meeting taking down the proceedings. An analyst is the person who purports to tell you what those proceedings mean. The problem with analysts is twofold: there are too many of them, and their opinions are bought and paid for.

    Try this exercise. Go to your favorite news website or cable news channel and write down the names of the analysts/commentators you find there. Then do a bit of research and see who they really work for. "Senior fellow" of this or that "Institute" or "Organization" or "Bureau." What are those institutes, organizations or bureaus? In most cases they're think tanks -- organizations created and funded to promote a specific point of view. They adopt the language of academia to give some veil of intellect and legitimacy to what they do, but there is nothing intellectual or legitimate about them. They're opinion mills. They aren't journalistic organizations by any means, but today's news organizations, out of some perverse idea of what "fairness" is, think that having one think-tank employee representing this point of view and one think-tank employee representing that point of view equals a "balanced presentation of the news." It is no such thing. It's simply one specific paid agenda versus another. It's no more legitimate news than pro rassling is a legitimate sport.

    Real journalism has no place for think-tanks and their canned talking points masquerading as "analysis." In the 1940s, it was a scandal when it was revealed that right-wing radio commentators George Sokolsky and Fulton Lewis Jr. were on the payroll of the National Association of Manufacturers at the same time they were posing as journalists. But today's era has forgotten that distinction. internet journalism and cable journalism are not journalism at all. And internet/cable analysts aren't reporters. The problem is that we live in a time when the overwhelming majority of people don't know the difference -- so long as they can find an outlet that supports their own point of view, they're satisfied. And I'm not talking about millennials here, either. It's the over-fifty crowd that's the worst offenders. The majority of the empty blather masquerading as news on social media is directed straight at that particular demographic, and it's being energetically lapped up. The kids, at least, seem to have some sense of when they're being hoodwinked, but most of their parents willingly go right along with it. OMG SO TRUE! SHARE IF U AGREE!
     
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  9. M Brown

    M Brown Familiar Face

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    Nothing really ticks me off anymore. I guess I've used up all my ticks with all the irritants from 66 years of living in a mixed up crazy world. Now I just let things slide. Unless it's something that puts myself or my family in danger or risk, of course. Then I am prepared to unleash the Kraken.

    Re; Journalists-having spent several years working in the television industry all I can say is many of the behind the camera workers who write copy, load teleprompters, and do the trench work are either low paid entry level employees or interns. It's never a surprise when teleprompter copy comes across with errors and the talking heads, who are hired for their looks and not their brains, read exactly what's on the prompter. They're all just another version of Ron Burgandy. IF they get off script the mumbo jumbo that comes from their mouths is usually inane.
    These days the real journalists are few and far between. Consequently I still occasionally burst out a loud guffaw at my TV while watching the 'news'.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 3:39 PM
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  10. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    It’s the unfortunate tendency among us humans to run to the neat, easy explanation. People in general really don’t want their assumptions and worldviews challenged.

    It’s why the echo chamber works.
     
    Edward likes this.
  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    George Seldes, writing in 1942, concluded that there wasn't a single legitimate newspaper in the United States with the partial exceptions of PM and the Christian Science Monitor, and he concluded that "freedom of the press," as long as it depended on capitalism for sustenance, was a complete and absolute sham. He noted as just one example the way in which the mounting scientific evidence that tobacco was a deadly, poisonous product was completely suppressed by the media of the time -- because tobacco company advertising was its single most important source of revenue. Today you have billionaires owning major media outlets as a matter of course, and it's the height of naivete to assume that they're going to allow those outlets to contradict their personal interests. Rupert Murdoch and Jeff Bezos have no more interest in serious journalism than Hearst did.

    "Them that pays the piper calls the tune." That's just as true in 2019 as it was in 1942.
     
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  12. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    The complaint, then, isn’t what is reported so much as what isn’t.

    (Say this much for Bezos: He wouldn’t fold under David Pecker’s extortion demands. And we can thank him for inspiring the headline of the decade — “Bezos exposes Pecker.” The lesson in this for those among us so lacking in judgement that they don’t know it already is not ever to put yourself, or any part of yourself, in a photo you wouldn’t wish to see in the pages of a supermarket tabloid.)
     
  13. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion One Too Many

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    Reminds me of Dmitri Shostakovich's definition of a musicologist:

    "What's a musicologist? I'll tell you. Our cook, Pasha, prepared the scrambled eggs for us and we are eating them. Now imagine a person who did not cook the eggs and does not eat them, but talks about them – that is a musicologist."
     
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  14. Our local news was talking about the killings in El Paso and showing video of a runaway Ostrich. It was surreal...
     
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  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I'll add this. What do you think would happen if, tomorrow, every "journalist" in America decided to refuse to use "think tanks" and "policy associations" and paid spokespeople for any cause or organization as sources? Cable TV news channels and talk radio would go out of business overnight, which I think would be an excellent step toward the revival of actual journalism in this country. But they won't do it, because they know which side their bread is buttered on. Americans don't *want* real journalism, because once they understood what was really going on, they'd be forced to take their own blinders off.

    Paddy Chayefsky , in the words of Howard Beale, summed up this country's real driving ideology more than 40 years ago. "Leave me alone with my toaster and my steel-belted radials and my color TV!" Americans get exactly the kind of cheap, pandering "journalism" that they deserve, and that deep down, that they really want.
     
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  16. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    Possessing a PhD in music myself (my masters is in musicology) I might be inclined to take umbrage at that assessment. But I certainly don't as I could elaborate on it at great length. It describes perfectly those old fuddy-duddies back in grad school (may they all rot in hell, but I digress...) from whom I wrestled my own degree.
     
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  17. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Absolutely agree-nothing like cuddling up with a good book. ;)
     
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  18. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    You know that revolving door connecting legislative bodies and lobbying firms? There’s another door just like it between news outlets and PR firms and the like. Several folks of my acquaintance who were once reporters and editors are now working in the “communications” departments at various businesses. I find it hard to fault them for it, seeing how the newsrooms have been pretty well gutted and these guys and gals gotta put bread on the table somehow. So they bang out copy and field phone calls from reporters, putting as good a face on the company’s position as they can.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 3:06 AM
  19. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Yep. A young woman who worked with me in radio many years ago decided she couldn't take it any more and became a flack -- er, spokesperson for a certain prominent utility company. She was too honest a person to last long at that job.

    We used to say the news business was like making hot dogs -- you were better off not knowing how it was done. I'm probably one of the few people who have done both -- and the hot dog business was more palatable.
     
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  20. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Over the years I've talked a bit about the kind of ridiculous bourgie antics that dominate daily life here on the Coast Of Maine, and I imagine some might thought it all a bit exaggerated. Well, this news item from our local paper kind of sums it up.

    State high court says Camden spite fence of trees must be cut
    By Stephen Betts | Aug 15, 2019
    [​IMG]

    Camden — The state's highest court has upheld a lower court ruling that orders a Camden woman to remove some trees and cut back others that were planted to block the view of a neighbor.

    The Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued its ruling Thursday, Aug. 15 on an appeal filed by Patricia Arcuni-English. The justices had heard arguments on the case on June 26.

    The case has been in the courts for more than three years.

    The justices ruled that Arcuni-English's planting of trees was done with malice and constituted a spite fence and a nuisance. The high court said the lower court ruling crafted a fair and limited remedy that allows the Camden woman to maintain her privacy on her Harbor Road property.

    Justice Joyce Wheeler had ordered in February 2018 that within 60 days Arcuni-English must remove every other pine tree along the boundary between her property and that of neighbors Richard Tranfield and Kara Doremus-Tranfield and trim all the arbor vitae to a height not more than 10 feet. She must also remove seven trees she planted as an additional row along the arbor vitae.

    And a restriction must be included in the property deed to prevent any growth in excess of 10 feet in the area that would block the narrow waterfront view from the neighboring property.

    Arcuni-English appealed that ruling, which had been on hold pending a high court decision.

    Arcuni-English's attorney, Joseph Baiungo, had argued June 26 that his client was simply following the recommendations of a landscaper on where the trees should be planted. He said the trees were not planted in malice, which is an element of determining that something is a spite fence.

    Attorney Dana Strout, who represents the Tranfields, had argued that Arcuni-English had lived in her home for many years, and that she considered the area her own little empire.

    Arcuni-English owns waterfront property on Harbor Road in Camden, north of town and off Route 1. The Tranfields own the adjacent property away from the water.

    The Tranfields filed the court complaint in May 2016. A jury-waived trial was held in September 2017 in Knox County Court.

    Wheeler noted in her ruling that the relationship between the neighbors began poorly on the first day the Tranfields moved into the home they had purchased in January 2016. Richard Tranfield wanted to start a fire at his home and went next door to see if he could borrow firewood. Arcuni-English was not home and he took some wood, but left a note on her door, saying he had borrowed the wood.

    He met the woman as he was leaving, and she thought he was stealing, according to the judge's ruling.

    Soon after, he removed a tree that was 18 feet inside his property. Arcuni-English confronted him and told him that "In this neighborhood, we don't do any cutting without discussing it with the neighbors first."

    She was also upset that he later cut some bushes and overgrown branches.

    The woman had argued to the court that the trees were not planted as a spite fence, but to restore the privacy she had enjoyed for the more than 40 years she had lived in her house.

    Wheeler pointed out in her ruling that the Tranfields had been warned by people after they filed the lawsuit that their legal action could cause them to be ostracized by the garden and yacht clubs.


    ...That last line says it all.
     

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