30 January 2008

Tuning in, tuning out

Over the past few years, I've found myself checking the weekly or daily news less and less, sometimes skipping whole days. For example, I used to read the local papers, but since they've become no more than a means to deliver junk mail into my home, I no longer do. 

I haven't a TV.

The decision to cancel my cable TV service was primarily to save money, but also was a response to the idiocy of programs having become shorter and shorter to accommodate the commercials: "We now interrupt our regular commercials to bring you this program." I was fed up with paying to have people trying to sell me things.

A year later, thinking that I might be missing some good shows and for a treat, I took my cable provider's three-month try-before-you-buy offer - but cancelled it after only one month. There were more commercials than before.

I don't buy newspaper or magazine subscriptions either. 

So where do I get my news? 

From the Internet.

Most days, I'll scan the headlines, and those are enough to sour me even more. The "news" in fact is old. Only the names and places change.

Then there's the fact that 'news' reporting has become more about the spewing of propaganda than anything truly newsworthy,  I've been tracking mainstream media for years and comparing what news these outlets deliver to what actual news is out there. The bias, particularly in the US but also growing in Canada, is obvious. It's also scary. 

In the US, for example, the propaganda machine is in hyperdrive. Consider the reporting of the 2008 presidential race. What is happening there, in terms of what is being filtered out for American consumption on TV and in the major papers truly frightens me.

The presidential race is going to come down to a contest between two American Empire loyalists, both of whom are far too cozy with lobbyists and big money. It will come down to a competition between which of these two candidates promises to expand an already bloated Washington the least, while expanding the empire through further use of bombs and bribes. In the meantime, the one remaining candidate who has more integrity than all the candidates put together, is anti-war, anti-empire, and truly anti-big government - and whose record in Congress can prove it - continues to be the victim of a concerted, blatant media blackout.

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23 January 2008

Degrees of Separation

Have tried to get this blog going before, but life got in the way.

My name is Chrystal Ocean and I am the Founder and Coordinator of (the now defunct) WISE, a Canadian group of low-income people. I mention WISE because the work I do through it has become virtually inseparable from who I am. Whether that's good, I don't know. But that's the way it is.

How much of my own philosophy, which I'll be using this blog to explore, has affected the development of WISE is difficult to say. Because I'm the web developer for the WISE website and have, to date, written all its content, then the style of thought will be seen to be similar between that site and this one. However, I'll be writing in this blog my personal musings which should not be imputed to those of WISE.

In other words, this exercise is partly to help me identify where the line separating myself from my work is and what degree of separation I've been able to manage. It is largely, however, about forcing myself to do something I've always been uncomfortable doing: acknowledging that my opinion, on its own and without the protection of an artificial construct, might be worth sharing with others.

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