Archive for the Writing Category

A “Journalist” Declares War On Journalists . . . And Journalism (November 28, 2016)

Posted in Blog, Cyberactivities, Digital, Facebook, Google, Internet, Journalism, Newspapers, Press/Media, Truth, War and Wall Street Party, Writing on November 28, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The article may be the single most outrageous and egregious defamatory screed in the history of American journalism.”

J          “And it is irresponsible, inaccurate, unfounded, unfair and wrong.”

. . .

J          “The corporate media are now at war with independent commentators.  It is all about money and power.  The corporate players see a growing challenge to their hegemonic control of opinion and the profits that flow from purveying and controlling opinion.” 

K          “He indicted 200 sites on the basis of a website that is dubious at best.  I doubt he even uploaded a dozen of the sites. Review a few of them.  Charles Hugh Smith over at ‘Of Two Minds’ ventures trenchant commentary with supporting graphs and tables and light asides about life in Hawaii.  Chris Hedges and the folks at ‘Truthdig’ provide more substance and depth than ‘Newsweek’ and ‘Time’ in their prime and actually ferret out the Truth.  Yves Smith and the ‘Naked Capitalism’ team offer thoughtful and thought-provoking essays and commentary and have supplanted the ‘Wall Street Journal’ as America’s leading financial news source.”

J          “And interject cute pictures of puppies and other critters.  However, the ‘Tyler Durden’ chap at ‘Zero Hedge’ is the edgy and enigmatic bad boy who must be sampled cum grano salis.  The motley assemblage occasionally strays near the truth, yet there is a dark and disturbing undertone.  The right-leaning websites are also under assault.”

K          “The title of the ‘Ron Paul Institute For Peace and Prosperity’ directly challenges the one political party system in America – the ‘War and Wall Street Party’ system.  Wall Street is precluding and preventing Americans from achieving prosperity.”

J          “Both Paul Craig Roberts and David Stockman held positions in Republican administrations and now challenge the neo-liberal economic policy and neo-conservative foreign orthodoxy strangling the Republic.” 

K          “The author of the article goes for the throat and challenges each author’s patriotism.”  

. . .

K          “Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald cogently and succinctly characterize the assault in their observation that the ‘Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes A McCarthyite Blacklist From A New, Hidden And Very Shady Group.’  The paper I delivered has so deteriorated over the decades.”

J          “Yet something funky and disturbing is going on out there.  We are in a new era of ‘antisocial media’ concocted by admixing Facebook and Google into a vile and evil brew dispensed anonymously.  A journalist getting it fundamentally wrong does not aid in getting it right.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

So many words, so little Truth

Facebook + Google = Trouble

Mass Media Breeds Mass Deception

Blogging Bloggingly About Blogs:  A Thing In Search Of A Name (October 31, 2016)

Posted in Blog, Cyberactivities, Journalism, Newspapers, Press/Media, Writing on October 31, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

L          “Anything that flashes on the handy dandy device is assigned the moniker by default.”

M         “Some things called ‘blogs’ that inhabit the thing called the ‘blogosphere’ have become nuanced enough to require another name.”

. . .

L          “‘Blog’ like ‘smog’ is a portmanteau created from ‘web’ and ‘log’ and characterizes most personal doodlings presented on the w. w. web.  A log simply collects basic information such as the ‘miles per gallon’ of one’s De Soto or the ‘average temperatures in June’ for the last ten years in De Soto County.”

M         “The thing styled a ‘blog’ is also threatening for some in the traditional media.  ‘Things have expanded so much,’ Dennis Ryerson, the editor of ‘The Indianapolis Star’, said on June 17, 2010 or thereabouts, I believe.  ‘Forty years ago, newspapers ran opinion pieces by a lot of columnists, most of whom were in Washington.  They had a good following and were widely respected.  But now anyone with a cheap computer can become a columnist or a pundit.  The definition has changed.  More people are in the game right now.’  However, the universe of products on the screen is much more promising than he laments.”

L          “He is right that a person with a modicum of talent may attract a viewer who will click on the site for fifteen seconds, if the site continues to confirm the viewer’s worldview.  On the other hand, so many voices that are silenced by the overriding economic concerns of a newspaper or magazine are provided a venue.”

. . .

M         “The typical blog is raw information sans analysis.  What happens when there is the pretense of analysis?  And what if the pretense is realized?” 

L          “Calling it a ‘log’ or a ‘blog’ or ‘smog’ is no longer correct or helpful or insightful.  So what is it?”

M         “A contest.  On the world wide web.  For a new word or phrase.  That’s what we need.  There is enough talent to come up with a workable word or phrase.  The effort will also generate interest.”

. . .

L          “How about ‘blogotrapezoid’?”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Great Google Wall (June 27, 2016)” and other e-commentary on the Internet, etc.] 

Bumper stickers of the week:

Have a contented Halloween

Today the lint was different than yesterday and at the same time it was the same.

Contrarianism, Revisionism And Iconoclasm:  On The Path To Truth Or Trailing The Truth? (September 19, 2016)

Posted in Truth, Writing on September 19, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

X          “The orthodoxy often if not usually serves the interests of those with money and power.  The orthodoxy often if not usually needs to be confronted and challenged.  Simply asserting a contrary argument is often a step somewhat toward the right direction somewhat on the right path yet is often incomplete and inadequate.”

Y          “Contrarianism, revisionism, iconoclasm, you name it, are part of the counter narrative, yet they may be counterproductive if they lead one to conclude that there are only two opposite and opposed arguments.  Truth may be found somewhere along the continuum.”

X          “An argument that inserts ‘not’ in one sentence and deletes the ‘not’ from another sentence is not complete and adequate.”

Y          “Unless it is?  Yet when you need to generate a Ph.D. thesis, you may be able to get away by inserting ‘not’ in one sentence and deleting the ‘not’ from another sentence.”

. . .

X          “Take an extreme position and then get cited and booked by those ostensibly providing a balanced presentation.”

Y          “Take an extreme position in a negotiation and possibly move the final outcome closer to your position.”

. . .

X          “Some synthesis replete with nuance, condition and reservation is necessary to stray near the resolution.”

Y          “Sounds . . . so nuanced, conditional and reserved.  And yet unnatural for humans.”

. . .

X          “You need to inject the word ‘Manichean’ into the mix to sound like you know what you are saying.”

Y          “Or ‘paradigm’ to sound sufficiently pedantic.”

. . .

Y          “But what if the truth is not found along the conventional continuum.”

. . .

X          “A little balance of light and dark as we approach the Equinox is appropriate.”

. . .    

[See the e-commentary “On Standards & Quality (July 20, 2015).”]  

Bumper sticker of the week:

The Middle Way may not have as much traffic at this hour

A Decade Of Fun (January 5, 2015)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Writing on January 5, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

S          “Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity. Guidance from the handbook for ham operators.”

J          “Abstruse, Bloviated and Cryptic.  . . .  On occasion?”

S          “Hamming it up.  On more than one occasion.”

. . .

S          “One week a law review, the next an economic journal, followed by a foreign policy tract and then a social discourse.  And every week, ‘e-commentary’ aspired to be a weekly literary adventure.”

. . .

S          “Tom Clancy observed that most military and defense secrets are publicly available in ‘Aviation Week & Space Technology’ magazine and other sources.  He stirred plot and characterization into the mix to cook a potboiler with insight.”

J          “An international thriller every few weeks this year?  That should be thrilling.”

S          “Every week is a thriller.  First understand the ‘Box.’  Assemble all the available and inscrutable and obscure and arcane information in a pile.  Connect two dots cautiously and carefully pencil in to craft the first line.  Proceed with caution and care to connect a third dot and proffer a plane.  Pen the right lines, erase connections between the wrong dots, and then distill, titrate and edit to craft a convincing and compelling production.”

. . .

S          “If I could see the bar, I raised it.  And then raised it again for good measure until it was out of sight.  And measured twelve times, wrote once.  The final product may be . . . measured and out of sight?”

. . .

S          “After ten years of careful observation, ‘blue’ and ‘red’ not only cannot see eye-to-eye, they cannot see each other and cannot stand each other and cannot sit down together.”

J          “They just do not play well with others.”

. . .

J          “Forget it.  ‘Conservatism-cum-a-four-digit-I-Q’ as a political, economic and social movement will never catch on.  You only get one word.”

S          “That gets one back to the fundamental challenge.  Why even try?  They say there is nothing that one can do.  They are right.  Yet I write.  Is that absurd or insane?”

. . .

S          “And a lot of fun.”

. . .

[See the discussion at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/arts/writers-say-they-feel-censored-by-surveillance.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news.%5D

[See the e-commentary at Writin’ (February 17, 2014) and So Many Words, So Few Ideas (Sept. 21, 2009).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

investigate, interpolate, extrapolate; titrate, distill, edit

Measure twelve times, write once

Peg it, and peg the fun meter.

“Peak Advertising” (November 3, 2014)

Posted in Consumerism, Economics, Football, Minimum Wage, Occupy Movement, Peak Advertising, Sports, Television, Voting, Wages, Writing on November 3, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “‘Mt. / Everest / Sherpas / Prefer / Burma / Shave.’”

2          “Turns out that some of the first ‘six-word memoirs’ were crafted by English majors laboring for BBDO.”

. . .

1          “‘Peak Advertising’ occurs when all of a person’s senses are assaulted all of the time with non-stop commercial advertising.”

2          “That is the collective business plan of all the social media platforms.  They are premised on their presumed ability to bombard the right demographic with saturation advertising all the time.”

1          “At some time, the marginal utility of each additional fusillade will not provide any return because the consumer has nothing to spend and no source of additional debt.  What if they don’t have any more money?”

2          “They have huge advertising budgets.”
. . .
2          “Well, right, those people may be out of money.”

. . .

1          “If the television is viewed as a mirror rather than a monitor, what should one make of a string of ads for fortified barley soda interspersed with those huckstering elixirs for erectile dysfunction.”

2          “Potents for potency.  The medium is also a microscope into the ‘Land of Skinny People’ where the people have BMIs below 22 and definitely do not reflect their viewers.  They hawk products that make a person fat ninety percent of the time and concoctions that purport to make a person skinny ten percent of the time.”

1          “When others talk about ‘thinking inside the box’ are they referring to the big flashing box in the home and the little flashing box in hand?”

2          “A wide body watches a wide out on a wide screen doing battle for his team and town.  The viewer should go out and do.”

. . .

1          “Seventy percent of the economy is attributed to consumer spending.  The total amount and the percentage of consumer spending in the next few years will be revealing.”

2          “Hard to spend if you have no money and no one will provide any more credit.”

. . .

1          “One thought might be to have parents lease a newborn’s forehead to tattoo an advertisement.  You can’t let an unbleached beachhead canvas go untrammeled.”

2          “Start young.  The kid surely would develop an affinity for the product or service.”

. . .

1          “Anyone in a political battleground state has been subject to ceaseless fusillades of hate and fear from all quarters for months.  In interviews, voters criticize the negative campaigning and yet in the voting booth vote in favor of those behind the vicious attacks.  The candidates provide what the public really wants.  Each political battle is part of the ceaseless war in American politics to own the government with its ability to plunder from the populace.”

2          “I vote to be a non-combatant.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Mt. / Everest / Sherpas / Prefer / Living / Wage

Occupy Namche Bazaar

Namaste

Peak Oil, Peak Water, Peak Land, Peak Advertising, Peak Peaks

“Don’t mind your make-up, you’d better make your mind up.”  Frank Zappa

“If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”  Mark Twain

A ‘tax and spend’ Democrat versus a ‘no tax and spend’ Republican.

Vote

Writin’ (February 17, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Book Reference, Plastic, Slavery, Writing on February 17, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

W1       “Read and write and read and write and read and write and read and write and rinse and repeat.”

W2       “Learn to juggle all the words in the English language and a few other languages behind your back in the dark with ease.”

W1       “And recognize the nuances of education, location, geography, employment, religion, politics, race and class.”

W2       “Develop an eye for detail and an ear for dialogue.”

W1       “Subtly appreciate and acknowledge the true nature and flow of actual daily discourse and conversation.”

W2       “And understand and capture the smell and feel and taste of a person, place and thing.”

W1       “Write what you know.  And know much.”

W2       “Go beyond knowing and write what you understand.”

W1       “And understand much.”

W2       “Go beyond understanding and write about and with wisdom.”

W1       “Then write what terrifies you and satisfies you and mystifies you and pacifies you.”

W2       “Show.  Do not tell.”

W1       “Tell a great story by showing a great story.”

W2       “Show and tell may be the most revealing show and tell.”

W1       “It is often easier done than said.”

W2       “It is only said if it is done.”

W1       “It is only done if it is done.”

. . .

W2       “Celebrating one’s love for language is another way to celebrate the day.”

. . .

W1       “Are ‘Doonesbury’ and ‘Prairie Home Companion’ the Great American Novels?”

W2       “A novel notion.  The Great American Novel is not a novel after all but rather a visual depiction in “Doonesbury” and an oral transmission in “Prairie Home Companion” depicted and transmitted in dollops over the decades.  They reward those with an eye for detail and an ear for dialogue.”  

W1       “Devoid of all the insecure male posturing that seems to be deemed the sine qua non of the GAN.”

. . .

[See the article at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/nyregion/ban-sought-on-microbeads-in-beauty-items.html?hp&_r=0 seeking to address microscopic beads that get into the water supply.  See the “e-ssays” under https://e-commentary.org/category/plastic/ that are part of “Project Plastic.”]

[From the New Confederacy in Utah and Oklahoma to the Old South in Virginia, hate is on the run, on the retreat, and on the retrograde.  See the e-ssay” titled The Sea Change Is Now A Tsunami (March 11, 2013).  For those who are troubled by slavery in all its forms and permutations, the vote in Tennessee, a charter member of the Old South, on unionization at the Volkswagen plant is disappointing.]  

Bumper stickers of the week:

Observe, Listen, (smell, feel, taste), Question, Comment

Art for art’s sake is somewhat uninspired and uninspiring.  Exquisitely superb art that promotes positive political, economic and social purposes is the most inspired art.

Commenting On Legal Commentators (November 4, 2013)

Posted in Book Reference, Courts, Education, Law, Law School, Schooling, Writing on November 4, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

L1        “Did Ronald Dworkin ever practice law?”

L2        “Doesn’t seem so.”

L1        “Did H.L.A. Hart ever practice law?”

L2        “Seems that he may have handled a few traffic violations.  Some of them moving.”

L1        “Now I admit that they spouted some pretty city talk and a few inspiring aspirations, but do they have a clue.”

L2        “Does having a clue matter?  Two branches of the ‘Quaint Theory’ of the practice of law.  The say what others want to hear.”

. . .

L1        “Now Benjamin Cordoza did play the game, but he missed the boat.”

L2        “Accord.  The Nature of the Judicial Process should be filed under ‘F’ for ‘Fiction’ or for ‘Fairy Tale.’”

L1        “And given an ‘F’ for failing candidly to explicate the American legal game.”

L2        “He failed in describing how the legal game works, but he succeeded in trying to make the legal system work.”

. . .

L1        “Academic law is more closed and cloistered than any other area of academic pursuit in America.”

L2        “Except a few other areas of academic pursuit in America.”

L1        “Many of the failures of the legal system find their genesis in America’s legal schooling industrial complex.”

. . .

L1        “Did Fred Rodell ever practice law?”

L2        “He did not need to play the game.  He got it.  And got out of the game before ever entering the game.  That takes finesse.”

L1        “Lucky guy.  But he is an anomaly.  The legal schooling complex today would not allow a young Fred Rodell even to labor as an adjunct professor at a night law school.”

L2        “If they would even admit him as a law student.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled Playin’ The Legal Game (March 28, 2011).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“There are two things wrong with almost all legal writing.  One is its style.  The other is its content.  That, I think, about covers the ground.”  Fred Rodell

I entered law school already knowing how ‘to think like a lawyer’ and exited law school still knowing how to think like a human being.