When the long distance electronic communication by telegraph arrived in the USA in the 1800's, the proponents said we will now have instant information from England, while others commented that all that will be different is that we will know when Lady Windemere has the flu
– US academic, Neil Postman, in his book “Amusing Ourselves to Death”
When I read about efforts by groups to lobby federal parliamentarians about the crisis in the Middle East, no coherent message seems to come through. What expectations can we have of our parliamentarians? What can we expect of our media?
Recently one small group wrote to Australian MPs about Palestine.
This is what National Party MP, De-Anne Kelly, had to say in reply:
“I appreciate that you have taken the time to write to me outlining your concerns, however, like many regional MP’s I receive hundreds of items of correspondence from all over the country each month on top of an equal if not greater amount from constituents in my electorate. To do justice to the concerns of the people of Dawson, I cannot respond to each and every request I get into my office. It is therefore my duty and policy to deal generally with matters raised by constituents living in the electorate as they are mostly not represented by lobby groups and have no wider voice at Federal level. I have read your correspondence and I will keep the legitimate points you raised in mind when the matter is raised at parliamentary level. From this and similar responses from MPs one might conclude that writing to Federal MPs is nearly as big a waste of time as talking to
the Australian Media."
The Great Aussie Media Swindle
I support this view (of the media & federal govt) by reference to reports over the past couple of weeks in the Australian press and on radio and TV. Currently Australian journalism seems to be script writing fulltime for the ABCs Chasers’ War on Everything. Only now, the media moguls are putting The Chasers script on the front pages of our daily newspapers.
Here are just some of the headlines that have beseiged us on Saturday, July 07, 2007:
“Terror hunt widens to three states” News Corp
“Six doctors questioned as terror net widens” The Australian
“War on terror is global not local” The Australian Editorial
“Doctors released after terrorism probe questioning” ABC Online
Looking at what they (media & govt) have served up in the last few days (4 – 7 July 2007) … we have seen the International-Islamic-Doctor-conspiracy. ABC radio national, in particular, seems to have a great liking for this one.
On some questions the ABC is worse than the commercial media (if that it possible) given last week’s wholesale endorsement of the alcohol-fueled-aboriginal-dysfunction-child-abuse myth in the NT followed by the slavish reporting of the great-islamic-doctor plot.
What will come next? Internment of all Muslims? Don’t laugh, a Qld Senate candidate has proposed it. The Blacks at Mutitjulu (near Uluru) appear to be already in internment. Mutitjulu community leaders Dorothea and Bob Randall said recently:
“There is money set aside from the Jimmy Little foundation for a kidney dialysis machine at Mutitjulu, but National Parks won’t let us have it. That would create jobs and improve indigenous health but they just keep stonewalling us. If there is an emergency, why won’t Mal Brough fast-track our kidney dialysis machine?”
Of course, Brough and Howard get great coverage in the media to reject the ‘great land grab’ claims by aborigines in the Northern Territory.
Nearly as much coverage that Howard got this week to refute the obvious truth (leaked by Defence Minister Brendon Nelson) that Australian troops are in Iraq to protect oil supplies to the West.
The Great Doctor Plot
Don’t you pity the poor medic the Qld cops have been questioning? I refer to the doctor from the Gold Coast Hospital interned in the Brisbane watchouse under the anti-terrorism legislation. Gee, this doctor pickd a great location to be an international terrorist. The Gold Coast Hospital. Give me a break.
From what little information that has been released so far (6 July 2007), the doctor’s only link to the botched 4WD gas bottle explosion at Glasgow airport was that he trained in a Liverpool hospital and prayed with the odd Muslim medic (which I imagine you would, if you were both and doctor and a Muslim living in Liverpool). If the cops keep rounding up Muslim doctors the emergency wards in public hospitals will freeze.
The Australian Federal Police vs the Lebanese Secret Service
Did you read about what the Lebanese military did when they arrested that Western Suburbs boxer from Sydney and his mate?
They were more direct; they beat them up for 13 days, asked them a lot of questions about some strange fellow called Al Kyder and let them go. They still detain two of their mates.
By way of contrast what do the Federal, State Govts & the AFP do in the great Australian Democracy?
They intern the doctor from the Gold Coast without charge for over a week. They arrest 7 or 8 of his mates. They spread fear and loathing midst the population via the media.
They fly some smart arse terrorism expert out from Scotland Yard to interrogate said doctor, get the paparazzi stake out his home, his mate’s home, and interview his mum, wife and brother in Bangalore and splash their IDs all over the papers with the most-Islamic-looking-photo-stereotypes they can photoshop in a day. The last time I looked they were yet to come up with a photo of his new born baby.
Why don’t they call in an Australian terrorism expert? Dr John Jiggens, for example. You know, the guy that solved the Ananda Marga conspiracy case of 1978. That is, Australia’s most recent terrorist incident where a couple of poor garbos died. According to Jiggens NSW cops got the wrong mob, the Annanda Marg were in the clear, there was even evidence that pointed at ASIO and the Special Branch.
‘The Sweet Life’?
I referred disparagingly above to Australian paparazzi.
This word has an interesting derivation, it’s from the Federico Fellini 1960 film La Dolce Vita (‘the sweet life’ [pictured]).
A character in the film was a news photographer.
His name was Paparazzo (presumably, the singular of Paparazzi]
Methinks, the politicians and paparazzi are robbing workers of the sweet life.
That is, if the sweet life existed for workers in the first place.
7 July 2007