Saturday, December 3, 2016

Propornot?

Made a point of getting into town bright and early, in hope of avoiding last Saturday's debacle.

It worked! I got my weekend newspaper for ten bucks minus a handful of change... and there was nothing in it!

Well, that's not quite true. Mark MacKinnon had pretty much the entirety of the "Focus" section to himself for a major, and I mean major, effort about the origins of the Syrian "civil war." Most of his salient points about the actual origins were spelled out well over four years ago in this story, but he did have some original insights into what's become of the protagonists since then.

I was cheered to see a little less Trump this week. That's almost unfortunate after Trump moots a guy nick-named "Mad Dog" for SecDef.

I'm gonna have to re-see "Idiocracy" again before I make up my mind on that one... introducing your new Secretary of Defence, Mad Dog Mattis!

Get the fuck outta here!

But my actual propornot moment came when I read a story by Paul Waldie, who is apparently the Globe's "European correspondent." That's in addition to MacKinnon traipsing around Europe for months updating a story from 2012.

No wonder I'm paying over five bucks for my newspaper!

Anyway, Waldie gets pretty much a whole page in the first section to pontificate on what's wrong with France. Seems the French are mightily pissed with those gosh-darned socialists who have ruled the roost since 2012. They are yearning for the freedom and prosperity that only a right-wing government can bring.

I know this because nowhere in the story is there any hint whatsoever that there exists a substantial polity to the left of the so-called Socialists of Hollande.

Hollande and his party are "left" in the same sense that Hillary's Democratic Party is "left." As in, not really.

In the last French election the Left Front and a couple of fringe left parties garnered about 15% of the popular vote. By now, anybody who expected "left" policies from the centre-rightist "socialist" Hollande will be thoroughly disillusioned.

Will those voters swing right or swing to the real left? I'm guessing most of them will go to the left.

Even if only half of the ten million voters who marked their ballots for Hollande on the last go-round retreat to the real left, the real left becomes a real threat in the upcoming election.

Not a hint of that in Mr. Waldie's story.

Why? I'm guessing it's because the billionaires who own popular media world-wide would rather not broadcast the fact that there is such a thing as a "real" left.

And Waldie correctly surmises that it's better to tell half the story and keep a full paycheque, than to tell the whole story and have no paycheque.

Friday, December 2, 2016

PostMedia cuts unpaid interns out of the loop

The think tankers here at Falling Downs have long held that most PostMedia content is the product of unpaid interns working feverishly out of a Burlington Timmies; working feverishly but working for free, just to get a few more lines on their resumes, so that when the time comes they can score one of those imaginary paying jobs in the modern media world.

I think they're even more out of luck than we suspected.

We were perusing the Google news aggregator this afternoon when we chanced upon this story at the Edmonton Journal.

When you click on the story, you get a press release from CNW Group, a Cision Company. Yup, you see "Edmonton Journal" in the hot bar but you've got a press release from a private PR company in front of your eyes.

Hmmm....  look around a bit more and you'll soon discover that the Edmonton Journal story cum CNW press release is actually this press release from the Government of Canada!

Now, does that mean CNW, a Cision Company, actually wrote the Government's press release?

I'd guess yes.

But the other thing we must note is that those unpaid interns weren't even allowed to change a single word before it found the light of day under a PostMedia title!

It's bad enough that the pirates who hijacked Postmedia have been shitting on their professional journos for six years, but denying the legions of unpaid interns the opportunity to tweak a press release goes beyond the pale. I mean, they're working for free already!... give them a little something to put on their resumes!

Meanwhile, guess who's NOT working for free?

If you guessed that cabal of money-grubbers around PostMaster Godfrey, you'd be right!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

IGGY: the downward spiral never ends...

Everybody who ever loved Iggy in the old days loved him for a reason.

He was like fucking out there man.

Fucked up and fucking up in front of your fucking eyes!


Now flash forward fifty years and see Iggy the Icon at a press conference in Cannes.

It's a fucked up world, but Osterberg is on top of it, baby.

Shocking Trump truth revealed!

Been reading all those truth-telling mainstream news platforms as hard as I can, and one thing I know for sure is that Trump triumphed by riding his racist bona fides to victory on the strength of pissed off white working class voters who hate black folks because... well, just because that's what those dumbfucks do.

Well, they're gonna be even more pissed off when they scrutinize these photos:

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Image result for trump jesse jackson sharpton  Image result for trump ali

Yup, that's your hero there, racist white working class dumbfucks! Aren't you sorry you didn't check Google Images before you voted? He's been palling around with those people all his life!

And while I don't mean to kick you while you're down, I think you can safely wave bye-bye to all that "drain the swamp" shit too. Have you noticed that his cabinet is coming pretty much from the professional politician class and the Goldman Sachs School of Not-So-Hard Knocks?

Doesn't look promising to me.

But what do I care? I didn't vote for him.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

ISIS to determine outcome of next presidential election in France

When you think of a typical Frenchman,  do you picture a hale and hardy ninety-year-old white dude pedalling his bicycle through the verdant countryside with a big bagatelle and a jumbo flask of red wine in the carrier, while puffing on an unfiltered cigarette?

Or do you picture an alienated young man with dark skin cooped up in an urban high-rise, wondering why this cradle of modern secularism renders him a second-class citizen even though he was born there?

That guy on the bike is a stereotype, to be sure. He's of that generation who engineered all those goodies that Michael Moore never tires of reminding us of. He landed a good job straight out of school and between the annual mandatory three months of holidays and being on strike six months of the year only did an actual 5.2 years of work before hitting the mandatory retirement age of fifty, and life's been nothing but red wine, cigarettes, and bike rides ever since!

That other guy is a stereotype too, but like it or not, the population of alienated brown people in France is growing rapidly, while that other stereotype is fading away.

It hasn't helped that Hollande the Hapless has, over his mandate, further alienated both of those groups. Which brings us to the next election.

The so-called "centre-right" candidate next April is to be Francois Fillon, it was determined today. Fillon isn't any more centre-right than the socialist president as near as I can tell. Seems to be a bit more hawkish on taking benefits away from that guy on the bike. If Fillon has his way that guy will be renting a room in that urban high-rise from a Muslim family.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Getting to know other cultures is always a good thing, but forcing old Jean off his bike and off his wine and ciggies is just going to create animosity. Maybe Jean will decide he'd rather die... maybe that's the plan? Getting all those old fuckers off the pension rolls would be a huge money saver, after all.

So, even though the mainstream press already foresee the April election as a show-down between Fillon and Marine Le Pen, I don't see either of our stereotypical Frenchmen having any reason to vote for Fillon.

Much will depend on who represents the French Left. While Hollande wasn't much of a "socialist," France, unlike the US, actually has a genuine left polity. Given the right candidate for the times, and the candidate will not be selected until January, it's possible to see that the greater showdown could be between the Left Front and Le Pen.

Hollande has been a complete disaster. In the first place, he's spent virtually the entirety of his mandate with his head up BHL's ass. It's fine to have presidential advisers, but when their advice is consistently and disastrously wrong, you can't just blame the adviser and walk away.

Given the right Left candidate, I can see both our stereotypical Frenchmen voting Left Front, as well as a goodly portion of the electorate who voted Hollande in 2012. That could keep Le Pen out and bring a genuinely progressive and inclusive party to power.

Which is where ISIS comes in. The Europeans in general, and nobody more enthusiastically than the French, have been co-conspirators with the US in the project to destroy the Muslim nations of the Middle East. Whether we're saving the people from their tyrants or eliminating their weapons of mass destruction or whatever gloss we want to put on it, we've been busy destroying the Middle East. That has created both an unprecedented refugee crisis and ISIS. Not hard to figure out that those two phenomena are mutually reinforcing.

Spare me the bullshit head-scratching about the clash of civilizations and why they hate us; they hate us because we've been stealing their stuff and killing their kids for generations. Ask that alienated young Muslim in that high-rise. He knows, even as the savants and the political elite pretend they can't figure it out.

So France is five months out from a presidential election and awash with refugees from countries the West has been "liberating." A certain unknown percentage of those refugees will be hard-core radicals. A much larger percentage have at least some sympathy for that hard core. Every time one of those hard-core radicals explodes in a French shopping mall between now and April, Le Pens polling numbers will spike.

That's how ISIS will determine who becomes the next president of France.


Is this fake news?

Took my usual Saturday jaunt into town yesterday to visit The Korean and pick up my copy of Canada's national newspaper of record, because I'm eager to keep up with the latest outrages of the president elect, don't you know. And there is no finer place to stay abreast of said outrages than in the pages of Canada's newspaper of record.

Is this because there is nothing newsworthy afoot in Canada? Maybe, although I see where Justin has made himself newsworthy just for saying nice stuff about the recently departed dictator of Cuba.

The Korean had bad news for me; the Globe and Mail is sold out.

Shit! That only happened once before, and that was when I had an exceptionally late night on Friday and didn't get into town for the morning paper till six in the evening. Understandable.

So I drive to the other Korean variety store at the far end of town. Sold out there too!

Double shit! Can there be that many people in Wiarton willing to shell out over five bucks for the Globe and Mail? As a last resort I head for the non-Korean variety store. I try to avoid that place if possible. It's part of the global chain that's made some grasping Quebecois genius into a billionaire for consolidating the world's variety stores. They seem to keep two and sometimes three sullen min-wage staffers behind the counter at all times. I guess that's so they can spell one another off while they take turns updating their Facebook status. Or maybe they need two to spy on each other to prevent pilfering.

Give me a cheerful Korean family behind the counter any day. The only employees you ever see there are their children. A typical four year old Korean kid already knows how to work the till and make change, and accurate change at that, which is more than you can say for the typical min-wage high school graduates who work at the other place. I don't know how they get around the child labour laws, because the only other people who get away with putting children to work are the Amish, and in their case it seems to be a religious freedom issue.

Anyway, they're goddamned sold out of the Globe and Mail too, and all this before noon on Saturday. And by the way, I think Alain Bouchard should take a page out of Fast Eddie Burkhardt's management playbook when he decreed that only one employee was required to operate a train, because otherwise they'd just be distracting each other. Hey, if a single person can safely steer a hundred tanker Bakken bomb across the country, why does it take three to sell slushies at a corner store?

Thoroughly disappointed and doomed to reading the day's news on my laptop, I wracked my brain for an explanation for all three variety stores being sold out of the same paper on the same day. I guess there's just a lot of folks in town who wanted that paper as a keepsake to commemorate Castro's demise.

Reading around the world wide web 'o bullshit I found out about this new phenomenon known as "fake news." Apparently this is a nasty conspiracy hatched by Putin and his henchmen to rob our free and democratic Nations of Virtue of their freedom and democracy. And it's working!

That's why Trump is the president elect! Yup, fake news peddled by Putin's minions cheated Hillary out of her turn in the Oval Office, and that's how great civilizations are brought low.

It was while researching this fake news phenomenon that I chanced upon this remarkable video of CNN big Christiane Amanpour. In the past I've always thought CNN's so-called news was as fake as anything out there, but apparently not. Amanpour pretty much confirmed that professional journos are all that stands between our civilized society and a totalitarian state like our allies Egypt and Turkey. In fact, it's the professional journalists who are our first and last line of defence for preserving something she calls "American values." While she didn't spell out what those might be, she did mention that they're America's number one export.

Did you get that? America's values are an even more valuable export than American guns, bombs, and bullets! Who knew?

She also confirmed that it was indeed Putin's fake news that got Trump elected. No evidence required; it's just one of those "facts" we all agree on, like the previous bullshit about values being America's most valuable export.

I don't know what to think. I mean, does anyone really expect us to trust CNN to tell the truth? For my money, I think that old grouch Paul Craig Roberts has a far truthier take on fake news than does Christiane Armanpour.

Then again, his website has been officially designated as a fake news site. I read that on CNN.


Friday, November 25, 2016

The old hand jive

Spent a few hours honouring the classic rock geniuses for their contributions to civilisation this week.

YouTube is a beautiful thing. You can watch rock and roll shows that happened before you were born!

Wanna see Jerry Lee pound that piano in '63?

You can find a live concert on YouTube.

One of the all-time rock and roll standards has to be Hand Jive.

Search that one on YouTube and you'll find everybody from Otis to George Thorogood and Eric Clapton putting their stamp on it... doing that old hand jive.

That's all fine and dandy, but as far as I'm concerned, things went to the next level once and for all when Way-Out Willy gave them that treat. Yup, he did that hand jive with his feet.

And that, my friends, is a pretty damned good summation of the last seventy-five years of pop culture!