Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mel Gibson

It seems to me that the Old Press is doing more reporting on Gibson's drunken anti-Semitism than it usually does on the anti-Semitism prevalent in the Arab world and Arab media. I can make excuses for them though, the Old Press has to sell a story and Americans are more interested in pop-culture suited to narcissism than they are in international issues. E.g., even if international politics and Arab anti-Semitism impacts the price of oil, the fickle American idle would rather chatter about their image makers, their so-called "stars" and the idols they make for them. It's always possible to shift responsibility. One could do so for Gibson as well, the Old Press has the modern tools of scientism to shift to framing the story with medicalization by focusing on alcoholism as a "disease" and so on. It often does so and it might even frame the story that way if Gibson was more of a believer in scientism himself, etc.

It seems that with all the postmodernist shifting of stories and contexts that goes on it becomes difficult to say much of anything that stands as a judgment made by language. Take the divine example, "And God said let there be this and that, and so there was this and that. And God saw that it was good." Enough said. There's something to be said for saying enough, with nothing too much and nothing found wanting. But we live in a postmodernist age and so must chatter on, the Old Press is perhaps the worst example of framing stories with a lack of moral clarity in text and language because it has to sell its own chatter for money, so the more the better. If the issue is defined with moral clarity and judgments about good and evil are rendered there is not as much left for them to chatter on about. Generally if there is no "controversy" there is no story.

Note the moral reasoning and the issues of good and evil that serve as unspoken contexts in the Old Press for this story, driving drunk may be a little evil given that someone may get killed but racism is the great Evil. It seems that this is so because racism is about the only thing that American image makers will use their power as artists to condemn as evil without a little mincing dance of moral equivalency combined with some murmuring about seeing things from all sides or seeing things in black and white, etc. Artistic postmodernists have a deft hand when it comes to blurring away any sense of moral clarity, yet generally when it comes to racism things become right and wrong and judgment tends to be rendered without any shifting of contexts and so on. The interesting thing is that the Old Press and American image makers cannot seem to tell the story or craft the images that represent the most virulent form of racism in our time that is exemplified in Arab anti-Semitism just as before they couldn't seem to work against scientific racism and proto-Nazi eugenics. If anything they tended to support eugenics, as any reading of the papers of the day will show. It seems ironic that although the great bugaboo for the Old Press these days is racism it is still biased towards racist movements.

I suppose I shouldn't say that the Old Press has a good deal of moral clarity with respect to right and wrong when it comes to racism given that its moral judgment is often applied along racial lines anyway.

Some information on Arab media:
"Obsession: What the War on Terror is Really About"

Link from Anna Venger's post on this story. Note the rampant sober anti-Semitism throughout Arab media that is broadcast on sattelite feeds for anyone to see, yet the Old Press can't seem to bring itself to report much about it. They are probably too busy reporting on Gibson's drunken anti-Semitism. Given the level of reporting in the Old Press one would think that Jews will be killed as the result of Gibson's comments but notions promoted unapologetically in Arab media such as Jews sacrificing boys by slitting their throats and using the blood to make matzos...well, that's probably harmless.

[Edit: I wasn't going to make a comment about matzos using religious metaphors because only the religious understand religious metaphors. But I was reading a local blog and came across this, so I will leave a note for the metaphorically minded after all. For by the way such blood libels about sacrifices keep repeating it seems that the metaphoric Yeast wants to argue that the Jewish father of all Jews had to literally sacrifice his only son instead of recieving the gift of symbols and signs of the metaphoric Lamb of God by faith. If the metaphoric Yeast could talk it seems that it would argue that the killing of boys began with Abraham and continues among the Jews, perhaps something about Abraham's story gets its metaphoric goat. Or perhaps it might snivel, "Does the Bread of Life really rise so high above me? Well, matzos are flat without that must mean that yeast is good or somethin'." Etc. It seems that when it comes to good and evil the debate is always the same even if the language used to express things is not religious metaphors that few will have knowledge of these days and instead the debate is expressed with the questionable questions so typical to postmodernism. It seems a bit odd to express meaning or information with bits of bread and so on but Christ reiterated the same metaphors. Again he asked, "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."]

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