Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

Archive for November 21st, 2006

There’s journalism and then there’s this

Posted by metaphorical on 21 November 2006

“Britney is gold, she is crack to our readers. Her life is a complete train wreck and I thank God for her every day.” — Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ.com

TMZ is, according to a story in today’s NY Times, a web site that “publishes celebrity news in real time.” The name stands for “the Thirty Mile Zone that defines the site’s celebrity hunting ground in and around Los Angeles.”

I think it’s pretty generous for the Times‘s generally excellent David Carr to call this news at all, when the site’s top stories include the likes of photos of Tom Cruise’s wedding and “that guy who played Doogie Howser walking his dog.” (“That guy” would be Neil Patrick Harris, who shared in the rave reviews of last year’s stunning Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Assassins.)

Certainly Levin has an interesting theory of journalism when he says, “We have created a vibrant news organization that is breaking news in real time.” On the site right now, for example, is footage of Naomi Campbell walking from the curb, up the steps, and into a New York courthouse. Then, later, walking out. That’s it. That’s the whole “breaking news” story.

Posted in journalism, the arts, writing | 1 Comment »

No, peace is peace

Posted by metaphorical on 21 November 2006

That was a bit of a cheap shot at Rangel yesterday.

The general idea of universal service is a good one, and it’s what Rangel is really proposing. In the same AP story, there’s this:

He said having a draft would not necessarily mean everyone called to duty would have to serve. Instead, “young people (would) commit themselves to a couple of years in service to this great republic, whether it’s our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals,” with a promise of educational benefits at the end of service.

If young people started choosing schools and hospitals instead of the military, we’d know right off a war was unpopular, and if all the young people did it now, we’d not only know not be in Iraq, we wouldn’t have the troops to be there at all. If soldiers vote with their feet as well as march with them, we’d only fight the wars we really need to fight.

Posted in language, politics | 5 Comments »