Objective Truth, Post-Modernism, and Modern Journalism
by David Z. DentHugh Hewitt
on the topic of the Columbia School of Journalism and the inevitibility of MSM decline. A thought occurred to me while reading all of the various links;
Post-modernist, secular humanists, of the sort that inhabit CSJ and most of the country's newsrooms have a philosophical barrier to their very mantra of objectivity. Post-modernism doesn't believe in objective truth, it believes in "my truth" vs. "your truth". How can an aspiring reporter with a coastal post-modern bent even state the line about objectivity with a straight face?
I found an interesting quote from one of Hewitt's conversations
with a current CSJ student;
Wallace is a native of Baltimore who left his job as the manager of the
classifieds at the San Francisco Guardian, an alternative weekly, to hone the
skills that he hopes will take him to a daily to do local political reporting.
The 1999 graduate of Kenyon College had done a little campus radio before
heading off to tend bar in Alaska. In San Francisco he got hooked on city hall
gossip, and though he was no fan of Mayor Willie Brown, or of "corporate power
allied with politicians" generally, he's certain he'll be able to bring fairness
to his future job as a political reporter. When I trot out my list of
"parameter" questions I use to test for basic ideological disposition--Wallace
doesn't own a gun; he favors same-sex marriage--there are no surprises.
My contention is that these people have an agenda and bring it with them into the profession. And by doing so, bring "their" truth, because they don't believe in a "The" truth, and the truth might as well be one that they are allied with. It is called propaganda. This Wallace character believes fairness is defined as having "his" truth aired as prominently as possible at the expense of the other truths that he deems less worthy. Wallace is the problem and eventual assassin of the MSM.
A friend of mine dated a journalism major in college and her goal and reason for entering the profession was to "influence the world". Why would someone committed to "objective" journalism state that as their reason for entering the profession?
Silly MSM, truth is for those who believe it exists...and those willing to work hard enough to find it.
The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe Video
The first preview video
of the Narnia movie
was released. Something to look forward to December 2005.
Merry Christmas, Dave and Andy!
Where do the kids get the money to buy this stuff?
Where do the kids get the money to buy video games at $20+ per game? Was I the only one who had to mow lawns to by Space Invaders for my Atari 2600? I also notice that many teens drive newer, more tricked out cars than I do. Is this part of a greater phenomenon of parents buying their kids whatever the kids want?
Illinois proposes ban on violent video games
Illinois has proposed legislation making it a misdemeanor to sell mature video games to minors: Yahoo! News
. I would like to see the rating system in video games enforced by retailers, but I am not sure I buy into this type of legislation.
An interesting article
on the subject of video game violence. The author seems to draw the same conclusions as I do. Anyway, it is good to see those close to the gaming industry pushing back against the depravity.
Postal 2: Share the Disdain
There are plenty of violent video games out there. From Mortal Combat to Doom, they have been criticized for many years. I have played many of these games and some of them disturb me considerably while others concern me very little. There is a quality to the game that should be considered above and beyond just the presence of violence.
Many shoot ‘em up games place the player in a role of defending those who are helpless or in a role of saving the world. These games reinforce the idea that you should do something because it is the right thing to do, and almost all men are drawn to that idea. There is a saying that goes "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." If a video game is in alignment with this idea, I will be less likely to criticize it. Regardless of their aggressive nature, these games tap into an important sense of duty that deserves development. However, many games out there tap into something completely different.
There is a trend in modern video games that cater to people who wish to partake in illegal or immoral behavior in a simulated environment. These games include Grand Theft Auto, Kingpin, and Carmageddon. Perhaps the games that take the cake, however, are the ones developed by the local Tucson firm Running with Scissors (RWS).
Seven years ago the company was called Riedel Software Productions (RSP) and they had a history of family oriented games
, such as The MUPPET CD-ROM, Zootopia, Sesame Street's Countdown and Spy vs. Spy. Since then, they have re-made their company under the name Running with Scissors and have authored two of the most repulsive video games in history: Postal and Postal 2.
The latest of the series, Postal 2: Share the Pain, is based on the premise that you are a citizen of the town Paradise, Arizona that goes crazy and starts killing people (and animals). The more, the better, because your score goes up for every innocent person you violently kill. Most of the population either cowers before you begging for their life or runs away screaming.
The folks at RWS have clearly defined their market if you look at their repulsive web page
. I do not believe this game is going to appeal to your average Joe. Instead, I believe they pray on those who are socially frustrated, psychologically imbalanced, possess a hatred for authority, or--the most unfortunate target of all--those who have not yet developed a solid moral conscience (i.e. children). Truly the greatest crime of this game is its accessibility to children. I believe that many kids will be attracted to the shock-value and humor of the game and their moral senses will not be developed enough for them to revolt from it.
Teen-agers are still developing psychologically and the activities they participate in will largely shape who they are. Despite what RWS claims
, I believe the game cultivates the neural pathways in the brain that use violent outbursts to resolve emotional issues. Many proponents of senselessly violent games claim they release anxiety that might otherwise surface in the real world. My answer is that a cigarette may satisfy a craving, but it does not help the habit. This study
seems to agree.
RWS also claims that the game is only as violent as the player allows it be. As this professional video game reviewer mentions
, that is clearly an empty claim, as the game pretty much assumes you are going to start blowing away helpless people. The review closes as follows:
There is a silver lining, however, that the designers can be proud of. Each time I knocked someone's head off with a shovel or watched a flaming victim run around, setting others on fire, I did get a visceral thrill and a sense of satisfaction. However they did it, the makers of Postal 2 managed to tap into the part of me that wants to see horrible violence done to random strangers. So kudos on that. Since they're not good with the whole "game" thing, perhaps they would be better off just sticking to their strengths next time around, and market Postal 3 as a stress-relieving murder simulator.
I imagine that RWS loves people criticizing their game as I am doing ... the more controversy their game gets, the better they do. This sickening attitude should not be a reason for public outrage to be silenced. The Postal games have not been successful because of their thrilling game play or their cutting edge technology. It is because it allows the player to conduct outrageous acts of depravity in the privacy of his own home. It just goes to show you that if you have some talent and you are willing to ignore any ethical boundaries, it is easy to make a ton of money in this country.
As a fan of dolphins I was very interested in this story about a pod of dolphins that saved several people from a great white shark
. I’m fascinated by this story because it is difficult for me to see a reason why a dolphin, or any wild animal, would be interested in saving an unknown human.
This behavior cannot be because of our mammalian commonality, as there are many species of dolphins that have other mammals as part of their diet. Certainly dogs and horses can be domesticated and accept humans as part of the sociology, but the dolphin is clearly different. These dolphins are completely wild and we cannot expect that we could ever be able to participate in their community in the same way we could with our pets.
So the question is, what is it that dolphins see in humans that motivates them to risk their own welfare for ours?