Thursday, March 22, 2012

What I’m reading

Mick Hartley on “honour” killings in England. It’s always the women who are killed to save the family’s honour, never the men. And it’s women’s behaviour that needs to be controlled, not men’s. Why would that be? Sample:
The suicide rate amongst south Asian women in Britain is three times the national average, as women who see no other way out of an abusive marriage take what they see as the only way out and kill themselves.
Michael Wolff in the Guardian tries to defend Mike Daisey, the actor whose show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs about Apple in China has been shown to be economical with the truth:
Most journalists are terrible writers. Their copy is either overhauled by diligent editors, which produces something formulaic and generic, or not, and then it is often a sludge of convolutions and clichés, a graveyard of prose. This is the product that is so intensely, with almost religious fervor, defended by, well, journalists themselves. [. . . .]
Journalism today speaks to no one as passionately as it speaks to other journalists. Fewer and fewer people believe it, feel informed or entertained by it, or find themselves compelled to seek it out. The journalism priests would say that one reason for our ever-shrinking following is because sinners in the profession have undermined our credibility.
I would say it is because journalism – calling it so is a recent and self-serving bit of professional elevation – is not our real job; writing is. And it is not Mike Daisey's factual lapses that we should be so focused on, but, rather, how he writes so well.
“He writes so well”. That’s all right, then. Never mind the truth value.

Speaking of which, this must be true because it was on PopBitch:
John Pilger took friends to his home  in Italy. They were sitting on the patio drinking wine. “That’s my vineyard at the end of this garden,” points out Pilger.  “The wine you are drinking comes from there.”
“Hmmm,” said one of his friends taking a sip. “Doesn’t travel well, does it?”
Finally, Rod Liddle in the Spectator:
[. . .] a 19-year-old British man was arrested in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, for having posted something on his Facebook [page] which apparently constituted, in the eyes of the police, a ‘racially aggravated public order offence’. A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said that Azhar Ahmed had written something about the press coverage afforded to the deaths of British soldiers in Afghanistan compared to the, in his view, scanty coverage accorded to the murder of Afghan civilians by a deranged US soldier. And the unnamed copper concluded: ‘He didn’t make his point very well and that is why he has landed himself in bother.’
Now, this is obviously a problem for journalists. I didn’t know the police had the powers to arrest people who don’t make their points very well. If so, that’s the Guardian closed down overnight.

No comments: