Saturday, July 08, 2006

The comment culture - an unlikely antidote to a foggy media

Commenting on an article which is provocative by UK standards in the Telegraph, we find some interesting comments between the invasion of the drive-by shooters.

“Isn't American hatred the barely disguised hatred of an ideal, namely capitalism? The left loathe the triumph of this ideology over their own bankrupt collectivism.

This is what they will never forgive America: for embodying an ideal that has trumped their own impoverished, failed and delinquent creed.”
“The critics of US policy are a funny, mixed-up bunch. One minute they say, "focus on the present, not on the past", and the next they say, "what about Granada, Somalia, Vietnam?"

One minute they say, "America is a bully", and the next they say, "why didn't you do anything about the dictatorships in Africa?"

One minute they say, "Bush is a simpleton", and the next they say, "Bush is the greatest criminal mastermind the world has ever seen!"

The hate directed at the US is quite clearly a re-direction of the self-hatred that most Europeans feel for themselves and their neighbours.

Our politicians stand for nothing, so we hate the American politicians who have a vision.

Our armed forces are pitiful, so we hate the most powerful armed force on the planet.

Our global cultural significance is in continual decline, so we hate a culture on the ascendance.

Our economies are stagnant, so we hate the fast-growing wealth of America, and blame "big business".

Our nations have lost faith in God and in hope and optimism, so we hate America, a land which still believes.

The hatred of America is the single biggest case of lack of self-esteem I have ever encountered. Stop being so pathetically self-centred and self-loathing! Maybe then you'll stop feeling as though you have to blame the nation that is so obviously doing a bit better than you are.

Oh, and by the way, I am solidly British and quite secure, thank you very much.”
Now compare the range of opinion at the Telegraph, often accused of being the poodle of the intolerant fascistic BushChimpyHitlerBurton, with the tender and thoughtful Guardian, where every day is the triumphal May Day march taking pride in the glorious struggle against da man - whoever he may be that day, but always having an American accent:
The truth is the symbiotic relationship between bin Laden and Bush. they need eachother to buttress their own power and relevance: ...According to Suskind’s book, CIA analysts had spent years “parsing each expressed word of the al-Qaeda leader and his deputy, [Ayman] Zawahiri. What they’d learned over nearly a decade is that bin-Laden speaks only for strategic reasons. … “Their [the CIA’s] assessments, at day’s end, are a distillate of the kind of secret, internal conversations that the American public [was] not sanctioned to hear: strategic analysis. Today’s conclusion: bin-Laden’s message was clearly designed to assist the President’s reelection.
even if the president can’t be re-elected – unless you’ve aready convinced yourself that the’s “a dictator”. Lost in the Graun’s endless flow of spittle, the occasional reminder of how they’re talking-talking-talking themselves into an illusion:
I'm trying to remember how many CIF articles are currently about the US. Yet no writer is talking about the US I live in: Outside the Northeast and LA, and not easily written off as redneck land. I live in a small city (about 500K) with a significant immigrant population (mostly Hispanic and Thai). We have our share of flag-wavers (and an oddly named "Patriot's Corner" from which they can wave their flags). About half the people I know vote Republican, and about half Democrat. The local economy is going well, Madame Mayor is well-respected and liked, and you can still get affordable housing on the water.

I suspect that this is closer to the real America than the Guardian columnists know.
I know that they don’t know, judging by this spurious nonsense:
The reason for the difference in mentality is that Europeans rely on a broader range of media to get their news.”
Broad indeed: BBC, The Guardian, Indymedia... You know, the substantive middle ground...

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