Vertigo and nausea in Canberra

abbott-upside-down

Whether Malcolm Turnbull will be a better Prime Minister for Australia than the outgoing Tony Abbott is highly questionable, given the constraints of Byzantine Coalition infighting and allegiances tied to murky patronage. But he is the worst sort of news for Bill Shorten’s Australian Labor Party.

Right now there is no one who more closely resembles Abbott in style and popularity than Shorten. The latter is secure only because he’s irrelevant; the Australian public is not focused on a potentially better leader of an opposition that is little more than a cut-rate Liberal party these days.

Why and how did Abbott become arguably Australia’s most despised and unpopular PM?

Within his own party he had long been known as an ‘attack dog’, apparently savouring his reputation as a rabid beast, and ruling his party like it was a street gang in which the most psychotic streetfighter is always the leader.

Continue reading “Vertigo and nausea in Canberra”

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) revisited

manufacturing-consent-video-cover

To begin, it strikes me as appropriate to reorient us to the environment which gave rise to both the book, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988) by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, and the film, which premiered on 18 June 1992 at the Sydney Film Festival in Australia.

A different time

Achbar and Wintonick followed Chomsky for five years to make their documentary, [1] implying that they began their project in 1986 or 1987.  A very different time that some readers might not remember too well, or at all.

To offer a glimpse into that era, imagine Miami Vice entering its fourth season, the Simpsons first appearing as short film clips, Star Trek: The Next Generation premiering on network TV, the Bangles walking like Egyptians, Bon Jovi prancing on a prayer, U2 still hadn’t quite found that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow they were looking for, fully grown men wearing big hair and pastel baby blue and pink clothes, women wearing shoulder pads as big as those sported by gridiron players, fluoro coloured neon lights in nightclubs and restaurants, and greed was definitely good all around.

Continue readingManufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) revisited”

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) revisited

manufacturing-consent-video-cover

To begin, it strikes me as appropriate to reorient us to the environment which gave rise to both the book, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988) by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, and the film, which premiered on 18 June 1992 at the Sydney Film Festival in Australia.

A different time

Achbar and Wintonick followed Chomsky for five years to make their documentary, [1] implying that they began their project in 1986 or 1987.  A very different time that some readers might not remember too well, or at all.

To offer a glimpse into that era, imagine Miami Vice entering its fourth season, the Simpsons first appearing as short film clips, Star Trek: The Next Generation premiering on network TV, the Bangles walking like Egyptians, Bon Jovi prancing on a prayer, U2 still hadn’t quite found that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow they were looking for, fully grown men wearing big hair and pastel baby blue and pink clothes, women wearing shoulder pads as big as those sported by gridiron players, fluoro coloured neon lights in nightclubs and restaurants, and greed was definitely good all around.

Continue reading “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) revisited”