Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

Mick Arran

Jeffrey Barbose

Inspector Lohmann

Eric M. Fink

Michael Lane

Rep. Mark B. Cohen

The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

The Sages

  • David Weinberger
  • Jon Lebkowsky
  • Jay Rosen
  • Rebecca MacKinnon
  • Nova Spivack
  • Dan Gillmor
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  • Lawerence Lessig
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  • Jeff Jarvis
  • Joi Ito
  • The Titans

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  • Jim Hightower
  • Wonkette
  • Political Animal
  • The-Hamster
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  • Pandagon
  • Altercation
  • Informed Comment
  • Donkey Rising
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  • Orcinus
  • Brad Delong
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    Distinguished Colleagues

  • Tom Burka
  • The American Street
  • wood s lot
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  • ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES
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  • To The Teeth
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  • Into the Blogosphere
  • George Orwell

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    Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

    Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

    In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

    At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

    Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

    John Stuart Mill

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

    The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Mark Twain

    Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

    All generalizations are false, including this one.

    A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    The Public is merely a multiplied "me."

    Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

    In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

    Otto Von Bismarck

    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

    Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

    Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.

    Voltaire

    A witty saying proves nothing.

    If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

    To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

    Karl Marx

    Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.

    All I know is I'm not a Marxist.

    The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.

    Friday, September 03, 2004

    The Answer to One of Life's Great Mysteries: Why Everything On TV Sucks

    By Nick

    <>For the sake of getting it out of the way, I will sum up my impression of the conventions in one sardonic paragraph:


    If a high school pep rally and an infomercial had a baby, than it would probably look like the conventions. Beyond that, file any pundit or blogger that classified either convention as a solid "success" or "failure" under "T", for "transparent and partisan quack." Finally, its clear that we must hunt down all voters who were naive and gullible enough to be swayed by either of the conventions. When found, we should pay those feeble minded $1000 dollars to never vote again. Call me extreme, but I consider those voters to be the greatest threat to our great Republic. Remarkably, that's all I have to say about the conventions.

    You see, whenever I analyze TV-age politics, I do this freakish thing called "thinking". Its a habit that worries me, as some experts believe that thinking leads to acne and growing hair on your hands. However, I nevertheless feel compelled to show the world the results of my dirty habit.

    First off, I don't trust anything that a politician puts into a sound-bite. I don't care if they are Democrats, Republicans, or from our garden variety pack of third parties. I find all political "messages" and "themes" to be as inspiring and honest as the sales pitch of a door-to-door-$2000 -vacuum cleaner-salesman. Bush claims that he'll win the war on terror. Kerry claims he'll insure every American. Yet, until one of them appoints Merlin the magic wizard as their chief of staff, I'll go ahead and consider their promises to be as solid as wind.

    Secondly, I consider the commercial news media's bias to be intellectual, as opposed to political. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it seems to me that Fox and CNN not as concerned with informing the public than they are with selling a product. Even the notorious bias of Fox News is merely a reflection of the beliefs, intelligence, and attention-spans of their audience. I'd bet the farm that if the majority of Fox viewers were liberal intellectuals, than Fox would replace the O'Reilly factor with the O'Chomsky Factor. Note to Nit-Pickers: I think Chomsky would understand the value of keeping the brandname: "O' [Any Last Name] Factor". But I digress...

    So, let me give you a quick parable that you can use to enlighten any confused partisan that wastes their breath yelling about bias in the media:

    Have you ever gotten hooked on an intelligent, popular, and hilarious TV show only to find out that it was cancelled? You say to yourself, "Those bastards! Everyone was watching it! It was Popular! My faith in television was almost restored! WHY!"?

    Well, here is why: (drum roll)

    The programming on commercial television is designed to meet two goals:

    1. Attract the largest possible audience (obviously)
    2. In particular, attract an audience that is dumb enough to be hypnotized into buying things that are "Seen on TV."
    Reactions two that second point from some of my aquintences suggest that the second point is "secret knowledge". However, I think that their ignorance has a lot to do with the fact that most of their information comes from television. Moving on.

    Now, apply that formula to any TV News Show from CBS News, to Rush Limbaugh. You are now among the chosen -- young grasshopper-- who possess the hidden answers the following great mysteries of our time:

    "Why does TV suck so much?"

    "Why do campaign ads work?"

    "Why is everyone on TV an Idiot?"

    It's because idiots are the most loyal, predictable, and lucrative audience, stupid.

    It's not a conspiracy, and there is no agenda. Rather it's a combination of less exciting concepts like self-interest, proven business formulas, and bottom lines. If you want to change the bias on Fox News, organize a coalition of progressives to watch Fox; make sure to also organize phone drives to buy large amounts of products that fox advertises. However, in my opinion, we progressives can use our resources better.

    posted by Nick at 9/03/2004 08:07:00 PM |

    Comments: Post a Comment

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    "Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik

    PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.

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