The Local Noise

Saturday, 4 February 2017 14:31
songofcopper: (neg)
What unwary wordsmith coined the phrase ‘fake news’? I really wish they hadn’t. Far from its original sense (purposeful lies and/or mischievous satire, liable to be believed by the undiscerning reader), it has now become a throwaway insult to be lobbed in the direction of any media statement disliked for any reason by any consumer, of whatever political persuasion. It’s like the current affairs equivalent of “Your mama” - nyah, nyah, nyah.

Journalism does seem to be a dying art, of course. Local news is a joke now. Our ‘local paper’ is just one of a great many owned by one of those companies that owns local papers. The websites of the supposedly individual local papers are pretty much interchangeable, except for the header. Proof-reading and sub-editing seem to have been suspended, along with any genuine interest in relevance or depth. (…No, this in itself is not news.)

Yesterday they published an article with the headline, ‘Someone’s spray-painted ‘F**K TRUMP’ on a wall in Exeter’. Illustrated with copious modestly-blurred photographs of the graffito in question, the article does touch on local protests against the enthusiastic American amateur’s alarming Batman-villain approach to statesmanship, but its main focus is the titular act of opinionated vandalism. The distinction of concluding statement is given to the city council’s intention to wash off the spray paint. A whirlwind gallop from world affairs to parochial minutiae: no matter how global the issue, reliably, inevitably, our purview telescopes.

Elsewhere, we learn that ‘Devon woman finds face inside her pepper’. The fruit-or-vegetable at issue does not even have the decency to impersonate Elvis, Jesus or any of those other frequent habitués of perishable foodstuffs - ah, the juxtaposition of immortality and transience! - instead offering a simply-rendered smiley. The writer does not neglect, however, to tell us the woman’s age, in traditional tabloid style. Mind you, this has to be an improvement on that other popular strand of food-related journalism - finding a mouse, a centipede or mould in, on or under your dinner.

If happy produce is too workaday for your taste, then how about this: ‘Here’s why Adolf Hitler's telephone, used to bark his evil orders, is in Dawlish’. Apparently it was smuggled to Britain out of the Berlin Bunker by a British officer, and is now being offered at auction by the officer’s son. The auction is taking place in the USA; the vendor hopes a museum will buy it, but one may conjecture that there are a few folks across the pond who might like to own this object for more personal reasons.

I find myself imagining a horror movie in which the telephone is haunted by the spirit of the late Führer and anyone who uses it becomes his possessed slave, abetted by a horde of Nazi zombies. But wait a while and this very scenario may turn up as an example of present-day ‘journalism’.
songofcopper: (Peter Wyngarde as Number Two)
Golly gee, I’m a tired little Diurnal Introvert today. Last evening, I Attended An Event and Made Conversation With Humans, most of whom I did not know hitherto. I’m pretty sure I Spoketh the Rubbish (well, yeah, so what is new?!). But it is better to be silly than dull. This type of experience does tend to fill the brain with Notions, which then kept me awake and analysing way past Emy-sleepsleep-time. And of course, this morning, I awoke with the birds, as usual. In short: *feeble moaning sound* *smiling, however* ;-)

Observations: Municipal library seating is harsh on the posterior. The English really cannot help but congregate around a tea urn (seriously, a circle formed around the sainted thing, as if ’twere an holy well, with occasional reverent reachings into the sacred biscuit tin).

The event in q. was a film showing with introductory remarks (the idea shall be to establish a film club: you may choose a film to be shown, but you must say a little something about it first). Last evening’s selection: none other than ‘Flash Gordon’. Ideal fare for a drizzly evening in January. Leaving the place afterwards, the dinginess of Exeter after dark made for a depressing contrast with the powerfully outrageous world of the film. Regarding the introductory remarks - well, the gauntlet was well and truly flourished ’n’ thrown down by a knowledgeable and eloquent fellow… which awakes the spirit of challenge in Yrs Trly. I like a podium, me (much more than awkward chat around a tea urn!). And am an ignorant fellow, but perhaps also eloquent under some circumstances? …We’ll see.

Well, whatever, if nothing else I now have ample wardrobe inspiration for whenever I do get around to taking over the galaxy. As dictators go I’d be fairly lax ’n’ lenient, but definitely Fabudorable.

Further observations: to be sober in an only-just-slightly-inebriated world is most certainly surreal. I had a long wait for the bus home, so I walked right up to the centre of town and further still (to kill time) before stopping to await my carriage. Outside Subway, I witnessed one young man cheerfully chasing another whilst shouting, “Yer a Corgi! Yer a Corgi!” If this is current slang, I have no idea what it means (perhaps “You have short legs, large ears, and I think you’re cute”?).

And now: time to rest. (In the absence of an intergalactic-dormobile-foldaway-person-holder as favoured by General Klytus, a humble sofa shall suffice!)

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This journal is not a private diary, it is more like an occasional, imaginary column. Therefore, much of it is on public display. However, if you want to read my occasional attempts at creative writing, my Caution Elf tells me I should only show that stuff to my friends. You know what to do. :-)

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