Thursday, April 25, 2013

A note to young journalists

You will meet very powerful people in your journey.  

They will be seductive.

You will be enticed.

Your decision at these moments are critical...don't downplay these moments.  These moments will define you.  

These moments...they are the moments where you either become a true journalist or you become a fucking whore.  Everything in between is redundant.

Don't be redundant....there's nothing to gain there.

Don't be redundant.   


bruthas_back said...

AZ, I think the days of "journalism"from what we call the MSM are long gone. It's now a corporate media.

Anonymous said...

I read a book to a little kid recently, and then had to write down said book on abovementioned kid's "reading activity log."

Yeah, yeah, literacy! whatever, for some reason this task pissed me off. We're teaching kids to record and to submit their reading habits for state approval now? I felt like a cranky old man.

I wanted to say, "Kid, how you vote and what you read are your own damn business. Don't get into the habit of thinking that you owe the authorities access to this information."

But I'm not going to get this kid in trouble in class because of the years of anti-soviet propaganda I was reared on.

So I started to fill in the log. I'm ornery, but endeavoring not to be an embarassment.

The title was easy, but no author was listed. This book was a corporate product with a brand name, an "imprint" with a logo, a design team, and a bunch of other LLCs involved in its "production," and no named author.

There wasn't even a fake-name author like the old Hardy Boys and Nancy Drews of my era had. My sister must have read over a hundred books by "Carolyn Keene."

This kid reads lots of books, and has many grown-ups giving gifts of books, and taking time to read them, so one junky book is not fatal.

But boy, did it piss me off. A reading log recording all the materials read, and no author on the mass produced "productions" available from the school library.

No doubt purchased for the school library through some big company that promises bribes of classroom supplies if the school places nice, big orders.

My anti-Soviet angst met my growing frustration with the corporate world, and the resulting "snake eating its own tail" feeling had me ready to gag.

All this, and I'm generally in favor of both universal health care, and also many consumer products only available to me because of capitalistic forms of international trade.

I like some kinds of "socialism" and I like many forms of capitalistic free enterprise.

But fuck does it ever piss me off that in the world of writing, MSM or kid's books, more and more we seem to be getting a monsterous amalgam of the worst of both worlds.

Sometimes advice to knuckle down and do the right thing by following the rules the mainstream majority is living by is the right advice.

Sometimes, saying "Hell No!" to all the powers telling you how the world works, and doing what you know is really just and moral, is the right advice.

Get the balance right, and you're a solid, moderate person who knows when to take a stand.

Get the balance wrong, and you're a corrupt sycophant who uses the power of groupthink-- crowdsourced cowardice-- to justify your moral failings, but then "shows independence" by indulging in arbitrary, childish, egocentric rebellions against honorable behavior if the group norm does call for courage or sacrifice from you.

If the majority of grown-ups and many of our systems themselves are trending towards the later pole, how are the kids going to grow up to become solid, moderate adults who know when to take a stand?