Tag Archives | Criticism

Fox News PR Department Waged War on Critical Bloggers With Sock Puppet Accounts

NPR reporter David Folkenflik’s new book Murdoch’s World accuses Fox News’ PR department of using scores of fake commenter accounts to challenge negative – even neutral – articles in the blogosphere on Fox News. Employees were even expected to challenge other negative comments on the same posts, a tactic shared with unhinged stalkers, trolls and basement dwellers the world over.

Via Media Matters:

On the blogs, the fight was particularly fierce. Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account. Another used an AOL dial-up connection, even in the age of widespread broadband access, on the rationale it would be harder to pinpoint its origins.

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Wikileaks Movie ‘The Fifth Estate’ and Why It Misses the Point

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT1wb8_tcYU

The story of Wikileaks is complex and goes beyond the Hollywood world of “goodies vs baddies”. Even so a big budget film is due to be released about it soon and it’s likely to be annoying. The trailer has already irritated me, both the title and a key quote in there seem misplaced.

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde

Quoting a famous figure doesn’t make what you’re saying any more or less true and poor Mr Wilde is so famously quotable he often ends up looking wrong when de-contextualised like this. People don’t always tell the truth when granted anonymity, obviously. In fact there’s a counter argument to this quote which carries more weight in this context, it involves the ring of Gyges a philosopher called Plato and the fact that when hidden from view people often do the wrong thing.… Read the rest

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In Defense of the Hipster: Part 2

HipsterShark2PART 2: AUTHENTICITY IS BULLSHIT, or: POP IS THE NEW PUNK

(Part 1, titled “What Is A Hipster, And Why Does Everyone Hate Them? or: You’re So Fake (And So Am I), can be found here.)

As noted in Part 1, the main thrust of the criticisms against hipsters have roots in a notion of authenticity.  Lorentz mentions the words “authentic” and “inauthentic” a dozen times in his article, and the Adbusters piece is just as bad. It’s a fair charge to say that hipsters fetishize the authentic, as Lorentz does. This is hardly unique to hipsters, though; one can find it in practically any sub-culture. It’s so common that I find it disingenuous to use it as a criticism of hipsters and Hipsterism. The problem, as I see it, is that notion of authenticity being used is utter bullshit.

Some years ago, before I became a hipster or had even heard of hipsters, I was confirmed as “real” at a party by a group of counter-culture kids.… Read the rest

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In Defense of the Hipster

Hipster SharkPART ONE: WHAT IS A HIPSTER, AND WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE THEM? or: YOU’RE SO FAKE (AND SO AM I)

My name is Tuna Ghost and I have a confession: I’m a hipster.

One may think this is a self-defeating statement, like “this sentence is false” or “all Cretans are liars, says so-and-so of Crete”, as one of the commonly accepted hallmarks of a hipster is that he or she will vehemently deny that they are a hipster.  This bit of conventional wisdom is easily verified, all one has to do is ask the hipsters around one if they self-identify as a “hipster”.  Personally, I have to look no further than my own friends to see evidence of it.  By the traditional definition of “hipster” they are obviously hipsters, but thus far I am the only one who will gladly self-identify as such. One may wonder why anyone in their right mind would identity with a subculture that has become synonymous with shallowness, lack of authenticity and sneering douche-baggery (my friends certainly do), but in this article I will demonstrate that this is not a fair assessment of Hipsterism.… Read the rest

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Praying To A Tree Trunk: Will The Tree Trunk Help?

Divinity-of-Doubt-Bugliosi-Vincent-9781593156299One of the main things people pray for is peace. But there have already been trillions upon trillions of prayers for peace through the years, yet peace remains as elusive as mercury, as groups and factions and nations persist in warring viciously with each other, the violence continuing unabated.

Wouldn’t one think that people would finally come to the realization that either there’s no one up there listening to their prayers for peace, or if there is, he doesn’t have the power to stop the violence, or if he does, he has no desire to do so? That they may just as well be praying to a tree trunk?

I’ve been told there is some religious sect in the Himalayan Mountains that has been praying for peace, twenty-four hours a day in shifts, for more than five hundred years. Nuns of the Franciscan Sisters in La Crosse, Wisconsin, have been praying for world peace in thirty-minute rotating shifts twenty four hours a day in an unbroken chain of perpetual prayers dating back to 1878.… Read the rest

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