Tuesday, June 21, 2011
"No. The real Black Swan Event is that people are not rioting against the banks in London and New York..."
A few days ago, BBC reporter Paul Mason put up a well-written blog post on the demonstrations in Greece
It was so well written and vaguely truthy that I had the strangest sensation of having just read an actual piece of journalism after finishing it
A feeling I don't usually associate with reading anything from the BBC, or pretty much any other mainstream news outlet
An increasingly widespread opinion of mainstream news coverage that Mason himself acknowledges at the end of his piece...
And I will repeat the point about hostility to the media: it's not a problem for me and my colleagues to be hounded off demos as "representatives of big capital", "Zionists", "scum and police informers" etc. But to get this reaction from almost every demographic - from balaclava kids to pensioners - should be a warning sign to the policymaking elite. The "mainstream" - whether it's the media, politicians or business people - is beginning to seem illegitimate to large numbers of people.
As one old bloke put it to me, when I said: "Don't you want us to report what's happening to you?" - "No."
He was quite calm and rational as he waved his hand in my face: "It's too late for that."
Though a cynic might suggest that Mason and the BBC are simply co-opting the tools of citizen journalism, such as blogs, to put out a minimal amount of truthiness in an attempt to scrape up some much needed credibility
Those would be the same tools of citizen journalism that mainstream media whores spend most of their time belittling and abusing
...and a small amount of their time trying to co-opt, covering their well paid arses, just in case
For an altogether much more informative example of citizen journalism on what is being done to Greece I recommend this article...
It opens with the lines...
"I have never been more desperate to explain and more hopeful for your understanding of any single fact than this: The protests in Greece concern all of you directly"
...and the author is absolutely right
The banks and the corporations that have grown up around the banks are out to deprive the Greek people of all property until their children wake-up homeless in their own land
The Greeks are to become neo-feudal, pay-as-you-go serfs
And then, after the Greeks, the rest of us
A future which neither Paul Mason nor any employee of the BBC or any other mainstream media outlet is going to warn us about; 100% guaranteed, absolutely no way, ever
They'll report it after it happens, sure enough, and explain that no-one saw such an unfortunate, accidental turn of events coming, and so on and so on. They'll do that because that's their job. They're paid to sell narratives. Narratives that are constructed to instill passivity and acceptance of what is being done
And that is why the old Greek bloke said to Mason 'It's too late for that'
And that is why I despise Mason and his kind as much as any Greek demonstrator
The Battle in Syntagma Square article ends with the following paragraph...
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the Lebanese-American philosopher who formulated the theory of “Black Swan Events” – unpredictable, unforeseen events which have a huge impact and can only be explained afterwards. Last week, on Newsnight, he was asked by Jeremy Paxman whether the people taking to the streets in Athens was a Black Swan Event. He replied: “No. The real Black Swan Event is that people are not rioting against the banks in London and New York.”
That wouldn't be as much to do with Black Swans as with a corrupt press and parliamentary system but, in spite of their efforts, I expect that there will be an upsurge in demonstrations and strikes in the UK later in the year. However, and this is where I may lose some of my leftist friends on top of any anti-Zionist friends I lost a few posts back, those strikes and demonstrations are likely to only make the situation worse
The only significant pockets of organised labour left in the UK are public sector unions and they have a poor track record of giving a toss about where their members' pay comes from. Any successes public sector workers have in maintaining their pay and conditons are, under the current system, simply passed onto ordinary private sector workers in the form of increased taxation and inflation. Many private sector workers I personally know are barely managing from week to week and they have biff all job security and pensions. If the cost of significant public sector settlements are dumped onto their laps they're screwed
Until strikers and demonstrators in the UK start talking about reforming the entire system for the benefit of all ordinary people and not just the protestors own immediate self-interest all they will be doing is fighting with other plebs for a share of an increasingly smaller trickle of crumbs from their Masters' table
The Greeks seem to be switching onto this, as do the Irish, and the Icelanders
But they had to get fucked pretty severely first