Joe Rogan Experience, the world's biggest and most influential podcast, migrated to Spotify on Sept 1st 2020. Dozens of the show's key episodes have been purged from the migration; and there's a sly opacity about the apparent censorship - a familiar authoritarian strategy. The media bogeymen and policed language episodes excluded follow a clear theme. Is it Spotify abusing corporate privilege, preying on Rogan's contract loopholes, or is Joe bending the knee and sacrificing his reputation for the big money payoff?
A sculpture of a black woman who took part in a Black Lives Matter #BLM protest in Bristol, England has been installed on the plinth where a statue of slave trader Edward Colston used to stand. It lasted 24 hours. The city council removed it without consultation or vote. Another missed opportunity.
"See it. Mock it. Dismiss it." It's an authority-enabling response that dominates social media and for some it's become how they respond to everything. It perpetuates a polarized confirmation bias that's reducing society to in-group out-group stagnation. It's encouraged and exploited by politicized clickbait media. As individuals, it's up to us to resist these lazy instincts twisted to serve the agenda of authoritarian divide-and-rule.
Today, three full generations after its birth in the 1940s, postmodern thinking has engendered a uniquely degraded democratization of creative ambition. It has subordinated individual originality and culture to consumerism. This piece is an exercise in therapy but useful for anyone keen for a definition of post-modernism, the cultural coronavirus against which we have no vaccine. Yet.
Orania in South Africa is a land for whites only. What's more, it's for Afrikaner whites, descendants of the first white Boer (Dutch) settlers dispossed by the British 120 years ago. Orania is the expression of the original separatist white Afrikaner dream. It's peaceful, safe and prosperous. It is also written up around the world as a white racist ethnostate. What's the reality, behind dichotomy of determined Oranian smiles and universal "woke" condemnation?
"Nowadays opinions are like podcasts. Everybody's got one." Why do so many say they feel better staying ignorant, rejecting change, than embracing knowledge, learning expertise, accepting change as part of an evolving mind?
The uneducated and the experts get a lot of flak from trained gatekeepers with big platforms but the antipathy is self-serving virtue signalling designed to cover up a degrading groupthink that's steadily retarding the progress of our society to a virtual standstill. The recent Dawkins Eugenics "controversy" is a case in point.
Time and time again the rump of voters choose the fantasy over the fact. People in their millions go for the snake oil (if it's delivered with the right dewy-eyed appeal) and reject the poor prosaic plain-speaker with the long record of real public service. I don't get it!
Nominations for the 2020 Oscars have been published to a chorus of criticism about lack of diversity. It's a neat illustration of equality of outcome, equality of opportunity and the cultural degradation caused by the continued breakdown of communication and truth.
For us human beings, born primate, bred storyteller, we are terribly mismatched with our technological future. Philosophy is the poetry and metaphor; Socio-economics is the play in which we all have our parts; but reality - its fundamental nuts and bolts to which science aspires to understand - must be sold by iambic pentameter soliloquy while in practice it's relentless, practical lingua franca prose.
Compare and contrast of the ‘beat’ heavyweights Alan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the former destined to live long and popular, a fine intellectual force on the American scene, the latter doomed to die young and unhappy but undeniably a genius in the global pantheon.
It might seem like a media outlet with a 99 in 100 factually accurate strike rate is pretty good. But in a cross-referenced media landscape and a 24 hour news cycle, 99 in 100 right soon becomes 99 in 100 wrong.
KNOCK KNOCK -- Who's there? -- Grandpa. -- Grandpa? Wait... Stop the cremation! Ten voices of the dead selected for your consideration. They're all worth of your time.