Saturday, November 03, 2007
(This is a review of the BBC's Bill Turnbull Programme. It's like an acted version of The Daily Mail.)
It's noticeable that the interrelation of the military industrial complex and the media apparatus in these societies is such that while one does not find oneself hypnotised to the extent of uncritically accepting their worst excesses, to some extent real disquiet is deadened, routinised. If the media hasn't been so succesful in legitimising the warfare state its illegitimacy has been allowed to persist.
(and they invite me, if indirectly, to write about this stuff, as undifferentiated sausage filler)
We are not permitted to know how serious the administration is with respect to potentially bombing Iran, or what would be at stake, or even if publicity of all this is or is not a deliberate tactic. Apparently it has something to do with Our Reluctant Pipelines.
The dissemination of fake news or news styled entertainment should therefore be considered as part of a wider politics.
In common with many other commodities one feels impelled to criticise the BBC's Bill Turnbull Programme on aesthetic grounds (in which respect it's evidently deficient), though it really deserves to be criticised politically.
It's stretching things to say that this programme is neo-liberal propaganda: its obvious complacentcy being precisely what is forced by "harsh realities";
but in another way a kind of mill logic is at work. One is shown the commodity as flux and invited to imagine its total situation. Here one is shown a series of great banalities, and invited to connect:
- the flatness of this "news" - the relative inelasticity of its supply schedule - the total labour crystallised in total news production - the veracity of this news, and by extension that news which is not shown.
(as one of those queries about things that switch with the changes in the mode of production, it would be interesting to know if in the past this sort of "flat news" would have been considered straightforwardly incompetent, and if this changed, when.)