“Back in May Mike Hudack posted a rant about the state of the news media. The gist of it is: here we are in 2014, the Internet is at scale — the mobile internet is in the pockets of 30% of adults worldwide and social networks are at a proportionate scale and yet the news media seems to be becoming more and more dumb. Put another way: the world of news creation and access have been blown open and yet most news organizations have hollowed out their news capabilities and are posting the trivial listicles about “28 young couples you should know”.”—
2 (10-ounce) whole trout, cleaned and gutted
1/2 cup cornmeal
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lemon, sliced
6 slices bacon
Fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat broiler and set oven rack 4 to 6 inches from heat. With a paper towel, pat trout dry inside and out. Dredge outside of each fish in cornmeal, then season cavity with salt and pepper. Place 4 sprigs of thyme and 2 lemon slices inside each fish.
2. Wrap 3 bacon slices around the middle of each fish, so that the edges overlap slightly. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, and place fish on pan. Broil until bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. With a spatula, carefully flip fish over and cook another 5 minutes, until flesh is firm.
“Climate change isn’t like that. Once the West Antarctica glaciers slip into the ocean they’re gone. Once the carbon and the methane is released into the atmosphere we have no way to recapture it. Once the oceans rise and the permafrost melts we have no way to turn back the clock. As tremendous as our mastery of nature often appears, we are outmatched on the geologic scale.”—
“Silverman argues that her scatological humor ought to be especially appealing to a Jewish audience. “[M]any Jews cannot be stopped from discussing what goes on in their GI tracts — the GI tract of a Jew over age 23 is a true melodrama reminiscent of the Old Testament: sudden mass exodus, long arduous journeys, floods, futility, agony, questioning God’s wisdom and lactose intolerance,” she writes. “So the things I talk about are not blasphemy to Jewish people.””—
“The trouble for his detractors was that Benn would not go quietly into old age. He didn’t just believe in “anything”: he believed in something very definite – socialism. He advocated for the weak against the strong, the poor against the rich and labour against capital. He believed that we were more effective as human beings when we worked together collectively than when we worked against each other as individuals. Such principles have long been threatened with extinction in British politics. Benn did a great deal to keep them alive. In the face of media onslaught and political marginalisation, that took courage. And, in so doing, he encouraged us.”—
In a very real sense, social optimization has replaced what used to be called search-engine optimization or SEO, and that means Facebook has replaced — or is close to replacing — Google as the subject of online publishers’ fevered hopes and dreams.
The biggest problem with this state of affairs, of course, is that publishers are just exchanging one master for another. In the end, they are just as subject to the whims and vagaries of Facebook and its changing algorithms as they were to Google — both are giant, proprietary platforms who ultimately have their own interests at heart, as much as they talk about how they benefit humanity.
This brings us to a concept—the inadequacy of charity to serve the ends of justice—that I recently saw Neville Park mention on Twitter, and the article she directs us to by Sarah Kendzior, draws a conclusion from St. Augustine: “”Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.”
None of us, alone, can actually accomplish the job of feeding all of our neighbours’ children, not in the long term. We can’t, through personal generosity, eliminate child poverty or poverty in general. We can, through personal acts of giving, and through things like food-bank donations and gift drives, help make certain meals, certain days, certain seasons more bearable. But we cannot deliver justice. Or rather, I can’t and you can’t and James Moore can’t. But perhaps we can; perhaps government can. If we agree that it is government’s job. Our job.
“Its news and documentary coverage must be different. That means more progressive voices heard, filling a huge gap in the Canadian media, an arena dominated by centre and right-wing views. The politically-progressive base in Canada remains stable and remains largely unheard. It’s the CBC’s job to fill that vacuum. Less of the Don Cherry-style dismissal of “pinkos out there that ride bicycles” and more attention to those who reject the right-wing, Big Business view of the country.”—