Sunday, April 08, 2007

Jesusland-Exxonmobil-GE-GM News on your iPod

Turned on CNN-J this morning and just like yesterday, the program was "What would Jesus do?" or something like that, if he were to walk the streets of Houston or Chicago today. It sounded uninteresting, but the host began asking if he would be a Republican supporter. That got my interest, and I listened for a minute or two more before I got terminally bored and switched to a more interesting broadcast on the weather channel. It reminds me that today is Easter, the day that Jesus allegedly rose from the dead, according to eyewitless reports filed within a few centuries after the event. It is pretty normal in Japan to see and talk with dead people at least once after they die, so that alone doesn't make much of an impression, I thought. Some other scattered reports have the Zombie Jesus then running off with former girlfriend Mary Magdelene to father a bloodline that includes European royalty. I haven't got the exact details on hand, offhand. Happy Easter, Christofascist Zombie Brigadiers. Have fun in the bunny costumes hunting for those eggs!

I recently subscribed to the various mainstream cashstream news media, that have finally discovered podcasting. For the first time in years, decades even, I have access to more than the CBS news, which has been on TBS, but which I rarely watch, and CNN and BBC of the satellite realm. I now download NBC and ABC news as well, although I haven't really watched these much, so it is probably a waste of bandwidth. Before deleting them I thought it would be useful to observe, examine, or inspect them a bit.

One immediate observation is that after these 30-minute programs are stripped of their advertisements, they are 17 to 21 minutes in length. In some cases, such as CNN Student News, the web/podcast edition is not based on any TV standard time slotting. In other cases, even after the commercials are removed, commercial messages remain irremovably embedded in the corporate news intro and outro video sequences. I include some examples of those here.

First, the NBC news video sequence at the end of the program features a shot of the Statue of Liberty, that national treasure which, like liberty itself, citizens and tourists are not permitted to enter. (I say let everybody in; if terrorists blow off her head, we make a new one, what's the big deal? The principle of liberty is being sacrificed in favor of the symbol of liberty. Since they closed it, the terrorists have won.) Anyway, as the camera slowly circles Lady Liberty she fades and is replaced by a shot of the GE headquarters in Manhattan. General Electric owns 80% of NBC Universal. (A nuclear power in its own rite, GE donated 1.1 million US$ to the George Bush election campaign while MSNBC partner Microsoft donated 2.4 million).

NBC news also has a GM Chevy ad that they couldn't get out for the podcast. It has one of those flashy subliminal things which causes a rippling effect on some words in the background, that occurs too quickly to be registered consciously, and if you freeze the frame, only a few letters of a word are visible at one time. It is such obvious mindjacking of the visual cortex that you cannot really call it subliminal, but although you know your head is being messed with, you can't quite make out the words they are imprinting.

Well, apparently the marketing department over at GM is concerned that the public perceives GM as lazy, ignorant, unreflective, stupid losers who are following the Japanese lead too slowly, because some of the words that they impose on us are HERO, CHAMPION, AMBITIOUS, VALIANT, REFLECTIVE, KNOWLEDGEABLE, LEAD, and IDOL. I don't really understand why they want to use the word IDOL to create a positive impression but what do I know about telehypnosis? I'm just an amateur. GM is my idol, though, my heroes. Wait, why did I say that? Shit, my fingers can't reach the delete key. WTF? But… I can still type! Buy Japanese! Toyota! Honda! Mazda! Anything! While you still have some free will left.

Another example is the CBS Evening News, owned by Westinghouse, yet another nuclear power. Don't be surprised if you begin to hear and see an increasing number of news reports espousing the wonders of nuclear energy as a carbon-free energy source. They must be closely tied up with ExxonMobil at the moment. You will be happy to know that Exxonmobil is "Taking on the world's toughest energy challenges". You should also know that that phrase is a copyrighted trademark and no one else is allowed to use that particular sequence of English words without permission or licensing.

One advantage of these podcasts is that some of them, ABC, for example, are broken into chapters so you can easily jump to the next chapter. When they do a quick montage of fast cuts, you can easily go back and try to see what they were throwing at you. (There, I said something positive.)

Still, I think I will stick with Democracy Now and a scattering splattering tattered smattering of other media a bit less mainstream and more independent than the TV news syndicates. One podcast I will continue to check out for educational purposes is the CNN Student News. They haven't had any Jesus segments yet, that I know of, but that's probably because I don't watch it, but they have had Christina Park on at least once. CNN-Time-Warner-AOL-whatever never looked better.

In another Jesusland-Talibanistan related story:
Wonkette-Time, Wonkette-Newsweek, Huffington Post, Mother Jones.

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