Saturday, October 27, 2018

MY SEMI-HIATUS, HOW, WHEN AND WHY


Okay, so the last time I sat down and tried to blog about current events, I wanted to say something about what was, at that point, seemingly unconnected stories about the disappearance of a couple of global VIPs. I intended to argue that they were connected, in that they both represent worldwide norms continuing to tumble to the wayside, and how horrific it was that stories that would have been huge deals just three measly years ago now seem like “just another weekday”.
First, of course, was the bizarre disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi... By now, we all know how that story turned out.
"Khashoggi, who has lived in self-exile in Washington for the past year fearing retribution for critical views on Saudi policies, entered the consulate on Tuesday to secure documents for his marriage, according to his fiancee, who waited outside. He has not been heard of since."
It's a turn of events so disgusting, it even comes with its own secretly recorded snuff movie.

And if you think that still-unfolding story is disturbing, how about the one we've already mostly forgotten about? That's right, there was another high profile disappearance that happened in the very same news cycle as Khashoggi's murder... or have you already forgotten that China just up and kidnapped the head of Interpol?! And nobody dared say shit about it, either.

A fuller and more recent, but still quite sketchy, overview of what happened to Meng Hongwei is available at his Wikipedia page, but it raises more questions than it answers, like for instance, what were the circumstances behind Hongwei's recent "resignation"? Can your resignation really be considered valid if it's done while you're being held captive? Interpol seems to think so! They're electing a new chairman in November! And also, what is it about the current geopolitical situation that makes China think it's a good idea to kidnap a global law enforcement officer ostensibly under the protection of the European states (France and Belgium) where Interpol is based?

And that was the last time I sat down to blog, and nothing came out. Since then, we've had the Brett Kavanaugh debacle, where possibly the least qualified candidate in the USA was given a life-long spot on the most important court in the most powerful nation on Earth, just because he showed a willingness to tongue-bathe Preznit Twitler's splotchy little mushroom (which is another thing we learned about recently), legally speaking. We've also had the murderous thugs of the alt-right and Far Right spawn a hilarious, projection-fueled campaign to accuse Democrats of being an angry mob (I WISH!!!), even as the body count being amassed by conservative murderers continues to swell on pretty much a weekly basis. And that's not even counting injuries and near-misses, like the Proud Boys riot in NYC.

And now, we come to this week. This week, in which an armed and angry white guy tried to bust his way into a Black church, and upon failing to do that, switched targets to a Kroger, where he murdered two Black people. This week, when a MAGA fanatic mad bomber from Florida tried to assassinate two former Presidents, multiple Democratic politicians, liberal media figures and, of course, George Soros. This week - this day, in fact - on which a man shrieking anti-Semitic slurs walked into a synagogue and opened fire, murdering at least eight people at last count.

Folks, we are in a dark and sunken place, and Winter is most definitely coming. The center cannot hold, and the accelerating entropy of it all has begun to make yer old pal Jerky's head spin. It's like so many of us are in a big hurry to tear everything down, even though all the ideas about ways to build things back up again are complete and utter shit.

And that's why I'll be taking a sabbatical from posting regular updates on this blog (as if my reduced output wasn't already obvious to anyone keeping tabs). Doing justice to the task of providing the kind of coverage that I once did with the Daily Dirt (circa 1999-2006) would require me, as it did back then, to once again start putting in sixteen hour days. This is simply beyond me at this point, particularly seeing as I am not getting paid to do it, and I also have other ambitions that I want to pursue before it's entirely too late for me.

And so, for the foreseeable future, I will be posting only occasional think pieces here, as well as "suggested reading" links whenever I come across an article that I think is worth sharing. These updates will be announced on my Twitter (@JerkyLeBoeuf) and Facebook (Mark Thibodeau) accounts, as well as on Reddit where and when I deem it appropriate to do so.

As for my Useless Eater Blog, it will continue to update on a daily basis for the foreseeable future. Kubrick U and The Mediavore will continue to be updated in a sporadic manner, with multiple updates already in the works for both.

That's about all I've got for you now. I would like to leave you with a handful of Suggested Readings that I think are pretty spectacular. The first is Janine di Giovanni's excellent piece for the New York Review of Books, titled Why Assad and Russia Target the White Helmets. It's a damn good piece, and a bracing antidote to anyone currently opiated by the sick-making propaganda garbage being spewed by the likes of "alternative" "journalists" Glenn Greenwald and (Godzilla forbid) Eva Fucking Bartlett.

And then there's this Los Angeles Review of Books essay by Ron Rosenbaum, titled Against Normalization: The Lesson of the Munich Post. It's a historical overview of the fate of the last hold-out large circulation newspaper in Germany to stand against the rise of Nazism, and it's one of the most frightening, despair-inducing things I've read in recent memory. Yet it also carries with it a sense of tragic heroism in the journalistic refusal to bow down to evil, and the value of continuing to resist up to and until the ultimate price is paid. I hope I don't have to tell you why it's such a timely and important read.

Until next time, I'm...
Yer old pal Jerky!

4 comments:

  1. I really hate to hear this. I loved the Daily Dirt and read it without fail. I'm lazy, and it enabled me to stay knowledgeable about then current events without the enormous effort such knowledge generally entails. As this country spirals ever faster down the drain, the need for an impartial news integrator (that is what i always considered the Daily Dirt and the DailyDirtDiaspora to be in my mind) has never been greater. Jerky LeBoeuf, you, and the under-compensated but much appreciated work you do, will be sorely missed.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Tonto. I am not retiring completely, but I just wanted to make it clear that anyone relying on the DDD to give them a well-rounded picture of the current realpolitik should really beef up their media intake. I will continue to post the occasional batch of suggested readings and other such things - even the occasional think piece - but I've given up on trying to present a gestalt overview, because it has simply become too complicated and difficult a task for one man. Maybe in the next few weeks, I'll put together a blog post about excellent news sources that people should peruse on a daily basis?

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