Your story is just too depressing
February 27, 2004 1:50 PM   Subscribe

"Us intellectuals realized a long time ago that no human society could function without heavy-duty jamming all signals that might allow people to see reality. Because reality is so downright horrible we have to jam it tighter than Castro. The only question is who’s going to decide what gets jammed and how to jam it."

The eXile on censorship, why the truth is like kryptonite and how the cast and writers of Will and Grace will end up "at the bottom of a lime-dusted mass grave".
Warning - highly offensive to almost everyone in places.

via The Early Days of a Better Nation
posted by thatwhichfalls (16 comments total)
Maybe it's just me, but I've read a few articles from the eXile at this point and I don't think I've quite understood of any of them.
posted by 4easypayments at 2:01 PM on February 27, 2004

highly offensive to almost everyone in places.

Wait... I'm in a place right now!

I think what you mean is, "offensive in places to almost everyone."

(/armchair quarterback)
posted by squirrel at 2:06 PM on February 27, 2004

i enjoyed reading that.
posted by jcruelty at 2:19 PM on February 27, 2004

posted by Grod at 3:09 PM on February 27, 2004

if only because you’ll get to see a lot of smug, famous media personalities humiliated, gangraped and executed along the way.

This is where I stopped, as I was too bored to go on.
posted by the fire you left me at 3:20 PM on February 27, 2004

Here's what I got:
  1. There are two kinds of censorship: bleeping out swear words and such, which is harmless, and spreading pleasing lies about the harsh reality of life, which is bad.
    • Forrest Gump is the apotheosis of this second kind of censorship

  2. The kind of censorship they would like to perform is to create programs which spread the truth about the harsh reality of life.
    • Certain perpetrators of the second kind of censorship should be killed
    • Drugs are not bad, but have been the victims of hypocrisy
Then I stopped reading. Funny thing is, I sort of agree with them in many respects. Mostly, the writing style seemed like a poor imitation of Seanbaby, and then I got nostalgic for OldManMurray, and I started crying, and I couldn't' read the last section.
posted by Hildago at 3:22 PM on February 27, 2004

Not one of their all-time classics (Burroughs said it better), but a good read. As a public service (at least for 4easypayments), here's the meat of the piece; just toss it on the griddle of your mind, stick it in a bun, and it's mm-mm good!
To make the news, your story has to be one of the consoling lies that a culture, any culture, tells itself to make the ordinary suckers’ lives seem bearable to them. If your bike is rearended at a stoplight and you spend the rest of your life tetraplegic, it’s not going to be on the news. It’s a big story to you, and it’s the kind of story total strangers enjoy hearing, if only out of morbid curiosity, but it won’t make the news. It’s too true. It’s not an exception.

But if you suddenly regain the ability to walk after years of lying there paralyzed, that’s news. The TV crews will film your every wobble. Not just because it’s unusual, but because it’s a consoling lie. Don’t think so? Try calling those same news crews a few months later, when you slip back into paralysis. See how many of them show up to film that big story.
posted by languagehat at 5:21 PM on February 27, 2004

I have to disagree with the idea that newscasters try to sell us on pleasing lies that make us more docile citizens. (Movies, maybe, but not the news.) As anyone who's ever watched the news regularly would know, the primary emotion pushed by most news organizations is fear. Fear of sharks, fear of terrorists, fear of shadowy conspiracies, fear of becoming a quadraplegic. The main thing newspeople want is not a happy, relaxed audience, but an audience paralyzed with irrational fears about stupid shit. That's how they keep the man down. Fight the power!
posted by fungible at 5:33 PM on February 27, 2004

Great article. One more reason I do not allow a TV in my house. The only way to win is not play the game.
posted by stbalbach at 6:13 PM on February 27, 2004

it was funnier when dolly parton did it
posted by angry modem at 9:30 PM on February 27, 2004

Fungible -- Exactly. Perhaps that's why I didn't get the article. Newscasts are 99% death, distruction, and paranoia, with one inspriring or pet-related story at the end to prevent you from spending the rest of the night hiding under your bed instead of watching Must See TV.
posted by 4easypayments at 1:05 AM on February 28, 2004

I don't think I've quite understood

Part of the eXile's particular edge is that they are an "ex-pat" paper based in Moscow. Mike Taibbi and crowd set it up to expose the corruption of the American aid/investment/journalist scene in Russia, and have a hoot pointing fingers at the the deep corruption of the Moscow money scene. They were very good at that, in fact. The catch was unique: in Russia there are virtually no libel laws. They could say anything and not be sued.

Having worked as a journalist, this last fact is a bit dangerous - if you can write any outrageous thing you ever wanted, and you do, who needs editors? And then they end up sounding like an ivy league college-boy frat party goes to Russia. (excuse me, Mr. Bush....)

When the Russian mafia forced the eXile to hire a "security guard" as "protection," they did what any newspaper would do - they gave the guy a column.
posted by zaelic at 2:24 AM on February 28, 2004

if only because you’ll get to see a lot of smug, famous media personalities humiliated, gangraped and executed along the way.

This is where I stopped, as I was too bored to go on.

Well, that was insightful. It's always helpful to know someone is bored.

(Don't bother mentioning the pointlessness of my comment, as I'm starting to bore myself.)
posted by krinklyfig at 4:13 AM on February 28, 2004

i wish that article wasnt prefaced with 'highly offensive' as i wasnt offended in the slightest and in fact really liked the article and now am left wondering if i should be offended and shouldntve liked the article. hm.
posted by c at 7:11 AM on February 28, 2004

I didn't see the offensive part, but I enjoyed this thoroughly. I've been thinking the same thing for years, but then again this guy actually wrote it out, so good for him!.
posted by clevershark at 7:29 AM on March 1, 2004

"Us intellectuals..."

...apparently haven't intellectualized proper grammar.
posted by crunchland at 7:35 AM on March 1, 2004

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