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Now it's true, with the Internet, anyone with a little energy CAN inform themselves.  But I remember when I abandoned the corporate media in 1982 as hopeless, it was HARD to stay informed.  I had read newspapers religiously since I was 11 and I went into acute withdrawal.  It took several years to find my way again.

I can relate to that because I was inculcated with the idea that reading papers is something a self-respecting citizen does to stay informed but when you find howler after howler in the newspapers of record you sort of give up, and then what?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 01:51:17 PM EST
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I can relate to that because I was inculcated with the idea that reading papers is something a self-respecting citizen does to stay informed but when you find howler after howler in the newspapers of record you sort of give up, and then what?

Yeah!  Me too.  My mother used to scoff at people who didn't read newspapers.  She would say, "Folks who can read and will not are MUCH worse than people who cannot read at all."

I WISH the newspapers of record were good.  It would make my life MUCH easier.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 02:01:29 PM EST
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My own newspaper of record is El Pais, which I have given up on a long time ago and just keeps getting worse.
the journalist thought that DeLay was the biographer of Bush and now Obama. Which means this is probably not even a "foreign correspondent" (the story has no place listed in the byline) but just an internet copy job by a journalist in Madrid.
El Pais online has a "send in a correction" button. I sent in a correction that Tom DeLay is not Bush's biographer but a former texas Congressman who shares a biographer with Bush and Obama, and they still haven't corrected it.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 02:05:30 PM EST
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I am so sorry to hear that.  I have been under the impression that Spain is in its new Golden Age (something I am certain the football fans agree with).

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"
by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 02:11:54 PM EST
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Well, I don't know about a Golden Age.

Not to speak of the fact that the first (artistic) Golden Age coincided with an age of political and economic decay (and cultural strangulation by religion).

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 02:16:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh I'm not so certain that artists should define a Golden Age.

For most of my life, Spain wasn't even on my intellectual map.  I went out of my way to cultivate bright foreign friends--part of how I "educated" myself when I discovered most of what I read was, at best, silly.  It's why I had a book published in Finland almost three years before I was published in USA.  But Spain--not so much.

But Franco dies.  Spain finally seems to have gotten the Basque problem "solved" to the point where people aren't killing each other.  The voters throw out a government willing to lie about a terrorist bomb.  I find out they are BIG into wind power.  They win a big football championship at a level that usually makes them "choke."

YOU!

And suddenly Spain is on my intellectual map.  Thank you!

Now go figure out your water problem.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 04:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This guy is largely responsible for Spain's progress in the 1980's.

I'm not so certain that artists should define a Golden Age

Well, that's what the Spanish Golden Age (17th century) is all about, because other than literature and painting there isn't much to write home about.

Spain actually had something going for it in the 15th and 16th centuries, but then the Reformation happened, Spain put itself at the forefront of the Counterreformation, and started doing silly things like forbidding their scholars from interacting with Protestant scholars, and 400 years later Franco dies, and...

Yeah, not much to write home about for 400 years other than literature and painting.

Being an empire where the sun doesn't set is not good for you...

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 05:32:52 PM EST
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Great art is usually a symptom of aristocracy. You need plenty of surplus income to fund the arts, and you need a giant ego to feel good about funding the arts in a way which reflects on your personal glory.

Artistocrats have both, so historically, art tends to be more marginalised during more populist periods.

The one exception was the 20th century, when mass media made it possible to create a mass market for music and design - but not so much for fine art, which with only a few exceptions (Guernica...) remained aspirational and/or aristocratic.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jul 1st, 2008 at 04:21:56 AM EST
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Eric Hobsbawm in The Age of Extremes noted that one distinctive feature of the 20th Century was that, for the first time in history, cultural fashions derived not from aristocratic sources but rather from pop culture.

In  many ways, it seems to me, movies have replaced courtly sculpture and painting.  Of course there are movies that are targeted at a more up scale audience as well as the summer block busters. And QEII can well afford to commission portraits, landscapes and sculptures, but they don't seem to have the same effect as in earlier times.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jul 1st, 2008 at 03:00:36 PM EST
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Hey, Finland has an empire on which the sun never sets... Half the year, at least :-P

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jul 1st, 2008 at 12:09:46 PM EST
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I've come late to your article about him, but I found him very much buying the Europe. Is. Doomed frame. Why?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 2nd, 2008 at 11:16:30 AM EST
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I don't know, I think he got serious.

Do you think it's worth turning the discussion in the comment thread into a letter to him?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 2nd, 2008 at 11:24:31 AM EST
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(a lot of our comment threads are worth turning into letters)

(which I think is ET's problem: too much good content is buried deep down in threads that only the hard core members read)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 2nd, 2008 at 11:30:12 AM EST
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Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Jul 6th, 2008 at 02:03:51 PM EST
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There is no shortage of good writing on the internet, from traditional sources or otherwise. You have to cultivate your sources yourself, of course, but the morning paper was never good enough to get a person all the accurate information they needed anyway. We're at the front end (where things still look bleak) of a solid era in journalism, but few are taking notice because we're lamenting the death of the newspaper.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 02:06:06 PM EST
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The agencies.

Not that they don't publish nonsense or omit uncomfortable facts, but the twenty-word format of their releases mean that at least the facts that they deign to include are nicely concentrated instead of spread across half a square metre of page. And you escape the stupid tea-leaf-reading, horse-race coverage that passes for political analysis in the regular papers.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 02:06:41 PM EST
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Exactly, what's the point of buying a newspaper which is mostly a disguised collection of agency wires and press releases?

I know many people buy El Pais mostly for the columnists.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 30th, 2008 at 02:08:56 PM EST
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In Copenhagen we have a couple of free newspapers which are almost exclusively Agency stories. Well, that and a few fluff pieces (no scandalously-clad females, though, that market is already cornered by one of the commercial newspapers). That's where I go for news. That and the radio, although the latter less and less as it gets progressively more contaminated with corporate "thinking" and government apparatchiks.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jul 1st, 2008 at 12:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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