Monday, July 07, 2008

Gemini v. Aquarius & Bloggers v. MSM

A friend and family member who occasionally comments here, screen name TNPOTUS, is a professional writer and journalist, and unsurprisingly a Gemini Sun. I'm flattered that he even spends time reading my amateurish drivel. We share a broadly liberal outlook politically, but the primaries found us on different sides of the Clinton/Obama divide. He has vast knowledge and experience of American politics, I have only gut feelings and native Aquarian logic. I remain unabashed in my preference for Clinton and distrust of Obama. Sorry, TNPOTUS! In his Sunday column, in our local newspaper this week, he slipped in the following paragraph:

"So you don't trust what you hear and see from mainstream media (which these days includes FOX news), but you do put credence and trust in some self-proclaimed, uh, reporter or commentator in the blogosphere? That's not only curious, that's dangerous."

I realise that the above paragraph is aimed at his wide readership, and not at yours truly, even so, I feel a response coming on - a battle of the Air signs : Gemini versus Aquarius. Who would win in such a mythical contest? The wide ranging knowledge, lightning quick mind and easy communicative ability of Gemini, or the logic, analytical ability, rebelliousness and humanity of Aquarius? It's very hard to say. Aquarius is a Fixed sign, stubborn and determined. Gemini is a Mutable sign, changeable, adaptable, more apt to compromise.

Back to the issue raised by TNPOTUS. Why do I, and millions of other net-surfers choose to trust political blog-writers more than we do mainstream media? Easy answer for me - the mainstream media is owned, bought and paid for, by corporations, who seem to be the true owners of this country, and will allow it only to evolve in ways which are helpful to them. Bloggers, some of whom are professional writers, some have personal political experience too, have their own axes to grind - that much I'll accept. They write hoping to convince others of their own views, the best of them offer documented proof for their propositions and reasoning. When I read a political blog, I know which side of the left/right divide the writer is coming from, Republican or Democrat, whether the author is a Clinton, Obama or McCain supporter. Bloggers do not pretend to be impartial, they do not set themselves up as reporting straightforward news. We know we are getting slanted commentary.

Just this morning at Liberal Rapture, I read this, in the post headed "Fight On", describing the way many of us feel:

"I believe we are seeing the true power of the Internet in this election.......
We are on offense. How many of us even watch CNN or MSNBC anymore? We've moved on from Moveon. Some of us have left the Democratic Party. Many of us haven't made up our minds about what we're going to do in November but we've all agreed we're not voting for Obama.

Without the Internet would we have heard of Rezco or William Ayers?............. Would we know that Senator Obama made an off the cuff remark in San Fransisco belittling voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania? Or how about Michelle Obama's thesis? Would we be able to pull Obama's statements on FISA from February to compare what he's saying now? Would we be able to do the work that reporters used to do?........"

Mainstream media, however, supposedly reporting straightforward news, slants and spins it in such a way as to brainwash viewers/listeners/readers. A good proportion of the public remains innocent and unaware of what is being done.

And where have all the investigative reporters gone? Investigating only what their masters tell them to investigate, I guess. Other matters, which could prove to be important, are ignored.

I trust just a handful of political blog-writers. There are certainly some wolves in sheep's clothing in the blogosphere, best avoided. In contrast, I trust no political commentator on TV, not even Tom Brokaw, who is the best of a very bad bunch. Nor do I trust any writer in mainstream media (local newspapers don't qualify as mainstream media of course!)

"Dangerous" to put trust in bloggers you say, TNPOTUS ? I cannot agree. Mainstream media is dangerous, manipulatory and, these days, corrupt.

Returning to the astrological theme - Gemini versus Aquarius, in a contest of words and ideas, would almost always finish tied. Gemini versus any other sign - not as easy to call, but would likely be victorious. Aquarius versus any other sign (wink): all bets are off!


Molly Hall said...

Why do you diss yourself as amateurish?! That rang as discordant to my sense of what you know as an observant new american person and astro-wise woman.
I think the blog-o-sphere has 'leveled the playing field', and a lot of so called pro journalists don't like that. As a former ap reporter, I KNOW firsthand that it's a culture of not just corporate influence, but ego, peer pressure, status quo and feedback loops of acceptable reality.
What independent bloggers do is present views from outside established -- and often limited -- structures.
Sounds to me like Gemini snarky meeting Aquarian wisdom that everyone has the ability to Know, and the more freedom of thought from norms, the better.

anthonynorth said...

Regarding professional verses amateur, often the only difference is a lucky break.
You're right about not trusting main media - haven't done so for years.
Of course, there are many in the blogosphere I don't trust, but they tend to be quite open with their biases. They say things as they think them, whereas often main media will pass comment, judgement, etc, and class it as news.
Dangerous propaganda, that.

Adele Aldridge said...

I don't want to get into a battle about Gemini v.s. Aquarius. Aquarius is my favorite sign - being a Leo, I love all those qualities that I lack. I've been in love with a Gemini and a few Aquarians. This could take a book to elaborate on. Just to say that I am familiar with both signs intimately.

The point that I want to focus on is that disparagement of bloggers in general in your Gemini friend's remarks. That comes out of ignorance. Blogging is a form that the young have jumped into and is part of what gave Obama his win. By that I mean, the general use of all that is on the internet.

I'm old and I love computer technology but the geezers my age around me have no clue what I'm doing. Recently I was asked, "What are you doing today?" I usually don't like to answer that question because since it is always something on the internet or learning or creating on my computer, if I tell what I am doing I draw blank expressions and frankly, this gets very boring. So on this day I thought to myself, "Oh well, just tell her what you are doing and not worry if she gets it." So I said, "I'm in the middle of taking a course on blogging so I can switch to a self-hosted blog and learn more about what I can do with my blog."

The response I got was a laugh and a condescending patronizing remark, "Oh your blogging now." This was said with a snicker as if I were becoming almost senile, resorting to what the kids are doing. People blogging are not the senile ones.

Of course this response told me exactly where this woman was in her head and her own interest in anything going on in the field of technology beyond 1950. She is not alone. I constantly encounter people my age who actually BRAG about not using a computer. Probably this was what happened in the turn of the last century when some people got automobiles and many people with horses laughed derisively. I think this kind of response all stems from fear of the unknown as well as mental laziness to find out. Remember, Gemini may be quick but is not known for depth. He is fortunate to know an Aquarius like you to to keep him a bit up to date.

This is getting quite long for a response and still don't know if I made my point and could go on and on about all the issues brought up in your post.

Twilight said...

Molly - Hi!

Thanks for your kind comment, it's very encouraging.

I'm under no illusions as to my experience, or lack of it, in astrology, politics and writing in general. It's all down to the opportunity offered by the internet that I've been able to gain a little experience & hone any natural skills in all three areas - and I'm truly grateful for such an opportunity.

I realise that pro-journalists have to earn a living, and rebelling agains their masters would leave them out of a job.
I'm sure some of them - the ones with integrity - must feel terribly torn. Maybe some of them write on the internet under pen-names - that wouldn't surprise me a bit!

I've noticed many brilliant writers in blogland - some who would never have been read at all if it weren't for this wonderful cyber-arena, and some others who may be gaining freedom from their masters! :-)

Twilight said...

Hiya AN!

Propaganda! Yes, indeed.
If the internet does nothing else it helps to shine a light on the dangers which lurk just under the surface when one group of people acquire too much power. It allows us to converse across thousands of miles with people we'd never have had the opportunity of speaking with a decade ago, and it opens our eyes to many different points of view.

To my mind it's the greatest and most important development of the past 50 years. It give the people a voice again!

Twilight said...

Adele - hello !

I've encountered similar attitudes among my own age group - I'm no longer young too (I refuse to say I'm old, 'cos that's a state of mind - lol!)

My Gemini friend is a very genuine guy, the quote I used doesn't tell the whole story of his personality -I feel I must defend him a little bit. He speaks, I think, to defend his colleagues in the MSM, with feelings of loyalty to the career he loves. The attitude of being averse to bloggers is one which was bound to emerge, but I think it will slowly dissolve in time.

It's the Saturn v. Uranus thing at work, I guess - some people follow the old ways, some eagerly embrace the new, and each group have difficulty relating to the other.

As you say there's plenty of room for discussion and debate on this topic, trouble is, those who refuse to use techology can't put their case forward in this arena.
It's a pity.

R J Adams said...

As a fellow Gemini I'm staying well out of this one!

The Next President of the United States said...

Goodness gracious, one simple paragraph in a bits 'n' pieces column seems to have stimulated conversation, which was its purpose. Was never intended as a manifesto against bloggers and the sport of blogging!

Do find it amusing and troubling, though, that so many folks have bought into the "Mainstream Media is the Problem" mantra that has worked so effectively for the conservative rightwingers for the past quarter century.

Otherwise, I'm with Mr. Adams - I'm staying out of this one!!

Twilight said...

Thought you might, RJ ! LOL! ;-)

Twilight said...


We'll stop throwing rotten eggs and release you from the cyber village stocks now! :-)

I don't really understand the bit about the mantra and right-wing conservatives - things are just too complicated and tangled.

The current split in the left though must be playing right into conservative hands!