[Marxism] thoughts on latest news

g.maclennan at qut.edu.au g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Fri Aug 4 16:12:46 MDT 2006

I will be travelling for the next ten days or so and as a consequence my access to this list and the news will be somewhat disrupted.  But I thought I would have  a few last words before heading off to the airport.

Here in Oz the war has dropped in the news values.  Mel Gibson's drunken shenanigans easily pushed it from the number one slot. There are of course no Australian refugees to demand coverage and so tradiitional news values prevail.  Israelis continue to slaughter Arabs but "Hey isn't that dog bites man stuff?"  Where are the news values in that?

Yesterday I showed my students the _Cease Fire Now_ film from <www.palestinianpundit.blogspot.com>.  They were stunned.  I also showed several videos from CNN and Foxnews.  They were greeted with derision.

I asked the students to meditate on if the West could see these films, whether attitudes towards the war would be different. I pointed out that the Arab world does see these images and they are not bored by the war and they do not think Mel Gibson's drunkenness is more newsworthy.

Which brings me to my central pooint of the essential immorality of the West. We have lived the dominanace of neo-liberal economics for three decades now and as Long John Silver said "You can't touch pitch and not be mucked".

Yesterday a teacher friend had a session with a class of 14 year olds over their goals and how to prioritise achieving them.  The goals included the usual being a star, famous, rich, a soccer player, band leader etc.

There was an exception however.  One student wrote "I want to be an Imam and to help the poor".

It is hard to see it now from this spot, but the future belongs to that boy because he wants to help his fellow human beings. His is the ethical impulse of love and compassion - the heart of the most heartless of worlds, and his values will prevail or there will be no world.



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