Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Guardian

Although I was stung when Noam Chomsky included the Guardian in Manufacturing Consent, I have come to respect this news source. In general, I'm somewhat wary of all mainstream media, especially when it stirs up kerfuffles like Obama and Wright (At least the NY Times quoted Achelpohl who stated, "This is a media-driven thing and a presidential candidate shouldn’t have to vet every person that he has had a relationship with in his life."). I frequently read the Weekly, an outstanding publication with features from Le Monde and the Washington Post, (I particularly enjoy World roundup, Comment&Debate, Culture, Books, and Diversions). The Guardian is also one of the RSS feeds in my Bookmarks Toolbar Folder. What stands out about the Guardian though is its extensive adoption of modern technology, e.g., podcasts, interactive maps, and more than the usual superficial reference to blogs. The City Guides are excellent; they are podcast tours of a number of European cities. I just listened to the Paris 1968 walking tour. Although I was not in Paris at the time, I know the city well enough to follow along in my mind. If you listen you will learn much about the city and the period; here are my favourite parts. Near the middle Sarah Wilson states, "Paris designed by Haussman is a series of very very direct boulevards designed really for military things; in fact, confrontations with the police, which is what 68 is all about. In fact, the situationist idea goes all the way back to surrealism with the important ideas of psycho-geography, finding surprising and weird places in the secret Paris, but also to in, more important, 68 ideas that of dérive (swerving) and détournement (diversion) ..." Just before the end Andrew Hussey states, "It is truly the first post-modern revolution, that is to say, it's not a revolution driven by nineteenth century Marxist ideas of class, but to do with boredom, boredom with consumer capitalism, to do with a sense that everyday life itself is a con trick that's been perpetrated on us."

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