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Fake News: Postmodernism By Another Name 

Exhibition Clip; Revolution of the Eye Modern Art and the Birth of American Television The Jewish Museum May 1 – September 20, 2015; Organized by the Jewish Museum, New York, and the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Exhibition Curator: Maurice Berger

victor-davis-hVictor Davis Hanson writes: After the election, Democrats could not explain the inexplicable defeat of Hillary Clinton, who would be, they thought, the shoo-in winner in November. Over the next three months until Inauguration Day, progressives floated a variety of explanations for the Trump win—none of them, though, mentioned that the Clinton campaign had proven uninspired, tactically inept, and never voiced a message designed to appeal to the working classes.

When a particular exegesis of defeat failed to catch on, it was mostly dropped—and then replaced by a new narrative. We were told that the Electoral College wrongly nullified the popular vote—and that electors had a duty to renege on their obligations to vote for their respective state’s presidential winner.

“Fake news is something quite different. It is not merely a public figure’s spinning of half-truths. It is largely a media-driven, and deliberate attempt to spread a false narrative to advance a political agenda that otherwise would be rejected by a common-sense public.”

Then followed the narrative of Trump’s racist dog-whistle appeals to the white working classes. When it was reported that Barack Obama had received a greater percentage of the white votes than did either John Kerry in 2004 or Hillary Clinton in 2016, the complaint of white chauvinism too faded.

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“The methodology is to manufacture a narrative attractive to a herd-like progressive media that will then devour and brand it as fact—and even lobby for government redress.”

Then came the allegation that FBI Director James Comey had given the election to Trump by reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails just days before Election Day. That fable too evaporated when it was acknowledged that Comey had earlier intervened to declare Clinton without culpability and would so again before November 8.

[Read the more here, at Hoover Institution]

Then came the trope that Vladimir Putin’s hackers stole the election—on the theory that the Wikileaks revelations had turned off the electorate in a way the Clinton candidacy otherwise would not have. That storyline then evolved into the idea of Russian propagandists and Trump supporters variously peddling “fake news” to websites to promulgate myths and distortions—as a grand plan to Hillary Clinton and give Trump the election.

More specifically, it was alleged that Trump’s exaggerations and fabrications—from his allegations about Barack Obama’s birth certificate to rumor-mongering about Ted Cruz’s father—had so imperiled journalism that the media in general was forced to pronounce there was no longer a need to adhere to disinterested reporting in the traditional sense.

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“No one has described the methodology of fake news better than Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor for Barack Obama and brother of the president of CBS News, David Rhodes.”

The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour confessed that they could not be fair in reporting the news in the era of Donald Trump. Apparently, being fair had become tantamount to being a co-conspirator in Trump falsity. The New York Times in a post-election op-ed explained why it had missed the Trump phenomenon, admitting, but not necessarily lamenting, that its own coverage of the election had not been fair and balanced.

“Ben Rhodes cynically bragged about how the Obama administration had sold the dubious Iran deal through misinformation picked up by an adolescent but sympathetic media (for which Rhodes had only contempt).

Yet all politicians fib and distort the truth—and they’ve been doing so since the freewheeling days of the Athenian ekklesia. Trump’s various bombastic allegations and claims fall into the same realm of truthfulness as Obama’s statement “if you like your health plan, you can keep it”—and were thus similarly cross-examined by the media.

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 “As Rhodes put it, ‘The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.’”

Yet fake news is something quite different. It is not merely a public figure’s spinning of half-truths. It is largely a media-driven, and deliberate attempt to spread a false narrative to advance a political agenda that otherwise would be rejected by a common-sense public. The methodology is to manufacture a narrative attractive to a herd-like progressive media that will then devour and brand it as fact—and even lobby for government redress.

[Read the full story here, at Hoover Institution]

Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen has never been to Prague to negotiate quid pro quo deals with the Russians. Trump did not watch Russian strippers perform pornographic acts in the bedroom that Barack Obama once stayed in during a visit to Moscow. Yet political operatives, journalists, and even intelligence officers, in their respective shared antipathy to Trump, managed to lodge these narratives into the public consciousness and thereby establish the “truth” that a degenerate Trump was also a Russian patsy.

No one has described the methodology of fake news better than Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor for Barack Obama and brother of the president of CBS News, David Rhodes. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘But Found This Octopus Instead!’

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[PHOTO] Author Carson McCullers

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“Next to music, beer was best.”
Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter


‘Taxi Driver’: The Book

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Pulp Fiction: Cover illustration by H. L. Parkhurst for Spicy Mystery, June, 1935

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Pulp Fiction: ‘Verdict’, July 1953

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Pulp Cover: ‘Mammoth Mystery’ 25¢

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Vintage Paperback Book Cover: ‘A Novel of the Private World of Foreign Correspondents’

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‘Dog Eat Dog’, by Mary Collins. 1949

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July 1949 Scribner hardcover

March 1951 Bantam reissue, first printing


Edgar Rice Burroughs ‘Tarzan of the Apes’

TARZAN


Pulp Cover: ‘Thrilling Mystery’

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Pulp Covers


Pulp Fiction: ‘Final Terror’

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Pulp Covers


Pulp Fiction: ‘Don’t Tempt the Hangman’

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Pulp Fiction: ‘Unfinished Business

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Seattle Mystery Bookshop


Where Dietary-Fat Guidelines Went Wrong

From the Department of ‘We Got That Memo Already’

TIME

A little fat may not be harmful, while too much of it can be unhealthy, and even fatal. But in the latest review of studies that investigated the link between dietary fat and causes of death, researchers say the guidelines got it all wrong. In fact, recommendations to reduce the amount of fat we eat every day should never have been made.

Reporting in the journalOpenHeart, Zoe Harcombe, a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at University of the West of Scotland, and her colleagues say that the data decisionmakers had in 1977, when the first U.S. guidelines on dietary fat were made, did not provide any support for the idea that eating less fat would translate to fewer cases of heart disease, or that it would save lives.

[time-brightcove videoid=3619144914001]

“The bottom line is that there wasn’t evidence for those guidelines to be introduced,” she says. “One of the…

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‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’: Poster Illustrations, Swedish & U.S., 1951

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Swedish poster for The Day the Earth Stood Still (left) Compare to the U.S. poster (right)

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Banned Books: A Reading Challenge For 2015


Economics: $34 Billion Headline of the Day

34billion-Unicorns

 


[BOOKS] Erle Stanley Gardner’s ‘This is Murder

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This Is Murder (1960)

1935 Morrow hardcover published under the pen name Charles J. Kenney

This was his seventh published novel, after the first five Perry Mason books and one with the pen name Carleton Kendrake the year before.

pulp covers – Seattle Mystery Bookshop


Vintage Hardback: ‘The Corpse Wore the Wrong Perfume’ The Smell of Murder

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[PHOTO] Ernest Hemingway

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“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”

— Ernest Hemingway

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Vintage Sci-Fi Image of the Day: After Doomsday

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Ralph Brillhart – After Doomsday

The Science Fiction Gallery


Vintage Pulp Fiction Cover Art of the Day: Horizontal Secretary

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Vintage Pulp Fiction Book Cover Art of the Day: Behind the Iron Curtain

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Vintage Pulp Fiction Book Cover of the Day: ‘The Case of the Shoplifter’s Shoe’

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Vintage Pulp Cover Art of the Day: Thrill Crazy, Kill Crazy, Gun Crazy

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Exclusive: Object in Malaysian Satellite Image Identified, White House says “No Comment”

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EXCLUSIVE: Transcript of Kerry’s Phone Call to Netanyahu Complaining About Insults

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Secretary of State John Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning to protest insults the Israeli defense minister directed at the Obama administration this week, the State Department said. —  thehill.com

Punditfromanotherplanet obtained an exclusive transcript of the phone conversation between Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The following is a declassified portion of a recording of their communication from Wednesday, March 19th, 2014:

Kerry: Bibi? This is John. What the hell?

Netanyahu: John, I was going to call you.

Kerry: Bibi, you tell Ya’alon we’ve had enough of his reckless comments. “Messianic”?

Netanyahu: I understand you’re upset. I spoke to Ya’alon this morning and…

Kerry: That’s not the least of it! Ya’alon said the President of the United States is a “back-scratching, herb-tea-drinking, thumb-sucking Ivy League poser”, and a “golf-playing moron”.

Netanyahu: There’s nothing in the news reports that indicate Ya’alon said anything like that, John…

Kerry: This is not just about the news reports, Bibi. Some of these comments were off the record. Phone calls. Diplomatic cables…

Netanyahu: You have…wait a minute. How do you have Ya’alon’s private phone calls? I don’t even have…

Kerry: Bibi, you tell Ya’alon to back off. Tell him the United States expects a formal apology. And I want his personal apology.

Netanyahu: John, if these are just his private comments, phone calls…I seriously doubt…

Kerry: Then he called me “Obama’s little bitch” Little bitch?!

Netanyahu: (laughter)

Kerry: Bibi, this is not funny.

Netanyahu: I’m sorry John, you…Ya’alon..he’s just screwing with you. You can’t let it get to you.

Read the rest of this entry »


Wax Statue of Vladimir Putin Mysteriously Appears in Lobby at Madame Tussauds in London

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Security guards at Madame Tussauds in London discovered a life-sized wax statue of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the lobby of the museum late Sunday night, with no identifying tags or documents associated with it. London police were called at 2:00 a.m. Sunday night, when the guards first discovered it.

“We don’t know where it came from. We didn’t commission it, or ask for it, and we don’t understand how it got in our lobby. We’re obviously very concerned.”

— Oliver MacGuffin, Tussauds spokesman

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Madame Tussauds in London

Curators and experts have been called in to examine the statue, in an effort to determine its origins, but have so far yielded no clues as to the source of the statue.

“It’s very lifelike. I was startled, when I saw it. I felt like it was looking at me…”

— A janitor at Tussauds

No immediate sign of a break-in were found, but a spokesman for Madame Tussauds cautioned that the investigation is still underway, and security measures are under review.

“…At first I assumed it was in the collection and was temporarily placed in the lobby, or had been moved for cleaning, but then realized, we don’t have a statue of Putin.”

–A  Tussauds security guard

A Tussauds spokesman offered assurances that the museum will be open, as usual, but that the unidentified statue would not be on display to the public, citing security concerns.


Vintage Paperback Book Cover Art of the Day

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[Amazon has it: Perry Mason Solves the Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink]

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Books: The Authentic Hemingway

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Joshua Kotin on The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, Vol. 2 : 1923-1925

Joshua Kotin  writes:  Ernest Hemingway’s from the summer and fall of 1925 are especially thrilling. “I’ve written six chapters on a novel and am going great about 15,000 words already,” he tells Sylvia Beach in August. Two weeks later, in a letter to Ezra Pound, he declares, “48,000 words writ. […] If novel not suppressed sh’d sell 8 million copies.” “It is a hell of a fine novel,” he tells Jane Heap a few days later; “Written very simply and full of things happening and people and places and exciting as hell and no autobiographical 1st novel stuff.” Then in a letter to his father in September, he triumphantly announces, “I have finished my novel — 85,000 words — and am very tired inside and out.”

The completion of The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway’s first novel, is the denouement of the second volume of his letters, which collects his correspondence from 1923 to 1925. (The first volume, published in 2011, includes letters from 1907 to 1922.) The letters document his development as a writer, his life in Paris and Toronto (where he worked as a reporter for the Toronto Star), his travels across Europe (including to Pamplona and Schruns), his marriage to Hadley Richardson and the birth of their son, and his friendships and quarrels with Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ford Madox Ford, Sherwood Anderson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many others. The letters are a real time version of A Moveable Feast, combining the memoir’s romantic and gossipy depiction of expatriate life with a powerful sense of precarity. Hemingway describes his life as a struggling writer without knowledge of his future success.

Read the rest of this entry »


Books: Pulp Paranoia

manfrommarsThe Man From Mars: Ray Palmer’s Amazing Pulp Journey, by Fred Nadis, Tarcher, 289 pages, $28.95.

  writes:  One winter day in 1943 an odd letter arrived at the offices of the sci-fi pulp magazine Amazing Stories. The author, a steelworker named Richard Shaver who had spent some time in mental institutions, claimed to have uncovered “an immensely important find”: the ancient alphabet of a “wiser race” that preceded humanity on Earth. An amused staffer read some entertainingly weird bits of the correspondence out loud, and dropped the document into the trash.

His boss immediately retrieved it. “You call yourself an editor?” he asked.

The man who salvaged and then published the papers was Ray Palmer, the Milwaukee-bred subject of Fred Nadis’s new biography The Man From Mars. Palmer’s editorial instincts turned out to be sound: Shaver’s letter may have been ludicrous, but it inspired a lot of reader interest. And it made Shaver a part of theAmazing Stories stable, an association that proved very profitable for Palmer’s magazine.

Read the rest of this entry »


Two-Fisted Fiction from The Man of Steel

Just a reminder, for those of you who haven’t yet downloaded author Robert Ferrigno’s latest book The Girl Who Cried Wolf

Deep in the archives here at punditfromanotherplanet, I found this rare file photo of Robert from the early days.

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Before Ferrigno was a Best-Selling Crime Fiction/Thriller Novelist, and Narrative Designer and Content Creator for Game Studios, he was one of the founding Editors of The Rocket, the World’s Greatest Magazine, and a high-flying Features Writer at The Orange County Register

This photo is likely from when he was moonlighting on his first novel, The Horse Latitudes, while still at the Register

—The Butcher

 THE GIRL WHO CRIED WOLF

Order your copy now

 


Repost | Guest Post: Robert Ferrigno, author of The Girl Who Cried Wolf

From Aliveontheshelves.com:

By Lisa. Filed in Guest Posts  |  

It’s Friday and I am letting the writers do the work for me! Today, I’ve got a really interesting guest post from Robert Ferrigno, author of The Girl Who Cried Wolf, which just came out in February. You know that I love to hear from writers about their process — how they write, how they get inspired — and Robert has a unique process. I think you’ll be as fascinated as I was!

Look Around and Listen—We Are All Characters

One of the most useful skills a writer can develop is the ability to pay attention, to notice the things going around you. The bits of conversation, the clothes, the physical and verbal and non-verbal interactions of people. A good fiction writer is first and foremost a good observer, a good reporter. The best fiction is drawn from real events, real people and real problems.

The characters in my latest book, The Girl Who Cried Wolf, come from the people that I met while working as a reporter in Southern California. It was a great job, one in which I could write about nearly anything, though I tended to lean towards what piqued my interest—California sleaze balls, new money and youth culture.

I was a reporter for eight years and in that time I wrote hundreds of profiles, interviews what I called “involved journalism.” I flew with the Blue Angels, and was even given the stick, whereupon I inadvertently threw my pilot and I into a barrel-roll. I did desert survival training. I drove race cars, went on midnight runs with auto repo men and reported on women who made their living entering bikini contests. (My wife was less than happy about that one) What I am doing now with my crime novels is using those same reporting skills, but with a spin, an ability to let the characters breathe and take me and the reader where things are most interesting. I use current headlines to form of basis of The Girl Who Cried Wolf, and use people I’ve met along the way as characters.

My style of writing may differ from the methods used by other writers. Having earned degrees in filmmaking, creative writing and philosophy, I use skills derived from each to formulate a plot and create characters. Through the use of filmmaking techniques such as storyboarding, I am able to visualize my books. When I write I think like an actor. I hear dialogue in my head and oftentimes find myself walking around my house, speaking to myself in different voices. (My family has learned to ignore this) I become the character.

Though this approach may not work for all writers, I can honestly say that above all else, the best advice I could give to a new or established writer is that the world is trying to help you with your writing. Notice how the people around you dress, their choice of shoes, their jewelry or lack of jewelry, their speech pattern, their slang. Each choice people make in how they present themselves to the world can be used by the writer in the characters they create and the plots they  write about.

As a narrative designer in the video game industry, my eyes were opened to the video game world which was an evolution for me. The video game office is a place where people come to work in their pajamas or in, what those in the “real world” would call—semi costumes. It doesn’t even raise an eyebrow—whether it’s men in kilts or women wearing furry hats. I spend a lot of my time taking it all in, making mental notes, but I’m also a guy who wears basic black and hightops every day, so I’m sure I am a source of amusement also.

The most important takeaway from what I have learned in my professional experience is to simply listen. If you want to talk to someone or compile research for a book, approach the people you meet without an agenda—I learned this as a reporter. Just talk to people. What you may not realize is that the way that people talk and what they say makes for such great dialogue. If you want to capture a character with wonderful dialogue that you can hear in your head, consider taking it from people you have already met. You know what they look like, how they sound and what they said—now turn them into a character. I believe this is one of the most useful skills a writer can have. Most people want to tell you their story. All you have to do is listen… and find the deeper story within.

For more information, check out his website at  http://robertferrigno.com/

via Guest Post: Robert Ferrigno, aliveontheshelves.com