Dr. Dawg

The shades of night

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Parliament night.jpg

Two connected items of interest in the past few days. First, Harper sends his CRA squadristi to harass a bunch of birdwatchers who dared write to a couple of Ministers to express concerns about the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees. Of course, he says it had nothing to do with him. Ah, if only the Tsar knew!

Have to keep tabs on those radical environmentalists. But, speaking of radicals, how about the fellow who ran down two members of the Canadian Forces, killing one? “Federal authorities have confirmed that there are clear indications that the individual had become radicalized.” The RCMP issued a very similar statement: “This individual was known to federal authorities including our Integrated National Security Investigations team in Montreal who along with other authorities were concerned that he had become radicalized.”

After a lazy few hours, the corporate media shook themselves out of their comfortable torpor and filled in a few blanks: the assailant had “jihadi sympathies” and a Facebook page wherein these were expressed. Ah, that kind of radical. But that’s not the language used by the PMO, or the RCMP, or Harper in the House this week.

One can never pay too much attention to wording. From a close focus on “Islamism” to the even scarier “Islamicism,” the powers that be have now zoomed out to “radicalism,” a category that has the advantage of capturing in its linguistic driftnet everything from jihadists to a covey of elderly birdwatchers.

And the corporate media are snoozing on the job. Indeed, one could argue that snoozing—inducing snoozing, at least—is their job: I’m not talking tinfoil-helmet stuff here, but groupthink. Their incessant lullabies soothe the already weary. Nothing to see; move along. It can’t happen here. Sleep, little ones, sleep. Every new outrage can be explained away, or, if not, simply brushed aside: the birdwatcher story, broken by the CBC, has been ignored by the corporate media. Beneath their notice? Or just too difficult to incorporate into the prevailing narrative that nothing is really amiss?

Even for columnist Andrew Coyne, one of the very few pundits with some intellectual heft, there’s just nothing there. It’s all mere style. Progressives are hysterics who imagine we’re already living under fascism.

As I’ve said before—no, we’re not. But the complacent denials that anything could possibly be wrong with Harper’s governance other than its trademark brutishness and disregard for Parliamentary convention are becoming a little too much for me. The default position of our MSM is positively Panglossian. That’s no more helpful than alarmist cries that fascism is already upon us.

Journalists and pundits, your stock-in-trade is words. Start paying attention when the official vocabulary changes, rather than acting like bloody stenographers.

NOTE: After I began writing this, chaos broke out on Parliament Hill. Reports at this stage, as you might expect, are confused. Downtown Ottawa is pretty well on full lockdown, and at least one person is dead, likely a suspect, inside the Centre Block, while a soldier at the War Memorial was shot in the chest. A second suspect was said to be on the roof of Parliament.

The ability to mobilize violent nutcases from afar by telling them to give into their psychotic impulses for The Greater Good is obviously amplified by the instantaneous communications provided by social media. I will admit, though, that I never thought it would be this easy.

I will not speculate either about this series of events (including the hit-and-run in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) or the political uses to which it may be put. Let us hope, however, that the media do not succumb to calling these new murderous lunatics “radicals.”

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on October 22, 2014 11:55 AM.

Blurred lines: Harper and the f-word was the previous entry in this blog.

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