Sunday, September 26, 2010

Influential Liars

Time to resume after a month's break. It was good to stand back and see my blogs as a reader for a bit rather than as their author. After reviewing your many thoughtful comments, I have drawn two conclusions.

First, regarding Nunaview. I had originally hoped it would convey an idea of the Nunavut Territory as a relatively non-partisan perch from which to observe governnents, the press, and the effect each is having on North America's current self-image. Seven months later, however, I'm finding that my fellow Nunavummiut come to this blog expecting to see a picture of our own governments, our own press and our own life, not the rest of the world. More than that, they are desperate for a more constructive description and analysis of what is going on right here at home than we get from other sources.

From a second group of readers, one that includes several prestigious members of the established press in both Canada and the United States, I have heard that most blogging is a mere echo, a stream of parasitic opinion feeding off harder, genuine 'news'.

That comment cuts deep. It speaks to the original intent of this blog, which was to expose and analyse the debilitating hidden assumptions underlying much purportedly harder journalism from our so-called 'mainstream media'.

I'm as fed up as you are of the cliché embedded in those two words. I just don't know how else to label elements of our contemporary press who have voluntarily donned a straightjacket of the narrowest possible scope, with their Pablum of permissible talking-points ensuring only a few tightly controlled self-perpetuating biases are eligible for coverage.

My recent period of reflexion has convinced me there is enough truth in each of the above two criticisms, that I should split my blogs in two. Nunaview will become a more recognizably Nunavutian view of itself, Nunavut, and I encourage you to continue checking it for more home and culturally focused posts. For the news junkies among us, or those who enjoy my ornery analysis of misleading assumptions and distortions from our leaders and news media, come here and help me expose those most "Influential Liars".

The time has come to move beyond simply thinking we are being lied to. It is time to show exactly how it is being done. With your help, let's offer specific examples from now on.

I am betting we all crave an alternative to the dreary inventory of social boils and puss heaped on us by local and national publications. I assume we expect more from our intellectual leadership than streams of rhetorical Clearasil. Our cream-hued institutions, including our press, are developing an increasingly assimilationist complexion and that only disguises the festering post-colonial zits that plague our best of intentions.

Every time a news report frames a challenge in our communities with a narrative that despairs of a solution, let's expose it. The time has come to throw off the shackling mindsets that bind us.

A tall order. I know. We will be amateurs, both of us, dabbling where the professional wolves dominate and are so expert at mocking and belittling such attempts as ours. It might take a year or two to hone our skills and our instincts.

But our firm intent should be to gradually retell our own story, using all the same truths, using all the documented history the nay-sayers love to wallow in, but to reweave that cloth into a map of a way forward, not one that keeps us going 'round and 'round an endless Ring Road of frustration.

Care to join me?