Tuesday 26th of September 2023

culture in a petri-cracy dish...

petri dish

Media is there to entertain us — not to inform us. The product of choice is inanity.

When media tries to inform us it's always with twisted view points and a pander to our express desire to be distracted from reality with make-believe "reality" and to feed our pre-munched bigotry... And the more we enjoy the make-belief, the more we develop the habit to be entertained with illusions until we get bored and demand more powerful entertainment. The process is addictive as it presses the buttons of our creature of habits, with cleverly added "surprising" increments to alleviate the habit of habit-forming... Like a drug addict, we need stronger doses of inanity to make us enjoy more inanity...

THE viewer behind My Kitchen Rules biggest Twitter fan account has declared he now "can't stand" the reality show and will be watching rival program, The Block from now on.

After updating his 17,000 dedicated followers with every kitchen thrill and spill since the program began on January 28, Grant Alexander says he has now lost all interest in the program and has slammed it as badly scripted, fake and no longer about the cooking.
Alexander has tweeted more than 1,700 times from the MKR_AU account, with thousands of viewers happily joining in the conversation each night.
But now, he says he's had enough.
"Not interested in the show any more," he told his army of loyal followers today. "As a fan I am not happy with the direction the show has gone this year. I've started watching #TheBlock"
"How funny would it be if I live tweeted @TheBlock9 tonight from this account? That would send a strong message!"It wasn't long before Channel Nine saw the opportunity and tweeted him saying: @MKR_AU You should! It's our MASSIVE #GrandFinaleWeek on #TheBlock and it's going to be a BLOCKbuster! Chat with you again at 7 o'BLOCK :)
The lack of a Channel Seven MKR Twitter handle, meant many fans and media - ironically including Seven and Sunrise themselves - were tweeting the account thinking it was the show's official Twitter handle.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/television/my-kitchen-rules-biggest-fan-account-boycotts-show-in-favour-of-the-block/story-e6frfmyi-1226599976898#ixzz2NsTwG4Kq
Cooking up a storm: Massive 3.238million viewers for #mkr nationally. Metro audience 2.228m
My heart bleeds... My brain blinks.
Just joking.... This super-important "news" item begs a few question about our cultural priorities. Are these crappy stories being promoted as front page "news" on webbies (websites), so important to our cultural psyche?... So controversial for our mental health to make a life-determinant choice?

This is not a new question.... 
To be or not to be watching our navel has been with us since the dawn of time. A kitchen storm versus a plaster-of-Paris splat is only the new battle ground for our stoned-mullet persona...

For many years there has always been rampant stupid entertainment designed to foster complete ignorance in society— with bells and whistles...  The churches and their religious theatre for example were designed to maintain our stoned-sardines morality. No problem with that. 

But now the whacky modern ideologies of idiots are using more powerful tools, like this juggler who plays with three live petrol-driven chain-saws instead of tennis balls... They have individualised the church of operation... Cathedrals have been replaced with small screens, to which one does not pray but one gulps addictive fizz — like sermons from the pulpits of the insane.  Yep, they use TV, media press and all communication platforms, including the twittering in instants of ignorance — like one used to drink instant coffee for convenience... They have their own guru of imbecility. They even have their own cult movies such as Dumb and Dumber that get Oscarina for naked store dummies or Dumb Ass.

Dumb becomes the new level in intelligence as it waddles in bitchiness. It sits between stupid and mad. It is cherished by TV producers, where they crank up the turbid level of inanity similar to that of a chain-cooking tasty hamburger mince with extra salt, spat between sweet buns. Add a pinch of jealousy and resentment in this competition and the contest is wide open between a turdy looking avocado mousse and a dry wall mounting... The suspense is killing us... 

I wish! 

I wish it'd kill off the entire audience...  but no, the producers have magic tricks, like the three seconds shots and the pan with zoom in three seconds plus the one shaky-second cut-away. Timing is the essence to captivate and retain an audience with the elusive glitter from fool's gold, sprinkled between advertising for fool's gold on sticks. And who of all these cruddy contestants is going to get the money? We end up wishing being as dumb as they appear so we could get the dosh... It's perverse.
TV is running on an ADHD inspired view of the world... Goldfishes see more of the universe that we do from TV and our other modes of communication... Goldfishes have more time to ponder.

So where are we going wrong?... And are we going wrong?
Let's face it it's easier to be stupid and ignorant than to struggle through a lot of complex stuff that won't make us giggle... Nothing wrong with inane giggle but we should not become addicted to it... There is more to life than discussing the battle of the ladles, by the water coolers in the 'accounts" department, the morning after this brain-rape.

Most of the middle-aged yoofs unfortunately are addicted because they have been on this prepared-formula diet since they were toddlers watching Mr squiggles and then the Wiggles... and let's not mention those cardboard looking meekly heroes that Zaps, Booings and Pocks enormous aliens that used to be trucks, into oblivion. With super powers... And we've given our younger yoofs the tools like gizmophones, to being dumber at gizmo giga-speed, but less of them watch the ne0-reality on the box. Cripes.

In this glorified environment of useless but deceitful illusion, science often takes a seat at the back of the classroom. Science looks shabby, faded like a silk-print of Einstein's portrait on a T-shirt that has been washed by your mum too many times in sard, on a long machine-cycle with dad's work overalls...

Science once was mostly a public sharing affair. Discoveries belonged to the common good of knowledge.
Now, due to patents and private enterprise, a lot of science has slid back into the arcane hidden world, like religion and voodoo — except, unlike them hocus-pocus, it's deadly accurate with margins of errors that can eliminate the entire world... But they don't tell us. They tell us it's safe... Like hell.
Not all of science operates this way mind you, but some of the private science operators see money as more important than safe results. Thus science has two speed — one public and one private enterprise. The realms of research is split up and becoming schizophrenic ... It is split up, with science often seen as having acquired the moral battle ground of good and evil with 50 shades of grey in between... Nothing new here. Science has been used in the development of nasty weapon and science has its limits in regard to nature's reactivity. It is becoming harder to distinguish between good scientists and those with an agenda which in the end is anti-scientific...

Thus scientism is being pilloried:
The temptation to overreach, however, seems increasingly indulged today in discussions about science. Both in the work of professional philosophers and in popular writings by natural scientists, it is frequently claimed that natural science does or soon will constitute the entire domain of truth. And this attitude is becoming more widespread among scientists themselves. All too many of my contemporaries in science have accepted without question the hype that suggests that an advanced degree in some area of natural science confers the ability to pontificate wisely on any and all subjects. Of course, from the very beginning of the modern scientific enterprise, there have been scientists and philosophers who have been so impressed with the ability of the natural sciences to advance knowledge that they have asserted that these sciences are the only valid way of seeking knowledge in any field. A forthright expression of this viewpoint has been made by the chemist Peter Atkins, who in his 1995 essay “Science as Truth” asserts the “universal competence” of science. This position has been called scientism — a term that was originally intended to be pejorative but has been claimed as a badge of honor by some of its most vocal proponents. In their 2007 book Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized, for example, philosophers James Ladyman, Don Ross, and David Spurrett go so far as to entitle a chapter “In Defense of Scientism.” 

Science is ruling our modern lives far more than we know...
Applied science often develops our comforts through various industries and products. Modern metallurgy and cell phones are dependant of specific scientific discoveries made about metals, semi-conductors and rare-earths... Quantum mechanics and theory of relativity have also influenced the background in our dance halls... TV, our noise machines, iPods cannot exist without science... In most instances, products interact with our lives in a way in which our lives adapt to the product.  The product thus creates our life's reaction and wants... and influences our understanding of the universe. 
Our old "knowledge" acquired through religions became obsolete and shown to be erroneous long ago. But our behaviour is still suckling the teats of these silly arcane beliefs. 
Morals and ethics should become more aligned with nature and humanism which accepts nature, evolution while managing the psychological plasticine that our stylism can provide as added to by our desires — themselves developing in a self-adding next.
So our cultures are diverse, elastic and need constant reappraisal for provision of maximum comforts for the maximum of people — without cooking the planet

This is where the importance of science is underestimated. Science tells us what should expect. It tells us of OUR limits. It tells us that we should not go there — not because there is a big bad wolf, but because the odds of survival are nil. We can choose to ignore it. We ignore it. Across the board, we mutilate our brains with inanity instead.
Self-mutilation is not new...  Self-flagellation was encouraged amongst monks to reinforce the sense of existing "for a purpose" in which pain was followed by a near transcendental experience — as our brain fought the pain with endorphin secretion. 
There has been many studies of other species that "self-mutilate". Rarely in the wild, such as lizards that abandon their tail caught by a bird... In captivity, animals will bang their head against cage bars until the cage or their head bleeds...  It hurts... Pain is often better than boredom. Then there is the case of lab rats eating their own balls when under the influence of heroin. We're sadists.

What, finally, are the lessons of culture? One lesson concerns the proper place of culture in the economy of life. The critic Clement Greenberg, arguing for the importance of disinterested aesthetic experience, was no doubt correct when he argued that “a poor life is lived by any one who doesn’t regularly take time out to stand and gaze, or sit and listen, or touch, or smell, or brood, without any further end in mind, simply for the satisfaction gotten from that which is gazed at, listened to, touched, smelled, or brooded upon.” At the same time, Greenberg stressed that “there are, of course, more important things than art: life itself, what actually happens to you. This may sound silly, but I have to say it, given what I’ve heard art-silly people say all my life. . . . Art shouldn’t be overrated.” One thinks of Dostoyevsky’s exclamation that “incredible as it may seem, the day will come when man will quarrel more fiercely about art than about God.” Are we there yet?

Another lesson concerns the fragility of civilization. As Evelyn Waugh noted in the dark days of the late 1930s,

... barbarism is never finally defeated; given propitious circumstances, men and women who seem quite orderly will commit every conceivable atrocity. The danger does not come merely from habitual hooligans; we are all potential recruits for anarchy. Unremitting effort is needed to keep men living together at peace; there is only a margin of energy left over for experiment, however beneficent. Once the prisons of the mind have been opened, the orgy is on. . . . The work of preserving society is sometimes onerous, sometimes almost effortless. The more elaborate the society, the more vulnerable it is to attack, and the more complete its collapse in case of defeat. At a time like the present it is notably precarious. If it falls we shall see not merely the dissolution of a few joint-stock corporations, but of the spiritual and material achievements of our history.

It is a prime lesson of culture to acquaint us with those facts. “History,” Walter Bagehot wrote in Physics and Politics, his clear-eyed paean to liberal democracy, “is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it.” Culture is a precious inheritance, immeasurably more difficult to achieve than to destroy, and, once destroyed, almost irretrievable. It’s not at all clear that we have learned the lesson, though wise men from before the time of Pericles have sought to bring us that sobering news.



These two articles quoted above come from the conservative press in the US. They are designed to warn us about loosing our culture of god, guns, growth and greed in favour of scientific interpretation of cultural behaviour. They fear nature and science becoming our measuring sticks against our cultural beliefs...

In a way, we are mutilating the planet with our cultures of wants rather than fostering a culture of knowledge...

In order to know what we doing, we need to define the parameters of our culture in relation to other cultures and their possible mix or interactions — because barbarism is a cultural format too. We need to scientifically discover the full extent of nature's reactivity to our experimental wants.  We need to know the planet's limits. Science often tells it very clearly but we ignore it. Our momentum of inanity is near impossible to stop. Our momentum of insanity is being accelerated by our sheer increase in population... 

We need to know what we're doing, such as not diluting the importance of proper "news" into crap so we do not loose our focus whatever it is...  At this level it may seem innocuous, but psychologists are worried about the future on many issues — from self-harm to the sexual exploitation of younger and younger girls than ever in "soft-porn" advertising. The rules and regulations are inadequate to deal with the subtleties of increasingly perverse manipulation. But what is perverse, if perverse helps us survive the next influx of inanities into the next cultural settings?...



Culture is always in a flux, and always in need of protection from forces from within and outside, but it cannot be static. It is influenced by our individual and social wants, rather than needs, in the present context... It is also running on an overheating tread mill of credit and is fuelled by inventions designed to fuel the idea of the next want.

At rest, we may have too much time on our hands, so we waste it on watching kitchens on fire on TV, which annoys us so we jump from this hot pan into the firewall of the Brickbats — another show with as much value as a watching another program with someone threading a worm on a hook, with passion...


The problem here is that watching all of this often stops us to go and do things ourselves... We watch a cooking show but we buy an ugly take-away chicken roll...

Instead of becoming a future-obese-heart-problem for the health services by watching these gigs on a couch, we should go and do it ourselves. Or do something else that demands some physical energy... But please, don't mention the tread-mills at the gym... though it could do at a pinch.

And we do not have to do it with those advertised whizz-bang gizmos, but we can do it with our lifejacket on. And take care.


But apart from fishing safely in a turbulent sea, the important battles here are being fought between the "left" that tries to encourage a more public understanding of sciences in a social construct and the "right" that twists the value of sciences for exclusive profit in an ancient moral belief that has become a total vacuum under the true value of sciences.


More to come

Gus Leonisky.


shortsighted political gridlock...


Am I Wrong?

  1. Bruce Alberts

  2. Bruce Alberts is Editor-in-Chief of Science.

I have seven grandchildren, and I worry about their future. The nation that I was raised in, the United States, has clearly lost its way at a time when the world badly needs wise leadership. Nations with a long-term view are making huge investments in their infrastructure—transportation, water, energy, waste, and recreation. And they have a laserlike focus on supporting science and engineering research with government resources. As examples, Germany, China, and South Korea come to mind. Meanwhile, the United States is living off its past. Not only do we face a crumbling infrastructure* but our federal investments in fundamental long-term R&D have been stagnant, dropping from 1.25% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 1985 to 0.87% in 2013.† Now, on top of that comes a mindless budget "sequester" that will make the situation considerably worse, causing the U.S. National Science Foundation to announce last week that it may award 1000 fewer research grants in 2013 than it did in 2012.


untold benefits...


All Australians have a right to disagree with each other and newspapers have a natural right to report those disagreements. If they do it honestly, they will publish with rational views of both sides of the argument.  But this time the newspapers took an opportunistic line that was designed to bury other important issues.


Last week, the Gillard government pushed through a record number of new legislative actions that would make the lives and emotions of millions of Australians much happier. It has hard to find any of the results reported in the newspapers.

Here is a snapshot:

  1. It passed, with the support of the whole parliament, the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This has long been a disturbing issue within the nation but no previous government saw any need for it, while people suffered dreadfully from events that were no fault of their own.
  2. For the first time, Australian workers were given the right to seek more adaptable working arrangements, to negotiate rosters and working hours in conference with their employers and to obtain unpaid parental leave.
  3. The Sex Discrimination Act was extended to reinforce the legal rights of all Australians, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Pensioners and persons on welfare to receive income increases.
  5. Superannuation funds required to allow members to consolidate multiple accounts.
  6. Long delayed establishment of a plan designed to completely eradicate deadly asbestos from the nation, a recognition at last that too much of it has existed for too long in older homes and buildings.
  7. Compulsory licensing of financial advisers and planners. The ripoffs of mum and dad investors is an issue that has irked the nation for many years.
  8. The Electoral Commission is authorised to use Tax Office records to ensure voters are on the national electoral rolls. How many Australians have not bothered to register and share in the obligation to vote?
  9. Legislation to ensure coal seam gas operators carry out environmental impact studies on their use of water, a controversial national issue for landholders.
  10. Legislation to allow gay marriage.  Australia has lagged behind other countries in recognising an issue long important to some individuals.
  11. Hazara refugees to be accepted in Australia when their safety in Afghanistan cannot be guaranteed. Hazaras have long been the major victims of internecine brutality within the Afghan nation. A generous and merciful decision following Australia’s deep involvement in Afghanistan.
  12. And, at long last, the emotional distress of mothers and children forcibly separated for adoption in years past was formally recognised by the Gillard government and a national apology expressed by all parties.



a day about kitchens and pressure cookers...

news.com.au 17 april 2013

I may appear insensitive to the Boston people... This is not my intention... Here I am simply pointing out the idiosyncrasy of an idiosyncratic press giving you a mix of "news" on its website front page.... A website obsessed with food stories... For those who don't know, Black Caviar is a nag that won all her races and after being sired and be fowl-bearing will end up in beef lasagne in Europe... as well Black caviar may end (2 to 5 odds) as a taxidermist stuffed object in a display case in some Aussie museum somewhere — ten to one it's Longreach... Meanwhile the sister news-site in the US, the New York Post had a beauty:




As you can see here, nothing is too exaggerated (12 dead — their guess was as good as mine) though the hurt was massive... But the most outrageous piece was that straight away a finger was pointed. It is possible that the NY Post has someone at the police or the FBI on its payroll:




They know who did it. So does Alan Jones in Australia:

jones is an idiot


CONTROVERSIAL broadcaster Alan Jones says he believes students were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings, and Australia should rethink its intake of foreign students after yesterday's carnage.

''I wouldn't be surprised if this was a conspiracy among students, left wing radical students in Boston,'' Jones, from Sydney's 2GB radio, told the Seven Network's Sunrise program.


Jones said Boston was a well known university town with institutions such as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)





my bad kitchen rules...


And the point is, this is not happening by accident. The MKR producers didn't set out to find a set of skilled home cooks and inadvertently stumble on the worst people on Earth. It's pretty clear the ability to cook is as relevant to MKR as the ability to care about the welfare of fellow human beings is to The Biggest Loser. My Kitchen Rules is a show specifically designed to pull big viewing numbers by annoying the hell out of us.

There was a time when people on television were only annoying by accident. The Olsen twins on Full House, for example, weren't supposed to make us want to feed them to bears: they were supposed to be adorable. The prevailing logic was that annoying people was a poor strategy for getting them to keep watching your show. But that old thinking has been swept away, and producers now realise that what we really want is to be rubbed the wrong way until we tear our hair out.

It's not just MKR doing it: Four Weddings with Fifi Box was a pioneer of the ''ratings through annoyance'' technique; and do you think Joel Madden got that Logie by being pleasant? No - he won by refusing to take the damn toothpick out of his mouth and ruining the cricket with chicken advertisements.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/we-switch-on-to-be-turned-off-20130419-2i50t.html#ixzz2QxxWRItz
see toon and story at top..


giddy fumes of soufflés...


The Seven Network's ratings juggernaut My Kitchen Rules brought home the bacon last night with 2.95 million people tuning in to see the winner crowned.The grand final episode that preceded the winner's announcement drew 2.15 million viewers.

It was a bumpy run to the finish line, with MKR's numbers affected in the past month by the launch of Nine's The Voice.

MKR is this year's ratings success story. It has sustained audiences of 2 million or more for most of its run, though the launch of The Voice pushed its numbers down in the final stretch.The consolation prize for Seven is that despite the bruising, the presence of MKR in the schedule has stopped The Voice, in its second outing, from matching the giddy ratings heights of its first.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/my-kitchen-rules-takes-crown-in-epic-tv-battle-20130429-2inta.html#ixzz2RoowxDw2
See social study at top...


splashing into the shallow end of the TV gene pool...

Dear God, is this what television in Australia has come to? Celebrity Splash?

Everything you needed to know about Seven's latest foray into the shallow end of the TV gene pool was laid out in the first 10 seconds of Monday night's premiere. ''Hello. Welcome to Celebrity Splash. I'm Larry Emdur.'' We had been warned.

Josh Thomas went from being the comic voice of Gen Y to the head-scratching representative of Gen What Was He Thinking?, but at least it was soon over. 

''In just a few short minutes, 14 celebrities will be putting their lives and their reputations on the line in a dramatic high-diving contest,'' Larry helpfully explained. ''Will it be terrifying?''

Only if you think rubbish television is turning us into a nation of brain-dead zombies.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/australian-tv-has-taken-a-dive-20130430-2ir4v.html#ixzz2S0JGZ3uR

how it's done...


PepsiCo has since apologised for the 60-second ad which Dr Boyce D. Watkins, an author and political analyst, described as "arguably the most racist commercial in history."

"Mountain Dew has set a new low for corporate racism," Dr Watkins writes on his blog Your Black World.

"Their decision to lean on well-known racial stereotypes is beyond disgusting".

Commentators were also offended by the casual treatment of violence against women in the ad

In a statement yesterday, PepsiCo said that it took "full responsibility" for any offence caused by commercial and had removed the ad from its online channels.



By now you know that Mountain Dew exists and it's not made by Coke... By now you are feeling sorry for Mountain Dew — a drink that has nothing to do with this sort of advertising. You feel guilty that you would not buy it because PepsiCo were contrite enough to know the advertisers went too far... the naughty advertisers... But as you know, the relationship between advertisers and the product makers is one of connivance... They both would have known they'd gone too far down the road of bad taste and vilification... A comedy sketch that would have hit the floor at the Chasers... But the trick is to let it go, remove it and beg responsibility, contrition, whatever begging on one's knees... I woud not be surprise if the product sales increase...



I rest my fish cakes...

The most popular news item on the SMH on the fourth of March 2014 is:


In another damning sign of troubled waters at the embattled Ten Network, the weight-loss reality series The Biggest Loser has been ejected from next week's schedule.

The two-part season finale was due to screen on Tuesday and Wednesday, but will now air on Sunday, April 13 in a move which acknowledges that the series has failed to captivate viewers.

Ten is replacing it with a new Jamie Oliver series, Jamie & Jimmy's Food Fight Club, in which Oliver and farmer Jimmy Doherty open a "pop-up cafe" and serve up "the best of British food".

The indulgent food on offer includes a "banana and Baileys" bread and butter pudding, steak and stout pie, an "Anglo-French toastie", sausages and fishcakes.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/change-of-appetite-ten-replaces-biggest-loser-finale-with-jamie-oliver-20140403-3606w.html#ixzz2xt26SbQt

See toon and story from top...


unreal reality TV...

On Tuesday night a staggering 3.7 million people watched the final of My Kitchen Rules on Channel Seven, convincingly beating the two million who watched the final of The Block: Fans v Faves. Two nights earlier, for his efforts hosting said Block, Scott Cam picked up the Gold Logie, our highest televisual honour.

What an embarrassing comment on the state of Australian television. Australians who love quality television, stories told in our voices, need to take a stand and say as one, ''I don’t care which confected pathetic subplot wins the next advertorial reality show – get this dross off my screens''.

As part of the Sydney Writers' Festival, I will be lucky enough to interview Vince Gilligan, creator of the US television phenomenon Breaking Bad, hailed by the renowned thespian Anthony Hopkins as home to ''... the best acting I have seen – ever''.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/reality-success-an-indictment-on-tv-landscape-20140501-zr2pb.html#ixzz30bPLaBOQ