“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”

Now that we have plunged back the swamp of fear, propelled by the fizzling underpants bomber, let’s take a quick rewind to Franklin. D. Roosevelt’s inaugural Continue reading

Aussie Shark Attack HORROR™

An 18 year old man drowned at 4pm on Christmas Eve this year.

Like many swimmers Continue reading

Remember the craze in the old school yard?

School yard crazes — you remember those — marbles, knucklebones, spinning tops, transformers,  yo-yos, pokemon. Yeah, you remember.

Looking back, though, do you recall when and how a particular craze started? How long it lasted? When and why it disappeared? The following clip from This American Life traces the lifespan of one such (local) school yard craze. And like all good narratives, it offers up deeper levels of meaning beyond the immediately obvious. Take a look, and think beyond the playground and into the wider world as the story asks us to consider the effects of the voyeuristic, media-saturated society in which we live.

Further reading at Notes: Yo-Yo makes a playground comeback

Are we at the beginning of the end for newspapers?

For the last 200 years, the newspaper has functioned as the most authoritative disseminator of both news and up-to-date information across much of the world. This privileged position at the top of the information pyramid may be about to change. Now, many newspapers are struggling to survive, hit by a double whammy of falling readership and lower advertising revenue. While we might blame the drop in advertising revenue on the current recession, readership we cannot, as normally the pattern in recessions is for newspaper sales to increase.

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Toxic: His Lordship has left the building.

Well, who would have thought it?

Lord Strathclyde appears to have been reading this post from Notesfromthebartender and has bowed to the pressure.

The Guardian reports that he is to quit his directorship of Trafigura’s hedge fund arm, Galena Asset Management, in the wake of the appalling publicity the story has generated.

Lord of the Realm and Tool of the Month

Lord of the Realm and Tool of the Month

Given, as we pointed out, the toxic sludge was dumped around Abidjan three years ago in August 2006, was his Lordship completely unaware of the growing case against Trafigura?

Was his failure to sever ties with the company earlier than today perhaps linked to the lack of attention the story was generating and the “undisclosed fee” he was being paid?

Or could his sudden desire to wash his hands of Trafigura have something to do with a UK general election being just around the corner?

Question for the day


If you are poor, this is not for you.

When exactly did the flat screen television become a signifier in the media for frivolous, conspicuous consumption and wastefulness?

For as long as I can remember now, when columnists or talkback nazis want to make a point about unnecessary spending, especially by poor people and those on welfare, there is reference made to fact that these groups are buying big, flat-screen TVs.

What consumer items did we reference in the past when bashing the poor? Was it just cigarettes and alcohol?

Any thoughts?

‘Mad Men’ picked up for a fourth season.

madGood to see that Mad Men, one of our favourite TV shows here at Bartenders, has been renewed for a fourth season.  After a slow start, Mad Men has gradually increased its  Continue reading

Only eight dead? Meh, not interested.

Something to think about in terms of where and why an editor chooses to position a particular story in the paper.

This news item details the mass murder of eight people in a Georgia trailer park. It caught my attention because Continue reading

Deadly Alien Alert!

The appearance of a heavily armed protester at an Obama event in Phoenix, Arizona has caused only the merest ripple in the mainstream media. They failed to follow up sources and dig deep enough to reveal the reptilian claw behind the protests.

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