My first No Illusions podcast for 2010! Today I’m talking about the Australian Government’s “clean feed” with three guys who know a lot more about it than I do: Stephen Collins (@trib), Peter Black (@peterblackQUT) and Jim Stewart (@jimboot). This episode was recorded with a live studio audience. Well, okay, they weren’t in a studio, they were on my uStream channel, but I’ve always wanted to say that.
We just got back from the first Brisbane meetup around #nocleanfeed. It was a pretty huge turnout, I’d guess 100 people. Well done to @nicholasperkins and everyone else involved in pulling it together.
I gave a short talk, mostly trying to convey the idea that this isn’t a campaign that we will win by trying to be RIGHT. This isn’t about FACTS. This is a propaganda war about ideology, the ideology of the Christian Right, a group that Conroy, Rudd, Abbott and Fielding are all card-carrying members of. And you can’t fight a propaganda war by trying to be RIGHT. The only way to fight a propaganda war is to counter it with your own propaganda and by knowing how propaganda campaigns actually work. There’s no use taking a knife to a gun fight.
As a long-time student of people like Chomsky and Pilger, I have some understanding about how modern propaganda works. I quote tonight from 20th century French philosopher and Christian theologian (not often you’ll catch me using a Christian theologian to make a positive point) Jacques Ellul who explained that modern propaganda isn’t telling lies, it’s about telling half truths, limited truths and truths out of context. That’s what Conroy et al are master of. They don’t lie when they talk about the feed, they just limit their use of the truth.
So we need to fight a propaganda war. Fortunately, we are all very-savvy little new media / social media types, so this shouldn’t be too hard to do, as long as know what kind of fight we’re getting into.
The one idea that I didn’t have time to get across tonight was that I don’t think we can win this if we just focus on the mandatory filter. It’s too thorny an issue and too easy for Conroy to deflect criticism . I believe we need to make this a battle against the ALP. I believe we need to focus on weakening their credibility in the upcoming election by getting in their faces on a range of issue where they have either under-performed, such as the environment, indigenous welfare, immigration, etc, or where they have just flat-out turned out to be as bad or worse than Howard (the internet filter, bailing out the banks, failing to rein in corporate executive salaries, etc).
We need a campaign that attacks the ALP’s credibility and performance across the board. We need put pressure on then across multiple fronts, not just on the filter. It’s pretty clear that the mainstream media will give them an easy ride in the upcoming election. So it’ll be up to social media to put the heat on them.
As I told a couple of Labor Party stalwarts (including a former ALP MP) over lunch last week – Rudd was supposed to be the good guy. At least where the ACMA blacklist is concerned, he’s turning out to be more appalling than John Howard. I wouldn’t vote ALP in a pink fit after this experience (mind you, I’ve never voted ALP in my life) and I doubt many digital folks who voted for the ALP in 2007 will make the same mistake in the next Federal election.
My mate Ian Kath (or, as my kids refer to him, “that guy who made the lightsabers for Star Wars”), was with us at the No Clean Feed protest in Brisbane on the weekend (my video from the even is coming soon) and he did some great interviews with attendees, including yours truly.
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My guest today on G’Day World is once again Australian journalist and author Antony Loewenstein. Antony was on a couple of months ago to discuss his excellent book “The Blogging Revolution” and today he has come back on to discuss Kevin Rudd’s desire to censor the internet and we discuss a range of things we can all do to try and stop it from happening.
Links to further reading:
No guest today, just a bit of a chat about:
- Robert Rodriguez’s cooking show on the Sin City Recut DVD
a review of “The Receipt” by Will Adamsdale and Chris Branch, currently showing in the Melbourne Comedy Festival
- my review of George Romero’s 1985 classic “Day Of The Dead”
- my review of Danny Boyle’s current film “Sunshine” starring Aussie actress Rose Byrne and Cillian Murphy
- the spoof website MiningNSW which the Mining Council of NSW has been trying to shut down
- and then I finish with a little chat about my friend, the darkness, and what to do about it.
Don’t forget to make use of my new comments line – Aussies can dial into +613 9016 9699. The rest of you can either pay international charges (cmon, what price can you put on being on my show??) or just start begging me to set up an international number.
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