Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quixotic

Okay, I've contacted the OMBOTsman 9000 at NPR again on its surging enthusiasm for US counterinsurgency. If you've missed the latest, check out Monday's or Tuesday's ATC piece from the NPR chum cannon (several readers have commented in the Q Tips sections below on these "reports.") You can also click on the counterinsurgency tag below to follow NPR's love affair with counterinsurgency.

I sent the following to Ms. Shepard at NPR:
Back on Dec. 22 the Weekend Edition host noted:
"Hugh Sanson reflects the opinion of a number of you when he writes 'The stories of young soldiers' lasting suffering are deeply moving - I would be further moved if NPR could consider any of the millions of Iraqis affected - the million dead, and the millions wounded or displaced. What effect would a story of a victim of an American bombing have. Is NPR too timid or too dishonest to offer such stories?' Mr. Sanson, our plan is to do just that in January." Well your two reports on Iraq and Afghanistan were nothing of the sort. Now how about you try the same test on your upbeat counterinsurgency reports. Let's hear from some of the victims of past US counterinsurgency in Vietnam and Latin America - or is NPR too timid or dishonest?
I think I'll be waiting a long, long time for any NPR story that includes that perspective...

15 comments:

big!pink!fuzzy!cinephile! said...

I don't have the flick permanently ingrained in my cerebral art house, but is that HAL in the pic? More colloquial than NoPR's ombot, to be sure.

Anonymous said...

Ombotsman?

That's great.

So apt.

An robot "watching over" a flock of parrots.*

That's NPR in a nutshell.

Ever had a parrot? All they ever do is repeat what you say, endlessly, sometimes even when you are not around (I know cuz I once recorded it) -- oh, and screech REALLY LOUD and poop a lot.

But other than that, they're great as pets (and "journalists", especially if you happen to live in the White House)

And everyone knows what robots do-- pretty much anything they were programmed to do. You don't even have to pay them (although NPR pays theirs $150k per year)

Porter Melmoth said...

Yes indeed, b!b!, that's HAL, of the 9000 series. And because we're past 2001 AD, HAL is a reality now. He exists, and Dave, he runs NPR.

NotoriousBig!Pink-o!Phuzzy!Bun-E! said...

Thanks for confirmin', Port. I gravitate (ha!) more to Tarkovsky's 'Solaris' (not to be misconstrued with the diluted Soderbergh rehash), noted as his "reaction" or "antithesis" to the Space Odyssey.

Robo-sapiens & low-flying space-cases always on the march at NoPR, point being!

Porter Melmoth said...

Yeah, and back on earth, nobody can forge a bell like Tarkovsky (e.g. 'Andrei Rublev').

!b! said...

Hear hear, O Melmoth the Champion Yak Herder! Yet another timeless classic beyond compare. "The Bell" is a most incredible vignette, and I particularly enjoy the balloon-y prologue.

"Archipushkaaaaaaa!"

(don't get the excitable bunny started, lest he topple his near-complete Tarky shrine)

Mytwords said...

Okay Bunny! and Port...you two are making me feel the pain of my cinematic ignorance! Alas...

bun! said...

No harm no foul, Myt.

The wondrous films of Andrei Tarkovsky are a worthy point of investigation (a true visionary artist who left us much too soon) - and could perhaps even prove an antidote and escape to NoPR "we're hip and you'll like what we like 'cuz we're market-tested" stodginess.

Bunny Out!

¡b! said...

PS, Matt: I greatly owe my continuing education in international cinema to the 3 public library systems I get to avail myself to in my weekly sojourns.

So here's to libraries everywhere!

Mytwords said...

Here, here!

Porter Melmoth said...

Hear! Hear! is right!

Indeed, Tarkovsky weaves a compelling spell. 'Andrei Rublev' is a vast fresco of medieval Russia. 'Solaris' is an interior landscape of unknown dimensions. Unique, indescribable, really.

большой!розовый!пушистый!кролик! said...

(that's my moniker thru a Cryllic translator, o' course)

Gosh-darn it, we're gonna have to meet up over at IMDb if this keeps up...

(I'm alias "CounterPaul" over there ;-D )

Porter Melmoth said...

Holy Moly, Comrade, I had no idea you had met Henry Spencer!

look!at!my!knees! said...

Indeed so, Porter - and a fond meeting it was, New Year's Day morning 1984. VHS being the industry standard in those days, the mom-&-pop viddy store at the intersection (long shuttered, if you can imagine!) had - of all things on its shelves - ye ol' E-head; as well as 'Liquid Sky', which to me is the crown jewel of club-kidz camp. So yeah, those were my gateway drugs to all else cinematically that I'm ever endearing of.

Believe I'd already expressed my admiration that you include a Tati on your faves list - 'Mon Oncle' I've yet to see but 'Playtime' had me in rewinding stitches!

Porter Melmoth said...

Well, кролик!, in the interest of keeping this here En Pee Arrrgh! thang uncluttered and on task, happy to connect, but don't know how to locate Paul at IMDb, as he is not where he should be, at counter.

Please advise over at Ye Olde Yakkings.

And yes, 'Playtime' out-Oncle's 'Oncle', and 'Traffic's dandy, too!