Archives for posts with tag: blogosphere

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Erik Bloomquist writes, directs, and stars in The Cobblestone Corridor as Allan Archer, hardworking editor of the elite Alfred Pierce Preparatory School’s newspaper, The Pierce Gazette. Archer is straight-laced and by-the-book – a young man who still believes in authority and the dignity of institutions – the sort of person one might expect to carry a picture of William F. Buckley in his wallet. He is also an amateur detective and has his inquisitiveness piqued when he learns that the circumstances of a teacher’s recent dismissal are more than a little fishy. Adding interest to the story is Lizzie Merriweather (Madeleine Dauer), whose simultaneous attraction and opposition of journalistic philosophy adds another layer of tension to the narrative.

The Cobblestone Corridor is a low-key comedy hybridizing genres from teen fare to mystery, and Mike Magilnick’s cinematography does a good job of compromising between tones, referencing noir while keeping things light enough for a chuckle. The film succeeds largely due to a cast of interesting faces, which include Bloomquist’s as well as that of Nicholas Tucci, whom viewers may remember from the outstanding slasher homage You’re Next (2011). An assortment of young women in school uniforms adds to the visuals. Finally, while something of a morsel at 25 minutes, there is a measure of substance to be detected down these halls.

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Cobblestone Corridor is:

5. Anti-drug. Archer is contemptuous toward stoners.

4. Green-ambivalent. When classmate Claire (Alex Sarrigeorgiou) says paper publishing “just wastes trees”, her professor (Tucci) replies that this is “an interesting environmental argument”; Archer, however, dismisses Claire’s opinions as “shortsighted and ignorant”.

3. Feminism-ambivalent. Archer reviles “sluts” and puts a stop to an all-girl fight club. Lizzie’s contribution to his development as a journalist suggests, however, that women can contribute as professionals, giving the lie to a threatening note she receives informing her “little girls don’t belong in the big leagues.”

2. Tobacco-ambivalent. Archer cock-blocks a quintessential film noir ritual when he stops Lizzie from smoking a cigarette in his office. She later discovers that he has lied about not being a smoker, however.

1. Media-ambivalent. The Cobblestone Corridor’s best scene – crisply written and delivered by Mr. Bloomquist – concerns the question of the continuing relevance of the print medium. Journalism instructor Mr. Brown (Tucci) asks his class, “Are newspapers still important in today’s society, or are they well on their way to fading into historical oblivion?” Claire assails print as irrelevant in the age of the instantaneous dissemination of information; but Archer, who hates “supermarket tabloid drivel” and does what he can to uphold traditional journalistic standards, holds forth as follows:

People who write for newspapers understand that a story is more than just a clickbait by-line. These message boards that Claire talks about aren’t avenues for intellectual discourse, they’re a mosh pit of pseudo-scholars trying to outsmart each other. It’s not about the news, it’s not about the facts, it’s about being the loudest [. . .] and if one day the servers crash and everything goes to Hell we’ll still have a thoughtful piece of analysis we can touch and feel. That sure as Hell beats a tweet by some self-important high school drop-out hiding behind a screen name.

At stake in this scene and for the remainder of the film is the credibility of “conspiracy theories” and the post-9/11 alternative media, the latter being personified by blogger Lizzie. Archer naively believes that the major newspapers’ reporters are as thoughtful and idealistic as he is, is impressed by the Fourth Estate’s centuries of superficial prestige, and disparages the internet. He suggests, furthermore, that the anonymity of the blogosphere is an invalidation of its credibility, failing to consider the fact that alternative journalism is not, in most cases, a living, and that these writers might be putting their employment in jeopardy by signing their real names under their controversial interpretations of events.

However, after Lizzie’s insights prove to have been valuable in solving the mystery of the dismissed teacher, Archer is moved to establish an online edition of The Pierce Gazette, the idea being that online and print news media can coexist and mutually strengthen each other, and that independent researchers’ contributions can make a difference. This, Archer effuses with idealism, heralds the “beginning of a renaissance for The Pierce Gazette” – a revolution by technology and turnover in personnel. Bloomquist, though, by setting his story in the innocuous world of a non-profit student newspaper, has avoided the fundamental corruption of commercial “news” by controlling financial interests. Archer, once he ventures into the Orwellian sphere of professional journalism, will find his masters reluctant to publish material that strays off-script.

[For full disclosure of this writer’s diet of news and infotainment, he will admit to getting the vast majority of it online – from sites ranging from fluff like Yahoo! to deeper-digging content like Global Research – but also subscribing to a fortnightly print newspaper, Willis Carto’s populist American Free Press.]

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Buckley

Master of conservative English prose, William F. Buckley, Jr.*

Conservative bloggers frequently will invoke “culture” and “civilization” in the midst of griping about the ravages being done to the West by the Left and the teeming hordes of the Untermenschen. Unfortunately, too many of these putative traditionalists express their arguments in such a slipshod fashion as to make only too painfully obvious in what base regard they actually hold their much-vaunted culture and civilization. Could any component be more central to a culture than the language in which its standard-bearers speak and write the books and laws that fix and transmit its essence from one generation to the next?

Why, then, do the writers for Stuff Black People Don’t Like and the Daily Kenn, men who perform a valuable service by making much neglected information available to order-oriented citizens, issue their thoughts in such disorderly sentences, demonstrating so little care for craft and for proofreading, a true mark of a writer’s respect for the culture and civilization he both expresses and hopefully bolsters with each of his public formulations? These two gentlemen, however, are hardly alone in a negligence that is particularly puzzling among those who worry that government-orchestrated Reconquista threatens to overrun and uproot America’s English-speaking heritage.

Conservatives already must bear the brunt of a popular impression, fostered largely by academia and a radical media consensus, and particularly current among the flippant Daily Show cohort, that they are brutish, intellectually backward, and so woefully incapable of matching or even understanding the subtle revolutions of the leftist thought collective. This being the case, it becomes the special responsibility of the rightist voice of dissent to express itself as carefully and purposefully as possible. As liberty-minded citizenship requires constant vigilance, so does the conservation of the European cultural inheritance necessitate a compositional discipline sadly lacking as one surveys the rakish-right blogosphere of today.

* UPDATE. After publishing this post with accompanying picture of William F. Buckley, a friend of your humble reviewer sent him this link to an unfavorable profile of Chairman Bill, presumably with the intention of chiding your humble reviewer for his poor choice of exemplars of “conservative English prose”:
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/bill_buckley128.html

To clarify, Ideological Content Analysis, being in sympathy with political incorrectness, with libertarianism, and with race realism, does not endorse the policy positions of Mr. Buckley, which tended in what came to be known as the neoconservative direction. Your humble reviewer does, however, feel that, at least in terms of his presentation, gravitas, and eloquent calculation of expression, he is the breed of charismatic figure conservatism arguably needs at this point.

Buckley, his shortcomings notwithstanding, was as charming a figure as any who ever appeared on television. It is the position of Ideological Content Analysis that even the ragged, self-consciously alternative Right ought to aspire to Buckley’s combination of catchiness and dignity of image. Admittedly, Buckley is a somewhat sinister illustration of how even previously exotic movements of ideas can attain popular currency through exceptional public relations – which is precisely why, at least with an eye to the superficial aspects of the Chairman Bill persona, the marginalized Right might benefit from emulating him.

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