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Quotes to cogitate on… October 17, 2010

Posted by dissident93 in Medialens.

Or even to masticate over…

“If an instrument similar to a geiger-counter could be invented that counted moral judgements instead, we would learn to duck as people became increasingly ‘moral’, since lethal force is usually imminent. So far from moral fervour being an alternative to force, it is frequently the overture, the accompaniment and the memorial to it.” – Charles Hampden-Turner

“[The self-righteous person] presupposes his own moral values and his own righteousness as a condition of conversation. The effect of this is that anyone talking to a self-righteous person must either agree with his moral values and act equally self-righteous, or face being put in a morally inferior position in the discourse.” – George Lakoff (Moral Politics)

“Any interesting ideas or realisations I have had have originated in my heart” – David Edwards (Hallmark Greetings cards & Medialens )

“Only do what your heart tells you” – Princess Diana

“My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will, never, never surrender to what is right” – Dan Quayle (former US Vice President)

“The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental” – Robert Anton Wilson

[Source of saccharine David Edwards quotes]

“I’m going to ask you to exercise glands you never knew existed.”
J.R. “Bob” Dobbs

Feedback — just in:

Hey Robert, that’s funny. Were you aware that David Edwards’ cogitation is basically a rehash of Eckhart Tolle (a New Age “spiritual teacher”)? I actually saw Tolle speak live a few years ago he was quite impressive if you’re into that kind of talk. Edwards is eager to see “personality types” in his critics but slow to apply those insights to himself it appears. He talks about how people “come to identify so closely” with their ideas, but forgets about the dogma which defines him, and from which he will not deviate! But he’s got the Tolle bug alright. Whether it makes him more, or less, of a self-important fool remains to be seen. [Steve, via email]

Thanks, Steve – I’ve heard of Tolle. His books have apparently been mega-sellers due to promotion by Oprah (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing). As for Medialens, I think I’ve now exhausted the subject. It’s a pity they refuse to engage with what I (and many others, including journalists such as George Monbiot, etc) consider to be important points raised here (eg their errors/omissions over Iraq mortality studies, issues of censorship, hypocrisy, etc). The side of Medialens I’ve seen is not at all like the one presented in David Edwards’s “sweetness & light” piece. I see more of the narrowness, intolerance and childish polemic that’s been pointed out by Monbiot, Steven Poole, Stephen Soldz and others, as previously documented in this blog  — RS.

Here are a few other comments I’ve received, published with permission of the correspondents…

Sadly, I think it’s diminishing returns with criticisms of the Davids, even funny ones. They’re always complaining that certain people “blank” them, but they don’t seem to realise that they themselves are doing a lot of the “blanking” (by only responding to criticisms when it suits them, and only in terms that negate the very possibility that they might be in the wrong). The Lakoff quote really is very apt … I’ve felt myself being “pushed” by force of rhetoric into that “morally inferior” position several times. [George]

“Thinking is of the ego, feeling is of the heart”? The old guru routine? He’d be better advised to stick with the institutional analysis – the ‘spiritual teacher’ scene is over-crowded and has a bad reputation. Nice RAW quote, btw. [BD]

I don’t understand the relevance of the “exercise glands” or Dan Quayle quotes, I’m afraid. I came here from the Cif link but I already knew about MediaLens. [Roz]     [Nothing hugely relevant, Roz, they just seemed funny to me - RS]

Just to add to the comments you’ve already published…. that “cogitation” by Edwards just underlines the strangeness of Medialens. How quickly they flip from sniping at Monbiot to claiming they have the “answer” to the “dehumanising effect of excessive intellectuality” and other pomposities. Let’s just replay their latest intellectual joust with Monbiot, who had written of the government’s “cowardice” over the Green issue. Medialens replied that “the notion of government ‘cowardice’ is a classic liberal herring – the problem has always been the government +alliance+ with corporate power, not its ‘cowardice’”. But Medialens are so identified with their own intellectual games, that they don’t see the obvious: – that Monbiot was probably referring to the cowardice which *causes* the government to yield to corporate power. I really miss those discussions at Media Hell where this type of thing was gone over, and then Medialens (as “Woofles”) would attempt, unsuccessfully, to defend itself. ;) [Greg]
[Links added by me - RS]

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