Green Island Letters

Original article: Happy Anniversary CBC
(Commentary by Jian Ghomeshi on Q, Nov 2 2011)


- following which, a letter by moi, Dave Patterson, sent Nov 5, 2011.

Jian - Listened to your essay on the CBC a couple of nights ago (Tuesday, the CBC anniversary bit) with very mixed feelings. I too have loved the CBC, and extolled its greatness, and was an avid listener for many, many years, highly appreciative of what I was getting and how lucky I was to be living in one of the great countries of the world, in no small amount because of the CBC (I note this just to be clear so when you read the following (if, I suppose), you will not dismiss me as one of the small but very well self-publicized gang of current 'rightwing' psychofants who accuse the CBC of being lib'rul-leftwing-commie-etc biased and want to shut it down, etc.) But as much as I loved the CBC in years gone by, today I am among another crowd, those who are very unhappy and even angry at what the CBC currently has become - in many ways, the complete opposite of what it was in the glory days of past years.

What is so incensing about the current 75th CBC 'celebrations' is the continual reminders of how great the CBC was in the past - with the unspoken but quite obviously implied idea that you/they are giving the same great service to Canadians - when the fact is that the current CBC is very much NOT comparable to the CBC of earlier days.

In the days of the original As It Happens, or Gzowski's Morningside, Lister Sinclair's Ideas, and other great programs for intelligent, progressive-sorts of adults, it was a beacon of freedom and intelligent sharing of ideas in a society truly aspiring to be 'civilized', from a 'progressive' basis, speaking *for*, and with, the people of Canada, helping them stay informed about what was going on in their country and world, from various POVs. Today, however, very sadly, and very infuriatingly, really, although there is still a lot of pretty good stuff, I find many times many days listening to the either pablum or propaganda that now fill most of the airtime, it has become almost exclusively, with only the most infrequent exceptions, just another propaganda outlet for those neocons/NWOers who have taken over almost everything, and who wish to reshape the world in the image of Milton Freidman and the new robber barons - a new feudalist society where everything - including freedom for the many and intelligent discussion - must all be subsumed to the 'right' of the predatory, immoral few among us to accumulate great wealth through lies and violence and theft. And the modern media is, of course, with its central 'management of public opinion' function, central to these aims.

Including, very sadly, the new CBC. The CBC is still, of course, somewhat more 'highbrow' than certain other media, speaking to those who consider themselves 'intelligently progressive' in Canada - but the overall, day after day, year after year, message is still the same from the CBC as from the rest of the media today - the New World Order is here to stay, and It Is Good, chill'un!!! I could give a long list of examples, from full spectrum (mainstream) media support of the obviously illegal (against international law) and highly immoral various US invasions and bombings and destruction of governments and countries it did not like in various parts of the world over the last 20 years, with the full enthusiastic support of Canada, and the CBC, through the current financial meltdown, which has its roots way back in the 70s, about which there are very many dishonest and frankly crazy things going on and being said, but the CBC, and all mainstream media, have nothing to say about such wild ideas and policies, no 'adult' 'media '*for* the people' moments at all of 'whoa, here, folks, let's just stand back and take an intelligent sort of calm look at things here before we go blindly following some people who are rushing us along to places we maybe don't want to go with no talk or debate about it, just rah-rah slogans, and who clearly have an agenda that is in their interests and against ours..', other than being the faithful secretariat for the governments.

You seem like a decent guy, Jian, which is why I listen to your show sometimes, and now bother to take a few minutes to write - I have tried writing most other CBC people I listen to with similar ideas, and nobody is interested in what I have to say, which would be understandable enough if they well understood what they were doing, in terms of gatekeeping and propaganda, and understand there is no point in talking to someone who understands the game and can't be conned, just marginalize them as much as possible while the main work of keeping the majority bamboozled continues - but I see just a small chance that you actually believe what you are saying and doing, and just need to get out a bit more - I was in my 30s before I started to understand what was really happening here, and I grew up in an earlier generation than you have, a generation less controlled by the full spectrum propaganda your generation grew up in. I am sure the Ivory Towers of the CBC are a very pleasant place to be - but from the sound of you, I would think that there is at least a chance that to be supporting the implementation of the New Feudalism on the people of Canada just might not be what you actually want to do with your life, rewarding though it is right now for you, if in a somewhat superficial way if you can keep from thinking about reality (yes, good income and lots of travel and meeting lots of interesting people and public adulation are very enticing things, and obviously anyone such as yourself who wants to experience as much as possible in this short life would find such things rewarding - but as most great thinkers have concluded, rightly I think, in the long run, peace of mind is a far greater gift than baubles and having fun, and the realisation some day of how you have been part of such a great betrayal of so many of your fellow citizens, unwittingly or otherwise, not to mention the billions around the world whose continued misery you are also helping support to some extent, is not something that will give much peace when the time comes to face bigger things.)

What is the purpose of 'a free press' in a 'democratic' society, or any part of the media such as you there at CBC radio? I am sure you know the theory - it's an old aphorism, but expresses a central part of the idea well enough - comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. It's a good enough summary of what at least one central function of the media should be in a democracy - but if you actually consider that notion, I am sure you will see the truth in the never mentioned but obviously true statement that the current mainstream media, including the CBC, is doing just the opposite - supporting the affluent minority in every major thing they want to do, and hammering the afflicted under-attack middle class masses, preaching the 'necessity' of austerity to the masses unhappy with their deteriorating lifestyles under the 'new' neocon governments, urging them to support the new imperialism, enthusiastically helping the warmongers and capitalist looters demonise whoever they want to 'regime change' and steal from, etc etc. A media truly dedicated to helping the citizens understand what is going on here, and giving them the information to determine their own course democratically and fight what the wealthy elite want to do, would be acting very, very differently than the CBC, and other mainstream media, currently are - there are many things not being told by you folks, and many other things spun to the point of lies in the service of those who now own the country, and the government, and the media, and are doing things most Canadians do not support. (I would be happy to provide you with more detail about anything - I am trying to keep this letter at least a bit short so must leave out much detail..)

One very, very important example of how the mainstream media gatekeeps very important information: the current huge financial problems in the world today (and that we have been feeling for over 20 years before this 'tipping point' crisis that hit a couple of years ago as the massive Ponzi scheme that has been developing over that time finally imploded) are the result of one thing and one thing only - during the 70s, the governments of the day turned the control of "our" money supply over to private banks, which has lead to everything else, because, of course, private banks, controlled by modern 'investors', have one goal and one goal only - maximising their profits, and to hell with who gets pushed into the abyss in their race to accumulate the most toys, a process which involves considerable looting from everyone at home and abroad, under various pretexts, quasi-legal and otherwise. The speculative bubbles, with their inevitable 'bust' part of the cycle, destroying the savings and pensions of millions, not to mention devaluing the currency which also has a very detrimental impact on most average people, the inflation which means that two working people are required to maintain a half-decent lifestyle these days whereas one could do so 40-50 years ago, the huge student debts keeping more and more aspiring and worthy kids out of university (not to mention how our 'education' industry could nowadays really be called a 'dumbing-down' and indoctrination industry, and our once world-class universities are just becoming glorified MBA schools and private business research places paid for by the public), the completely fraudulent 'national debts' justifying complaining about pensions for old people, how we cannot afford health care or day care or keeping libraries open or subsidized after-school activities for the kids, the complaints that we cannot even afford the CBC, and on and on and on - ***every financial problem we face today is because "our" governments have betrayed us over the last 40 years, and sold us out to the banks and their "investors", who have taken literally trillions of tax dollars through the massive money-supply scam/fraud*** - there's more than enough money in this country to do everything we need to and should be doing *for* the people, what the people want and have worked for all their lives - we have just allowed a financial system to be imposed on us which actively directs more and more of that wealth being taken from the people who produce it into the bank accounts of the already obscenely wealthy. With the necessary complicity of the media, who have remained totally silent about what is going on with the money supply - gatekeeping very important information. Governments should be controlling our money, to maintain a stable economy for everyone, but they turned that power over to private banks for *their* control and benefit - and here we are, everyone in the world told we must be prepared to face years or decades of "austerity" (while the banker-overlords and their higher employees (PMs, Finance Ministers, etc) jet around the world to exotic locales, having showy meetings telling everyone about the new 'austerity' everyone (except themselves, of course) must learn to live with.

And the point is - where is the media in this? Who is the media supporting here? If the CBC is so great a media for 'the people' - why are they supporting massive criminal fraud in our highest places, like the mainstream media owned by the usurpers?

A media truly responsible to 'we the people' rather than the Big Business etc interests which control everything these days would be doing a bit more questioning of these things. The whole financial system within which we live is simply a massive scam and fraud. Should any of what I have written here inspire you to curiosity about this, I have a longer essay explaining this in some more detail here - What Happened? - or google 'monetary reform' if you want to see what others are saying about this in places the mainstream media does not explore, and you can find much interesting reading - it really is a *massive* fraud that has cost us in Canada alone a couple of trillion dollars in hard cash alone, and calculating the cost of the related things (e.g. crime and tragedies following unnecessary stress caused by poverty and grubbing for dollars at hated jobs, lives very much diminished because smart kids could not afford an education or people ready to retire had their pensions or other savings trashed in the casino economy we should be controlling better, etc etc) would be another big number. And not a hint of anything in the media about this, of trying to explore the real causes, just doing their part to pour oil on the waters, to pacify the citizens with 'just the business cycle, folks, sure it's hard on you, but our really great leaders are really doing a great job for you all, so grit your teeth and accept your losses like big boys and girls now!!' At the very least, an honest media dedicated to serving 'the people' rather than their 'investor' masters would be looking at this idea of letting banks create and control our money and its many attendant problems (for 'we the people'), rather than a democratic government controlling our money, and if this is really the best thing for 'we the people' at all - but this is why the wouldbe new feudalists *must* control the media, as what is happening is such an obvious fraud that no discussion can be allowed. (A small challenge, Jian - If you want to get yourself fired real quick from that great job, just try writing up a proposal to your bosses about getting a discussion about 'the money supply' underway after familiarizing yourself with what is going on here through things like the essay above - I very much guarantee they won't allow it, and they won't be happy if you start getting itchy about it and wanting to actually speak 'for the people' here ....)

So back to the CBC, and why an essay today extolling its greatness of years past, attempting to associate the current version with those greater times, is disingenuous, to say the least.

It was not always so, of course. You remember, as do I even better, being somewhat older than you, the 'real' CBC of days gone by. Everything was, of course, different back then - governments were smaller then, and much closer to the people, especially in more advanced democracies like Canada, and the CBC was *our* government radio, speaking *for* the people of Canada, offering a foil to the other privately owned media speaking for their owners, a media uninfluenced by 'business interests', willing and able to just look at things impartially, and inform Canadians of important things going on here and abroad, whether or not it made those interests look bad. The people of Canada - the great developing 'middle class' of the post-war years, with a government - and government/people's media, the CBC - speaking for and with them, with some truly world-leading people doing that, working for the people of Canada, keeping them informed and entertained with intelligent programs rather than the mush so prevalent on commercial radio and media even then, educating them, bringing them together, helping them stand together against the forces of barbarism - the CBC was peopled by 'us' then, people we could think of as neighbors, or even family. It is no wonder that a maturing, intelligent people loved the CBC so much - and still love the memory of that greatness and desperately want to believe it is still that great thing it once was.

But sadly, tragically, and criminally, really, what has happened over the last 30 years is that the government of Canada has basically become just another business investment, and the 'government' national media, the CBC, is thus just another arm of the mainstream business media, supporting 'business' objectives. The 'people of Canada' are now just consumers to be enticed to buy things, workers to be employed at the minimal cost to keep the consumer society running so the senior business-"investor" interests can continue to live the lives of comfort to which they have come to feel themselves entitled, and passive supporters of whatever imperialistic wars their rulers feel necessary to maintain and/or increase their market share. The modern 'citizen' is not a 'participant' in the affairs of their country, just a 'news consumer', with 'reality' shaped by the media, not in any serious way unlike Orwell's Ministry of Truth. With the 'new' CBC acting as the 'highbrow' secretariat of these interests, part of the full spectrum media-and-everything-else domination these new feudalists see as necessary to full control of what goes on in 'their' fiefdom. (I do have a somewhat longer analysis of what the media did during the 2008 election here if anything I write is getting your attention - Canadian Media: Reporting or Managing the News of the 2008 Election? )

Well, I grow long again - there is much to be long about when commenting on the CBC these days, but I understand, with more sorrow at what is happening in our world, with the full enthusiastic assistance of the once-so-great Mother Corp, the short attention spans of so many so busy about so little of importance these days. But a final short observation. As far as your own work at the CBC goes, more of a modern culture sort of thing, you are obviously not central to the 'full spectrum' propaganda of other shows like the Current which precedes you, or the current version of the CBC "news" as the NWO wants us to see the world through their eyes, and yet in your own way you do contribute to the full spectrum propaganda that Canadians get all day every day. To a large extent, in your case, you contribute by encouraging people to think that 'culture' in modern times is almost entirely devoted to 'having fun!!!' with interesting and talented but non-challenging modern state-sanctioned 'artists'. If you think back to more serious days, however, of 'radio for adults interested in what is happening in adultland' you might recall that 'real' art involves a lot more than being able to sing or write well - it means using your talents to shine a critical light on your own society.

Dickens or Hugo didn't write about those damned ungrateful peasants, as the new modern 'literature' of Ayn Rand and her ilk do (with the encouragement of the modern media, of course), or extol the virtues of greed and shallow 'mememe' consumerism and 'winner take all!!' modern business practices, as much of the modern CBC seems devoted to these days along with the great wasteland of modern television (also tragic, as it could be such a great tool for so many things) - the great writers, the great poets, the great artists of all kinds, have been deeply involved with the injustices of their time - do you suppose, if Bob Dylan came along in 2011, any radio station, including the CBC, would be playing Masters of War after they finished demonizing Saddam or Gaddafi or their latest target, or even Blowing in the Wind? I kind of doubt it, myself. John and Yoko would probably be doing their bedins without much media coverage, beyond a few commentators asking sarcastically what they thought they were doing or something. And although many artists, writers and musicians and others, are today critically observing and commenting on what is going on here, you'd never realise that to listen to the CBC these days, where we get one 'real' person a few times a year, sure, but such 'real' artists are completely lost in the vast pablum wasteland of cuteness day after day after day, as the CBC gives the very clear message that most of what 'culture' means is having fun with entertaining new stuff, no boring ol' 'social commentary' wanted!! (in a 'dumbed down' world, such as has been created slowly but very surely over the last 30 years, that is what 'adults with adolescent minds' want - no serious stuff, that's no fun, just fun stuff!!). I would suggest that if the CBC was really doing its job, it would be the other way around - the teenage stuff would be noticed now and again, but mostly left to the commercial media which has always catered to teenagers and a 'mass LCD 'culture', while 'serious' stuff would be the daily meat and veg of the 'we are for the adults here at the CBC', rather than the reverse, as we now have all across the network. Sure there are many talented writers and musicians out there who you talk to every day, and they are nice to read or listen to for entertainment - but shouldn't the CBC be going a bit deeper into things, into the 'real' art that questions the current political economy and serious issues of our times as the backbone of everything, and wondering if there might be some problems with it, maybe it is not 'the best of all possible worlds' when the few live in opulence and claim ever more and more of our collective wealth, while increasingly the poor, even in wonderful Canada, rely on food banks for their survival? Where is the CBC 'arts' coverage of people wanting to talk about or explore these issues? If Dickens was writing today, or Hugo, would they get any time with you, very seriously criticising the dominant political culture of his time, turning a critical eye on the systemic frauds and crimes of those running the world? I hear about 'the growing number of food banks' maybe once a year on the CBC - while every day I hear 'the business digest' on every morning show telling me the latest things our business leaders are up to, and how 'the market' is doing what is best for us all, etc etc. The middle class here and everywhere is under serious attack - and yet I hear nothing from anyone questioning this ongoing attack, but every day I hear from those doing the attack, justifying what they are up to. On the CBC - once the hope of 'the people', now just another arm of the oppression.

Final note - believe me this is a short letter compared to what any sort of detailed criticism of what you at the CBC are up to these days - if you are serious about improving both journalism and our country, then you should try to avoid the shallow old kind of knee-jerk avoidance trick I've heard often from CBC people when anyone accuses them of not doing a good job, something like "haha, the right thinks we're too left, the left things we're too right - we must be just right' - or self-justifying words to that effect. It's not so, Jian. The people on the far right making all the noise are psychopaths - anything this side of Attila or the infamous Reagan-Thatcher tag team who got the new world order officially under way are classified as lefty-commies, etc etc in their very self-serving view of the new feudalist world they strive to create. A certifiable analysis, not being hyperbolic - these people think only of their own desires and fulfilling them, they have no care about the great harm they are doing to so many people, both in Canada and around the world, as they bomb other countries and loot everyone and impose the new feudalism on us all - they are predators whose only goal is winning, and the CBC-that-used-to-be (like the almost democratic government we once almost had) is, or was, a danger to them, even in its current very sycophantic version which could revert quickly enough to a 'real' 'for the people' service with just a bit of 'we the people' direction from a Democratic government, so they use their money to demonize it hoping to get rid of it altogether when they have such a great chance - as they do to anything or anyone they need to get out of their way. One needs also to remember about these people, that as part of implementing their new world order, they lie a lot - also easily documentable - they have to lie a lot or they'd all be in jail, if not under a guillotine operated by an outraged citizenry.

We 'average' sorts, however, who appreciate what Canada once almost was, what the CBC once actually was, and really care about what is happening in our country, understand that it is fact that we have been taken over by some pretty bad people over the last couple of decades, and they have bought both the media and government, and are using them against the wishes of most Canadians. I suspect you understand that, any time you get reflective, no matter how much you want to avoid thinking about it, because you have one of the better jobs in this country. So do a lot of us out here (think about it), who don't have such good jobs, or such good prospects for the future in the new feudalism that is coming soon to a country near you.

I'll leave it for now - one more small candle trying to stay alight in the winds of Mordor that are blowing ever more strongly across our world, and no Frodo in sight at all, as the hobbits are all dealing with their new economic realities and trying to personally avoid the worst of the problems that are raining down from the Bay St branch office of Mordor Inc. But I'll send you a copy of one of my books - Greenways - maybe not 'great' art, maybe, I don't know, posterity will sort that out, but at least an attempt at real 'literature' in the sense it dares to question the prevailing orthodoxy - and finds it considerably wanting. Unlike, unfortunately, the modern CBC.

Dave Patterson
Toronto, Hastings, PEI, Thailand
and Green Island

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