Thursday, May 15, 2008

Indymedia Sites

I cruised around the links on marc's site. The first I clicked on was the directory for Indymedia in the US, a site that seemed so jumbled and unorganized that I couldn't stomach looking at it for an extended period of time. It was just too busy. The topic bar on the left was enough for me to get a general understanding of what 'Indymedia' was all about, though, with topics like '9-11' 'anti-imperialism' 'corporate dominance' 'economic justice', etc. Idealism, anyone? I'm sure that I'm being too shallow, but I can't help but picture these contributors as anything but liberal-hippie-idealists. In any case I know I'm not providing an unbiased opinion, but for me the layout on the site and the content it contained was simply too much for me to handle.

I tried the link supposedly on 'Zapatistas', but the page wouldn't load for me.

RTMark was an interesting little site. I especially liked the list of projects. There were some interesting and unsettling ones, like noting which cereals/snacks were made by tobacco companies, dropping food off onto impoverished locations in the US, etc. This is the first site that had any real style, class, or wit in my opinion. I liked very much the project proposals, a kind of sarcastic slap at the practices of major corporations and our government. I found it interesting that a caveat for the donations was almost always 'and the media must report on it'. I wonder if any of these schemes have been successful? I hope so, because it seems like a good way to raise awareness of these issues.

The YesMen site was rather entertaining. Although I'm curious, is it legal to so obviously and untruthfully slander the individuals involved in these corporations in real life? Hopefully nobody is idiotic enough to take as truth what is said on this site. The first piece I read was about WTO proposing slavery for Africans affected by Western trading practices. It was ridiculous but somewhat funny. My favorite was the solution to global warming taht Halliburton came up with. I think it did a good job of epitomizing the ideology of major corporations like Halliburton that seem to have no regard for anything besides profit.

Adbusters was another cool little Indymedia site. i browsed for a while, and my favorite article was 'Future Soldiers'. One can tell from reading this article that the author greatly dislikes the use of amphetamines and medications for soldiers. I was a bit taken aback, though, on his dismissal of the use of amphetamines during WWII. Without anti-fatigue pills the soldiers would have been in no condition to fight. The brutalities of war are such that some compromises and sacrifices must be made. In a war like WWII, with the allies defending freedom from tyranny and oppression, I simply can't see how this author can criticize the methods used to win the war. In some instances, I'm saying, the end does in fact justify the means. I do completely agree with the author about his comments concerning unmanned weapons technologies. Something seems incredibly dangerous to me about removing the human element from combat; the human ability to make split-second decisions must be somewhat marginalized when the human is controlling remotely a weapons device of some sort.

In the end I can't say for certain what my feelings are about Indymedia. I like that it doesn't follow the typical news-network playbook in its reporting of events, but at the same time I think a lot is lost from the original story when it's satirized.


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