Leave Taiwan alone and get out of Tibet, it’s not yours!
Whatever you say China. Taiwan is not yours. Tibet is not yours. Stop acting like the good old USA and get the hell out of territories that do not belong to you.
Get out Tibet China and forget about Taiwan! They are not yours.
Trump stirred outrage last week when he made a phone call out of order to Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen, whom China does not recognize as official. This angered Beijing, and spurred Trump to tweet out a series of messages taking issue with Chinese trade policy in response – as well as wondering why he can’t hold a phone call with the Taiwanese leader when the US already openly sells it weapons.
A new editorial in the Global Times, a tabloid branch of the Communist Party-owned People’s Daily newspaper to strike back at the president-elect, questioning his intentions toward Beijing.
“It is uncertain whether Trump went up against China because he had been irritated by some chiding comments on his receiving a phone call from Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, or this was a shrewd step in a well-considered China policy. Anyhow, his response is unexpected,” the editorial read.
The authors also wonder if the “unpredictable” Trump is suddenly no longer as isolationist as he made out to be, and whether he was spurred on by an outside force to take a tough line with China, whom he earlier also accused in a tweet of “[devaluing] US currency” and building “a massive military complex” on a disputed island in the South China Sea.
“No matter what the reasons are behind Trump’s outrageous remarks, it appears inevitable that Sino-US ties will witness more troubles in his early time in the White House than any other predecessor. We must be fully prepared, both mentally and physically, for this scenario.”
But Beijing’s main point here is that Trump will have to defer to China – because it’s the stronger player, economically.
“Trump can make a lot of noise but that does not exempt him from the rules of the major power game,” the Global Times writes. “He doesn’t have sufficient resources to deal with China wantonly, the second largest economy, the biggest trading country and a nuclear power. His many words will not become deeds. What’s more, except for some political radicals, most US people won’t want to take the risk of sinking into a major-power conflict.”
There follows a suggestion that all the newfound power is going to Trump’s head.
“Trump’s reckless remarks against a major power show his lack of experience in diplomacy. He may have overestimated the power of the US. He may have already been obsessed with the power he is about to have a grip on… He may also believe that if China, the biggest power after the US, is awed by Washington, it will solve all other problems.”
The editorial then promises that China will adapt to the new challenges of a Trump presidency, and “must be determined to upset his unreasonable requests at his early time in office, and fight back if his moves harm China’s interests, regardless of the consequences to the dynamics of the Sino-US relationship.”
China and Taiwan are on especially shaky ground at the moment, as Tsai is known for her opposition to a unified China, while the latter considers Taiwan a province. The Chinese made no secret that Taiwan’s recent weapons deal with the US has been a source of much anger.
Ignoring the potential minefield, Trump made the protocol-breaking call to congratulate Tsai on her recent election (although he later tweeted out that it was Tsai who had actually called him).
According to Trump’s transition office, both noted “the close economic, political and security ties between Taiwan and the United States.”
This led first to damage control from Trump running-mate Mike Pence, and then to China losing its normally calm disposition to the American leader-in-waiting’s unpredictability.
Though the US does not recognize Taiwan as a separate country, a 1979 law governing relations with the island obligates Washington to provide the government in Taipei with “sufficient self-defense capabilities” and come to its protection in case of a Chinese attack, according to the State Department.
China: Get the hell out of Tibet! Then we’ll take your claim seriously.
Dear China, we might have more sympathy for you if you would act responsibly and get out of Tibet. It’s not yours, never been. Now you know how it feels to be bullied by a tyrannical political monster.
July 24, 2016
China is fuming. It has obviously had enough, it is reaching the limit. For decades it tried to appease the West, to play by international laws, to be a good and responsible member of the international community. And for decades it never interfered in the internal affairs of other countries, it sponsored no coups and attacked no foreign lands.
Even its counter-propaganda has been measured, polite and mild.
All this has gained China no admiration, not even respect!
It is being constantly antagonized, provoked and encircled both militarily and ideologically. Not far from its territory are deadly US military bases (Futenma and Kadena) located on Okinawa, there are enormous bases on the Korean Peninsula and increasing US military presence in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines. There are constant exercises and naval maneuvers near its shores and just recently, a decision by South Korea (ROK), to allow the US to deploy an advanced missile defense system (THAAD) in Seongju County.
In Nagasaki, my friend, an Australian historian Geoffrey Gunn commented on the situation:
“Well, the fact of the matter is that China is indignant at this encirclement. China is indignant that Washington backs Japan, that Washington is ready to support Japan’s non-negotiation policy over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. So we see, in this situation, a clearly indignant China, and Japan that is taking a basically aggressive position in relation to so-called territorial integrity. So Pacific Asia is increasingly becoming more belligerent, more conflict-prone East Asia.”
The propaganda against China in both Europe and North America is reaching a crescendo. The more socialist (Chinese way) it is once again becoming, and the closer its ties with Russia become, the more powerful the ideological attacks are from Western governments and mainstream media.
The latest decision (over the South China Sea dispute) of the ‘kangaroo’ arbitration court in The Hague appears to be the last drop.
The Chinese Dragon has risen in anger. Tired of receiving punches, mighty and strong, it has sent a strong message to the West: China is an enormous and peaceful country. But if threatened, if attacked, this time the country will be firm and determined. It will defend itself and its interests.
Just around the time when the court in The Hague was getting ready to rule, I was driving south from the Russian Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, straight towards the border with China.
Flowing below us was the mighty River Ussuri, which separates two great nations, China and Russia. The modern bridge we were driving on was brand new; it had not even made it onto Google Maps, yet. Now it connects the Russian mainland with the Big Ussuri Island, a substantial land mass hugged from one side by the Amur and from the other by the Ussuri rivers.
In the past, this area used to suffer from great tensions and lived through several conflicts. The island was clearly a ‘disputed territory’, a ‘no go’ area, a military zone.
Still remembering the past, I came armed with my passport and several press cards, but my driver, Nikolai, was poking fun at my precautions.
“It is absolutely peaceful and quiet here now,” he said. “Now Russia and China are great friends and allies. Look there, on the shore, people are just parking their cars and having picnic.”
True, but all around I saw the remnants of the past – abandoned bunkers, as well as military ghost towns and constant warning signs announcing that we are entering a restricted border area. Not far away, I spotted a tall Chinese pagoda. We were really at the frontier.
A man was riding his horse, and close to the road, I spotted a collective farm.
I still couldn’t believe that I was here, in this twilight zone. It all felt like watching an old film by Andrei Tarkovski.
But for the local people, all is ‘quite and normal’, now. Chinese and Russian people are mingling, getting to know and understand each other; tourists and bargain hunters travel by ferries, buses and airplanes, crossing the border in great numbers. The Vladivostok and Khabarovsk museums, concert halls and shopping centers are now overflowing with curious Chinese visitors.
The conflict is over. Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao met in 2004, both leaders harboring clear and good intentions. Negotiations were complex but both sides overcame the obstacles. They signed an addendum to the Agreement on the Russian-Chinese state border, and all difficult disputes were resolved, rapidly.
Now China is investing tens of billions of dollars in the flourishing Russian Far East. Great infrastructural projects are materializing. A Solid friendship has been forged. The anti-imperialist alliance is in place. Both countries – China and Russia – are on the rise; both are full of optimism and hopes for the future.
‘It can be done’, I am thinking, after speaking to several local people who express their admiration for neighboring China. ‘It definitely can be done, if there is a strong will!’
A few thousand kilometers south, I drove through the horrific slums encircling Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
Like Indonesia, the Philippines is clearly a ‘failed’ state, but both countries are known to be staunch allies of the West and therefore, their elites are continuously reaping rewards for their submissiveness and servility. To provoke and to antagonize China is one of the most secure ways to prove allegiance to Washington and to the European capitals.
As early as in 2012, I first decided to write about the ‘confrontation’ over the Spratly Islands for the People’s Daily (one of the most important newspapers in China and the official publication of the Communist Party). I spoke to several of my friends – leading Filipino academics. One of them, Roland G. Simbulan, Senior Fellow and Professor in Development Studies and Public Management at the University of the Philippines, spoke to me about the ‘dispute’, as we were driving through Metro Manila, at the time searching for the remnants of the horrid US colonial rule over the archipelago, for my documentary film:
“Frankly speaking, those Spratly Islands are not so significant to us. What’s happening is that our political elites are clearly encouraged by the US to provoke China, and there is also the big influence of the US military on our armed forces. I would say that the Philippine military is very vulnerable to such type of ‘encouragement’. So the US is constantly nurturing those confrontational attitudes. But to continue with this type of approach could be disastrous for our country. Essentially we are very close to China, geographically and otherwise.”
“China has a stronger claim than Philippines,” explained Professor Eduardo C. Tadem, Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Philippines (UP), two years later, in his home:
“China controlled the Spratly Islands before we even knew anything about them. The only claim we have is their proximity, and frankly, that is not a particularly strong claim.”
Both Eduard Tadem and his wife Teresa S. Encarnation Tadem (Professor at the Department of Political Science College of Science and Philosophy at University of the Philippines and also the former head of ‘Third World Studies’ at UP), agree that the West is continuously provoking China while trying to ensure that the natural resources of the Spratly Islands goes to the weakest players:
“We are totally dependent on foreign companies for the exploitation of our natural resources. The Philippines only gets a share from what is extracted. The international companies hold all the major contracts. Foreign multi-nationals would greatly profit from the natural resources of the China Sea, if a weak and dependent country like this one were to be put in charge of them.”
In China, passions exploded right in July 2016, right after the final decision came from The Hague. As reported by Reuters on 18th July 2016:
“China has refused to recognise the ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague that invalidated its vast territorial claims in the South China Sea and did not take part in the proceedings brought by the Philippines.
It has reacted angrily to calls by Western countries and Japan for the decision to be adhered to.
China has repeatedly blamed the United States for stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually.
China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have rival claims, of which China’s is the largest.”
A researcher of US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences made this correct observation: “We can see that Washington, which has never ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, encouraged and supported Manila to initiate the arbitration case from the very beginning.”
Many observers, in Beijing and abroad, pointed out that the ruling was clearly political, and that out of five, four judges were citizens of the EU, while one (the chairman) was Ghanaian but also a long-term resident of Europe.
The Chinese response was quick and determined. The official newspaper, “China Daily”, declared on July 15th: “Beijing said on Thursday that it will respond resolutely if any party seeks to use the ruling in the unilaterally initiated arbitration on the South China Sea to harm China’s interests.”
The position of China is clear: it is bound by several bilateral agreements with its neighbors, and it is willing to negotiate further. But not through the West and its institutions that are hostile towards China and towards all countries that are not ready to accept Western dictates.
During a recent meeting in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met China’s Premier Li Keqiang and declared that “Vietnam stands ready to push for forward bilateral negotiations and properly manage differences with China, in order to contribute to regional peace and stability.” Such approach is welcomed and encouraged by Beijing.
Even in Manila, there are countless voices of reason emerging, calling for further and immediate bilateral negotiations with China.
To antagonize China is not only wrong; it is dangerous and shortsighted. Beijing has been backing up and compromising too long, for many decades. It will not any longer. Chinese people demand fairness. The Philippines should realize that the West is using their country as a proxy, for its imperialist goals.
To involve Western courts in internal Asian disputes, as is being done by the Philippines, will only aggravate the situation. To shoot at Chinese fishing vessels in the disputed waters (as was recently done by the Indonesian navy) can only escalate tensions (Indonesia already has a horrid historic track record in relation to China – banning the Chinese language, culture and even names, for decades, after the bloody Western-backed coup of 1965).
For the time being, China will be applying a ‘wait and see’ strategy. Once again, it will use its diplomacy, re-launching bilateral negotiations with the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries.
But if the West refuses to back up, and if some of the Southeast Asian countries continue to act as proxies for the West, Beijing would most likely use one of the tougher options. One would be setting up an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea. Another would be direct military escalation – greater naval and air force presence in the area.
And what is the position of the world? No matter what the Western propaganda is trumpeting, only a handful countries, mainly the US and its closest allies (5 at the time this essay is being written), have publicly supported the Philippines and the Ruling coming from The Hague. Over 70 nations support China and its belief that disputes should be resolved through negotiations and not arbitration. The rest of the world has remained ‘neutral’.
It is possible to negotiate a good deal with China. But one has to approach Chinese Dragon as a friend, never as a foe. And the hand of peace has to be honestly extended. It should never be hiding the sword of Western imperialism behind the back!
Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist, he’s a creator of Vltchek’s World an a dedicated Twitter user, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
Who cares about those rocks? The USA of course. China is guilty of doing exactly what the US has been doing for a long time. Appropriating lands and people (slaves) to replenish the empire. We don’t care about the USA minions in that area. But we do care about Tibet: China, get the hell out of Tibet. It’s not yours, never been. You want to save face? Exit Tibet and regain the respect of the world. And screw those rocks.
With permission of
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, backed by the UN, essentially ruled that there is no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to vast sections of the South China Sea included in the ‘nine-dash line’.
Here it is, in full legalese: “China’s claims to historic rights, or other sovereign rights or jurisdiction, with respect to the maritime areas of the South China Sea encompassed by the relevant part of the ‘nine-dash line’ are contrary to the Convention and without lawful effect to the extent that they exceed the geographic and substantive limits of China’s maritime entitlements under the Convention.”
Well, nothing is black and white in such an immensely complex case. The Philippines were advised by a powerhouse Anglo-American legal team. China had “no agents or representatives appointed.”
Beijing argues that all the attention over the South China Sea revolves around conflicting sovereign claims over islands/rocks/reefs and related maritime delimitations – over which the court has no jurisdiction. Attributing territorial sovereignty over maritime features in the South China Sea goes beyond the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Beijing does abide by Article 298 of UNCLOS – which excludes compulsory arbitration on maritime boundaries. This, by the head of the Chinese mission to the EU, Yang Yanyi, is a fair summary of the Chinese position. And in fact the court did not allocate any islands/rocks/reefs/outcrops to disputing nations; what it did was to point towards which maritime “features” are capable – under international law – of generating territorial rights over surrounding seas.
Yet now the narrative is being calibrated; Beijing is open for talks, as long as Manila sets the ruling aside. Jay Batongbacal, from the University of the Philippines, cuts to the heart of the issue: “Publicly stating that junking the arbitration is a condition for resuming negotiations gives no room for face-saving on either side.”
And face-saving – the Asian way – must now be the name of the game. New Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte – a.k.a. ‘The Punisher,’ due to his stint as a crime-busting mayor of Davao City – does have an agenda, which is to improve his country’s appalling infrastructure. And guess where crucial investment would have to come from.
So Duterte’s domestic reform agenda points to economic cooperation, not confrontation, with China. He already gave – contradictory – signs he would be willing to visit Beijing and strike a deal. Undoubtedly, however, he would have a hard time convincing Beijing to stop military-related construction in the South China Sea, as well as not imposing an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
But he might have a shot at proposing the sharing of natural resources, as in the vast South China Sea wealth of unexplored oil and gas. Yes, because once again the South China Sea is all about energy – much more than the roughly $4.5 trillion of shipping trade that traverses it every year; “freedom of navigation” has always been more than assured for all. For Beijing, the South China Sea is an all-out energy must have, as it would constitute, in the long run, another key factor in the “escape from Malacca” master plan of diversifying energy sources away from a bottleneck that can be easily shut off by the US Navy.
Now, with the US Navy already intruding and over-flying the South China Sea, the stakes cannot but get higher.
It’s… a rock!
The absolute majority of the islands/rocks/rocky islets/reefs/shoals claimed by China, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan in the South China Sea are uninhabited – with some of them underwater at low tide. They may cover a total of just a few square kilometers – but are spread out over an immense 2 million square kilometers of sea, and included in China’s ‘nine-dash line’, which claims sovereignty over the majority of island chains and nearby waters.
So in this key department regarding the question: ‘Who’s the rightful, sovereign owner of certain islands in the South China Sea,’ the ruling was a major blow to Beijing. Justification had always relied on historical texts, ranging from the 4th century BC to the Tang and Qin dynasties. During the – short – Republic of China period, 291 islands, reefs and banks were mapped and qualified as part of the ‘nine-dash line’ in 1947.
So ‘Red’ China, in 1949, actually inherited a claim made by the rival Republic of China. Fast forward to 1958, when China under Mao issued a declaration framing its territorial waters within the ‘nine-dash line’ – encompassing the Spratly Islands. Adding to historic irony, North Vietnam’s then prime minister, Pham Van Dong, agreed with then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai.
Now it’s a completely different story. Even though Beijing and Taipei continue to agree, China and Vietnam are on opposite sides. The Hague ruled, “There was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.” An extra problem is that Beijing never really explained what the line meant, legally.
The Hague also downgraded what could be seen as islands to the status of a bunch of rocks. Thus they are not territory-generating. Most of the South China Sea in fact is declared as neutral international waters.
So if we’re talking about rocks, their surrounding territorial sea stops at a mere 12 nautical miles. And they obviously don’t qualify for exclusive economic zone (EEZ) status, with a radius of 200 nautical miles.
If no EEZs apply to the Spratlys, what may happen in the near future is that Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam could each draw their own EEZ-style lines from their major islands or coastline into that section of the South China Sea – and claim the respective rights.
The ruling does spell trouble for the Mischief and Subi reefs – the two biggest land “formations” in the South China Sea after massive Chinese reclamation. Now they have been downgraded to “low-tide elevations” – they only emerge above water at low tide. This means these two major Chinese bases in the Spratlys would have no territorial sea, no EEZ, nothing, apart from a 500-metre safety zone surrounding them.
Meet the Spratly Rocks
And then there’s the extraordinary case of Taiping – the largest “island” in the Spratlys, with an area of about half a square kilometer. Taiping is occupied by the Republic of China, which as everyone knows is not recognized as a sovereign nation by the UN, by the court in The Hague, or by any other Southeast Asian nation for that matter.
Beijing never questioned Taipei’s claim over Taiping. But as Taiwan is part of China, even without physically occupying Taiping, Beijing could still claim the right to draw an EEZ.
The Philippines, for its part, argued that Taiping has neither civilian habitation nor sustainable economic life, because it is a military garrison. The Hague agreed. So Taiping island was also downgraded to “rock” status. No 200 nautical miles EEZ then, which would reach very close to the Philippines’ Palawan province.
So in a nutshell there seem to be no “islands” left among the more than 100 “rocks” in the Spratlys. Time to call them the Spratly Rocks then?
According to the court, none of the Spratlys were “capable of generating extended maritime zones … [and] having found that none of the features claimed by China was capable of generating an exclusive economic zone, the tribunal found that it could — without delimiting a boundary — declare that certain sea areas are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, because those areas are not overlapped by any possible entitlement of China.”
Ouch. As if this was not enough, The Hague also condemned China’s land reclamation projects – all of them – and the construction of artificial islands at seven “rocks” in the Spratlys, stating these had caused “severe harm to the coral reef environment and violated its obligation to preserve and protect fragile ecosystems and the habitat of depleted, threatened, or endangered species.”
Since 2012, all of the Paracel Islands have been under Chinese control. As for the Spratlys, they are a mixed bag; Vietnam occupies 21 “features”, the Philippines 9, China 7, and Malaysia 5. The song, though, remains the same; sovereignty issues cannot be settled under international law, as they all fall outside of The Hague’s jurisdiction.
So what happens next – apart from endless haggling about the conclusions? Beijing and Manila must talk – in a manner that Beijing saves face; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should step up its game and act as a mediator. That does not mean China will cease to create “facts on the sea” – as in most of the South China Sea. After all, they’ve got the (military) power. With or without a ‘nine-dash line’. And be it over islands, reefs, “low-tide elevations” or a bunch of rocks.
This piece first appeared at RT.
Pic added by Tales
With permission from
Media Matrix: an ancient Tibetan perspective on the evening network news
by Jon Rappoport
November 6, 2015
“A long time ago, teachers and students in Tibet considered themselves artists of reality. They practiced inventing it. And then, separating themselves from every other spiritual system, they practiced destroying what they created. Back and forth, back and forth, with the goal of achieving an intimate knowledge of their own existence.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
Television news is about giving the viewer a dose of mind control, but what’s the underlying principle?
Answer: Something is better than nothing.
Corollary: A lot of something is better than even a little bit of nothing.
Imagine this: an elite television news anchor just sits there in front of the camera for a half-hour. Silently.
People watching this would start to get very antsy. They would feel anger and rage building up inside them.
What’s wrong with nothing? Why is it so maligned?
“And now, tonight, we have no news to report. Nothing happened today.”
“He’s crazy. He’s a lunatic. Get him off the air. He’s making me feel…”
Making the viewer feel what? And why?
For the early Tibetan adepts, the Void was a vital concept.
Stripped of its metaphysical baggage and embroidery, Void was the place where creating stopped. The constant “noise of existence” went away.
The ongoing parade of inner thoughts, sentiments, propensities—vanished.
For as long as a person wanted to stay there. And experience the greatest “vacation” he’d ever known. If he could handle it.
But humans felt a great need to avoid the Void. They demanded activity, flow, information.
They eventually sank to the level of passivity…and then they simply wanted input, more input, and still more input.
From an authoritative unimpeachable external source.
Hence, from the earliest societies onward, there was a thing called: the news.
It was updated. It was ongoing. It was forever.
Priests delivered it. Kings delivered it. Their minions delivered it.
If the news stopped, people felt anxiety, which, at bottom, was a fear of Void.
There is much more to say about the Tibetans and their understanding of Void and its twin, ongoing Creation, but I’ll save that for another time.
Now, in these times, the global population has television news.
The imitations of life called anchors are the arbiters. How they speak, how they look, how they themselves experience emotion—all this is planted deep in the minds of the viewers.
Much of the world can’t imagine the evening news could look and sound any other way.
The elite anchors, from John Daly, in the early days of television, all the way to Lester Holt and Scott Pelley, have set the style. They define the genre.
The anchor taps into, and mimics, that part of the audience’s psyche that wants smooth delivery of superficial cause and effect. (In the Void, of course, cause and effect dissolve.)
The network anchor is the wizard of Is. He keeps explaining what is. “Here’s something that is, and then over here we have something else that is, and now, just in, a new thing that is.” He lays down miles of “is-concrete” to pave over deeper, uncomfortable truth.
Ultimately, he is paving over Void.
On air, the anchor is neutral, a castratus, a eunuch.
This is a time-honored ancient tradition. The eunuch, by his diminished condition, has the trust of the ruler. He guards the emperor’s inner sanctum. He acts as a buffer between his master and the people. He applies the royal seal to official documents.
All expressed shades of emotion occur and are managed within that persona of the dependable court eunuch. The anchor who can move the closest to the line of being human without actually arriving there is the champion. These days, it was, until his downfall, Brian Williams.
The vibrating string between eunuch and human is the frequency that makes an anchor great. Think Cronkite, Chet Huntley, Edward R Murrow. Huntley was a just a touch too masculine, so they teamed him up with David Brinkley, a medium-boiled egg. Brinkley supplied twinkles of comic relief.
There are other reasons for “voice-neutrality” of the anchor. Neutrality conveys a sense of science. “We did the experiment in the lab and this is how it turned out.”
Television news is really all segue all the time. That’s what it comes down to.
The word “segue,” pronounced “segway,” refers to a transition from one thing to another, a blend.
Ed McMahon once referred to Johnny Carson as the prince of blends, because Carson could tell a clunker of a joke, step on it three times, and still move to the next joke without losing his audience.
Television news is very serious business. A reporter who can’t handle segues is dead in the water. He’s a gross liability.
The good anchors can take two stories that have no connection whatsoever and create a sense of smooth transition.
Brian Williams could say, “The planes were recalled later in the afternoon…And a man was cut in two in a horrific accident in Idaho today…And in Seattle (smile), three people reported seeing turtles falling from the sky.”
And it works. The segue works. The blends from one story to another seem reasonable somehow.
The networks basically have, on a daily basis, radically fragmented stories, and they need an anchor who can do the blends, the segues, and get away with it, to promote the sense of one continuous flow. So the audience doesn’t say, “This is just an odd collection of surreal moments, this is Salvador Dali on my television screen.”
The news is all segue all the time.
Not just nationally. On the local level, too. The pounding lead-in music at the top of the show prepares the audience. A) Music. B) “Tonight, our top story: a man ate a hot dog and died …”
The voice of the anchor is the non-stop blending machine that ties all news stories together. That’s why the elite network stars earn their paychecks.
Good segue people are stage magicians. They can move the viewer’s attention from item A to item B without a tremor or a doubt.
The segue, the blend not only connects wildly disparate pieces, it keeps the viewer from brushing up against the Void. The blend is the primary mechanism for creating an endless river of “information” linoleum with no cracks.
It’s often been said of certain actors, “He could read from the phone book and you’d listen.” Well, an elite anchor can hold the viewer’s mind as he reads a sentence from the phone book, another one from a car-repair manual, a third from a cookbook, and a fourth from a funeral-home brochure. Without stopping.
And afterward, the viewer would have no questions.
The news is surreal because the stories are mostly fool’s gold to begin with; and they’re unrelated. They’re rocks lying around. The anchor picks them up and invents the illusion of One Flowing Stream.
This is what the audience wants. The news feels like a story. It feels like unity. It feels like a stage play or a movie. It feels, when all is said and done, good.
You can’t pull just anyone off the street and have him describe car crashes, murders, storms, threats of war, political squabbles, 300 cats living in a one-room apartment, a new piece of Medicare legislation, genitalia picture tweets, and the dedication of a new library, while keeping the audience in a light trance.
Katie Couric couldn’t do it. People were waiting for her to break out into an attack of Perky and giggle and cross her legs. Diane Sawyer had her bad nights. She seemed to be affecting somber personal grief as her basic segue-thread. Scott Pelley is competent, but he has his off-moments, too, when he’s suddenly sitting like a surgeon ready to signal the anesthesiologist to clamp a mask on your face, before he cuts into your stomach.
Whereas, a true version of the news would go something like this: “Well, folks, just now I moved from a tornado in Kansas to the removal of restrictions on condom sales, and I’m blending directly into penguins in Antarctica. I’m doing Salvador Dali and you’re not noticing a thing.”
The anchor is basically saying to the audience, “I’m a few feet inside your personal landscape, your mind, feeding you all the turns in the river, and I’ll always be here…papering over the Void.”
Elite anchors invent and maintain certain tones of voice, certain rhythms, certain cadences, certain variations of musical pitch, in order to sustain the sense of continuity.
They’re mechanics of voice.
They use their skills to report the false facts handed down to conceal ops and staged events.
They can know they’re actors on television, but they can believe (in direct contradiction) they’re delivering the truth.
“Okay, look,” the producer says to the veteran actor he’s interviewing for the lead, in a billion-dollar production called the news. “This may sound strange, but you’re going to have to do Normal as it’s never been done before. That’s what the audience wants. You’ve got to come across as very, very smart and very, very Normal. Get it? Pretend you’re the brain of every other brain. You’re the conscience of every other conscience. You’re just as walled off from the conspiracy to own every inch of America as Americans are walled off from knowing about it. You know as little as they do. You’re clean, sanitary, loyal as a dog, dumb as fog but very smart. You spew absolute nonsense every second of your time on stage, but it sounds eminently plausible. You constantly change subjects, and the subjects are in no way related to each other, but you make it all Liquid Flow. It’s a joke. But you’re serious. And you’ll get rich.”
And people, with their inordinate and strange fear of dropping down into the gorgeous silence of Void, will watch and listen. They’ll roll up their sleeves and shoot themselves up with the news every night.
Here’s a parting tidbit: The early Tibetans, with their stout, strong, and implacable techniques and exercises, were artists of reality. They were saying, “If you practice inventing reality to the hilt, with great intensity, and then practice not inventing it, you’ll grasp the twin pillars of this existence. You’ll become immune to fear of the Void. You’ll recognize bullshit, on both the daily and cosmic levels, as you’ve never known them before. As a side effect, you’ll be able to analyze information with a keener gaze than you imagined was possible.”
Or you can have the network evening news.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.