Influential Liars

Time to resume after a month's break. It was good to stand back and see my blogs as a reader for a bit rather than as their author. After reviewing your many thoughtful comments, I have noticed two threads of opinion.

First, regarding Nunaview. I had originally hoped it would convey an idea of the Nunavut Territory as a relatively non-partisan perch from which to observe governnents, the press, and the effect each is having on North America's current self-image. Seven months later, some of my fellow Nunavummiut would prefer this blog focus on our own governments, our own press and our own life, not the rest of the world. More than that, they are desperate for a more constructive description and analysis of what is going on right here at home.

From a second group of readers, one that includes several prestigious members of the established press in both Canada and the United States, I have heard that most blogging is a mere echo, a stream of parasitic opinion feeding off harder, genuine 'news'.

That comment cuts deep. It speaks to the original intent of this blog, which was to expose and analyse the debilitating hidden assumptions underlying much purportedly harder journalism from our so-called 'mainstream media'.

I'm not sure what else to call elements of our contemporary press who have voluntarily donned a straightjacket of the narrowest possible scope. Their Pablum of permissible talking-points ensures only a few tightly controlled self-perpetuating biases are eligible for coverage.

There was so much truth in each of the above two criticisms, that I split my blogs for a few months. Nunaview remained as a more recognizably Nunavutian view of itself, Nunavut, where I encouraged readers to continue checking for more homey and culturally focused posts, but for more general news junkies, or those who enjoy my ornery analysis of the misleading assumptions and distortions propagated by our political leaders and news media, I launched a separate effort called "Influential Liars".

While trying that form of bifurcated blogging, however, I found it difficult to keep the two themes separate. Nunavut has its Influential Liars galore and the wider world benefits from the more intimate chat that occurs around Nunavut's rural kitchen table.

So I have decided to recombine the two, risk some temporary confusion, and unapologetically allow each thread to enrich the other.

With regard to the broader political theme, lets admit the discipline we can learn from 'hard news' is important. It is indeed time to move beyond simply stating that we are being lied to and to show exactly how it is being done. With your help, I'll include more specific examples from now on.

We all crave an alternative to the dreary inventory of social scars heaped on us by local and national publications. We expect more from our intellectual leadership than streams of rhetorical band-aid. Our cream-hued institutions, including our press, are developing an increasingly assimilationist complexion that only disguises the festering post-colonial angst that plagues our best of intentions.

Every time a news report frames a challenge in our communities in a narrative that despairs of a solution, let's expose it. The time has come to throw off such shackling mindsets.

A tall order. I know. We will be amateurs, both of us, dabbling where the professional wolves dominate and are so expert at mocking and belittling such attempts as ours. It might take a year or two to hone our skills and our instincts.

But our firm intent should be to gradually retell Nunavut's more useful story, using all the same truths, using all the documented history those nay-sayers love to wallow in, but to reweave that cloth into a map of a way forward, not one that keeps us going 'round and 'round an endless Ring Road of frustration.

Care to join me?

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