We are passing through extremely dark times. The recent solar eclipse is a mind-blowing expression of that. Decent and honest people are being attacked and destroyed while crooks and killers get away with almost anything. Why is that? It is difficult to give a definitive answer as this problem is multifaceted. The hacking of Red Ice TV website is a good example of what we are going through. The website is owned and run by a young couple, Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff. They belong to a fringe movement of the political right, called the Alt-Right. You probably heard of that movement. Their website was taken down during the events of the Charlottesville rally called Unite the Right in which one person died and several people were injured after clashes between participants and protesters. I can say that although there are things that I would phrase differently, I do support the work that they do. They do an important service to the community by providing a platform to political dissidents and free thinkers in the United States and worldwide. Their resource is absolutely indispensable in these terrible times we are getting through. Yet their website was hacked, supposedly by the ‘antifa’, but it remains to be seen who did it. Here are some of my reflections on the subject.
First, anybody that took a look at their material could see that more than often they provide opportunities to people who are extremely critical of not only Muslims but also of Jews and⁄or Israel, and of non-white ethnic groups in particular. I believe that nobody is above critical thinking. If somebody has something to say about a certain group or a certain category of individuals, if it is sound and rational, we should celebrate that as a great contribution to society. But clearly, there are people who don’t think this way.
Second, and this is a crucial point, their website provide what we could call ‘free TV’. In effect, they often livestream political gatherings on their website, events that they participate in or that represent important milestones in the political sphere. As such, they may be seen as an unjust competition. There is absolutely no publicity on their website. Their activities are funded by their listeners and viewers through voluntary contributions. It goes without saying that big TV networks are probably frustrated and angry about Red Ice TV and other websites of the same type such as The Rebel, etc. Put yourself in the shoes of the big TV networks for a moment. They pump up millions and millions of dollars into their channels. But the more money they put in, the crappier the content gets. When I was a kid, there was only four channels on TV and for today’s standards, it was rather good. Now you have 500 channels and the content is terrible most of the time. Marshall McLuhan has written extensively on the nature of the media. ‘The medium in the message’, he was saying. Well, that’s the point. TV is like a bottle of sauce. The amount of sauce in it is finite. If you take that sauce and try to put into more bottles, it only dilutes the sauce more and more. At one point, there is no sauce anymore but water that’s what is happening with TV. Playing directly in this phenomenon is the obsession of specialization. When zapping, you can fall on a channel dedicated to the preparation of omelettes on July sunday mornings every Year of the Dragon. Well…I am joking but does it need to be that specialized? Probably not. As I have said, TV was much better when there was only a handful of channels and that was before specialization occurred.
So again, put yourself in the shoes of big TV network producers. You have a bunch of kids or young adults creating excellent TV, almost for free, and offering it for free to the world! Big TV is certainly not happy about that. The shows that independent media offer on the web are far better than the ones that you get from the ‘official’ TV. I am not saying that they are the ones who hacked Red Ice TV but let’s say that they wouldn’t mind, really. Independent media content creators make their own TV, film themselves with regular cameras and cellphones, and livestream or upload their shows on the web at a fraction of the cost…It is often said that big newspapers are losing readership, that it is falling year after year and that certain ones are on the path to bankruptcy. But it is also true for TV. It is very expensive to put on the air and the viewers are dropping it in favor of the internet that offers content that is interactive, new, bold and edgy. Personally, I don’t see any solution for big TV networks. They will continue to fall apart. TV, in its present form, is a medium that belongs to the past.
Another part of the problem is censorship and control. Just take a look at the number of hosts that have lost their jobs recently at Fox News for example. Fox News is good TV network, of right-wing orientation, that provides a platform for people that you don’t hear on the other networks. Guests come from the right-wing in general, they are Republicans, libertarians, conservatives, etc. But the content is made for a general public, not a smaller fringe like the Alt-Right or some other o