The Global Kiosk is Back

21 Apr

keyboardThe Global Kiosk has had its doors shut for quite a while by now, and if readers were thinking the closure might be permanent – well, you were not the only ones.

In Mexico, it is still common for establishments to hang a black bow over their doorway when there has been a death in the family. If the Kiosk was a real place and not a cyber one, there would have been black ribbons over its door as well, in some cases for actual deaths and in others, and I think these were the ones that kept its doors closed for so long, another kind of bad news; the kind of that brought about a sense of profound disappointment with the way the world is, coupled with a questioning of the worth of entire endeavour of expressing things that matter.

Last year at about this time, the Global Kiosk was about to look at a young man from Cite Soleil in Haiti named Louino Robillard, and his interesting take on the forming of organizations vs. non-organizations, and the role of leaderships vs. spontaneous participation by average people in building change. The first paragraph or two sat there on Desktop for a while, and then for another longer while. (That unfinished piece is still gathering dust on a virtual shelf somewhere.)

But now it seems that it is time once again to start looking at issues that matter, in this case, in fact, issues of expression and informing. For however hopeless it can seem sometimes to write about something important, there are reminders of how often – and how tragically – significant stories and the information they contain are censored, cut down before they get a chance to grow and spread.

Yes, what has begun to bother – and enough so to deserve exposure – is the recent canning by a Canadian broadcaster called Global (no relation) of a documentary about the billionaire Koch brothers and their involvement in Canada.

Canadian media critic and podcaster extraordinaire Jesse Brown talked about this event about a week ago. On his podcast Canadaland, he interviewed veteran documentary filmmaker Bruce Livesay about how he not only saw his investigative journalism concerning the power of the Koch brothers in the Canadian petroleum sector permanently shelved, but was actually fired by Global to boot.

There is not much doubt that average Canadians, not just this one, should know more about these two examples of the right-wing superrich and what they are doing and what they are capable of. They’ve control over a million acres of land in northern Alberta and staunch defenders of the rights of the already powerful. So if you are a cattle rancher in Alberta and don’t want oil drilling on the land where you graze cattle, tough. Your rights are trumped by those of oil-and-gas entrepreneurs.

But even more dire, even more frightening, is the idea that a media corporation can decide what average Canadians, average anybodies really, have the right to know and what they don’t. Because it is not just Global that has that power and has exercised it: any broadcaster or media outlet can do – and has done – the same.

Only a couple of days after hearing about the Bruce Livesay outrage, the Miami Herald published a story about how, some 50 years ago, it quashed an investigative piece about CIA preparations for the Bay of Pigs invasion. The paper even suggested that if the public had known about them, the whole stupid enterprise might have been dropped. But surely the real point here is that Americans had the right to know a government agency was breaking the law – and the so-called free press denied them that right.

The Global Kiosk will never have or does it aspire to have the kind of reach a typical mainstream media outlet has. But at the same time, it seems clear that digging stuff up, making comments on events of interest, and sharing alternative perspectives – in essence talking about stuff you might not be aware of – should continue.

So here we are, back again – and looking forward to the ongoing exploration of what is going on in an often heartless world. That includes stories about the many people and organizations who are trying to do something about it, but — what good can come of it, I can’t say. Nonetheless, like the negative exposure Global is now getting thanks to a simple, independent podcast, I do know that it’s better to talk about things than be overwhelmed by them.

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2 Responses to “The Global Kiosk is Back”

  1. Michael Dwyer April 21, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    Hi Gus – good to see you back in the saddle.

    Love

    Mike On Tue 21/04/15 1:49 PM , Global Kiosk comment-reply@wordpress.com sent: a:hover {color: red;}a {text-decoration: none;color: #0088cc;}a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; }a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; }/* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; }}*/ The Global Kiosk posted: “The Global Kiosk has had its doors shut for quite a while by now, and if readers were thinking the closure might be permanent – well, you were not the only ones. In Mexico, it is still common for establishments to hang a black bow over their doorway wh”

    • The Global Kiosk May 10, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

      Thanks!

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