Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Monday, September 22, 2014
INN, The ISIL News Network
flog of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
There has been much talk about how media savvy ISIL is and
how part of the executions involves getting their victims to add to the
propaganda blitz. The very notion of media and social networking is warm and
cuddly and makes you think of the kind of political advertisements that fill
the airways during a presidential campaign. Hyperbole rules the roost and all
kinds of absurd claims are made, but it’s really business as usual. While chopping off heads isolates ISIL from the family of
man, their expertise at conveying their message and the success with which they
do it, what McLuhan meant when he famously said “the medium is the message," creates a
business as usual type feeling. ISIL even sounds like a network It’s always shocking how anything can be packaged to appear normative. (Remember Leni Riefenstahl’s paean to Naziism, Triumph of the Will?) Is it really far-flung to think that ISIL will someday provide competition for Al Jazeera? The Al Jazeera Media Network is purportedly funded by the Thani family family of Qatar and there have been rumors that ISIL is being funded by Salafi and Wahabi money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar both. Providing news and
weather on cable is in itself a way of creating a certain kind of validity. For instance Fox News specializes in tendentious and often tabloid reportage, but it radiates an air of legitimacy simply because
it’s a well- positioned and slickly produced offering on cable channels. Who is to say that someday in the not too distant future, ISIL won’t attempt to become just another cable news show, sugar coating the situation of their soon to
be beheaded hostages by using them as anchor and weathermen, who read from a
script in which they report the temperature in Riyadh, domestic abuse scandals among NFL players and their own obituaries, before being executed.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.