What We Must Do Part III: Hammer the Bastards
OPEN FORUM. Due to increased requests, blogdai will turn off the moderation feature and let everyone just go at it. We will do this from time to time and see how it evolves. We will, I'm afraid, have to reinstate the word verification function, lest we get innundated with blog spam. -=BD
Nepal is messed-up; or so the world keeps telling us. We do (did) get shoddy treatment in the Western media by all manner of pundits who have never been to Nepal, never seen or talked to a Nepali and never bothered to study Nepal's vast and complex history. Still, many of these Westerners feel they have some proprietary duty to comment on events and conflicts there as though they were perfect, serene experts. With an absolute straight face, these political conjurers insist on applying Western history lessons and Western political and military theories to Nepal issues. It doesn't work. Add to that the scores of Kathmandu-based journalists and shout-fest Nepali blog sites-- all spouting bias, rage and innacuracy--that further confuse perceptions of Nepal, and we have a media culture that is driving an already teetering Nepal further towards chaos.
Well, NO MORE. Let's use our substantial readership here at blogdai to HAMMER THESE BASTARDS. Bad, innacurate reporting has actually forced perceptions and events in Nepal; the tail has been "wagging the dog" over the last few months and it's time to put a stop to it.
Time to fire-up the BMW: Blogdai's Media Watchdogs.
With Bavarian thoroughness and efficiency, let's go after all those who misrepresent, misreport and claim to be experts on Nepal issues. These folks do real damage on the political scene in Nepal and it's time their brand of journalism and reporting came under scrutiny.
How to do it:
1. Scan Googlenews. Type in "Nepal" or any other related topic and see what comes up. Usually, Googlenews is a clearing house for the most basic and insipid of Nepal reporting that makes its way through the wires to the computers of fat Westerners. Find the news and commentary that just doesn't make sense to you and reply to it. If you don't want to reply, post it here and our readership will decide what to do. The BBC runs a heavily-monitored thread on Nepal issues, as does Scoop.com. Check out Wikipedia for their current wave of Nepal "facts."
2. Scan Nepal news sources. Nepalmonitor.com is the best cache site. Nepalnews.com, thehimalayantimes.com, kantipuronline.com and others. Pay Kunda Dixit a visit over at The Nepali times site as well. Again, look for bias and comment on it. Doesn't feel right? Post it here.
3. Follow the idiots. Look for political pundits who just can't shut up about Nepal. (OK, I'm included in that group). We've had a good history of calling fools on the carpet here at blogdai, so we're more than happy to repeat the process with someone you find on your own. Far right-wing and revolutionary sites are good hunting grounds for these types. It sounds trite, sure, but these opinions are the germ of more widespread thinking. Catch them early and often.
4. Get on the sites. I disagree often with Dinesh Wagle's "United We Blog" yet his commentary is vital and necessary to the Nepal discussion in general. But, don't give him a free pass! Waves of ridiculous and often pro-Maoist thinking goes unchecked on UWB, post after post. Get in there and make your opinions known. Also, try to get an intelligent word in at samudaya.org and the insipid and frightening democracyfornepal. Find some new Nepal chats and report them here. All momentum (even blogdai's) must be checked with an opposing viewpoint from time to time. Remember, we win blog arguments because we research, prove the facts, and don't shout. If you find yourself getting slaughtered by screaming little boys, post it here and we'll go over to the thread and help you out.
These are the trenches. This is where democracy is frommented. Point/counterpoint discussions are vital. Right now we see a lot of agenda-driven one-sided commentary from Western commenters. We also see a lot of angry people looking for the catch-phrase that will help them form the next mob to hit the streets in Kathmandu. Our job is to balance and inform the discussion. Unchecked reporting and commentary is an invitation for factional abuse.
Also, vocal support of commentary that actually presents a well-argued opinion--pro or con--is valued and worthy of acknowledgement. We're big fans of Preety Koirala and Thomas Marks here at blogdai. Certainly, there are others out there who "get it right." We love to hear about any new writers that actually have something to say.
What do we say? Say what you feel, but the most important thing is to let those who post crap about Nepal understand that their views will no longer go unchecked. Some talking point I like to make when arguing are:
1. There is no "people's movement" or public mandate without elections. Girija and his mob haven't held one in 8 years so how can they possibly claim a mandate?
2. Don't fool yourselves. The King and the army are still intact and still buddy-buddy. All he had to do was pull the trigger and this whole story would have been different.
3. Don't rely on the babblings of any American diplomat. The U.S. relies on India for its Nepal moves.
4. Look at Nepal's recent history. Does anything even give us a remote clue that the Maoists will lay down there arms and join the mainstream? The Maoists won't compromise, period.
5. Nepal needs to wipe the slate clean of these old-guard politicians and start the process anew with fresh ideas and people who are committed to public service over personal enrichment.
6. A Nepali's traditional dislike for the excesses and cruelty of past royal regimes must not be an excuse for mob action. We live in modern times and the Panchayat and Rana eras of dominance will never be repeated. Let it go and move forward. Leave the King alone and move forward.
Just talking points, but you get the idea. Ok, this is an open forum so let's see what you can come up with. Let's get this BMW rolling. Happy hunting!