This About page, and the rest of Antemedius, is an evolving process. We came online early March 2009 and officially launched in mid March 2009.
If you're here taking the time to read this page you likely have thoughts and writing to contribute, and we sincerely hope you'll do so.
Each user of the site will have their own blog, and although at first there will be a selected group of front pagers, exceptional and well written blog posts will also be promoted to the front page and consistently good bloggers may be promoted to front pagers so that they can freely post front page stories as well as their own blog posts.
You're welcome to create a user account for yourself now and you may post blog entries, as well as comment on stories and other blog entries.
Join Antemedius today, express your own Liberally Critical Thinking, and help us to create a counterbalance to corporate media. And a counterbalance to something else...
You may be wondering why the site name "Antemedius" and what the purpose and vision behind this site is and will be. This site should not be categorized or seen as left, right, democratic, republican, partisan or even non-partisan, in the usual senses of those words.
Antemedius has three broad purposes.
One, it is the new home and host of the Out Of Iraq Bloggers Caucus, or OOIBC; a coalition of bloggers opposed to the Iraq Occupation and the funding of it, and opposed to wars of imperialism and hegemony more generally, which began in early 2007 with the original OOIBC site that is now an archive site. OOIBC has since inception been dedicated to opposing funding the Iraq Occupation fiasco, committed to getting the troops home as soon as possible, determined to end the Iraq and Mid-East Debacle as quickly as possible, and determined to restore some sanity to the world, and the quality of posts in that time has been tremendous - but we wanted to expand the scope of OOIBC beyond the Iraq Occupation, and also the host for the OOIBC Blogroll was making plans to insert advertisements into the blogroll, so we had to develop a new system of hosting and serving the blogroll ourselves.
And two? It is also a coalition of bloggers acting together to educate, and to counter mainstream media manipulation of society.
And three? There is a danger, as I see it, that since the 2008 US Presidential Election some of the biggest players in the left blogosphere are running the risk of becoming what we have all for years castigated mainstream media for being and for what it has been for years; simply a soapbox for power, and if that continues to happen then we are lost without purpose, and perhaps an unspoken motto for this site would be an old standard of mine:
"Question everything. Especially our questions".
A related quote, one that years ago served and still serves as the inspiration for my own blogging handle "Edger", from the good Doctor Hunter S. Thompson is I think also in order here:
"The Edge... There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
-- Hunter S. Thompson
For now the purpose and vision of Antemedius may be best exemplified by this quote from John Pilger's talk at the Socialism 2007 Conference in Chicago.
The Unseen Lies: Journalism As Propaganda, John Pilger, August 8, 2007:
The title of this talk is Freedom Next Time, which is the title of my book, and the book is meant as an antidote to the propaganda that is so often disguised as journalism. So I thought I would talk today about journalism, about war by journalism, propaganda, and silence, and how that silence might be broken. Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations, wrote about an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. He was referring to journalism, the media.
That was almost 80 years ago, not long after corporate journalism was invented. It is a history few journalists talk about or know about, and it began with the arrival of corporate advertising. As the new corporations began taking over the press, something called "professional journalism" was invented. To attract big advertisers, the new corporate press had to appear respectable, pillars of the establishment-objective, impartial, balanced. The first schools of journalism were set up, and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around the professional journalist. The right to freedom of expression was associated with the new media and with the great corporations, and the whole thing was, as Robert McChesney put it so well, "entirely bogus".
For what the public did not know was that in order to be professional, journalists had to ensure that news and opinion were dominated by official sources, and that has not changed. Go through the New York Times on any day, and check the sources of the main political stories-domestic and foreign-you'll find they're dominated by government and other established interests. That is the essence of professional journalism.
One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. "I have to tell you," said the spokesman, "that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don't have to do any of that. What is the secret?"
What is the secret? It is a question seldom asked in newsrooms, in media colleges, in journalism journals, and yet the answer to that question is critical to the lives of millions of people. On August 24 (2006) the New York Times declared this in an editorial: "If we had known then what we know now the invasion if Iraq would have been stopped by a popular outcry." This amazing admission was saying, in effect, that journalists had betrayed the public by not doing their job and by accepting and amplifying and echoing the lies of Bush and his gang, instead of challenging them and exposing them. What the Times didn't say was that had that paper and the rest of the media exposed the lies, up to a million people might be alive today. That's the belief now of a number of senior establishment journalists. Few of them-they've spoken to me about it-few of them will say it in public.
Ironically, I began to understand how censorship worked in so-called free societies when I reported from totalitarian societies. During the 1970s I filmed secretly in Czechoslovakia, then a Stalinist dictatorship. I interviewed members of the dissident group Charter 77, including the novelist Zdener Urbanek, and this is what he told me. "In dictatorships we are more fortunate that you in the West in one respect. We believe nothing of what we read in the newspapers and nothing of what we watch on television, because we know its propaganda and lies. Unlike you in the West. We've learned to look behind the propaganda and to read between the lines, and unlike you, we know that the real truth is always subversive."
We need to make haste. Liberal Democracy is moving toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, and the media must not be allowed to be its façade, but itself made into a popular, burning issue, and subjected to direct action. That great whistleblower Tom Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and the ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the Bastille of words. That time is now.
You can create a new Antemedius User Account for yourself here.
Thank you for visiting Antemedius. If you write or comment, or if you care to, we hope you'll also contribute here. And whether you read, write, and/or comment, you are welcome and we hope you'll be back here often.
Vern Radul (aka Edger)
vern at antemedius dot com