Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Stateside with Rosalea: Fat Pipe Mama

Stateside with Rosalea

Fat Pipe Mama

Is that a pipe in my wallet or are you just glad to see me? After less than a month with broadband--heck, I haven't even got my first bill yet--I can see clearly now what all the fuss is about.

The trillion-dollar industry fuss, that is. It's like having a big fat pipe straight into my wallet. Not just because the monthly fee is unjustifiably high when you consider that the physical infrastructure for carrying data was already in place, but also because practically every site I can now get to without waiting wants me to part with my money.

I feel like a happy little aphid that settled on the underside of leaf somewhere, only to find that it's right next door to an ant colony and they're going to milk me for all I'm worth. Hell, they don't even need to come out of their place to suck the juice out of me--I'm paying for them to come right into mine!

But enough of fraughticulture. I'm actually very pleased with the first thing I bought to go with my new download speeds. It's a home video server. Now I can get programs delivered to me to watch on TV at my leisure. A great deal of it is alternative programming, simply because the company I'm getting it from is only just starting up.

If you're really into skiing, golf, flying your own plane, extreme sports, short films, yoga, world music, and the like, then Akimbo is the gizmo for you. One of the attractions for me was the (free with my $9.99 per month subscription) classic Britcoms--Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Porridge, The Brittas Empire--and the costume dramas like Moll Flanders.

But I'm not averse to a little new fare, so I'm also watching BBC's Two Pints, which is like a cross between Friends and Coronation Street with a great deal of sexual humour thrown in. It's not something that would ever get to air in the US.

An equivalent British show featuring an older, richer class of friends plays very late at night on free-to-air PBS and is practically impossible to follow because all those earthy words the British happily use have to be bleeped out. Mercifully, PBS doesn't actually use a bleeper--in this show, that would be as annoying as a cellphone on a bus. Instead, there's a reversion back to the early days of film where people mouth complete scenes in silence.

Another Akimbo download is Rocketboom, which is a videoblog that makes fun of news shows. Fortunately, it's only three minutes long, so if it's really bad it's only really bad for a short time. The host is army specialist Amanda Congdon, an actress whose resume includes a stint with Acting On Impulse in Sydney. You can see the show online at

Sadly, I have gotten to the world of videoblogs far too late. For heaven's sake, John Edwards has got one now, where he answers video questions sent in from viewers. And of course, the first other vlog he got himself onto was Rocketboom.

The reason I call Congdon an army specialist is because the U.S. Army has latched on to her as a conduit. She now has an army contributor preparing to go to and report from Iraq, who says in his June 02 segment that when he's over there there's more to his mission "than just public affairs, just reporting, rather."

Which brings me to this whole new crock called citizen journalism--the supposed fine, democratic outcome of Internet technology. It's a crock simply because it is becoming increasingly hard to distinguish between public affairs and reporting.

If someone who has been to journalism school--as Army Specialist Kever has, paid for by the Army--can't tell the difference between the two, that's one thing. At least he's in uniform, so you know where he's coming from. (On the Internet site there's an interesting text discussion around these very questions, which is not available on the TV download.)

But if viewers of "news" bulletins can't tell the difference between public affairs and news, then we are in very, very serious trouble. As for all those "citizen journalists" out there who are not in uniform, but purport to be bringing news to the village square--how do we know they're not just from some public affairs department anyway?

For an excellent discussion of what is in store and what is at stake in the coming telecoms battles, see these blogs from bona fide journos at the World Editors Forum in Korea last week:

Unfortunately the blogs from the first few days of the conference seem to have been removed from the site, so you might want to also check out the World Association of Newspapers blog of the World Editors Forum at


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news