Published July 25, 2003
Anyone who read John Boyce’s article on the media (issue 2) should have realised that said media are not to be trusted. It seems that in the information society we are bombarded by the media 24/7, all of it telling us the same thing, and ultimately, is seems, owned by the same people. Where Iceland only a decade ago had almost a dozen newspapers, it now has only three. But the truth, as the saying goes, is out there. You just need to know where to look, and ignore the headlines.
In the communist countries the strategy of the powers that be was to keep information about the outside world from the masses. This failed completely. In capitalist ones, the strategy of whomever it is who ultimately runs things seems to be to saturate us with information until we become numb to it all (would pictures of starving children in Ethiopia elicit the same response as it did even in 1984, now that horrors are brought into our living room every night). Our only non-violent response to this is to point out where alternative sources of information, not run by corporate interests, can be found.
The internet is still a free forum for opinions. Anyone can use it to say whatever he wants. However, it is so vast that all opinions almost have the effect of cancelling each other out. It is hence our duty to point out the sites that are saying something that sounds like a reasonable approximation of truth. One of these is Apsaras Review. It is run by someone up in Akureyri called Paul Fontaine-Nikolov, who claims the idea came to him when he was a drug smuggler in Tangiers in ’47, while drinking with William Burroghs. Whether this story is historically accurate or not is of no consequence, what is important is that the company, Kremena Publishing, is currently looking for new talent to publish in its netzine. It´s aim is twofold, to help unknown writers be heard, and to use the proceeds to help organisations such as Amnesty International, United Nations Children’s Fund ( UNICEF ) and Cambodian Mine Action Center. If tha’´s not worthwhile, then at least it beats sheepshagging. Their current issue includes everything from a first person account inside an aircraft carrier in the 91 Gulf War, to an interview with a member of the Icelandic Left-Green Party.
The mag’s manifesto sounds something like: “What I would like to see accomplished with the help of Apsaras Review is that every-day people from around the world can come here and express their point of view about what’s going on around them, that other people around the world can respond to them, and that this forum grows in both strength and volume. Dialogue can lead to understanding, understanding can lead to unity, and unity can take us anywhere. All the power in “running the world” only seems to belong to the wealthy and the politicians. The fact is, we run the world. Our labour, our taxes, our presence (or lack thereof) at the polls, our military service–what else do the powerful rest upon but this? The distance between the rulers and the ruled is much shorter than it seems; they sit upon our very shoulders, and can be put on the earth with as little effort as it takes to shrug. Of course, such an action will never be possible without a little solidarity. I hope Apsaras Review can contribute to just such a solidarity.”
Send your submissions to: www.kremenapublishing.com, or read the thing at: www.kremenapublishing.com/ar10259x35.html.