I love the way BBC world news service segues from one story to another – from the misery of floods in Pakistan it effortlessly moves to jellyfish attacks on Spanish beaches. The consistent gravity of tone in the newsreader’s voice suggests that both issues are being treated equally seriously – and there is a reason for that.
The overarching theme of all recent reportage is global warming which, by the way, is also the cause for the increasing jellyfish population and stung beach goers. Weather reporting used to be a nice and chirpy affair, with a brightly suited presenter rattling out absolutely irrelevant information about fresh cloud formations somewhere over the Pacific, but not anymore. Continue reading →
The American satiric comedian Stephen Colbert famously introduced the word “truthiness” into the contemporary English lexicon. Dictionary Merriam Webster named it their Word of Year in 2006, supplying us with two definitions:
1. truth that comes from the gut, not books
2. the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts of facts known to be true.
As Colbert explained in a rare-out-of-character interview, truthiness is a “What I say is right, and [nothing] anyone else says could possibly be true. It’s not only that I feel it to be true, but that I feel it to be true. There’s not only an emotional quality, but there’s a selfish quality.”
Although truthiness has been most strongly associated with former US President George W. Bush, recently the art of truthiness has undergone a revival in Australia with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Continue reading →