thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
If the internet is a time-waster (according to Chomsky) then what on earth is TV? Here are some views....

"It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome." - T.S. Eliot

"I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book." - Grouch Marx

"Television: A medium - so called because it is neither rare nor well done." - Ernie Kovacs

Save the best for last. The best film ever made about TV was called Network, and I recommend it to anyone...

"Less than 3 percent of you people read books, less than 15 percent of you read newspapers, because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now there is a whole and entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of this tube. The tube is the Gospel, the ultimate Revelation; this tube can make or break Presidents, Popes, Prime Ministers, this tube is the most awesome goddamn force in the whole godless world and woe is us...when one of the largest corporations in the world own the largest propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be peddled for truth? So you listen to me, listen to me. TV is not the truth; TV is an amusement park. TV is a circus, a carnival, a travelling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, singers, dancers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion-tamers and football players - we're in the boredom killing business. So if you want the truth go to your god, go to your guru, go to yourselves because that' the only place you will ever find any real truth. Cos man, you're never gonna get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you want to hear we lie like hell. We'll tell you that Kojak always gets the killer and no one ever gets cancer in Archie Bunkers house. And no matter how much trouble the hero is in don't worry, just look at your watch and at the end of the hour he's going to win. We'll tell you any shit you want to hear. We deal in illusions man, none of it is true! But you people sit there day after day night after night, all ages, colours, creeds. We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions that we're spinning here. You are beginning to think that the tube is the reality and your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you, you dress like the tube. You eat like the tube. You raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness - you maniacs. In God's name you people are the real thing - we are the illusion so turn off your TV sets, turn them off now, right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I am speaking to you now. Turn them off! - Howard Beale in NETWORK

Want to do something about TV? Try
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 1:23 pm  
  • At 4:38 pm, Blogger justin barker said…

    Now, now we catch more flies with honey.
    I was looking at your profile, specifically at your favorite books, and I noticed that there is no "Homage to Catalonia" by Orwell. I don't mean to say that it should be among your favorites just that I expect it would be.

  • At 4:55 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    it is one of my favourites. just didn't sped long on writing them out. the essay 'spilling the spanish beans' is one of his best do. you could get it on a google search if you haven't already read it.

  • At 5:10 pm, Blogger justin barker said…

    Thanks, I'll just read it now.

  • At 6:44 pm, Blogger Cinnamon Doughnut said…

    I have to say I like TV. As with everything, it's good in moderation. I have to say though, There ain't half some shit on these days.

    However, those that don't watch TV (or any kind of mass media) have in my experience been severely badly adjusted. Geography teachers mostly, and nothing good ever came from geography.

    On the other hand, those tv-b-gone things look quite fun. Great way to get the remote, even if it's hurled at you with great force.

  • At 8:48 pm, Anonymous Mew said…

    I use my telly to watch sport, and then only now and again. For the record, I am fairly badly adjusted.

    I have to admit, the only Orwell I've read (apart from 1984 and Animal Farm obviously) is Burmese Days, which put me off somewhat. Very good, but so oppressive.

  • At 12:22 am, Blogger Keir said…

    Hey, have you read Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death? Great book, relevant to this topic, and resonates with a neo-luddite like myself (he typed into his laptop with the adsl connection). Recommended!

  • At 1:25 am, Blogger anybody said…

    Lately, I've been thinking about how Orwell should have titled his book 2010. It's been a few years, but it's time to re-read 1984 and "tub thump" that one in my circle of aquaintences. I just my have to try justin's recommendation as well.

  • At 1:22 pm, Blogger Keir said…

    Speaking of Orwell, here's an excerpt on "thought crimes" from something recent by Bill Blum (

    "Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is a 24-year-old American citizen from Virginia who went to study at a university in Saudi Arabia. He was arrested by the Saudis, interrogated, and confessed to being part of an al Qaeda plot to assassinate George W. Bush while the president was visiting the country. Abu Ali is now being held in the United States by federal authorities. His defense attorneys and his family have contended that any statements he made in Saudi custody were obtained through torture and should thus not be allowed into evidence. Two doctors who examined Abu Ali found evidence that he was tortured in Saudi Arabia, including scars on his back consistent with having been whipped, defense lawyers have said in court papers. The prosecution has argued that he was not tortured, and the judge presiding over the trial, which began October 31, has agreed to allow Abu Ali’s confession into evidence.

    "Abu Ali confessed to the Saudis about conspiring to carry out other terrorist acts as well, but I’d like to focus here on the alleged assassination plot. Law enforcement sources cited by the Washington Post have said the plot against Bush, “never advanced beyond the talking stage”.{3} If that is indeed the case, and even assuming there was no torture involved, then I’d raise the question of whether a “crime”, worthy of punishment -- and Abu Ali faces up to life in prison on the assassination charge alone -- was committed. Or does it fall in the category of a “thought crime” made famous of course in Orwell’s “1984"? Someone should perhaps tell the Justice Department that “1984" was meant to be a warning, not a how-to guide."

    Oh, and Homage to Catalonia is a great book!

  • At 5:22 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    hey keir - apparently 'confessions' are broadcast on the new iraqi tv channel every night now - which is straight out of 1984.

    keir - i'm going to look for that book

    donna - he said in 1984 "the date, april the --th [i can't remember] 1984.... i think"

    the implication being that it might not be. the party may have been lying about it.

  • At 3:41 pm, Blogger creature said…

    "Kill your TV"

    -Ned's Atomic Dustbin!

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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
See my complete profile

Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

    Recent Thumping
    Older Thumping

  • spinwatch
  • adbusters
  • internet archive
  • art not oil
  • blairwatch
  • bushflash
  • camcorder guerillas
  • corporate watch
  • campaign for press freedom
  • noam chomsky
  • common dreams
  • counterpunch
  • cost of war
  • david rovics
  • democracy now
  • dissident voice
  • the dossier
  • downing street says
  • etims
  • robert fisk
  • food not bombs
  • global research
  • gmwatch
  • impeach blair
  • indybay video
  • killing hope
  • lobbywatch
  • mediachannel
  • medialens
  • mickey z
  • mixed up records
  • george monbiot
  • mark thomas
  • john pilger
  • radio 4 all
  • schnews
  • snow shoe films
  • sourcewatch
  • tom englehardt
  • ukwatch
  • video activist network
  • howard zinn
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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
  • Beyond Hope
  • the gore exception
  • your tax dollars at work
  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
  • Other Stuff

    Who links to me?

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