More from Muggeridge on the news business

I don’t normally quote a book this much here, but this is a worthy exception, since the book speaks to the subject of this blog more broadly. Passages of this book [Chronicles of Wasted Time, by Malcolm Muggeridge] sparkle. The book is great on many levels, and intelligently discusses many interesting realms of life. I don’t want to portray the tome as speaking only of journalism, because that’s not complete. Here we go, regardless.

from page 179:

News and expression of a six society — like endlessly sucking at a thermometer, standing on the bathroom scales; for ever anxiously examining the tongue’s color, the breath’s odour, the urine’s consistency; pressing the gut for intimations of ulcer or cancer, dreading the appearance of a chancre, a gonorrhoeal emission. In a civilization dropping to pieces, news takes some of the sting out of the happenings. So, more of it; all day long, and often all night long, too. A sort of Newzak, corresponding to Muzak; instead of a melange of drooling tunes endlessly played, a melange of drooling news endlessly heard.

This quote reminds me somehow of recent economic news.

from page 180:

Such was now my trade; part of the process of translating life and its meaning and significance into pictures, thereby draining it of its blood and flesh, its livingness.

My previous posts on this book: here and here.

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3 responses to “More from Muggeridge on the news business

  1. Malcolm Muggeridge, who wrote Chronicles of Wasted Time, more than 30 years ago, was indeed prescient. So he would, if still alive, look at CNN, and say to all who would hear him, “See, I told you so!!”

    Muggeridge was also such a consummate master of the written English language, wasn’t he?

  2. Yes, Muggeridge certainly had mastered the English language.

  3. Pingback: Chronicles of Wasted Time by Malcolm Muggeridge « Word Lily

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