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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive


Monday, October 12, 2015

What the Dickens. Zell and the Ghost of News Future.

Update 2015. Sam Zell continues to hedge his bets, his heavy-handed only-my-money-counts approach earlier having lost him The Tribune Family.  See   During the curtain call to this old fave performance starring Mr. Zell where a Scrooge reevaluates his life, the Lefty Director of News Quality emerged with an unexpected entrance as the actors filed off.  The Lefty Director of News Quality intoned, to a rapt audience, that The Tribune Papers  a) had begun their slide into oblivion with Mr. Zell's paper-killing redefinition of "news" from creativity and coverage of all sides of events, intended to inform;  to  b)  coverage intended to persuade and make money.  In other words, the news itself could be bought, and was. See our once-beloved venerable Courant reduced to a nonsense red kiddie heart on the front.  Sadly shaking his head, the Director of News Quality reports that in another indication of the success of Mr. Zell in the demise of neutral news in order to profit thereby, a Flagship Building in the Tribune Family is going down the journalistic tubes.  See

The Ghost of News Future 
With No Papers

Sam Zell of the Tribune Newspapers Has Nightmares

Join us now, at ACT III, as we see Sam Zell , one who turns around failing businesses and newspaper media conglomerates, confronted with diminishing revenues.  He has just filed for bankruptcy for his Tribune newspapers It is three o'clock in the morning, Christmas Eve has blended into the earliest of Christmas Day:

Act I.  Ghost of News Past:  see battalions of newsboys hurling papers about to eagerly paying customers.
Act II.  Ghost of News Present:  see newsboys applying for other jobs, customers going online or to papers they Trust.
Act III.  Now:  Ghost of News Future!  Clang, clangety, clang.  And a visit to Celestial Bankruptcy Court


 Scene.  Sam Zell, the newspaper and business turnaround success, is sleeping. Uneasily. From the wings is heard noises, becoming louder.  Bong. Clink, rattle. Sam wakes, looks around.

SAM:   Oooh. Who's That!

GHOST (enters) News Past, Sam. (And the ghost conjured pictures while it intoned):  
News used to be on paper, or in your ear. Safe, slowski. Have your coffee and your muffin near a paper and no keyboard would be destroyed. Clip, save, point out something interesting and show it to somebody. Mark the margins. You loved that, didn't you?

SAM.  Yes, I did (rolls over, with visions of himself as a young sprout).


Scene:  Sam is still sleeping, tossing more now. Bong, bong. Clink, rattle.

SAM:  Ooooh. Who's That!

GHOST (enters) News Present, Sam. (And the Ghost conjured pictures while it intoned):
Change came to the Times. Newspaper owners had to cut costs. Revenues were down. They directed their clerks (pronounced "clarks") and lackeys to cut hard news, fire people, add ads and insert puppies. The clerks stepped in instead of reportes and columnists, and misquoted, abbreviated, and focused on local police blotters.. FN 1.  The people get their news on the internet, opined the owners. So we will entertain the people instead. Or slant them to death.
But it was not so. The people could not get their news on the internet. It could not be so, because many people are not on computers, like much of North West Connecticut, unless they pay for their own wagon trains of internet tubes.

Was it part of a Plan do exploit the lack of computer coverage, that the unimportant people not get such access unless they already have it? 

Ah. Then they cannot get to FactCheck, to counter with information the canny fact-free parrots on radio and in the wings of newspapers when they are cut.
 VOICE FROM BACK ROW:  THE FCC.  Ho, ho. We know who we really work for.

SAM:  This is only business, Ghost, said Sam, wiping hands on sheets. Need a profit. People getting neutral, accurate information is not my business. (And Sam fired some more people).
 And Sam, in his dream, rolled over, sweating now.


Scene I:  Sam is tossing fitfully, barely asleep now.  Repeat: Bong, bong, bong. Clink, rattle. Ooooh, Who's that! News future, Sam. And the ghost conjured up images, while it intoned.

Sam. Sam!  (Sam stirs).

You are like the car industry. You offered people a product, but you were driven by thoughts of hoard and income and profit. You side-railed analysis of a vision long term - how the product can also serve the goals of the country in a global setting.

The country doesn't want your product in your old form, Sam. And it doesn't want what you did to it when you took over - all that cutting of the very components that made your product, at least as it was, a "news" paper. Look: I see this coming at you - you listening to the terms coming from the Celestial Bankrupcty Court. You do not look happy! What can you do to preempt the need for these dire steps?

SAM:  Must I offer to take remedial steps on my own, even if the shareholders do not profit? Fie!  That's why we privatize papers. We don't want accountability to anybody else. (Sam threw off the covers, dashed to his desk. He picked up a script)  What is this?  Is this what I am to do.

This is not what I planned! he moaned. I had it all laid out! News makes money as Entertainment! Get the people to buy dross! It always worked before!

GHOST:  That was then, Sam.  Now see what is in store (Ghost and Sam flap off to Celestial Bankruptcy Court).

Scene II.  Celestial Bankruptcy Court

GHOST (continuing):  They demand Obligatory News Labeling. Oh, Zell of the many faces:  They demand truth in labeling. They want to know what is inside the tin can. You must tell us what you are doing.  Propaganda views; or objective news.  Transparency, Sam, Transparency! This idea counters stealth agendas. Adds transparency to the nature of a communication.

ZELL:  Oh, no!

GHOST:  Oh, yes!

And, where the paper the only daily home-delivery paper available, add a separation of opinion from information. This brings news papers to their roots - news information before slant. Or, at least a source as available as the news paper, for full news so that the reader can pick up the slant and distinguish it from news. News today has dropped the informational component in favor of slant in every column, without the full information provided. Enough.

In order to obtain the restructuring - reorganizing you want, Sam Zell, you must provide True Journalism Obligatories:
  • complete and neutral news
  • in a readily accessible form, and
  • in that regard as a fiduciary to the people, not as spokesman for shareholders or your own views, and
  • backup content ratings for that that if you provide skewed news, the people will be Aware. See Joy of Equivocating, Fact Content for News Industry.
    ZELL:  What about my free speech rights!

    GHOST:  No, Sam, replies the ghost. There are always possible restrictions in time, place and manner placed upon speech. If yours is the only paper, you have special responsibilities to the public. (Zell groans).  You can even define the terms you use, fill in an educational component, given the poor quality of many public schools, drop-out rates.

    ZELL:  (Groans). But my pocketbook!

    GHOST:  You will be fine. I am sure you have sufficient, and have squirreled away Options. Now, you can follow Andrew Carnegie! The Richest Man!

    ZELL: I'm listening.

    GHOST:  Hear of your new role model: Andrew Carnegie set the example for Voluntary Divestment for the Public Good.  This was in Victorian Times, when he was named The Richest Man In The World. You shall follow suit and use your personal fortune during your lifetime to foster universal computer skills and literacy, because, as Andrew Carnegie points out, only losers hoard for heirs and dependents, beyond moderate needs, and winners know they can do big jobs better than the government, see Gospel of Andrew Carnegie, Victorian Everyman.

    (Groan. This, from Sam).

    Don't groan, Sam. You can get back to news. If paper is really history, at least you would have done your part to see that the current readership without computer or English skills can indeed get their news online. And then you make money again.

    (Zell exits, rubbing his calloused hands, and even smiling)  (CURTAIN)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Children are the Victims of Adult Vices. The Mihail Shemyakin Thirteen. Sculpture setting, Moscow. Chemyakin.

A refreshed look at vices: Vices that lure blindfolded children.

See the Chemiakin - Shemyakin sculpture grouping, Children are the Victims of Adult Vices. 
 I.  A walk through a sculpture setting,  now in a Moscow park.

Public art persuades. This Shemyakin - Chemiakin sculpture, is now in a Moscow park, a gift of Mihail Shemyakin  to the city of Moscow, where it now rests, even after he himself had been expelled from Russia for his nonconformist work years ago. Surname: various spellings, Mikhail, or Chemiakin, variations from the Cyrillic.  Examine it closely.  Its issues and presentation belong in addition in the Capitol Rotunda, Washington DC.  Why not replicate this installation, with remuneration and thanks to the artist, in the Rotunda at the Capitol, and then in each State legislative hall that agrees that the unheard voices of children are relevant to what we do and do not do.  *

Set up these thirteen, as starters, as pivotal measures for weighing how to vote for policy issues. How do legislative acts and omissions reduce or foster ongoing drug addiction, prostitution, theft, alcoholism, ignorance, false teaching, indifference, propaganda of violence, sadism, memory loss, child labor, poverty, war.

In particular, look at the installation for Propaganda for Violence.  Looks harmless. But see discussion of its details, under the radar, below.  A fast look will not suffice.  What is on the shield, who is under the stovepipe hat.


II. Specific elements and commentary.  Individual Vices luring blindfolded, gilded children.. Many questions. Example: Who blindfolded them?

Sculpture, Children as Victims of Adult Vices, Mikhail Shemyakin. 2001, Moscow.  Gilded blindfolded children, while Indifference does not care to see or hear.

I.  Background.  This 2001 Moscow sculpture at Bolotnaya Square is by Mihail Shemyakin or Chemiakin. It is a medium walk away from Red Square and the Kremlin, and sets out a different standard for designating which human failings to be most opposed. Compare it to traditional religious or political system lists, old Seven Deadly Sins and the like, for example. Biography of Mr. Chemiakin: see his official site is in Russian, and note the Shemyakin spelling,  at See also

The standard for these 13 vice-figures in the tableau is whether the activity harms children, not whether someone believes a deity said so, or the State has declared it a civil or criminal offense. There is an undercurrent of money-making:  Somebody is profiting from each activity. The benefit may be money made from promoting it, even as to conditions like Poverty and Addiction (why remediate and have to spend?), or the value of walling oneself off from seeing or hearing, as does Indifference at the center of the installation.

Shemyakin Sculpture. Children as Victims of Adult Vices. Moscow 2001. View from left. Figures: Drug Addiction (1) through Indifference (6) (centerpiece)

II.  The children
The children with their blindfolds cannot even see the vices around them, or that there is a ball to play with at their feet, or a book to read. Instead, they extend their hands out in the air to find each other, get oriented, find their way where? The book:  Apparently, it is Fairy Tales by Alexander Pushkin, see, poet and writer with a social conscience.  Thee Tales --  a work with political meanings, see Russia Beyond the Headlines, 2014 article by Ajay Kamalakaran at

Chemiakin Sculpture, Children are Victims of Adult Vices. Moscow 2001.  Viewer right side, roughly. Figures: Ignorance (5) through War (13)

III.   The vices.  

A.  The Chemiakin Thirteen Vices are these, photos and discussion following: 

1.  Drug Addiction;
2.  Prostitution; 
3.  Theft; 
4. Alcoholism;
5. Ignorance; 
6.  Irresponsible Science, False Science, False Teaching (the figure looks like a monk); 
7.  Indifference, or the willful state of uncaring; 
8.  Propaganda of Violence, Promotion of Violence;  
9. Sadism;
10. Those without memory, who repeat themselves (is that just dementia, or does it include those who choose to repeat or ignore the past?); 
11. Child Labor; 
12. Poverty; 
13. War. 

These are not overtly theological, and perhaps totally secular, if there is really a difference. The word vice, however, is in the title, and does conjure ideas of morality, and value judgment, see  Exclusions:  Rape or pornography, negligence in providing sustenance. Or are those side consequences of other vices?
These differ in interpretations.  Each figure is identified in both English and Russian in the sculpture, but the designation may be awkwardly done in English, leading to the variations in discussions (example: designation Propaganda of Violence is literally etched in stone, but may be easier understood in the context as Promotion of Violence, because propaganda is simply marketing, promotion anyway, unless a particular political motivation is intended, and who knows, etc).

B.  Individual vices

1.   Addiction

Drug Addiction (1) Chemiakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow (1)

Details are easily missed. Do a closeup.

Drug Addiction vice, dainty moneybag, huge syringe. Shemyakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow.

2. Prostitution

3.  Theft

Theft (3), Shemyakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow

"Stealing in the form of sugary and cunning pigs, waving thin and delicate fingers stolen money bag. Behind her bag [her bag?? this is a she??] with the words "offshore" and bank details [I missed this]. In our everyday life - is not only bribery (and receiving and giving), but the passion for the accumulation of wealth, overvalued the significance of things. The child in his own way to understand our passion and because of this absorption distorted morality and false values."

Theft vice, dainty moneybag, Chemiakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow

4.  Alcoholism

What is that on the back of the cask? These things are not arbitrary.  It also appears from this back view that the gentleman is clothed. How so?

Alcoholism, cask detail, Chemiakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow

5.  Ignorance

Ignorance (5). Children are victims of adult vices, Shemyakin, Moscow.

A jester: one merry in dance and sceptre, waving marotte, with a head of another jester on it with branchings of little jingly bells.  There is a long history, see  Here, however, the figure is not in motley costume but elegant, and with the head of an ass.  Does Chemiakin go Shakespeare -- Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream. See

The fool idea, however, persists. The jacket (click to enlarge) is covered with little lobsters all crawling up in measured array, like a preppy theme for summers at the shore gone amok.  Lobsters?  Alice in Wonderland!  Lobsters - The Lobster Quadrille!  Of course! Although the Gryphon or Griffin in the clip is none such.  A true Griffin has the body of a lion. Back to Bottom: see:

6.  False knowledge, false science, false teachings, irresponsible science

False science; irresponsible science; false teachings (6), Chemiakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow

What are all the intentions here: Some call it capital punishment, because of the hooded person, but that is just as likely to be false teaching. The medallion at the chest: a face on a daisy; or is it medusa with the snaky locks where you die if you look at her directly?  Mr. Chemiakin?  Comment?

False knowledge, false teaching, false science. With scroll, echoing dentrites or stomach or lab model, at bottom. Children are victims of adult vices. Shemyakin, Moscow.

Scroll. Instructions?  Edicts?  Apparatus at foot. A stomach on big rollerballs.

False science: irresponsible science. Meaning of science.  Is the "science" from scientia or knowledge, and not just a specific field and method of inquiry? Science as irresponsible could relate to the freaky two-headed lizard held as a marionette by the masked figure. The false teachings idea harks back to the scroll, perhaps the ideological ground applied. The figure is in monastic-type robes, see

Wait.  The hood on the monk-robed one has a long tail, and is like a stocking cap that is pulled down to cover his eyes.

So the irresponsible teaching person is blindfolded just like the children. What? Look up hoods. Medievel hoods not just monks or executioners, but also, northmen and ordinary people, see  Vikings traded and settled all the way from their homelands to Novogorod to past the Black Sea, so this history look for fashion is not totally afield.

7.  Indifference. Purposeful not-caring.

This is the central figure, tall, angular, shaped like a cross with the figure having two sets of arms. One is piously crossed across the empty box of a chest; the other set -- wait.  It is anatomically impossible.  The forefingers that are jammed into the ears are at the bottom of the hand, and that would only be physically possible  a)  if somebody else were doing it  b) so that the third party's forearm is in the position as shown but then c) where is the third party, and whose upper arm is it?  Chemiakin!! Sigh.  Carry on. ... would be connected to a third party doing the job.  would have to be at the top of the hand in order to work, with the back of the hand to be showing as here facing the viewer. 

I get it.  Run around the back. 

The figure is not just facing the viewer from front; it is two-faced, with the anatomically impossible arms from the front now seen as belonging to the perfectly feasible figure seen from the back.  The front figure shuts the eyes and closes out the empty heart.  The back figure keeps the eyes closed still (I think) and jams fingers in ears.

It still looks like a cross. Is the idea this:  Christians who do not care.  That is a world class oxymoron, and eminently apt. The ethnicity of Mr. Chemiakin by some biography sites is Circassian (Karbadian) in the Caucasus.   Circassians were forcible ejected, forced out of their homeland, see, e.g.,,362.aspx/ 
What was, is, the Christian or other western or other global response to that.  Was his adoption when his parents died, related to their death in that overall event, or independent. No idea.

The idea of sacrifice and then indifference of others crosses all bounds, is that so, 

8.  Propaganda of Violence, Promotion of Violence

Propaganda of  Violence, Promotion of Violence (8), Chemiakin, Children as victims of adult vices, Moscow

Promotion of violence has a nose like Pinocchio, suggesting, of course, fibbies; and he wears a Puritan hat (!) -- no, the brim is too narrow and I see no buckle, see or perhaps a fashionable stove-pipe hat, see; and far higher than the 13" of that of Abraham Lincoln. It approaches witch height. Does it resemble, in basic black, Dr. Seuss' creation? Stove-pipe hats:  Abraham Lincoln used his to carry documents, personal items.

This dandy holds a marketing board in the shape of a marketing board, looking like a shield, covered with guns. Who can identify the automatics here? The American NRA, the National Rifle Association, makes a game of it.  See

8.a  Front detail, Propaganda of Violence

Promotion of Violence, the tell-tale tail; the tell-tale cloven foot.  We know hwo you are.  Chemiakin, Children as Victims of Adult Violence, Moscow

Do a search for gun silhouette and click on clip art, to identify what is being sold specifically here. These in Moscow have single grip models, I think, top and bottom; and three big double grips in the middle.

Who is this purveyor of things that do violence? From the back view, he also is entailed, and one leg ends in a hoof.

A hoof? Run!  Urban legends say so!  The Devil's cloven feet are the only part of him that do not transform when he takes human form, see  This Moscow purveyor of violence, however, nearly made it.  Only one hoof betrays him, attached as it is to an animal hind leg, and those are noticeable only to the vigilant, and if you tiptoe behind on your two good ones so he does not see.   Next if time: a closeup of the tads on the lantern....

8b, Promotion of Violence detail, hoof, tail.

9.  Sadism

Rhinoceros horn:  weaponry, medicine, sign of manhood ye gods, religion, defense, medicine, water purification, cure demonic possession, but after all is tested, just go chew your fingernails and get the same benefit or so, see

So the horn:  reflective of ideas of enhanced sexuality?  

9a.  Sadism, front view.

Sadism (9), rhinoceros horn. Shemyakin, Children as victims of adult vices, Moscow.

Resemblance to Shrek? Which came first? Both movie Shrek, friendly green ogre, and this sculpture were features of 2001.

A rope and noose are around his waist. See Fair use quotation from the big site:
"Sadism the image is not sensitive to others' pain savage rhinoceros with open arms supports protruding belly with a rope with a noose. Metaphorically - it's the same passion for adults to bans and excessive domination over the will of children, conservative learning to live "just right", which lead to the suppression of creativity and replication of its own complex and error."
9b.  Sadism, Back side view. For fine photographs of this composition, do visit a more professional and consistent

10.  Those without memories.

10a.  Those without memories, front view.  Empty stocks, worms or snakes slithering up the pole.

Those without memory (constant repetition). Forgetfulness. (10)

Forgetfulness. Empty. Presented as a punishment apparatus. But what did the person do to deserve that?  See commentary at

10b.  Those without memory, seen from the back.

There is a little face in a bottom arched window area.  Look closely. Peering out. Is that what is left of the person? One who chooses to ignore the past, or is unable to retrieve it?  Back to a child level?

The snakes.  They resemble the serpent of the symbol of Aesclepius, Greek healer, but without the rod to support it.  It is not entwining around the large stock pole here, it is affixed precariously to it.  See Aesclepius' serpent, the single serpent form, not the Caduceus, the double serpent, at an opening level site,

The concept and the sculptures are set to music at

11,  Child Labor

Welcome to my factory, like a rat trap, says the predator bird with the hooked beak. 

11a.  Factory, side view

Child labor (11). Side view; handprints, a factory? is that an inscription?

That is not an inscription at the knees, but a wall of little identical blocks.  Figure:  bird of prey, judging from hooked beak.

Who is it? This is not a legendary griffin, or gryphon, because that requires the body of a lion. So look at the pattern on the coat:  Eagles.  Eagles have meaning for many cultures, see particularly the eagle on Bremen's Cathedral, that also does not turn out to be a gryphon because it has eagle claws, see

Look at the predator's coat design:  Eagles.

Eagles on the eagle's coat in Chemiakin's sculpture look to the left. Yes, it does. Eagles, of course, can look both ways. The formal Nazi German Parteiadler eagle party symbol, however, looks to the left; while the Nazi German eagle national symbol, for the country, looks to the right.  See  An images search shows railroad nazi symbols looking right, for example.
would fit the national category rather than the party, but is that necessarily so?
The hands on the box: clearly children's, those inside, like the hands in the prehistoric caves, deep within. Hands have particular meaning for the sculptor.  Mikhail Shemyakin features hands in his exhibition, The Hand In The Art, 2014 in the city of Voronezh. See

Eagles on the eagle's coat in Chemiakin's sculpture look to their left. Eagles, of course, can look both ways as do various representations of the American and German Parteiadler and others. Do a search. 
  •  Benjamin Franklin bemoaned the choice of eagle for the Americans, see Good reasons.The American dollar eagle looks to its right. This looks to its left. At least, one brand of capitalism and self-seeking is not referenced to the exclusions of others. 
The hands on the box: clearly children's, those inside, like the hands in the prehistoric caves, deep within. Hands have particular meaning for the sculptor.  Mikhail Shemyakin features hands in his exhibition, The Hand In The Art, 2014 in the city of Voronezh. See

12.  Poverty

Take a guided tour of the composition at'_vices

13.  War

13a.  Full view.  An archaic knight below, a star-wars robotic head, or perhaps a gas mask on the head, above. And propped up with what look like angel wings, herald's wings, as also prop up Addiction on the far other side of the installation, like bookends.

13b.  Detail, offering in hands of knight with robotic head. War.

Is the offering a bomb? Looking like a baby? Donald Duck? What child could resist.

Click to enlarge, and the Donald Duck looks more like Mickey Mouse, with two large round ears, but a pointy thing in the mouth

IV.  Chemiakin's call to action.

Even Moscow the beneficiary of the gift, is Indifferent, the central figure in the sculpture setting.  The explanatory plaque is water damaged, legible but uncared-for.  No profit to be made in pushing this idea of centrality of children? As anywhere, in any city? Click to enlarge and read his purpose:  a call to action, to protect children. How long to wait, he asks.

Chemiakin call to action, Children are Victims of Adult Vices, sculptural composition, Moscow (click to enlarge).

*  Post originally at our  site.  That link has broken, so we reproduce the post here, with a different thrust:  the importance of the issue of children's interests as policy makers play their games.