Taking a walk down memory lane........

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Taking a walk down memory lane........

Post by Art16 on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:52 pm

I lived in the River Valley area in the 1960's and 1970's, in Dixfield, and I decided to see what was up with the stretch of the Androscoggin I used to call home. I have been sampling the internet and finding all kinds of things of interest. Everything still has that home feel, the problems of the past seem to have carried over a little into the present, not unusual, the river looks great, and the people seem not to have abandoned their roots. The area kind of makes everything that works really stick!

In my internet searching, I fell into a blog called "The Rumford Reporter" which looked like a really good thing. I liked the postcards, having collected vintage ones of the area in the past. I became quickly confused about the real venue the blog when I dug deeper and found "you tube" links and other links to audio/visual material that I found patently offensive to me and some I felt was ethically unsuitable for minors, like the cartoon characterization of the President which I feel engenders a lack of respect that could be taken as a universal truth. I brought up my children that it was OK to have opinions, but they must behave civily when discussing them.This public blog is, in my opinion, a disappointment in that regard.

Looking at the overall pattern of the blog, I formed the opinion that it was propaganda.

I will study the blog further with the propaganda opinion in mind, and come back up here and present my opinions and observations on the matter.

I apologize for feeling the need to discuss this at all, but in my opinion, the blog "The Rumford Reporter" has the potential to give the whole area a bad name. That would not be good.








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Re: Taking a walk down memory lane........

Post by Admin on Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:18 pm

Welcome Art,

We have been saying for years that "The Rumford Reporter" has been causing a lot of trouble in our town and giving our town a bad name pretty much since it came online. If you read through the "Accountability" section of our forum, you'll find plenty of opinions and evidence to support this.

I look forward to reading your opinion.

Admin
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Re: Taking a walk down memory lane........

Post by Art16 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:34 am

Thanks for your kind welcome!

A little more of my history in the area before I begin dissecting "the Rumford Reporter". My grandparents (Peterson) moved to a farm in Carthage in 1952 or so, and I spent many summers there. We went all over the place. They had no electricity yet, so it was the wood parlor stove, kerosene alladin lamps, the sink well pump, baths in the wash tub in the woodshed, and a Sears battery radio with an outside antenna.

My next posting will begin "The Rumford Reporter" analysis.

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Re: Taking a walk down memory lane........

Post by Art16 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:39 pm

“The Rumford Reporter” (TRR)

Everything I write or say about “The Rumford Reporter” (TRR)
is my opinion, my belief, and my feelings, and I say this to avoid any
ambiguity whatever.

“Propaganda
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Propaganda is the dissemination of information aimed at influencing
the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda
in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its
audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to
encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce
an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The
desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target
audience to further a political agenda.

Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions,
manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers
the desired intent of the propagandist.


—Garth S. Jowett and Victoria
O'Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion”

I quote Wikipedia for the definition of propaganda because
it is a good plain language source of definition and explanation available to
most everyone with internet access.

Observation #1:

TRR is a very linear, up and down scrolling, type of blog.
Here and there, you can branch off to expansions of topics. It is so long, in
fact, that by the time I reached the bottom, I had I knew I had missed
something, but I was treated to photos of signs of local businesses which gave
me the impression that the businesses so featured endorsed the TRR. I do not know if the businesses pay for this
advertising service or it is free. My guess it is free, and perhaps some of
them do not know they are being featured on TRR at all. It would be
enlightening if the business were asked if they knew about the advertising,
paid for it, and actually agreed with the opinions and positions of the TRR.

In my opinion, this transcendental advertising (until proven
otherwise) is designed to give the TRR reader the feeling that these merchants,
who they may patronize, agree with the opinions and positions of the TRR,
whatever they may be. This is an element commonly used in propaganda.

Observation #2:

The TRR banner is an image of a mountain set against a
foreground of hills. I never recall seeing that particular mountain anywhere in
several hundred miles of Rumford, but I may have missed it, even that big (?).
Rumford sits in the Appalachian mountain chain, a range of geologically old
mountains ground down by glaciers and worn by weathering. If you look at the
foreground image on the left, it is one of an arid climate, not unlike that
which I have seen in Tucson,
AZ, and other similar places. The
central large snow covered mountain is a very young mountain, geologically. Add
the subtitle words: “Community, Integrity, Accountability, and Fiscal
Responsibility”, and you have a banner that gives the impression that the TRR
is an energetic, youth oriented, upward looking blog that is imbued with all
that is good, and is endorsed by local merchants (see Observation #1).

Observation #3:

Under the banner on the left, is an American flag, an
expression of patriotism, and under the flag is a quotation attributed to Jane
Jacobs. Upon research, Jane Jacobs, now deceased, was an Urban Activist, whose
work was controversial within the discipline that is usually populated by
sociologists, architects, urban planners, city managers, politicians, and the
like. If this quotation is not too clear in the context of the TRR, what it
says to me is that Rumford is a dead city and that there is a core of people
who are clamoring for a better city lifestyle. Jane Jacobs’s quotes found on
the Google “Brainy Quote” page, including the one quoted on TRR, are:

“Design is people”

“Sentimentality about nature denatures
everything it touches.”

“Some men tend to cling to old intellectual
excitements, just as some belles, when they
are old ladies, still cling to the fashions and coiffures of their
exciting youth.”

“The point of cities is multiplicity of
choice”.

“There is a quality even meaner than
outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of
pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is
struggling to exist and to be served.”

Have your pick, but under the American flag,
where you usually find quotations of the founding fathers or famous Americans,
Jane Jacobs appears the progenitor wellspring of the philosophy of TRR.

Summary #1:

So far, in summary, in my opinion, we have
a blog that seems it is an energetic, young person oriented, and upward
looking, very socially responsible, that is imbued with all that is good, with
a core of young people who are clamoring for a better city lifestyle because
Rumford is a dead city, all of which is apparently endorsed by local merchants
whose advertisements appear on the blog. Furthermore, in my opinion, this is
all well done propaganda to get you in the mood for what comes next.

I will continue my opinions on TRR in a few days in the
manner I have here presented.

Thanks for reading!

Art16


Last edited by Art16 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:37 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typographical errors)

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Re: Taking a walk down memory lane........

Post by dr on Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:06 pm

Welcome Art16,

Thanks for sharing your insights and observations about The Rumford Reporter.
I like what you said and happen to agree with what you wrote. I particularly like your phrase "transcendental advertising". I'm sure many of the businesses have no clue that she lists them on her site. (In the past she has listed businesses that are were no longer in existence.)

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Re: Taking a walk down memory lane........

Post by 911Dispatcher on Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:16 pm

I believe the mountain pictured on TRR's banner is Mount McKinely Or Denali (Great One) located in Denali National Park between Wasilla, Alaska (Palins home town) and Fairbanks, Alaska. JSN lived in Fairbanks, Alaska at one point for I believe 3 years.

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Re: Taking a walk down memory lane........

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