Speaking for myself, and about myself, though I may be the last person who should do so, I like having a view of the world. The real world. Not the show, not what companies and politicians, not what advertising and networks would tell us the real world is. I’m talking about reality.
We live in a very complicated space and time. We do. And if you ignore newspapers and sources from around this fractured world you might even realize it. We are told daily that things of little importance to our daily life are somehow critical. And the important events and decisions that go on are minimized if not kept from us entirely. You can ask me how I know this. To quote the great show X-Files, the truth is out there.
I have no idea how many sites I either visit or have articles sent from in a day. I follow news organizations from all sides of the political spectrum. I see reports from charitable organizations on conditions of countries that rarely get any air time in our North American vacuum.
So I sound like a bit of giant, pompous asshole don’t I? Someone who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else?
Trust me, I’m not. I have a job. I don’t read every article or report. I skim what I can, when I can. And at the end of all that, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what is happening. But. What that does is gives me some kind of balanced view of what’s going on. I know everyone from Obama and Romney, Harper and Bob Rae is full of political bullshit. There is, once you start getting a view of all sides, more spin and rhetoric in what we are fed than truth. But you also get see motivations. And sometimes that is more important than stories and arguments.
For me it is a habit. And a passion. And what I know is that there is little in today’s world that motivates any of us to do this. I truly believe that there is a coordinated effort to distract us. To keep us ill-informed. And now I sound like some wacky conspiratorial moron.
I really want you to think about this. Between the frittered and frayed education system we have and the made-for-mind-numbing excrement that is our tv viewing today, how much attention are you paying to the world? I look at my own kids and things I learned in high school, they’ve had no exposure to. It’s like they’ve been fed the minimum instead of flooding their minds the way I was at their age.
How many of us watch the news? How many of us watch anything beyond the 6pm or 11pm news? How many of us tune into the 24 hour news cycle and think we’ve been informed? One thing is for sure. If you go to a single source for your information, you probably aren’t getting the whole story. And there’s a decent chance you aren’t getting the truth.
Case in point, the recent North Korea satellite launch that failed. For weeks before CNN kept reporting concerns from the Pentagon that it could be a sign of their ability to launch a warhead to the US. They were tracking it in case it was a warhead. What kind of idiot believes this garbage? Worst case it was actually a satellite. And we saw the outcome of their abilities. This is your “intelligence” community at work. And the stories to keep us scared are everywhere. Except I’m not scared. There isn’t another villain around every corner. It’s time we all woke up to the money being made – by defense contractors, by media and on and on.
We all need to question every single thing we see and hear. Chances are it is some version of the truth. Or perhaps an outright lie. Most of us outside the US knew there were no WMDs in Iraq. Why? Because we believed the UN agency when they said there were none. And there were none. But the lies from the government and the media convinced so many there were.
And absolutely question every single thing I wrote here. Go check out the things I say elsewhere and see if there’s a version of the truth in it somewhere. This may sound hokey and downright contrite but we really have to fight this. We have to fight to find the truth in a world that lies and manipulates us every single day.
We used to be stunned looking at nations where information is so controlled and the people have no clue what is going (again, look at North Korea). What is sad is that so few of us realize that we are dealing with the same level of control and manipulation. Look at the shrinking ownership of media around the world and you’ll realize that the information we see is controlled by very few.
If I’ve learned nothing else as years have passed it’s that we can never lose curiosity. We can never take for granted that our rights and freedoms are a given. We can never assume the people we should be able to trust are telling us the truth. 9/11 became a crowbar to eliminate the things that make our free society free. Fear has been used as a wedge to convince you that you must give it up to stay safe. And seemingly gone are the days where each of us would be willing to make sacrifices to stay free.
Distractions. We all have them. Mine is food. I watch and read and follow all manner of chefs and shows. I see people watch other just as silly and worse crap. The problem comes when we let that consume our time and thoughts and we forget to watch our own backs. Find out what people outside your world are saying and thinking. Go to websites in other countries and see what they are reporting and what people are saying in blogs from those places. Engage them in honest conversation and be open to what they see, even if you don’t agree. It will be interesting and enlightening. We have to respect the fact that not everyone thinks and believes what we do. Just as much as you and I may not agree. And that’s okay. Why? Because last time I checked isn’t that what freedom is all about.