Rip Van Winkle and the mainstream media
Rip Van Winkle and The Mainstream Media
Prior to the late 2007 epiphanic-nanosecond in which all I ever was – or had been, or sensed, or did or believed – manifested the truth I have subsequently sought to disprove, I had a mission: to defend the individual, the fundamental unit of society. I would become a Constitutional Attorney, which I still believe to be the most honorable and necessary profession mankind has ever created. Yes, doctors save lives, but we were meant to die; we were never meant to be caged.
[This is not about race: the similarities of being human should instantly and dramatically outweigh and dispose of any possible distinction among the races (the idea of racism is absurdly hilarious; the reality of racism is a stark reminder of just how lost we are).]
To this day I am wholly incapable of articulating even a fraction of what I learned in that immeasurably minuscule amount of time. Even if I were capable, and had started speaking immediately thereafter, I might still be explaining what happened. Essentially, I was overloaded with “truth”.
[This is not about religion, or God: I hope there is room for all religions to co-exist peacefully, for it is not my place to tell you what is true, only what I believe (if it is your belief that you must convert others in order to be faithful, then I wish you luck; you will need it).]
After graduating from law school, instead of beginning my crusade, I fell into a deep depression (never actually diagnosed). I was paralyzed. I had completely lost all purpose. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s very easy to confuse depression and self-pity. I’m sure some of it was beyond my control-at least partially-but much of it was just me feeling sorry for myself.
[This is not about me (or depression): all humans are simultaneously the most important individual in the world and the least significant. There is someone in your life that would endure an eternity in “hell” so you might enjoy a moment of happiness, or forego an instance of pain. Yet, the rest of the world is blissfully ignorant that you exist at all and anxiously awaiting your entrance.]
I disengaged. I was stubbornly waiting to die, overwhelmed by the unbearable burden of seventy-five painfully long years. Me and myself stale-mated as to whether suicide was honorable or selfish. I was content enough, other than the occasional, late-night, teary-eyed rendezvous with inspiration – which inevitably led to me swearing to do better tomorrow, which inevitably led to me failing the next day.
I would have been perfectly “unhappy” staring to the left of my television screen for the next forty years, without purpose, without ambition and without any regret–despite periodically screaming at the top of my lungs, attempting to exorcise some beyond pathetic moment from my past (which I had failed to repress with any effectiveness at all)–but, I forgot to press mute….
[This is about the 2016 Presidential Election: (that is not completely accurate).]
I was having a lot of fun with this election, as I have little to no faith in the US Federal Government, and considering my disposition, no stake in the matter. Also, if you go back through basically all previous elections, you’ll find – quite amazingly I might add – they have been having the same debates since the beginning. Nothing changes. Nothing gets done. Though every four years we seem to be facing a brand new threat unlike anything we have ever seen. Other than that threat, 2016 is nothing like the past; it is totally new.
So I was no longer staring to the left of my television screen; I couldn’t get enough of it. Oh the laughter! At least until the conventions.
I expected full coverage on all networks but it was more highlights. Local access had full coverage; not of the convention itself, but commentators, which was a train wreck. Luckily, by night two or three I found C-Span. Full coverage. No commentary. A couple cameras, and audio. I watched it all. Both conventions. All main speeches. I watched objectively. Then, I turned on the news. It took all of two minutes….
[This is about the state of our media]
We all know that the news is sensational and centered around ratings. The news is big business. However, I don’t think most of us realize how far they are willing to go to manipulate. Some news anchors are simply voluntary puppets. They may believe in the world they are trying to create. But they cannot possibly believe the words they speak.
They are not providing a valuable service.
They are not providing truth.
They are telling you what to think.
Very little of either convention was accurately portrayed by the mainstream media. It was all narrative, very likely written prior to the conventions, discussed in morning meetings and propagated throughout the echo-chamber that is the 24-hour news cycle – to be mindlessly regurgitated the next day across the country at water coolers and nap areas (thanks millennials (no seriously)). So, those who watch the news are egregiously misinformed, and those who listen to those who watch the news never have a chance. We make society-sized decisions via the most terrifying game of telephone imaginable.
The media takes advantage of our schedules. We don’t have the time or energy to watch the news, let alone double-check it. Our press receives constitutional protection for a reason, but instead of guaranteeing transparency they peddle propaganda, interspersed with stories about puppies. It’s enough to keep you coming back but the odds of benefit are lessened with repetition. It’s exactly like a drug.
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR MEDIA SOURCES. That’s it. Look for the other side of the story. Truth can be distorted and omitted and manipulated and hidden and covered up, but it can never be extinguished; find it. Grow it until you’re dust. Unfortunately, you will have to look outside the mainstream media to find it.
If you perform due diligence then you will immediately stop trusting. If you stop trusting, then you will stop watching. If you stop watching, then they will change. It is a matter of what we are willing to accept.
My commentary on the media is specific to this election. Please do not let past, repetitive claims of media bias prevent you from seeking truth. I have been asleep nine years, but this alarm-clock election is too important to sleep on, wake up.
Perhaps I owe our media some gratitude. For the first time in nine years I have a purpose. For the first time in nine years I have ambition. And for the first time in nine years I have found a way to make all those little regrets worthwhile that I have been unable to adequately repress…. Join me?
John Miles Pachelkie