Monday, July 30, 2018

Say Anything (I’ll Believe It)

   I think we can all agree that words matter. They convey what we are thinking and reveal much about who we are and what we stand for. They become meaningless when we form them as lies…at least meaningless at revealing the truth, since they still say much about the person speaking them. In an age where we have terms like “fake news” finding legitimacy among the masses, we really need to examine how we process and weigh the things that are said. If words really matter, then we should be wary of those that will say anything, and those that will believe everything.

   I remember when I once tried to run for class office while in middle school. My campaign speech was filled with wild promises that I fully intended to keep, but were making because I knew what would move the class. Free lunch, longer recess, shorter classes…I was about to win, when one of the teachers did the dastardly deed of asking the class to simply think about what I was saying. Of course, he had to explain further because the more they thought about my promises, the more they liked them. What they hadn’t realized was the way things really worked in the school and because of that reality, none of my promises had a snowball’s chance in Hell of materializing. To this day I think back in my Scooby-Doo villain voice, “…and I would have gotten away with it, if not for that meddling teacher.”

   There are people that are getting away with it though. They are saying whatever they think their audience wants to hear, and nobody in that audience seems to have the ability to think beyond how good the words sound as they cascade their audio senses. They never seek to compare the words with the facts of their reality. Worse still, when reality kicks their door in, they just go get a thicker door. It would be comical, if not for the fact that the future of the nation, and by extension, the world…is being shaped by such people.

   I frown on people that blame the system without realizing that they are the very system they are complaining about. If you think politicians can’t be trusted, then stop trusting them. I’m amazed when the news puts our politicians on display, for all of us to see, and we willfully refuse to see what is right in front of us. Take for example when a politician is campaigning and the news says they need to “tweak” their message. Or they say they need to make their message “resonate” with their base. Does nobody understand what they are really saying, is that politician needs to find out what the people want to hear…and say that? Does nobody realize they are telling you, in your face, that the politician needs to lie to you so that you will vote for them?

   How about when they play actual footage of said politician holding  a different or even opposite view than what they are currently saying…and the response is one of acceptance, as if they wouldn’t dare be saying what they are saying just to get votes. It’s to the point that factual evidence is irrelevant to whatever narrative is being pushed, and reality is an anomaly not to be believed for what it is; real.

   How did we ever get to the point that “fake news’ has become a thing? When did people abdicate reason and the ability to research fact from fiction, and instead embrace twenty words from a tweet as their only measure of reality? Our political landscape has become so divisive, polluted, and poisonous that nobody seems to care about the truth. All they want is their feeling of being “right” validated by the power to institute whatever whim crosses their mind on any given day. We are so “right versus left” that we can’t see where either might be falling short because such vision would require a view from the middle, and nobody seems to want to be brave enough to stand without a tribe.

   So instead, we are inundated by politicians, celebrities-turned-President, and news opinion show hosts (that nobody can seem to understand is not actual news) that willfully say absolutely anything (truth be damned) because they know we will believe everything (facts be damned)…and we sit around like confused lemmings wondering why things are getting so bad. We the people, are the problem, and so must also be the solution.