photo by Sheri Dixon

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Place For News

The interwebs are a wonderful thing.

Anyone with access to them can find out everything, everywhere, anytime. Check, verify, double-check, cross-reference and pretty much wring the truth out of any fact thrown down, gauntlet-style in front of them with the admonishment of "There! What do you think of THAT? Do you believe that shit?"

Well, no. I don't. Not generally.

If something sounds too wrong, too unbelievable, too shocking for words, it generally is. Except when it isn't.

And the place to get "the Real Deal" in the world is not the news. Or at least not one place in the World of News.

Because here's the thing.

Anytime you hear the news, read the news, see the news, there are these snippets of stuff in the side columns, between the stories, bracketing the sound bytes.

It's called advertisements, and it's all extremely spendy. So spendy that only huge corporations and organizations can afford it. They get huge by promoting their own self-interests and the various media pays their bills by promoting the advertisers, who will not pay for advertisements in a venue that makes them look redundant, or evil, or stupid.

That venue would be called "reality".

Don't get me wrong- we do watch programs that either claim to be news, or seem to have people commenting on the news that sound...not insane.

But if I want to know more, the interwebs lets me.

What's REALLY going on in the Middle East? There are real people writing, photographing, journaling it- now.

IS the labor protest in Wisconsin violent and messy? Lets look at the photos and videos and listen to the real teachers who are right there. We actually had this discussion at the dinner table- the polar opposite media devoured by different people in our family were showing wildly differing reports, but I stand firm and will believe my friend of over 30 years who's a teacher in Wisconsin, and who is THERE.

What DOES "Socialized Health Care" perform like? There are real people (a huge shit-load of 'em, actually) who live with it and will be happy to tell you it's more than OK- it totally Rocks.

We learned to listen to the real people when stuff started happening to US in our health care system. It stunned me that folks I know and see every day looked at me like I was lying to them when I would say, fer instance "Ward doesn't have insurance right now and we have to come up with several thousand dollars for his next scans". They'd look at me like I'd sprouted tentacles and say "What are you talking about? This is America- just walk into the hospital and they will take care of you."

Well, ya. That's what the talking heads say. The same talking heads that tell us on Good Morning America that spending $500 for the Ultimate Little Black Dress is a steal.

I guess all the years of schooling and working for others has made us sponges. Oh, and also stupid. Any old shit can be spouted out there and believed if it's spouted with enough conviction and to a large enough audience- no matter what reality looks like.

How can the governor of Texas stand up and say "Texas is doing great! WE can't run a deficit budget, why should our US Government be allowed to?" and be met with cheers and within literal seconds appear on another channel saying that we need to tighten our belts here in Texas due to budget constraints and close over 1,000 schools and lay off over 50,000 educational employees and be met with nods and agreement?

How can people scream for less government intervention in their lives and then holler that "We need to make damn sure we can tell all women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies".

How can people be so against socialized medicine and then scream "No one better touch my medicare!"?

How can the Founding Fathers' insistence of "NO official religion- but freedom FROM religion" mean that the Ten Commandments be posted in government buildings and "In God We Trust" printed on our money?

How can all that not seem ridiculously non-linear to even the most bullheaded narrow-minded person?

The Place For News is not in a news studio, or "on assignment".

News, Corporations, Governments, Banks, Insurance Companies, Organized Religions- all made up. All pretend. Mostly bullshit.

The News is Us. Every one of us knows what's going on if we unstick our eyeballs from the TV screen and look around- see what's happening in OUR house to OUR finances and OUR health and OUR freedoms- then multiply that by a gabazillion other real people around the world- people who are all connected now by the interwebs.

Let's talk to each other. Not those pretend "grass roots patriots" meetings financed by the big businesses, or anything else with any type of Sponsor.

Yanno how when you see someone on the street, at work, in the store and the automatic greeting is "How are you?"

Steal 30 minutes every day away from the talking heads who are paid to say what they do and paid even more if they do it sincerely while shedding a few tears and gnashing a few teeth- and ask the ordinary small people around you "How are you?" and then listen to the answers. Five minutes at at time. Six people.

Be patient- most people will spout what they've been told to believe at first. Gently insist on "How are you...REALLY?"

I believe with all my heart that our collective ordinary small agendas are remarkably similar even though we're being told, warned, screamed at that they're not.

Because the only way for the Bullshit Pretend Monsters to stay in power is to keep us all afraid of each other.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"...


  1. the culture of fear...the great motivator. Well said.. how are you?

  2. Thank you, jojo- I'm worried about the world my children will inherit. I'm doing my level best to be sure they will have somewhere safe to live, that can shelter them with or without "grid power" and has the capability of providing them with healthy food and clean water.
    Ideally, this would be the entire planet, but I'm starting with this 12 acres and hope to spread it out from there.
    If everyone does the same from THEIR farms, yards and apartment balconies we'll all eventually overlap :)
    I am constantly alarmed and saddened but eternally cautiously optimistic.
    How are YOU?