Thu
Oct 25 2007
07:33 am

Lately, I've begun to feel a little nauseous as I am spun right and left by the media. Like I used to feel as a kid playing blindman's bluff---the room teeters, words begin to blur, and my vision becomes distorted.

Back when Faux News was the only obvious spinners of falsehoods, innuendo and mean-spirited gossip, I used to pray the Left would find a way to combat the negative effects that evil empire was having on American thought. It seemed disgusting to think so many Americans were so ignorant as to swallow the poison pablum they were being fed. Everytime I saw some left-leaning liberals cut to ribbons beneath the razorsharp blows of his nibs Bill (Oh really?) O'Reilly I cringed. It seemed like it took forever for the liberals to recover from the shock of overt attacks, to learn how to not be thrown by them, and to speak their points anyway.

At first I took this as a good sign. Jon Stewart and Colbert leaped onto my screen, making fun of the obvious mistakes Washington was making, revealing through humor the serious reality of a President gone amok. Then, MSNBC brought on Keith Olbermann, a master satirist with political savvy and an elegance that made Bill O'Reilly look like he had just slogged his way off a hog farm. (No insult intended to hog farmers please) Finally, CNN which seemed to lean a little to the Left, hired Lou Dobbs, but he turned the station into a big bull-horn repeating only one constant belligerent message--No outsourcing of jobs & get rid of the illegal aliens.

The only problem I have now is that it's harder than ever to sort fact from fiction. And what about this feeling I have that the American people no longer exist? Liberals vs Neo-cons, Christians vs heathen others, law-abiders vs criminals, warriors vs anti-war activists, now we all seem willing, even happy, to be living in comfy little comparments labeled with terms that are in reality very abstract. And over-riding all this is fear-not toward a foreign threat, but from the threat of us against ourselves? You can choose your "them". Both sides of reality have their "thems".

The other day when my email box revealed at least 15 emails practically ordering me to ACT Now!, to call this person, write that person, meet here locally, gather in the capital, send us money, etc, etc, etc. I suddenly had this epiphany that I was being manipulated by some of the very people I thought were protecting me from manipulation!

It was as if the blindfold had slipped in my little hide-and-seek game of truth finding.

Am I wrong to want to find my way back into a sense of American brotherhood, to feel respect for, and yes, even love, for my neighbor, even if that neighbor is dead set against abortion or against civil rights? If I don't, how will I ever be able to persuade them that things are not always he way they appear?

Today everyone is speaking their mind and choosing sides. But something is missing. At the top nothing ever changes. The powers-that-be continue to be the powers-that-be in spite of all the Internet "movements", the endless national petitions, the raging rhetoric on the Congressional floor. Outside the spin zone everything remains quite steady. Is there a plan afoot to keep us all entertained or busy hating one another while slowly our elected officials are quietly taking away our Democracy?

So what now? Where do I turn now that I feel a little distrustful of my own political allies, a little skeptical about the information coming out of the Left's own spin machine?

I don't think I'm alone in this feeling. But where do I turn? Where?

Maybe that's where it all went wrong. Having that desperate need in a world full of chaos and question marks to find some kind of bearing, some kind of solid truth. Right now this appears to be some kind of folly.

Maybe sometimes it feels better not to have all the answers.

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gime_shltr's picture

Tea anyone?

I couldn't agree with you more. I've often wondered why I was cursed with a need to pay attention to events, read the newspaper, watch the news, or even care. Self sacrifice? Civic duties?
Never heard of them.

Johnny Ringo's picture

From William Gibson's latest

From William Gibson's latest book, Spook Country:

Alejandro looked over his knees. "Carlito said there is a war in America."
"A war?"
"A civil war."
"There is no war, Alejandro, in America."
"When grandfather helped found the DGI, in Havana, were the Americans at war with the Russians?"
"That was the 'cold war.' "
Alejandro nodded, his hands coming up to grip his knees. "A cold civil war."
Tito heard a sharp click from the direction of Ochun's vase, but thought instead of Eleggua, He Who Opens And Closes The Roads. He looked back at Alejandro.
"You don't follow politics, Tito."

Hammersmith's picture

No apologies to...

Hemmingway?

Average Guy's picture

TJ

Someone who agrees with you; (link...)

I would recommend PBS and C-SPAN. This is a movie (link...) most will find offensive either to their religion or other sensitivities, but I promise it will change how you see things.., at least a little. Take two hours to change your life. Here's clip from "Network" (link...) referenced in the movie.

Sven's picture

He feels your pain. The

He feels your pain.

The Media is an abstraction (because a newspaper is not concrete and only in an abstract sense can be considered an individual), which in association with the passionlessness and reflection of the times creates that abstract phantom, the public, which is the actual leveler. . . . More and more individuals will, because of their indolent bloodlessness, aspire to become nothing, in order to become the public, this abstract whole, which forms in this ridiculous manner: the public comes into existence because all its participants become third parties.

This lazy mass, which understands nothing and does nothing, this public gallery seeks some distraction, and soon gives itself over to the idea that everything which someone does, or achieves, has been done to provide the public something to gossip about. . . . The public has a dog for its amusement. That dog is the Media. If there is someone better than the public, someone who distinguishes himself, the public sets the dog on him and all the amusement begins. This biting dog tears up his coat-tails, and takes all sort of vulgar liberties with his leg—until the public bores of it all and calls the dog off. That is how the public levels.

R. Neal's picture

What bugs me is that these

What bugs me is that these presidential primaries and even the campaigns have started too soon and that's all we hear about unless there's a major clusterf**k like SCHIP or a disaster like the fires in California or Brittney drops her baby at the disco or something. You have to dig to find out what else is happening.

KC's picture

Being in politics is like

Being in politics is like being in a football game. You have to be smart enough to know the game and stupid enough to think it important.

Eugene McCarthy

KC's picture

And

If you are sure you understand everything that is going on, you are hopelessly confused.

Walter F. Mondale

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