Not for the first day in recent days I’ve tried very hard to ignore any kind of news. These days I feel it necessary to divide what current affairs I’m reading into two piles: too depressing for a Tuesday morning, and just depressing enough. “Today on the Trump forecast, Bannon is a Nazi, Corbyn flails around, China’s peacocking, the EU is annoyed at the U.K, someone was shot, someone is always being shot.” The list of societal failures, helpfully broadcast immediately into my eyes from a too-bright screen, goes on and on.
This comes down to the lack of integrity in our modern media. In the old days, before you could literally pluck opinions out of several arseholes at once, journalists had to approach their sources, actually talk to them, consider what they said, how they said it, why they said it. You know, some degree of critical analysis, on behalf of both the journalist, and the reader. This bit’s important. I’ll come back to it. Now, Trump tweets something and media rooms across the planet spin wildly out of control as underpaid interns try to write something witty enough to warrant a couple of hundred clicks from a bunch of bored, Facebook-humping troglodytes.
The Independent, once a reputable news source, apparently, now runs with headlines like: “Trump just did this, it’s ridiculous!” and “You’ll never guess what Trump said about this.” All you have to do is scroll through their Facebook page to be assaulted by this rubbish. This is the death of the modern media. Is this any surprise? These are for-profit companies who realise this shit sells. I should add, these are for-profit companies that also realise that most of their other shit does not sell. The Guardian asks me for donations – for what am I exactly donating? Because their Facebook page tells no different story.
“Will Lady Gaga’s half-time show get political?”
Are you fucking kidding me?
Five pound a month for that?
For one, this isn’t exactly “politics”, is it? The results of these peoples decisions, who we’ve chosen to put into power, have a massive effect on our everyday lives. We should be talking about these things, openly and without prejudice. If Gaga wants to say a few things she’s entirely entitled too – she’s not a politician, what she’s talking about is not politics. As a generation of people suddenly and totally connected to almost everything that happens across the planet at all times, it’s certainly difficult for us not to be judgmental, to simply assume the things we read are correct. If Gaga’s an idiot for wanting to talk about issues, I suppose she’s an idiot. Cheers, Guardian, take my money for more of your award-winning journalism.
This intensity of hatred, this judgement, that transpires from everybody trying to take the moral high ground all at once, is ruining our society. Discussions do not occur. Arguments do not even occur. All you have is baseless opinion, no-one has any time to take a moment to consider anyone else’s argument. It’s this way, or that way. Never an in-between. The truth is, no one really knows what the fuck they’re talking about. People are too keen to get caught up in the sensational, all aboard the populist wave, donate money so we can give money to people who are going to protest against Trump! That’ll solve all this. Thanks Owen Jones, you’ve really fixed this problem.
What we need is less senseless babbling, less senseless protesting, where the youth of today can get together and have a jolly nice time protesting something they literally have no control over whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong. Protests are great, and in history they’ve achieved great things. I don’t need to list them. These monumental events have been thrown around in a number of Facebook arguments recently and I’m sure you’ve seen them popping up. But instead of protesting an elected official from the other side of the world, or protesting against Brexit (which by the way, basically means protesting against an ignorant populace, which is not going to get us anywhere) why don’t we all take a moment to just think about what it is we’re fucking doing?
How can we solve these problems, sensibly?
First of all, abandon your prejudice. I know it’s hard, but fuck, without chucking it all out of the window we’re not going to get anywhere. Solving the problems of our modern society will not come from senseless hatred and opinion-baiting. What we need to inspire is critical thinking. Philosophy and History, and English to a degree, help young people properly consider their sources and evaluate words before they leave their mouths.
Philosophy helps to understand the very basics of logic and argumentative process, something it seems half the world, grown-ups included, have completely forgotten, or rather, never learned at all. Sophisticated debate rarely occurs anywhere, or at least, I’ve not seen it happen anywhere in a while, not in parliament, not in the U.S, and certainly not on Facebook. Truth is, there’s too many people shouting about too much shit. The endless barrage of “news” is killing us. We receive so much of it that after a while we just forget to give a shit about what we’ve just read.
To help fix these issues, we can start with only small steps. History is a good place to start. History teaches us that we shouldn’t just believe every single fucking thing we read. It makes us realise that Henry VIII probably just said his wives were massive bitches, because they all died, or were too scared because they knew they were gonna get their heads chopped off, and they never got to say anything. He was the king. He was in charge. These are simple principles that apparently no one applies to modern society. We’ve forgotten that Trump can write the script. We’ve forgotten that politicians can say whatever the fuck they want, because they’re politicians, and someone, mostly us, the people, put them there. People just say things all the time.
DON’T REACT TO IT LIKE A BLATHERING FUCKING MADMAN.
There’s too much blathering and madness already.
There’s too much news.
I don’t know how we can recover from this. I don’t even know if it’s possible. News comes at us like rotting, bloated cow corpses fired from a cannon, endlessly, over and over and over. How can we ever care? Can we ever put up with it?
Maybe we should all put down our devices, our screens, our fucking “beam-this-shit-right-into-my-eyeballs-please” machines.