Overwhelming news for overwhelming times: the media is failing us

turnoff

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?” 

What?

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.

It’s awful.

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.

Maybe?

Overwhelming.

18 thoughts on “Overwhelming news for overwhelming times: the media is failing us

  1. Ok, I totally agree. The day after Trump was elected in November one of the first emails in my box was from The Sierra Club. Now I’m totally pro Sierra Club. Donate. Get their emails. Believe in their cause. But I open the email and it’s number one objective is we need $$$$$ to combat this. Just struck me as negative. Felt like the same shit I was voting against. So both sides have perturbed me in this mess of a government we have created here in the US. Let me reiterate that WE HAVE CREATED. It didn’t appear out of nowhere. But the leadership does scare me. And it sickens me what is going on. I vote mainly for human rights when I go to the polls and this is just in opposition to all of that. Sometimes it’s nice to just turn it off and be oblivious watching mindless media that labels itself as such, instead of mindless media that proclaims to be intelligent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Sometimes it’s nice to just turn it off and be oblivious watching mindless media that labels itself as such, instead of mindless media that proclaims to be intelligent.” This is so spot on. Maybe this is why that sort of television and entertainment does so well. It’s so pleasant to be able to switch off for a few minutes every day.

      People asking for money for protesting is so flawed. Protesting is a form of political action, sure, but not that effective. I love protesting. I think it’s great for morale and shows unity. But does it achieve anything?

      These days, when people protest everything? And each protest is talked about and raved about like it’s the answer?

      I’m not sure.

      There has to be better ways! You’re completely right, by the way, about the whole “we created” it thing. We completely did. I hope we can fix it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Protests are important and I’m certain I will find myself in the streets quite a bit during the next 4 years, but I agree there has to be more. There has to be further action. The biggest benefit I see if protests to create real change is the leaders we choose to head those protests. King became someone politicians would actually listen to because he could move and motivate massive amounts of people. If we have someone we trust speaking for us and show that backing THAT is when something can get done.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Romania just had a string of protests over 5 days. The government will make changes to the anti-corruption bill as demanded by the people. In Iceland during the Panama scandal we had hundreds of thousands of people on the streets. These are awesome, because the people turned up day after day. It’s difficult for a politician to take any notice if the protest lasts six hours and that’s it. If we could all dedicate our week to it, maybe we could start making some waves. Tricky though…we all got things to do!

        Bernie is a good man, and fights the good fight. He has inspired a generation and I hope his message continues long into the future.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes. I saw Romania’s fight unfold. So truth that dedicating everything would help. Not logical, but an example for us. I live in Bernieland so we would make him king, but the bubble of that world makes the reality of the real world surreal at times.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The truth is that Media is owned by big business, and they play spurious crap according to what the backer wants. Integrity? True journalism? That’s long gone. You have to search alternate media and read between the lines and maybe, eventually, you’ll get an inkling of the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Was just talking to my Dad about Adobe’s new software designed to replicate a human’s voice. It’s a program designed so as to easily recreate someones’ tone, to the point that you can’t tell the difference.

      At that point, how do we proceed? What happens when we reach the point when we can no longer tell? When the banks and the money-people of the planet control whether information is real or not real?

      Scary.

      Liked by 2 people

    • It’s kind of hypocritical to be spouting these views on a website designed to keep you switched on, haha. This was an experimental article, inasmuch as I was trying to inspire reactions as much as I could. I think it would, judging by some of the words I’ve received from various people.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “…why don’t we all take a moment to just think about what it is we’re fucking doing?” Probably one of the most sensible things I’ve ever heard anyone say.

    Also totes agree with you vis a vi the practicalities of protesting-it’s great but what next?

    While 75% of my being wanted to thrust myself into the front line of the women’s march (couldn’t go cause I was in work) and use my body hair to knit a pussy power hat, the other 25% was thinking this is great, but what is it going to achieve?
    How do we actually go about getting funding to help women in poverty who need help with things like childcare and contraception and abortions? How do we go about getting more women and minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community into high paying jobs and spaces where huge, regional, national and international decisions are made? What is going to happen after the march for homeless women, for victims of sexual assault for those who have been marginalised by their friends and family?

    I agree we need action. We need tangible, real, positive action to help combat these issues and while protesting is an excellent way to bring them into the public consciousness, how are we logistically going to go about it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • All excellent points, Miss Grace. “use my body hair to knit a pussy power hat,” this made me laugh out loud hahahaha.

      For real action we all need to become politically active. It’s a sad state of affairs when going to a protest is considered being “politically active.” Although protesting brings these issues into the public consciousness, it’s also very much a lot of shouting into an echo chamber. The people for which the protest is against are generally unaffected, and a lot of people who watch the protest online, or on television, other ordinary people, are probably quite ticked off about the whole thing. We don’t hear about them because we operate within our own circles and don’t take the time to think about the “other side” as it were. There’s a great four minute thing on Newsnight called “Views” which gets a right-wing, centrist and lefty on for a rant. Very eye opening.

      The woman’s march was different, I suppose. It wasn’t necessarily a protest, because the things that a women’s march would be protesting are so incredibly complex and difficult to pinpoint. It’s an issue with our entire society, and the only we can fix it is with small, incremental change. There’s too many fuckers on the planet, inspired by the likes of Mr. Trump, for any drastic change to do anything but cause this swing to the right like we’re now experiencing.

      I’m trying to do my bit by just writing about these things, but I’d suggest actual political action as a solution. It’s difficult, because we all have jobs and lives. Protesting would be excellent if we could all dedicate more than one day. If every day for a year we got out there on the street, in numbers like we manage on a sunny Saturday, maybe it would have the desired effect.

      It’s like this “petition” culture. Fucking Facebook. I swear to god, FUCK FACEBOOK. It’s like – sign this petition, now I’ve feel like I’ve done something good. That’s it for today. Don’t have to think about it anymore.

      Theresa May basically just ignored the last petition – it was 1.5 million people. She ignored it. Why should she have to listen to it? I don’t blame her. It’s the bad side of populism, when people sign it because everyone else is, or they think it’s funny. Trump’s a bad cat, but unfortunately the government we’ve created, the government we all put there (not us specifically, as I’m pretty sure neither of us voted for them) have decided that the best course of action is to crawl right up his orange butt.

      Anyway…glad I got you thinking, my advice is to keep questioning things as you are, thanks for the response as well 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s not just about Western media, sections here in Indian media aren’t much different either. The original context of the news is presented in a spicy way, as if meant for entertainment. Original facts seem to be extremely diluted in contrast, and there’s always some ‘hot topic’ to which the media is stuck for days, ignoring other important news of more significance. Wish the viewers/readers of such media become more aware, and stand up against media’s current behaviour and practices, which are working in monetary interests of various organisations.

    Like

    • If it goes so far we’ll reach a level in society where we genuinely cannot trust anything we read. What do we do? A total rejection of the media seems like a good idea, but what happens when news can’t be transmitted correctly? What if issues cannot be intelligently discussed so we, the viewer, can be presented with unbiased information?

      It’s scary. Really scary.

      Thanks for your comment, it’s got me thinking again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Its so sad. As a journalist that fell out of love with the profession I can only say it has got worse. I believe it was Andrew Breitbart who said politics is downstream from culture and having two younger teenage brothers, the absolute acceptance of cultural figures opinions as their own shocks me.

    Just see the weekend with Meryl Streep preaching in tandem with the GRAMMYs in the U.S. It seems to be so much quicker and easier to adopt these people opinions as our own with diligently checking facts or figures surrounding these events which our youth are encouraged to riot and protest about.

    I see a native of ours MILO caused riots at a campus last week. Having his right to free speech rioted and oppressed by a group who has been told by the mainstream media that they are liberal. The irony escapes them sadly.

    Indeed politics is always downstream from culture, I just wish more people would get out of the stream.

    Have a peek at my blog if you like where I am coming from
    Thanks. http://www.objectivejournal.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the insightful comment, there’s a strange convolution at the moment between people who label themselves one thing, and those that label the other. Milo having his free-speech denied by a bunch of rioting liberals, is, as you say, deeply ironic.

      One can only hope that we can open overcome these strange distinctions millennials have chosen to place themselves within, otherwise who knows what the future holds.

      I’ll be over to check out your blog soon, thanks again for the comment.

      Like

  6. Pingback: Vote for a society that aims towards utopia | Seal Matches

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