The shock and awe demonstrated by the popular media with the premise that the news isn’t authoritative is funny to me. My diapers were pink, if not deeply red. My Dad tried to escape the insanity of his broken family, his crazy, socialist Mom and his alcoholic father. The man left Berkeley but Berkeley never left him. So says he, Jesus is a Communist. The engineering degree was an e-ticket out of the left-wing Disneyland called California. An article of faith in my family has always been that the press lies to us.
William Randolf Hearst published the San Francisco Examiner, bitter rival to the San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst is the newspaper man who was at the center of scandals over yellow journalism and suspicions that his newspapers bullied the US and Spain into war. Some of what Hearst published was demonstrably false. Hearst was a passionate progressive.
That’s one. Pacifica Radio is another. It was our first public radio network, predating NPR. When I was living in the Bay Area I could count on Pacifica Radio’s KPFA to remind me frequently that what I saw on KTVU and in the Chronicle was establishment pablum pushing a political agenda. It continues to be an article of faith at KPFA that what is communicated through major media outlets is government-controlled propaganda.
What is axiomatic for me is that we are all fools and liars. What we find to be true has a lot to do with who we are and our story up to this point in our lives than facts that can be empirically proven. I love repeating with annoying frequency that truth on this blog is an accident. I make no claims as to the factual accuracy of anything I say here. Some of what I say has truth in it, somewhere. So, for the press to suddenly wake up and realize that the inner tubes are clogged with verbal diarrhea, this is both amusing and definitely not news.
Glen Beck, whom many love to hate, keeps saying that we should fact-check him. We should do our own homework. Find out for ourselves who is naughty or nice. A basementless pizza place the headquarters of an international sex-trafficking ring? Perfectly reasonable. Our leaders turn out to have feet of clay and the same kink that less visible folk have? Shocker. I haven’t listened to KPFA in a while. Back when I did they said similar things. They also loudly declaimed that their listeners should do their own research. Find out if KPFA and Pacifica Radio was practicing the fine art of storytelling or in fact, telling provable truth.
RayRoberta Bob, for his part, is all over the #pizzagate thing. It touches on all his fears about authority figures. The resonance is so strong for him that my attempt at disputing the truth of it was dead at the door of Itzel’s barn. He really believes that Billary has a harem of nubile virgins serving his and her *every* need. His own harem supplied by his father was an annoyance to him. Ray’s gender fluidity comes in part from growing up with 400 needy girls vying for his attention.
Sorry, every blogger’s cheap tactic to fill a post, a list. Some stories over the years which were truth-ish:
A story cited here claiming that Samsung paid their 1.2 billion dollar fine to Apple in nickels.
A story that keeps popping up from WWI is based on a photograph claimed to be of a firing squad aiming at a spy.
This one is good because some stories resonate so strongly that they survive all attempts to refute them. There will be those who can’t accept #pizzagate as false and will invent narratives that explain away all the counter-narratives being evangelized in the national media. These narratives to support the core narrative of a corrupt Billary being a sex-trafficker will gain the gravitas of truth and stick around like a smelly, drunk uncle.
Pretty much every week the National Enquirer is published. This week, in fine tradition, they claim that a shadowy fixer for Billary was arranging sex trysts.
Sorry to go all Krischin on the bottom third of this post. The Bible is wary of the tongue. I’ve only quoted James 3: “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,a] and set on fire by hell.b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”
Yeah, so . . . words matter. Our truth matters. While the national press is puckering their anuses and soiling their panties at getting caught in many lies I have begun to feel smug. What I thought was edgy and provocative isn’t. Writing over 200 essays where I am rather open about the lack of truthiness turns out to be more on point than I could have imagined.
One more quote, Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
I’m still learning to fight the urge to preach. Us at the narrow ends of the Bell curve may be troublesome, crazy, a reason to sit somewhere else in the cafe. We are not stupid. If anything, our outlier status gives us less of an investment in the common newspeak promulgated by Uncle Sam. We loose less if we stick to our stories of warehouses of hippies burning to death, aliens invading our brains and the top 10 ways to cook a zombie. It’s what we do. This whole pizzagate thing is awesome sauce for this blog.