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Never The Nine O' Clock News...
Read All About It.
Thank you for joining us. On the news tonight... a watered down version of the truth. Truth strategically dismantled, pieced together under a guise of political ideology leaning on the odometer of our paymaster's preference.
News and current affairs, a nexus of events from across the globe pieced together for your information, or is it? Winston Churchill once said: "a lie will get halfway around the world before the truth has got it's pants on." In this modern day and age, does the lie move close to light speed and truth lag behind, scarcely nudging the sound barrier?
We are literally saturated with information in the 21st century. It pervades our every step out into the world, awaits the opening of our lids eagerly on the blink of each eye and anticipates the outlet of breath to editorialise the passage of your thoughts as you exhale. We all have access to a smartphone and they lie in wait, sentinels for the output of information arcs down the ether to our eager beaver selves.
Although the crucible of information gathering falls short when distilled through our 'discerning tastes.' The exponential spread of technology has meant that a wealth of information lies at our fingertips, we navigate archives at the brush of a touchscreen. However, we slake our thirst on amusement, fluffy animals playing pianos or frozen in anthropomorphic repose. Despite tumbling down the rabbit hole of expose and inconvenient truth, we splash about in the shallow puddle of Instagram pics of our dinner, or grow snared in Shakespearean vendettas with those audacious enough to type a Trolling "au contrare" to our world view on You Tube or Facebook. The information Autobahn was never supposed to be a 1920's jaunt in a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, but was it ever intended to be a beefed up edition of Mario Kart?
Is The Media Truthful?
Headlines From The Bottom Rung.
At a time when the opportunity to glean our information from a variety of sources has never been more available, we still dine out at the trough of TV news and the papers. Why is this? Convenience is assuaged before eternal vigilance and the TV provides this, it washes over us and allows the permeation of information more easily than thoroughly referenced research. Newspapers are worse, you will usually be a victim of cultural conditioning, the papers your family read are doubtlessly the ones you will pick up with the rest of the nurturing from your parents. Therefore you will have an undercurrent, the rag you read stays with you longer than the rag that wiped your snotty nose!
Political leanings are largely intrinsic. The powerful are all too cosily aware of this and will pump millions of pounds into keeping you tuned in and copped out of other sources of knowledge. The last several years have revealed the vastly uncomfortable extent to how low the gutter press will sink into their acquirement of readership and saturation. When readers are in the gutter, they can look at stars, when the Gutter Press are there, they are sifting through the shit and used needles!
The proliferation of social media has worked in (perhaps tacit? Perhaps not?) concert with the powerful media organisations, Facebook, Twitter and Google have themselves joined the echelons of big business. The rise of status and Tweet from the fog of long articles have helped sensationalism infinitely. Quick pics on smartphones and You Tube links even flounder to a swift headline that someone can read. Status is the hare and longer, more convoluted explanation is the tortoise of our age. Space-time slows around the shock and awe of collective indignation, fear, anger and the complex spectrum of emotions that a headline hypes sheep into, a vicious sheepdog all too eager to round us up in the way they wish!
Distortion is the MO of the media. Scrambling the eggs of verity and serving people up a diet of propaganda, keeping us bloated... good little piglets to nosh away at the trough of consumerism. Money has been the altar on which the immutability of the truth has been sacrificed. All British newspapers are owned by conglomerates and media groups, none as large as the Murdoch Empire, which, though dented in recent years with the Phone Hacking Scandal, remains largely intact.
Commercial TV of course, is at the whim of advertisers and sponsors. Therefore, incisive, investigative journalism will suffer when lucrative cheques are waved in executive's faces. However, the saving grace of journalistic probity would be protected by the auspices of Public Service Broadcasting (BBC), right? Over the years, Auntie Beeb has fell prey to bias as much, if not more so, than commercial broadcasters. To cater for the opinions of the public and Licence Fee payers plays second fiddle to the draconian whim of governmental overlords. The Tories have despised the BBC ever since the General Strike of 1926 and have sought to undermine it for nigh on a century. For this reason, the truth runs the risk of playing a game of Russian Roulette, to be obliterated in favour of policy pressure.
What Is Truth?
This is a tricky territory, a mire of stricken uprooted ground and landmines, a veritable battlefield of opinion, propaganda and empiricism are the casualties of such indifference. But ultimately, what is true truth? All we see around us is subjective, everything we hear is a version, my blue isn't your blue. Truth is always distilled into our personal filter, interacting with the person we have evolved into along the way and reaching a conclusion based on all of these factors. That 'truth' you heard has reached it's destination by soaking into and being emitted by various other permeable structures of humanity, the 'truth' itself having been fashioned out of shades of honesty.
So, perhaps the 'true lie' is, that the truth and lie were in bed together and take turns hurtling around the world as the other gets leisurely dressed?
© Brad James, 2014.