Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Truth or Something Like it

It is easy, as it were, to affix most of the world's problems onto those very few people who actually appear in charge of our goings on.

In that way, we the people, can buy into some specific set of propaganda, which has a narrow tilted view of the issues; a one-sided feast of poor quality information. Once we have our 'truth', we can then return to our 'lives' happy and content in knowing, or at least in thinking we know, about the real facts of the case.

In a world where it is not that easy, we clearly want it to be. That is why so many of us buy into the international news, or we buy into a specific government's propaganda, or some other 'simplistic' view of the world. We can rail at the evil ones, and still feel good about ourselves. "You" are the bad guys, "we" are good. "You" have done wrong, "I" have not.

And so it goes. History's greatest justification for us continually burying our heads in the sands and not trying to sort the wheat from the chafe. We don't really want to know.

We would in that case, rather have a black and white simplistic incorrect view of the world, than to truly know and understand it. I think the later is just too difficult for mankind, we have not yet gotten to that stage where we can see international events, for example, as the murky world of gray were we are all at fault.

And it is in that very attitude of ours -- in our very behaviour -- that the seeds of our misery are so often sown. We turn a blind eye towards the events, choosing to only accept 'our' version, not wanting to let our beliefs go, because we need something solid in our existence. Yet, those very few people, to whom we blame the world's troubles, are the exact same ones that we all 'enable' by our not wanting to really know the truth.

And so we have campaigns waged across the media by skilled artisans at corrupting even the simplest of facts, and even when we are so sure of the truth, we'd hardly recognize it even if it were slapping us in the face. In that very sense, history laughs at us. We, who think we know what really went on, but that truth too was long erased and replaced by a multitude of different propaganda attempts. We want to feel good about ourselves, but to do that, we need to be manipulated. We don't want the truth; can't handle it; won't understand it. It would crush us, in ways we have yet to fully comprehend.

I think it is my understanding of how frail the information I receive actually is, that constantly drives me to question even the smallest detail. For, in the end, if it is not 'fact' then it is probably propaganda, and if you think about how much 'stuff' you get from the newspapers, TV, radio, Internet and other sources of media relentlessly bombarding us, you might really come to be aware of how little 'fact' there is in that endless wave of hype that washes over us.

In that, if you take any 'opinion' you have -- any at all -- the odds that it is actually correct, or even close to correct with regards to the world we live in, is no doubt 50/50. Everything you think you know that is not concrete is as likely to be wrong as it is to be right. If you understand that, then unlike most people, you may actually have a decent chance of glimpsing some of the real world in between the endless staged propaganda. If not, then please go back to your regularly scheduled show and forget about this posting; it doesn't matter to you.

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