samedi, novembre 21, 2009


Mark Twain went around the country. In the end, embittered and full of bile, he was paraphrased in the blogosphere, saying: "If you don't watch the news, you are uninformed. If you do watch the news, you are misinformed."

Not long before, Voltaire sent Candide around the world. In the course of his misadventures, he discovered something: he didn't care about the price of tea in China. It was all outside the sphere of his influence and was therefore bereft of meaning. He decided, in another immortalized turn of phrase, to "tend [his] own garden."

This was all taken to heart by my good friend Jason, who said: "Don't talk to me about current events anymore. If there's nothing I can do about it, I don't want to know about it." A month later he has never been happier. He gets more done. He eats the food in front of him without being distracted by the menu at some distant Mcdonalds.

Ask yourself: does an infantile war between an administration and a television channel have anything to do with you? Does your certainty that they are in cahoots and are simply succeeding in boosting each other's numbers help you succeed at your job or studies? If members of that administration declare earnest admiration for history's worst dictatorial murderer [ed: it's Mao Tse Tung, for the ignorant] does that change the way the tomatoes grow in your garden? Will shaking your fist at the Wall Street insiders who advise your president stop them from flushing billions of dollars down fat cat investment bankers' toilets while common people suffer? Do you really think the future generations who are being crippled by the current rates of government spending will look back at average Americans and shake their debt shackled fists in anger? "If only you had been informed about this!"

They will not. Neither will anyone begrudge you missing a Conan O'Brian reference because you failed to catch CNN that day. Free yourself.

At any rate, at least if you watch the Daily Show, [or the even better Colbert Report-ed.] you can have a good hearty laugh whilst you are propagandized and misinformed.

1 commentaire:

radioisfree a dit...

i've been looking for a way out of my funk that has, at its core, a growing mistrust of anything spoken, written, or thought. i'm forcing a shutdown of all my previous systems - as if that will end any conspiracy. i'm powerless to change any of it, as you say. why not take what i can control and work on my li'l garden. thanks for shaking me out of my malaise.