The personal blog of Frank Lesko. Award-winning writer. Non-profit entrepreneur. Activist. Religious professional. Foodie. Musician. All around curious soul and Renaissance man.

See also my professional blog: The Traveling Ecumenist.

Monday, October 29, 2018

So I was arguing on the internets today...

So I was arguing on the internets today... Some guy shared some internet meme, I presented an article that directly provided evidence against it. He responded with:
"if I had time to look I could probably find something to refute that."
I just about lost it. Hilarious. Isn't that the internet in a nutshell? Or rather, our society in general? The sad part is he probably COULD find something for or against any point out there. It's the era of post-truth. You get to choose-your-own-reality. Pick whichever fantasy you want and then believe it and by that simple decision it will be true. Red pill or blue pill, you get to pick.
It's not just a poetic allusion, anymore. In the past, if you said you were "creating your own reality," it might mean you were choosing to be an optimist instead of a pessimist or choosing to see the good in people instead of bad or something like that. That's not what I mean here. By "reality" I mean the nuts & bolts of facts and verifiable data. That's the kind of reality which is a matter of personal choice these days. And your opinion is equal to my informed facts. It says so right there in the Constitution. Even if... well, it doesn't actually say that in Constitution, you know, with like, words. Doesn't matter, I believe it to be there. It's got to be there somewhere. Or at least, in the intentions of the writers of the Constitution, you see. And I know this because, well, it's the reality I want to believe in.
Perhaps it started with modernism, as fundamentalists intuitively feared. Or post-modernism. Or post-post-modernism. Or maybe it started with Bill Clinton saying, "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is..." But I don't think there's any question that the true masters of this craft are the Republicans of the past 40 years, in particular the current manifestation of Trump and his minions Yes, there is fake news on "both sides" but that doesn't mean that both sides are equal. It's been going since Rush Limbaugh started spouting his diatribe and far too many people couldn't tell the difference between his lies and reality. After all, he preached a version of reality they WANTED to believe, so... they did.. Then with the rise of FOX News we have a 24/7 propaganda machine that doesn't even hide that fact, all the while calling everyone else "fake news" or the "liberal media" or other smokescreens to hide what they are them doing. It doesn't need to hide the fact that it is basically a propaganda machine with little true journalistic credibility because people don't want to believe that, so they... don't believe it. Even though people have told them.
So perhaps the anti-modernists were right a couple centuries ago when they predicted this mess. Their best response, however, was just to keep their heads lodged firmly in the proverbial sand and try to delay the inevitable, and that just wasn't plausible (religious fundamentalism being one primary manifestation of this approach). But then again, a population being easily manipulated by their fears by a 2-bit dictator and worked into a mob-like frenzy is not exactly new. It's not like we can solely blame post-modernism for that phenomenon, as human beings have been falling for that for as long as we have records of human conduct.
So what does all this mean? I have no idea. I guess it means... whatever you want it to mean.

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