Art Economics Low Politics Decline Political Theology Power Geopolitics

Let's Skip the News Boy

Let's Skip the News Boy
Photo by AbsolutVision / Unsplash
Let's skip the news boy (I'll go and make some tea)

Arabs and Jews boy (too much for me)

They get me confused boy (puts me off to sleep)

And the thing I hate--Oh Lord!

Is staying up late, to watch some debate, on some nation's fate

– Genesis, “Blood on the Rooftops”

Thanks to Morgoth, I'm thinking back to when I first consciously chose to step out of the system's frame.

It was the mid-1980s when I decided to stop consuming "news", the steady flow of Current Things that even with the primitive technology of the time would set the discourse via radio, television, and print.

Why did I stop? What was the point?

Initially, I thought I could handle the bias of the media which was very clear to me. I knew they were enemies and that they didn't like me or my people. So if they leaned one way on an issue, I could just choose to lean the other way.

But eventually, I realized it wasn't that simple. There was another level to the game. The very selection of what issues were in play was in their control. Perhaps more importantly were the things they would never pay any attention to. Some things would never be the Current Thing.

Their power to *set the frame* was not so easy to counteract. How would I find my way to more fundamental issues that they would never talk about while my attention was being swamped every day?

It was a bit of a leap of faith when I stopped. I chose to believe that there was something out there beyond the boundaries of the official frame. And my decision didn't bear immediate fruit. I cast about for a while, trying some more partisan outlets that didn't profess to be "objective news".

But it wasn't really that long before I found myself outside of the options that had been presented to me.

I was no longer consumed by trying to decide between Republicans and Democrats for example. I was happy to recognize both of them as part of a larger system that I rejected.

That simple decision I made in high school continues to help me be radical, to go to the root, to this day.

Let go of being "in the know", of giving your hot take on the issue of the day.

Just stop.

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