The near total blackout of truth in the Western media makes this one of the most dangerous times in history, with coordinated “news” outlets acting collectively as a sort of Ministry of Government Lies. To try to escape this stranglehold, it is necessary to reach outside the echo chamber of massaged and approved opinion in which we are basted day in and day out. It’s not that difficult. I am perhaps one of the most hapless technophobes I know–my ten year old students have every new gadget possible, and their parents have even more. Yet somehow they can’t escape the echo chamber. I have absolutely no difficulty, with a few clicks and searches, tapping a vast range of contacts outside the bubble. But, true to form, there are border collies and tut-tutters who can’t help but try to usher us back on script. I have been lectured to “think about who I’m selling myself too…” and warned about “lending my credibility to oppressive regimes.” I am so tired of bullshit like this.
We have to shout this truth from every rooftop as loudly as we possibly can–we have no choice. Those who think we have the luxury of choice are deluded. Besides, I lend my support to the oppressive regime in Washington every day, with every tax dollar I pay, with every fake smile I cede to authority, every stone I do not throw… every time I go into a store with my wife and she gets followed by a detective and I get asked if I’m the manager–I could have half the store under my belt and it still would not change this reality, and speaking out–wherever and whenever I can–lessens this nauseating feeling and my smoldering rage just enough to keep getting up in the morning. I am sick of condescending lectures from finger-wagging white leftists who take pride in their imaginary ‘choices,’ instead of speaking out *forcefully* and without compromise about the evil that is this neocon war machine.
What the US has done in Ukraine is beyond criminal, and it is being painted the other way around by every media outlet except those outside of the western bubble. *That* is what I’m ‘thinking about.’ When our families are the ones being followed, targeted, persecuted, jailed and killed for nothing at all or merely because the color of their skin makes them “threatening” to the established order, then I have no patience for the father-knows-best tone and the patronizing ‘advice.’ I assume that my comrades and colleagues who have “lent their credibility” in this way are subject to similar opprobrium. Well, if it’s a fifth column, then it’s one I’m glad to be a part of. I have to offer my thanks to all who support my speaking out. It isn’t an easy choice, and it has costs. If it’s “selling,” then it’s a type of transaction I don’t recognize.
Moreover, there is a bizarre trait, it seems especially on the left, of privileging source over content–or truth. And it seems particularly poignant in the US and the ‘west.’ Are we lazy or so naпve to expect that we can flip a channel, click a button and get The Truth? It is often used as an attempt to bully one into staying quiet; and it further obviates the need for any further digging. If the devil told you 2 + 2 = 4, then you are free to believe that it is, say, 5, 7…8… whatever. Turns it all a bit too religious for my blood. By contrast, I remember being in Africa and in Central America, where people would routinely pick up 3 or 4 newspapers on the way home. This one is the government organ, this one is the party opposition… In other words, the truth you find is not one shiny penny all laid out for you–anything that promises that should be suspect from the git go. This is especially dangerous with the western press being as polluted as it is, with myriad outlets masquerading as different ‘sources’ when they are all parroting the same line. For the life of me I can’t imagine why this doesn’t make people feel claustrophobic, like gasping for air…
And air hunger is a good analogy, leaving many of us with the feeling that we are drowning in a sea of lies. Every kernel of truth is like oxygen when it seems that the Dark Ages have descended anew, with Orwell begging from his grave for the freedom to say 2 + 2 = 4. It is a world turned upside down, a vertiginous snow globe where dark is light and yes is no. A fascist junta that seized power by force and enacted a coup against an elected government is “legitimite,” and a plebescite is “a violation of international law.” Where are the clowns? They have been onstage for quite awhile, and it takes some courage to keep sending a signal through the noise. It seems as if this demon spawn nightmare born of Kafka and Orwell combined will never end. I hope to keep doing so until I draw my last breath, and I am happy and proud to share the snorkel with anyone who needs fresh air.
Daniel Patrick Welch is the American writer, singer, linguist and activist living and writing in Salem, Massachusetts with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School. His blog is http://danielpwelch.com