It’s not hard to come up with blog post ideas. I’m an information junkie’s information junkie. Data and the pursuit of information, always more information, it’s my drug.
And, like a drug, a hit of information and data may be fleeting, give a temporary high, and get lost to memory in the hot pursuit of the next hit but … Well, there it is. I love me mixed metaphor. The list of too many ideas is long and gets longer by the day — politics is a field of endless rabbit holes, the Internet of Things choir is an endless Spotify playlist calling from the future to me, it must be heard. Did you know books are written and must be read? I must read. There is so.much.to.learn! There is so much more to know.
And what I don’t know. Just this morning the NYTimes headline “How to Stop Slack From Taking Over Your Life” grabbed a click and I discovered that I did not know that Slack is an app I definitely don’t need. And how had I not heard about this app before? An IPO of $19B! Whoa. That’s a lot of wimwams* for something that comes naturally to many of us. Slack. But I digress.
The challenge is to locate the thought worthy of sharing. Outfitted in a figurative pith helmet, digging with a pen through the rock and dust and scat of language trying to locate that clean sweet bone of a sentence. It’s a struggle. Mercy.
The News I Use
On the world.wide.wild Internet, information is retweeted, reposted, rereferenced, re-re-re-ed everywhere. Finger-pointing circles abound. Purity cliques weigh in on clicks. Points are made and lost in an Internet minute.
And I like my information clean. I like to read and reference the Source of a news item or opinion. It is hard to find facts that aren’t heavy with opinion and politics. So I take the politics as part and parcel of the news and attempt to filter out my own biases. And “just the facts ma’am” is a futile heroine’s quest given that my tag line “reporting from the bleacher seats” is a statement with bleacher seat observational bias built right in.
And watching this big game of Internet telephone — the ball is whispered or bullhorned into the ether. Passed along, filtered, embellished. By the time it reaches our devices, it might not resemble the story it started out as. Who broke the information? Who added more background? More context? More information? I need the announcers telling me what just happened on the field because I think I saw what I saw, or did I? And I might not know all the rules and we are dizzy with the spin of news reported in minutes when the story arch takes weeks or months or years to play out.
Source is elusive. Journalists are under fire for reporting facts. Uncomfortable truths are couched with cushioned verbiage which tiptoes along the tightrope of truth so as not to fall to the floor speaking truth to power.
This week, or was it last week already? it was refreshing to hear Beto O’Rourke tell reporters to “connect the fu*king dots.” We recognize their fear. If they connect the dots, they will speak the r-word as truth to power and they are afraid. It’s a trickle down fear. Editors, publishers are pinched by economics and the internet. We don’t want to offend. Ra*ists buy publications too. After all, we are all reporters now! Why should I pay to read your publication? What is your value? You calling me a ra*ist?
My information sources have changed. The New York Times, tagline: All the news that’s fit to print, and The Washington Post, tagline: Democracy dies in darkness, hedge and refer and defer to the current regime’s lies as misstatements, as if this is normal and not a flat out assault on democracy from the executive branch.
“History is written by the victors.” – Winston Churchill
But this week we saw history is written by the chickens*it. The formerly formidable and considered paper of record, the NYTimes, published an entire op-ed on the Tea Party without mention of the unabashed racism displayed in the party favors at their rallies or on their persons. Barack Obama, the first Black American was elected POTUS and their tea was infused with racismed racisming racists. Shoot. I could see it all the way from my where I sit. Strong tea.
My value is my bleacher seat. I am reporting from here. It is a POV. What did I just see? It looked like a brawl. It was. It was not. The barking media dogs reporting from the sidelines cleared the bench. Mercy.
This is my tell. Information junkie navel-gazing from my little orange crate up in the bleacher seats.
Thank you for joining me.
*Wimwams — “wimwams” is Mr. Viva’s generic name for a unit of money. Euros, francs, pounds, dollars, etc. all fall under the umbrella of wimwams. And 19 billion of whatever wims being wammed is a lot of wimwams.