Tag Archives: experts

What Has Happened to the News?

A commentary

When I was growing up, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw and all the stable anchors in news used to tell us all about issues and events throughout the world. It was all comprised of facts, figures and information about the events and issues. There were virtually no partialities, no political agendas or special interest groups involved in what was reported. The important thing that I find so glaring as compared to today’s news stations is that, then, there was a horde of reporters sent throughout the world gathering facts, figures and tangible information almost as if they were under oath to be factual and speak the truth about everything they saw and heard. Attendant with each thirty-minute broadcast was also only about seven to eight minutes of commercial advertisements. Things have changed. Today’s news appears to be VERY different in many ways.

The dictionary defines news as the announcing of current events and their attendant information and details.  Although we say that we have become an information driven society, we receive reports with a few morsels of information which are then followed by a deluge of opinions and perspectives that take center stage in almost every report. When a news report or “breaking news” is announced, the content is usually one of three stories which has been beaten to death from every possible angle and perspective. Panels, pundits and experts that most of us have never even heard of expound opinions and personal thoughts based on their own political affiliations and financial agendas. And even then, once the discussion has started, it often devolves into a shouting match between opposing pundits on the panel. What has happened to the “reporting?” Where did all the facts go?  Is it really any surprise that “fake news” has been metastasizing across the media like a forest fire in California?

We have become deluged by our media with a tsunami of personal opinions, thoughts, perspectives and political agendas based on each station’s political and financial supporters. How can we know what’s really going on? Is the truth that we must listen to all the differing stations and partisanships and make our own decisions based on our intuition? The only problem with that is that our culture has short circuited the use of doing this with promoting political correctness and an expected approval of only culturally specific affirmative action. But when you point this out, you’re called a racist, a homophobe, a radical or some other blanket term used to invalidate any thinking that might contradict the prevailing underdog’s group objectives connected to the issue. To not speak out leaves your position in society superseded by those in culturally preferred minority groups and leaving you feeling taken advantage of. To speak out or object makes you a target by putting you on the defensive. In accepting this, our altruism has become perverted. What to do? How can we maintain our rights without getting trampled by every underdog group looking to be one up on us?  Our values are being funneled into a narrow view of the world supporting the expanded entitlement of the most current and loudest protesting underdog organizations. And if we don’t visibly support their demands, we are looked upon as non-compassionate or racist.

For a culture espousing the necessity of scientific research to back every fact concerning our existence, we have certainly undermined our world image and perspectives with a barrage of one sided intangible and unprovable beliefs and idealist assertions geared toward manipulating popular opinion by corporate administrations and partisan leaderships over our social actions and perspectives. The “news” presents the perspectives and the minority groups enforce them.

Little known to most people, almost all of the major news entities are owned by one corporation which, incidentally, is politically aligned with the “left” or a liberal ideology.  This then promotes a “subliminal” barrage of information geared toward herding the American public into aligning with a perspective that perpetuates a radically pre-planned myopic view of the world; sort of a mass mind control. If we are all channeled into focusing on what each group or public figure does socially that contradicts the politically accepted and fabricated view of what is considered “right” and proper in the world, we miss the larger scheme of what is really occurring in current events. In short, the media has succeeded in conjuring a tremendous distraction from becoming aware of current events in the world through encouraging the investment of our attention into petty social minutia. In allowing this to occur, we become the perpetrators of our own brainwashing program. We’ve allowed ourselves to become the victims of a large “find the pea under the cup” scam watching the pea under the cup and ignoring the manipulator and his agenda.

So, where does this leave us in understanding what’s really going on in the world? Where? Out to sea without a paddle. With virtually no solid references toward evidence or factual data, we are left with using only the opinions and perspectives of those chosen by the media to rely on for our knowledge and understanding of world events. This leaves us totally out of touch with the reality of things. Through the media, those in power have a totally attentive, obedient, responsive and eminently moldable population. Now we are ripe for herding and fleecing. Only those of us who think for ourselves can see the reality of things. But we are rapidly shrinking in number as our children’s education in history, mathematics, and literature is becoming homogenized into an Orwellian story line emulating the news and social protocols of 1984. But by progressively shrinking in number, are we becoming helpless in effecting any change back toward life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Let’s hope not.

Prescription-1...if you’re healthy enough to have sex. Really? Have we slipped so far into not listening to our own body that we have to ask an outside authority for permission to indulge in pleasure? What does it mean that we now feel so compelled to rely on others for personal validation?

Our western culture has become obsessed with experts, specialists, licensed professionals and “board approved” authorities. We pay others dearly for bodily assessments, psychotherapy, emotional coaching, career planning, financial and legal advice, dietary recommendations, performance enhancements, chemically extended sexual prowess, tuition for private instruction in career advancement and a whole host of other capacities that we and previous generations used to perform ourselves. Is it just the time that we feel is needed to “educate” ourselves sufficiently enough to be “qualified” to perform tasks for ourselves? Or is there something else that lies beneath the threshold of our Board Certified-1awareness creating fear and apprehension about anything we might choose to do for ourselves that’s not part of a skill or career offered by others and not sanctioned or legalized by some authority or board approval?

One of the factors underlying this obsession is our fear of “making mistakes.” That is, we doubt ourselves so fully that we are not as much vexed by not being able to perform a particular task or function but that we will feel embarrassed when we have to “call someone in” to assess our actions and make “corrections” so we can feel like we’re “back to normal.” But our fear of “making mistakes” goes much deeper than our perceived helplessness and the shame involved in its observation by others. The perceived self-doubt and the feeling of having to consult 404-errorothers comes from an absence of childhood training in assessing ourselves, our situations and our “qualifications” and coming up short in self-assertion and self validation.

Trusting ourselves and our own judgment is a very elusive quality to be able to pinpoint as to the origins of its enabling. For very few of us this confidence may have been innate but for the majority of us it came from building and accumulating experiences in which we performed tasks and received validation from our parents and caretakers for being proficient if not, at the least, competent. The validation comes from our parents and guardians in the form of their allowing and encouraging our personal choices even if they are not in line with what our confidence-2guardians believe are “the right” choices by conforming to their life experiences. Generally, if a parent has confidence in their own value and proficiency, it will be relatively easy for them to acknowledge and encourage their children’s choices without having to impose and have accepted their own values in order to validate their own self worth.

As second factor, and probably the one which has created the most personal damage to our self-image in our process of gaining and maintaining a feeling of competence and personal validation is the media. There is no doubt that there exists a bank of psychologists and sociologists studying the methods in which the retail and service markets could have the most influential effect on us, the general public, to encourage the purchase of their products and services. It is difficult enough navigating our lives in a confident manner after almost or never having received the encouragement that would have enabled our Self-Trust but the media has Mirror mirror on the wall-44taken this handicap one step further. To intensify the effect of this childhood deficiency they have projected an emphasis on us through their assertion that we are not good enough as we are. We need whiter teeth. We need a better education. We need a flashier car, a bigger house, more money, more free time and, most of all, their products and services that will gain the envy and approval of our friends and enemies alike.After receiving little, if not contrary support and discouragement toward building our own self-sufficiency and a self-sustaining life style and compounded by our parents’ inability to allow us to make our own decisions without appeasing their need for our actions to validate and accommodate their approach to life, we’re now hit with advertisements that only bring our learned perceived shame and incompetence directly to the surface of our awareness and potentially for all to see. Now, we’re petrified of exposure. We do all we can to hide our “imperfections.” In the face of the media and its diminished projected standards for us, we begin to believe that we are less than and that others, our parents, caretakers and the media, know better than we about our own lives and personal experiences. After all, if the outside world says it’s true, and they’re only an extension of our parental authority, then it must be true. So why do we believe that we must have others perform the tasks that we used to perform for ourselves? Because we’ve been taught to believe that we are incompetent and need the assistance of others to bring us to a state of being acceptable.

In deference to some of us who are not fully “in the bag” by believing that we are “imperfect” or even incompetent, and there are a few of us who have retrained ourselves and reprogrammed enough of a competent and self-sufficient self-image through long and hard work on ourselves, a third factor encourages us to seek outside assistance. In our very busy and filled up world there are tasks that we neither have the time to fix nor the opportunity to learn how to better manage. Even then we feel we have to “call in the experts.”

Obey-TV-BRAINWASHING-1So, is it any wonder that most of us have been brainwashed so badly that we have to ask our family doctor if we’re even allowed to seek pleasure for ourselves let alone if we are able or “competent” to do so?Our ability to listen to our own body and our faith in our own judgment has been so thoroughly stamped out under the threat of disapproval, excommunication and the withholding of any support or affection that we now believe that our fate and prosperity rests solely on the approval of those to whom we’ve assigned authority over us and our personal accountability to on the chance that we might make a mistake and expose our imperfections. What’s so ironic is that we all make what we perceive as mistakes. We’re human. It’s inevitable. Then, how is it that we have accepted training that says it is possible not to make mistakes? And what is a mistake anyway but the unmet expectation of those to whom we have assigned authority over us?

There is no one at fault for programming us in this way. Generally, our parents and caretakers did the best they could with what they understood about their own validity as adults. They have also become a victim of poisoned media thinking that perfection is possible, so, now, they naturally expect it of us; their children. And if we’re not perfect like Ozzie and Harriet, Father Ozzie & HarrietKnows Best and the TV portrayals of all the other nightly family situational serials from the 50s and 60s (we now call them sitcoms but they we’re deemed funny then) then there must be something inadequate with our parents’ child-rearing abilities; aka, they must feel left to assume that they are incompetent parents. Now, let me ask you. If you feel discouraged about your own competence and validity as a parent, are you going to be able to encourage your children to be independent and competent, especially, if you no longer know how that feels? Of course not. You’re going to instill the same fear of imperfection and making “mistakes” in them. And so it goes on and on. And now we hear an echo from the bible, and probably many other scriptures, saying, “The sins of the father (and mother) become the sins of their sons (and daughters).”

There are many ways to regain our personal power and Self-Trust. There’s not enough space to go into them all in a small article let alone the time. But in our first steps toward redeeming them it’s extremely important to recognize and understand why and how we have given away our power and Self-Trust in order that we may remain in a feeling that we belong, to feel that we are acceptable, even with all our abhorrent imperfections and that if we follow all the rules and Courage-Cat-Liondo what we’re told, we won’t be called out, exposed, withheld from, excommunicated or deserted. What a terrible price to pay for the illusion of being loved and the elusive security of belonging. The courage we can show in trusting ourselves and risking the exposure and possible disapproval of our personal expression and individuality while allowing others to have the choice to reject them are some of our most important components of loving ourselves and the world…as it is.