Even while having endless fun in the sun, our tireless staff has managed to come up with enough meaningful news that’s fit to print for us to run another Update. If you’ve been getting your information from the headlines on Twitter and the Top Ten Trending List, some of this might be new to you. If you’ve been relying on major media, rather more might.
So sit back, relax, and make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in the fully upright and locked position. Here goes!
(Short version: The CDC isn’t lying to you — at least, not about this. But the headline is not the whole truth.)
The age of the newspaper is, alas, over. Long gone are the days when, over our morning soft-boiled egg and toast, we could read the entire daily paper from front to back, taking a few moments to complete the crossword or perhaps pencil a short letter to the editor. Today, we simply don’t have the time.
And so it’s only natural for people to attempt to inform themselves by scanning the headlines.
Unfortunately, we sometimes forget something that should be obvious: Headlines don’t tell the whole story.
“…Great achievement has no road map. The X-Ray is pretty good, and so is penicillin, and neither were discovered with a practical objective in mind. I mean, when the electron was discovered in 1897, it was useless. And now we have an entire world run by electronics. Hayden and Mozart never studied the classics. They couldn’t. They invented them.” – Dr. Dalton Millgate, The West Wing (episode: Dead Irish Writers)
There has been a lot of hatred going around the Internet lately… Hm. I say that like it’s a new thing. It’s not; sometimes I think the major product of the Internet actually is hatred. We could tap Twitter for an endless supply, if only we could find a market…
The Not Fake News staff has decided to decamp en masse and head to the beach. Or, rather, a position near enough to the beach that it’s cool but far enough away that sand doesn’t get into our typewriters, and preferably somewhere that has good WiFi.
Hello, good evening, and welcome to the latest edition of the Update. If you haven’t been keeping track of world events and developing news (because, let’s face it, life is stressful enough), stay tuned and you can get a quick jolt of reality before going back to the important things, like cookouts and consuming alcohol. Even if you have been keeping track, maybe there’s something you missed, because major media doesn’t actually cover news. It provides infotainment.
Mountains rise and crumble, get washed away and turned into silt, and eventually end up shoving a new set of moving islands out into the ocean. Deserts and ice caps grow and sink. Ten thousand years ago, all this used to be ice, ninety years ago it was a dust bowl, and a hundred fifty years ago there were blizzards in June and no crops grew. Tomorrow, Manhattan will sink into the sea, and if we’re really lucky, so will Washington, D.C. God only knows what things will look like in twenty years, much less a hundred or a thousand.
(Editor’s Note: We’ve been sitting on this for a little while now; you’ve needed the break. On the other hand, now it’s Pride Month. This is the best context we can think of in which to release this particular rant.)
Right. It’s been five months now, and you’ve had a break. A little chance to rest and relax. You’ve had your little victory and your dance and celebration, and now it’s time for the bad news.
Sure, you beat Trump. But it’s time to stop pretending that you won.
A bill has been passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress making Juneteenth (June 19th) a national holiday. President Biden then signed it into law in record time, leaving government offices scrambling to shut down on a moment’s notice. (Fortunately, most of them have had practice.)
For those of you who don’t understand the holiday: This date marks the anniversary of the June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas. It doesn’t mark the end of lawful slavery in the U.S., mind; that took another year or two. But it was enough to start a regular celebration in Texas — Jubilee Day, first celebrated in 1866 — which gradually spread to other states.
It’s gotten easier to ignore the news now that Trump’s no longer featured daily. (Except on MSNBC, which has for the 1,359th straight day announced he may be going to prison — but this time they mean it.) Let’s face it: America has gotten sick of depressing things, and now that we’re over 50% vaccination and ending states of emergency across the country, we’re ready to go back out and enjoy the world.
(Well, some of us. Personally, I haven’t been terribly inconvenienced by the lockdown. I like it at home; all my things are here — unlike all you people.)
So, if you’ve been tuning out for a couple of weeks, or if your only source of information is major media and your Twitter feed, here are a few things you may have missed: