“My battery is low, and it’s getting dark.” – NASA Rover Opportunity, last words
Actually, it’s been dark for hours. I’ve been trying to write again tonight, using the post-midnight silence as a kind of mental blank page, a way to pull the thoughts and feelings that normally stream freely through my chaotic brain into a sort of order. I put on jazz and got some tea and wrote.
I’m going to be frank with you, and I want you to know why.
The thing is, we spend so much time pussy-footing around dangerous thoughts and ideas these days because we feel we can’t discuss them openly. Cancel Culture has taken its toll; the list of former celebrities only ever grows. Attrition is less among politicians, but pundits and journalists vanish almost daily, because they say something that society refuses to accept — there’s invisible lines, and they cross them, and that’s just something that cannot be borne.
Without judging this phenomenon, I want to acknowledge it and explain in terms accessible even to the meanest understanding why it does not dissuade me from being brutally open and honest about this topic.
The Not Fake News has been operating under the Buy Me A Coffee model for the past year, and all things considered it’s worked out fairly well for us. More than thirteen hundred dollars have come in, and, while expenses are still higher than income (thanks to the New Hampshire primaries), we’re getting closer to break-even.
If you’re paying attention to the headlines, you’re seeing a lot of bad news these days.
What with COVID-19 to start with — there’s no way we’ll get good news from a nasty pandemic — and then China and Iran being militant, not to mention Russia messing with our elections again, it’s easy to feel inundated by the horrors of life on Earth right now. Every new story just adds to the pressure until it feels like we’re buried in an avalanche of ills and awfuls.
So I’d like to take a moment to remind you of some things you might be forgetting: (more…)
The Not Fake News now has Editorial Oversight and Advisory Board. Nick Maloney and McKenzie Kieth have joined us to offer their wit, erudition, and sense of perspective going forward.
One of the dangers faced by the press is the potential to misuse the power of the written word, whether to unfairly promote one’s own bias or, as often, causing unintended harm through irresponsible reporting. The Board exists as a way to keep us honest, to provide a voice of reason when called for, and to help rein in any excesses brought on by caffeine overdose. (more…)
There’s an old tale of a newsroom editor educating a copy boy thus: “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.” Another, pithier version runs as follows: “You never read about a plane that didn’t crash.”
The average reader of modern news would be stunned to realize just how rare it is that planes actually do crash, or that the world is about to end, or even that people get killed by rogue policemen. That last is actually quite a remarkable statistic: The odds of someone’s (more…)