Reminders on Rhetoric

Maybe I have grown cynical. Maybe I need less time on the internet, fewer voices in my head. Maybe it is time to go back to cleaning up my kitchen.

Instead, I made a list of rules to remind myself of all the reasons I get into creative funks.

Or, really, I feel like a few things need to be cleared up.

On Trust

First and foremost – no one deserves your trust. Of course – do well by your family and those who love unconditionally. Everyone else on the face of this planet is not deserving of your trust. On a long enough timeline, everyone will reveal that they did not have your best interests at heart. This should never surprise anyone.

If you find yourself trusting a total stranger, it means they are a hell of a salesman. Salesmen are only interested in how deep your pockets go.

The shorter the distance between a person’s idea and the “publish” button, the less you should trust them. Also, makeup and studio lights hide a lot of lies.

On News

Journalists have a very narrow focus to their job – answer “Who, what, where, when, why” about a particular concern of the community they serve. These are the Five Ws that you likely learned in grade school in one discipline or another. Journalists find answers to these questions through eyewitnesses, insider sources, or collaborated accounts from different people. For a journalist to do their diligence across the 5 W’s and then have it called it “fake news” is to contest the fabric of space/time.

After the Five Ws, analysts go a little further to bring about the “how” of the news. The “how” provides historical context and is usually where things get fucked up. Because anyone can add any flavor of context from a vast number of sources, the story starts to get bent. THIS is where stuff can have a fake feeling, this is usually when “news” becomes “editorial.”

News and Editorial are not the same. Anyone who chooses to be a part of a discussion should first prove they know the difference between the two.

News is the presentation of facts. Editorial is one person’s translations of those facts into a story. If a news broadcast seems to lean hard in one direction or another, it probably isn’t news. Usually, that is State TV (and a whole ‘nother can of worms).

On Politics

No politician on any level should be trusted. From the global leaders we see on, middle-managers of whatever company you work at (office politics!), to Susan who wants to head the PTA this year – not a single one of them is deserving of an ounce of your trust.

Politics, especially in today’s environment, is a necessary evil. When we decided to have a quasi-democratic/socialist society we put a collection of public resources at the middle of everything. This may or may not have screwed things up. But it did require a need for politicians to help facilitate the (ideally, responsible)use of these resources

On Philosophies & Belief

I feel like most of us are lost in trying to compare politics with philosophies.

Politics should never be fought for or over.

Philosophies, by design, are meant for personal guidance. Philosophies can charge politics, but politics should never define our philosophies.

Beliefs are usually what we’re fighting over. Beliefs are programmed into us at such an early age and reinforced over our human experience. When the time comes to fight over them, most of us have forgotten why we believe what we do in the first place.

Politicians should be questioned frequently and never defended. Every politician claims to run on platforms of voter values. Most politicians will not think twice about their constituents once they are in office. This is not entirely their fault – most of the time they are so wrapped up in deals, debates, and interests of political parties that the need of the individual will never cross their mind unless it makes for a good photo op.

And Finally

My God, let me enjoy this. I’d like to thin that life isn’t just a sequence of things waiting to be done.

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