The world is faced with problems
And many illusions
Love is the man overstanding
It’s the only solution — Peter Tosh, Where You Gonna Run
Alt-Facts. Doesn’t it roll off the tongue? It feels like too much fried food sitting in the belly, a big blob of grease and fat you thought you wanted but discovered too late it came with a price — one our entire country is now paying, all gunked up on so many alt-facts and disinformation that we may collectively vomit.
I think Kellyanne Conway coined the term alternative facts, but she didn’t start the mess. Alt-facts have always been with us, but with her PR skills, she transmogrified them and now we live in a world where alt-facts are perceived as the norm. How about a few of the highlights:
– The most extensive and arguable successful democratic experiment ever undertaken, America, the spirit of liberty and self-rule, a government by the people and for the people, is about to go tits up;
– School shootings that have become the norm — so much so that when 19 school children lost their lives (in a way that makes Al Capone’s antics look like a day at the beach) and their dignity, their faces so mangled by bullet fire that the forensics team had to look at their clothing to identify them — and the conservatives’ only answer to such unbridled violence is more violence in the form of good guys with guns;
– The overturning of Roe v. Wade resulting in a lack of abortion rights in at least half the states in the country and which may soon morph into a lack of access to the most mundane of family planning tools — birth control — meaning that at their age, I officially had more rights over my own body than my daughters do today, and if conservatives have their way, rather soon now women will be forced back into the home to mind the children while men go out to earn the daily bread, a quaint, Norman Rockwell notion of America that wasn’t true in Rockwell’s time and certainly isn’t true today;
– The possible reversal of a hard won right to gay marriage with Clarence Thomas’ targeting such rights with his dubious and shaky legal arguments. I mean, if Ginni is allowed to run around claiming election fraud, riling up the masses rather than stay home and washing Clarence’s dirty underwear, why should the rest of America’s women be any different? BTDubs, Thomas is the best argument for impeaching a Supreme Court Justice that I’ve heard yet. Just ask Anita Hill;
– The never ending ridiculousness of the lie that Trump won the 2020 election despite losing over 60 times at bat;
– Stunts like DeSantis pulled recently spending $12 million to send Texan (i.e., not Florida) migrants to Martha’s vineyard just to pull a snarky political stunt in the run up to the November elections while simultaneously busting on the feds every chance he gets but holding his hand out, strong and steady, to ask for FEMA money when hurricane Ian came barreling through. Just imagine if Trump were in office right now and it was a blue state asking for money. He’d do everything he could not to deliver;
– Fox News — really it should have it’s own award category, something like, “Most Likely to Sow Discord and Divisiveness in a Nation” and who, with the likes of Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have made bald-faced lies and the nah-ah and I know I am but what are? you defenses de rigueur —which refused to stream the first night of the January 6th hearings for fear their followers would hear the truth and move on to other channels. Fox blatantly and with nary a care for Truth continues to lie on national television on a nightly basis, meaning none of their loyal followers know what the hell is really going on in the world as they’ve been lied to since the beginning, to wit, millions of people still think Trump won the 2020 election, including Ginni.
And these are just a few of the highlights. I haven’t even gotten into the environmental stuff, like Jair Bolsinaro — another Trump-esque political figure — selling the Amazon rain forests off to the highest bidders or even just giving it away for free because, why? Does he hate people being able to breathe? And this guy is up for re-election.
Moreover, does anyone actually believe we are going to solve the tandem climate and water crises with any kind of expeditiousness if we are barely paying attention to them? If your house was on fire you’d stop what you were doing and put it out, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t have a place to live. Well, every year, over 70,000 wildfires rage across the country and the world, but unless you are there and breathing in the smoke, you aren’t thinking much about it — and that’s exactly what’s happening with our national environmental policy. It will get worse, mind you, if the Supreme Court rules against water and wetlands in the Sackett case, the latest in the battle against environmental protection. Here’s another one. If someone tells you there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by the year 2050 would you be upset or would you shrug and say, “alt-facts, we have plenty of fish”. If so my friend, have been gaslit by any number of sources, but my money is on Fox News. Yo, it’s not too late to turn the channel, but time is getting exceedingly tight, just sayin’.
Look, I get that traveling across the plains of universality to try and see the other guy’s point of view is an impossibility for some people, but if the uber-conservatives would be so kind as to listen up because time is short and there will not be enough gold in the world for you to claw back any of the myriad gifts this country has been blessed with and squandered in our short history: if you consider your life to be so inconsequential that you’d label it a throw away one just to be right, I respectfully request that you step aside and let others who actually care about our future, our planet, and the future of humanity to step up and get to work.
There is virtually no problem on earth that can’t be solved by honest communication. Can we start please? Let’s show the alt-factioneers to the door so the rest of us can focus on fixing what’s broken. And if you suspect your news outlets of being less than truthful — change the channel, or better yet, just turn off the the TV.
pam lazos 10.10.22