“I read the news today, oh boy” The Beatles lyrics echo like a broken record in my head. If you’re under 30 I’ve probably lost you with the insect and antique references!
As an avid scanner of newspapers, another soon to be outmoded medium, I’ve been wondering lately if there is any correlation between media exposure to ignorance or wisdom.
In Ireland there is an idiom, ‘cop on to yourself’, meaning to get a life and not to be so stupid. It’s one of those neat rebukes that is rarely taken offensively, but serves to highlight and dismiss pretentiousness and stupidity. Which I would argue are one and the same anyway.
I would also argue that the degree to which we are exposed to the latest media expose is actually more likely to delude us into believing we are savvy, attuned and wise. If you didn’t tune in to the latest current affairs show, read the newspapers or even listen to the radio, what would happen?
No doubt the world would continue to unfold on a daily basis. However your prejudices might subtly change. They would become intrinsic and less a factor of the editorialized view of your friendly local media mogul!
Imagine how you’d act if you were ignorant of the Great Economic Global Recession 2, imagine if you’d even missed the first one. You would probably go about your life, in the eyes of your colleagues as an idiot savant, blissfully unaware of how ludicrous it is to be optimistic in such times of crisis and doom.
I have recently been informed by someone ‘who knows’ that the whole economic world as we know it is about to collapse in a heap, don’t worry, it won’t happen until September! Wow, I’m glad I know that, it would be such a shame to be unprepared when it happens.
Bad news sells. All news is heavily edited. The headline news that ‘yet another surfer has been killed by a shark,’ is scary enough to make you think twice about venturing in to the water. Curiously you’ll probably still cross the road and take a far greater risk of getting run over by a bus. Not so newsworthy perhaps.
House prices maybe tipped to drop dramatically. Interest rates maybe predicted to go through the roof. Global warming may destroy the icecaps whilst simultaneously leading to a dramatic increase the sales of sun cream in Ireland!
Funnily enough it’s almost certain that those who choose not to tune into the ‘truth’ and continue on a daily basis to be proactive, learn new skills, aspire to new challenges and ignorantly go against the flow will mysteriously thrive.
The closest definition I have of the meaning of life is pretty simple. ‘All truth is contextual.’ If this is so, then all our prejudices and behaviour triggers are at the mercy of those that create the context.
So I think I’ll just ‘cop on’ to myself and ignore the conventional wisdom of the better-informed preachers of doom and destruction.
Hope your delusions are working well for you!