“East-German Reporting Style on Campus”

It’s my opinion that US politics is a fraudulent brainwashing machine owned and run by six US corporations who control the mainstream media (both sides) and make money using group hatred, so I don’t give political views in public and try not to care about the window dressings, i.e., which set of untrustworthy politicians wins.

Ironically, this approach is black-and-white thinking on my part, fueled by my unbalanced desire to avoid confrontation. Nevertheless, pursuing this flawed view is the lessor of two evils for me. I can either mind meld with the mainstream political hatred or reject the whole mess as a bogus nightmare not worth the exasperation. I maintain that we simply cannot identify accurate political data with any certainty. It’s not possible.

More mature people might partake in mainstream politics without the enveloping disgust, loathing and outrage. I salute you all if such saints really exist.

But I do publically wonder how so many of us believe that winning the political war is more valuable that freedom of speech.

Here’s an academic, Jonathan Haidt, who has a vivid explanation, though he talks like he’s negotiating with a suicide bomber. It’s a fear-based reaction that makes perfect sense once he describes his academic work environment

After hearing how uniquely harmful social media is to middle school children, and being a kid at heart, I decided to turn off my “like” buttons. “Likes” give me a dopamine rush that influences the way I write on the topics I’m exploring. It’s subtle but powerful. I don’t want to censor myself by writing for “likes.”

I appreciate all the “likes” you’ve given me over the years. And I “like,” no, I LOVE your artwork, your writings, your poetry, and the photography you post. I fully intend to keep clicking your “like” buttons and commenting on your blogs as always, but as you might expect, with 7,082 followers, I can take in only an insignificant fraction of the remarkable blog posts you create each week.

Just know that I love your work.

My comment section will remain open below. If you know a joke, please share it. We’re all too serious these days.

Here’s something Eddie Murphy (Edward Regan Murphy) told the kids in his audience way back in the 1980s. (This isn’t word-for-word.)

A bear and a rabbit were taking a dump together in the woods. The bear said to the rabbit, “Does cr#p stick to your fur?” The rabbit said, “no.” So the bear picked the rabbit up and wiped his butt with it.

Hmm. Somehow that was hilarious when Eddie Murphy told it. “It’s all in the delivery,” my son used to tell me.

Cheers,

Talmage

13 thoughts on ““East-German Reporting Style on Campus”

  1. Even after nearly seven years, my main blog site has only about one-tenth the “followers” of yours; only a few of them regularly show up in “likes,” and they almost never make comments, so I keep the button around in order to have a chance to scope out new visitors who themselves may be posting content I’ll find rewarding. I “follow” between 90-100 blogs, but that frequently drops to about 75, because many bloggers quit posting, despite the high quality of their work. I have to disagree with you about the superiority of YouTube for making an impact on the world, or even the more modest goal of escaping obscurity: Established businesses can profitably use it for “infomercial” advertising, but except for a few genuinely valuable educational offerings, YouTube is predominantly fodder for the bread-and-circuses crowd. Blogging may be the least flashy of social media, but it’s been a boon to many excellent amateur journalists, and those of us who enjoy discovering great new writing.

    • YouTube is so huge and diverse I think it’s difficult to make accurate generalizations about the content. You’re probably right that most of it is infomercials and “fodder for the bread-and-circuses crowd.” But I tend to find mindboggling scientists on YouTube, enough to eat up all my time if I let it.
      Here’s a great one, though he’s somewhat crisis oriented in his examination of solar events: https://www.youtube.com/user/Suspicious0bservers/videos.
      Here’s a geologist I discovered this week and so far find absolutely spellbinding, despite his dyslexia and occasional intellectual leaps that seem tangentially faith-based: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjBe55XpYzc0HzkK-8lgQtA/videos.
      Every once in a while good old Joe Rogan pulls someone in for a wonderfully informative interview. Case in point, Paul Stamets: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=joe+rogan+and+mushrooms&atb=v182-1&ia=videos&iax=videos&iai=mPqWstVnRjQ. I didn’t know Paul existed before that interview. The man’s brilliant. A real treasure-house of rare knowledge.
      And Rhonda Patrick is like fresh air from heaven with her insightful YouTube videos and interviews: https://www.youtube.com/user/FoundMyFitness/videos. She also has a website (foundmyfitness.com) where she analyzes raw DNA data from 23&me. That’s been helpful to me, especially finding out about my genetically low tolerance for caffeine. I can’t say enough about Rhonda’s great value in this world.
      Also I find Richard Dolan to be probably the most credible voice on UFO’s nowadays: https://www.youtube.com/user/RichardMDolan/videos
      YouTube has a more acidic-tongued audience than WordPress.com. There are trolls aplenty, but if a person just wants a large audience, I get the impression that numbers of views and subscribers mount up more quickly there than here. I’ve watched newcomers with excellent visual and intellectual material show up and gather thousands of subs in less than a year. For instance, this brilliant young atheist: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Stn8atEra7SMdPWyQoSLA .
      Regarding pod casts, not long ago I heard Joanna Penn come back from a conference on pod casting and state emphatically that podcasts will be the wave of the future for reaching an audience. She said podcasting is now in about the same sweet place of opportunity that Amazon’s fiction market offered to indies back in 2011. Wide open. She had multiple bits of data to back up her opinion, and she’s been an excellent source of information since before I started listening to her YouTube videos many years ago. Talk about inspiration and practical help for fiction writers, she’s the one. Mark Dawson is another great source for indie fiction writers. I’ve been following his YouTube videos for years, too. He says most of his listeners follow him on his pod cast now. I still prefer the YouTube versions but I’m old fashioned.

      I agree that blogging helps writers hone their skills like nothing else. And I think blogs are valuable for readers of all types, especially those of us who love finding raw talent and blatant honesty. I’m just saying it’s probably not an efficient way to build a good-sized audience of genuine followers (as opposed to “followers” who aren’t really following). I hope I’m wrong about this, but so far this is my best interpretation of trends.

      Nevertheless, if a person can be satisfied with a few regular readers, this is the place. That’s why I put almost all of my efforts here. I get more reads with a lot less effort on Quora, and the few articles I’ve placed on Medium continue to gather more reads month after month than anything in my archives here (which are almost entirely ignored). But my few actual WordPress readers matter to me more than numbers. They’re my people and this place feels like home.

      • I don’t go looking on YouTube for the educational material, because life feels too short to do that much sifting. When I read of a TED talk on a topic that interests me, I’ll take a look. The videos you’ve re-posted from YouTube are always intriguing, so I’m looking forward to perusing the ones you recommended.

        I have very little experience with listening to podcasts, and have never considered putting together one: despite how easy it is for me to talk with my fingers, I’m at a loss when trying to imagine what I’d record 😀

      • Back again . . . . Conversations with you have a way of getting me to probe deeply into my psyche, and this time I’m ruminating over podcasts. I don’t know why I should feel clueless about that kind of thing, because I don’t get stage fright (like I don’t get writer’s block). During my early undergraduate days, I studied method acting, and immensely enjoyed the lead roles I had in three plays. The next forty-odd years I spent teaching and public speaking, so it must be a matter of my having been conditioned to perform before live audiences. Speaking to only a microphone just wouldn’t feel the same as looking out over a sea of faces and addressing each one.

  2. Alpha One Head Zero Seven

    Still, it’s the host device.
    Nobody’s going to take you sleeping roses.
    Together you two.
    That makes sense,
    what makes seven.

    Me and this other kid did soul favors for people.
    Everybody here got soul favors.
    Towards the Avatar.
    I think we’re watching Aang the last Airbender.
    It’s giving us magic.
    This is real stuff.
    You’re the easier system:
    just go for the broadband of enlightenment.

    Without the video’s power,
    we did this on our own:
    how we are both viewing the world.
    Of this ship I’m a member.
    I had no idea.
    Something to do with the Avatar.
    I’m part of Aang’s group.

    They’re getting ready to do that physical power that
    helps the world
    toward its coming change.
    It’s a show back and forth.
    What are you talking about?
    You echo from loving-kindness
    to everyone get out of here.
    It’s so system squeeze.

    It’s important to come
    to trusting’s whistle.
    Define freedom.
    The ability to control one’s self.
    Still host his hand
    all along divinity’s smile.
    Various and universal highways,
    we have so many I said.
    Just leave them.
    Finally the two halves went to the doctor.

    I wanted you to stand by me,
    without worrying what people think
    or about your morality.
    I was asking of you can,
    can you give me some support?
    You know I’m a poet.
    You know the difficulty in baking this bread,
    all the concentration,
    all the quiet.
    Is it of the devil you fear?

    No one will publish me,
    reblog a post,
    share a poem.
    Social isolation do you enforce it?
    Would the Nazarene?
    There I’ve said it,
    as plain as day.
    East German style?
    Vulnerability speaking.

    Now that’s my parade,
    edging society to accept
    the ones they hate as a mob.
    Can’t you see it’s here
    compassion must begin?

    • If anyone wants a decent-sized audience, blogging isn’t the route, in my opinion. Escaping obscurity is something we’ve all been inadvertently studying for years. I’ve never accomplished that goal, so take my advice with a grain of salt here. Having said that, nowadays a person’s best bet for making an impact on the world is probably through either a podcast or a YouTube channel. I haven’t studied how these options might work for poetry, but you could probably find out by searching “poetry podcasts” and “poetry YouTube channels.” It might be worth a try.
      As far as I know, those are the best options for nonfiction at this time. Things change fast, though. I could easily be behind the times.

  3. Money and politics do enable one another as one hand washes the other. And I believe the drive to shut down free speech has a lot to do with keeping people under control. Shared hate is a great control mechanism. Multiple viewpoints make if difficult if not impossible to see everything as black and white, and everyone as angels or demons. Once we accept someone as angelic, we can see no wrong; once we see them as demonic, we see no right. While we are all children of God, we are all fallen.

    As to being young at heart—another quality we share—too often maturation is accompanied by the loss of wonder, curiosity, and imagination. We form pigeon holes for every idea and fact, then have to put everything in its proper slot. At some point we stop creating new pigeon holes and lose the ability to see new things. When I propose new concepts to anyone whose pigeon holes are done, I quickly see the futility and end the discussion. Often the most intelligent people spend the least time thinking. Children know they don’t know everything, so think and question constantly.

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