The Spin Makes Me Dizzy But I Can’t Stop Twirling

October 31, 2008

“You can’t just sit behind a desk all day and think you know what’s going on in the world. You have to go out and see it for yourself”. – Anderson Cooper
My core desire in life is to see as much of the world and experience as many other cultures as I can. The business of daily survival limits my travel, but the desire to wander is constantly there. I do not feel truly content unless there are flight confirmations in my inbox.
Not able to fly off to every war torn region, I rely on the media to bring me the places and stories I can’t see for myself. I am a complete news addict. I read 3 papers daily, including 2 UK-based ones to get a foreign perspective. I watch Anderson Cooper religiously, as well as Keith Olbermann (though primarily for the laughs, not as an informational source). I spend a lot of hours a day ingesting news. And I trust none of it.
If being a photo retoucher has taught me anything, it’s 1) nothing is ever as it seems and 2) to be just as aware of the person taking the photo, as you are of the person in the photo. What was their vision? What was their provenance? The same can be said for the news. Pay attention not just to the words, but also to the agenda of the writer and source.
Anderson is right. You can’t just sit behind a desk and expect to know the truth of the world, but he is also part of the reason why.  The information handed to us by the media is so far spun and dramatized I have no idea what is truth anymore. You have to be a cryptographer to parse the news these days. I spend hours looking for sources and transcripts, trying to find the sliver of truth in what is fed to us daily. It shouldn’t be this hard. We shouldn’t have to seek it, it should be handed to us, unbiased and without agenda.
Until then, I guess I’ll keep watching it all and believing none. It sucks, but it’s the best we can do.
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