Peace Doesn't Sell. Maybe We Should Think About That.

Media could be truthful, but then there are no $$$ in peace.

If the media were really truthful, there would be less of media. There would be less of the noise, less of the hate, less of the cacophony.

This is the thing - the truth is the truth in only one way, or in maybe a few subtle variations of the one way. But a lie can be a lie in infinite number of ways. And one lie can lead to an entire trail of lies, which feed into the next trail of lies and so on. It is infinitely infinite, as far as ordinary mathematics goes.

This means a lot of $$$.

If someone were to write the truth, they could write one story, which would be nice, but perhaps not dramatic. That’s it. The end.

If someone spins 5 versions of lies about a story, the readers get confused. They then read 10 other versions a few days later. That answers some questions, raises some other questions. Then they read 15 other stories in the week. So on and so forth. Stories which are intermingled with lies have longer market value. It is not a story. It is a funnel.

Humans have wrapped themselves in swathes of routine. Forget the entrepreneurs, artists and bohemians for the moment. A big percentage of humanity lives life as a routine. Their minds crave drama. Mainstream media provides that drama…at a cost. Your time, mental health and money! Mainstream media is not different from watching a movie or reading a sci-fi book. Only difference is that the reader/ viewer does not know that it is fiction, colored in shades of reality to make it look believable (so are movies and books). They believe they are reading the “news,” whatever that is.

Peace does not sell. Conflict builds curiosity and starts a vicious cycle of readership. Conflict is rooted in confusion. Confusion creation is the top skill of media companies. They excel in it because they are trained for it. They are trained for it because it is what sells.

“News” is supposed to be “X happened at Y at AA:BB hrs.” It is reportage. It gives you facts. Not opinions of the writer. Opinions of the writers must be limited to specific columns (which also exist, although I don’t know why since everything else is also an opinion). The process of forming opinions based on facts must, essentially, be left to the reader/viewer. That is the process of giving the news.

What we currently read is a continuum of opinions with facts thrown in like pepper sprinkled on a salad. Sometimes names are obliterated. Sometimes numbers are obfuscated. Sometimes the “fact” is one sentence long and the remaining 350 words is rhetoric. This is no “news.” This is fiction, without the label of “fiction.”

It is almost disabling to think that all the “news” on which our lives have been based so far is fiction. It is rattling. The good thing about 2020 is that a lot of that fiction has started to become evident as fiction. A lot more of that needs to happen.

Maybe we need to think about why peace doesn’t sell. Because if human beings could fulfill their need for drama some other way, maybe peace would be more palatable than conflict. As long as we enjoy conflict, we will have conflict. Media will sell conflict. Twitter will feed on conflict. Facebook will not ban conflict.

If we start to enjoy peace, the game can change. Then maybe we can have world peace.

Photo by Connor Danylenko from Pexels

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