“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
Hello, young Padawan
Today, we are going to discuss a subject that is close to my heart, and it boils down to this: “Whoever tells the official story is he even aware that he is giving only one version, and what about the one who receives said version?
The goal in this article, as usual, is to ask questions and think together, for example, on the table at which we have been seated, on the menu that we have been chosen, and on the dishes – revisited or not – that are served to us. Culinary metaphor aside, you are not supposed to ignore that the information that is served to you daily is not the truth but a version. And that is our point.
Whether through your TV, on the radio, in your newspaper, or on the net, the version given in the media is politicized, biased, or even transformed into a version that suits or serves the interested parties. However, the truth, always complex, emanating from multiple versions, nuances, sometimes even untouchable, often has this great tendency not to be suitable. Truth shocks, it disturbs, it even hurts sometimes. If you doubt it, remember the last time your boyfriend told you you were a bit fat in those jeans, or your girlfriend told you you were singing out of tune, lol.
So, how to integrate this complex notion in a world as binary as today’s, in this society so charged by its emotional state, more and more on edge? The answer is the narrative. We will finally see that the narrative is also one of the greatest predators of our humanity, or at least, for the moment, of our intellectual integrity.
Make yourself a little verbena and fasten your seat belt; it is going to shake a bit.
There are almost no more journalists carrying out real investigative work, but columnists who point their finger at the few colleagues still doing their job. There are no more analysts or analysis; now we have presenters reciting an official narrative. Some experts in nothing who have an opinion on everything tell us a story that we must believe in to be a good citizen – without proof, without thinking. Anyway, if you don’t believe, you are being judged, pointed at, so it’s in your best interest to stick to THE version otherwise, beware!
As soon as an attempt at analysis is made or a simple question is asked, it is immediately censored because it does not repeat the official narrative, then you’ve been called a conspirationist (and tutti quanti …) to discredit it or to discourage those who might have had the idea of taking over the analysis. In other words: Stop using your brain, print the official history, and shut up.
AP dispatches have become the main sources of the official narrative, without anyone wondering who writes them. Copy-paste from all mainstream information sources, video, radio, net or paper, by dint of redundant narrative, they have become the truth. However, the main sacrifice is precisely the truth in times of war, conflict, or crisis. Do you see the problem? Yes, of course, you do.
On the side of the one who receives the narrative, he is reassured to always come across the same version according to his zapping and readings. The comfort of the ingenuous, in a way. On the side of those who have mastered it, they may be tempted to change the inconvenient truth by the comfortable narrative or by the version that serves the latter’s interests. So, replacing the “honey, you look ugly in those jeans” with “but, you look so pretty in that dress” will allow you to have a better evening. However, if you have thought about it, what about those who have power over the narrative?
The truth, the mistake, the deliberate version, where is our free will?
Let’s consider the current media situation in the West and venture to make a small historical comparison. We notice that we have more and more to do with an operating system approaching the former Soviet Union. This is a bit cynical remark, but I assume it, given recent current events.
Indeed, when analyzing a situation, it is clear that the risk of making a mistake is present and more or less important, depending on the subject. Let’s say that if you are a mechanic, there is a good chance that you will understand Senna’s accident better than a baker or a lawyer who will roll his eyes when someone talks to him about a “steering column rupture ” (those under forty will no doubt wonder who this famous Formula 1 driver was, who died tragically in Italy during a race, ed).
Our free will is put to the test. Being treated as children in the media (and just about everywhere else! ed), we end up apologizing for asking questions and being ashamed to think by ourselves. Thus, not adhering to the main narrative makes us an outcast, a person to be avoided. Quickly, we wash our ears of what our neighbor said because he doesn’t think like us, calling him an idiot while forgetting that we are all someone’s idiot. It’s not uncommon, especially in the last couple of years, to see people cut ties with long-time friends or family members because they don’t think alike. But no one ever wonders why it’s wrong to think differently.
A little clue: Once upon a time, ” a “rat city” in which everything a rat could need was provided, except space. The result was a population explosion followed by pathological overcrowding, then extinction. Well before the rats reached the maximum possible density predicted by the scientist, however, they began to display a range of “deviant” behaviors: mothers neglected their young; dominant males became unusually aggressive; subordinates withdrew psychologically; others became hypersexual; the living cannibalized the dead. The scientist’s “rat utopia” became a living hell.”*
So, just like lab rats, we are very good at pointing fingers at each other, at killing each other, but much less at pointing out the real culprits: those who put us in the cage.
When they sell us a narrative, they sell it to us with the emotion that goes with it, the goal being to put us in a state of stupor. Suddenly, some of the receptors in our brain are blocked, and we are then unable to think or take a step back. On the contrary, we turn in a loop on this same narrative, obsessively.
In general: Any thought that goes in our direction smiles at us; everything that goes in the opposite direction of our thoughts upsets us. Social networks like Instagram or Facebook have understood this well by creating algorithms that ensure that you only see posts from people who think like you. Don’t upset the user because: if it’s free, it’s because you’re the product. And in that case, for GAFAM, what they want is your time, your attention. The more time you spend with them, the more data they collect and the more money they make. Hence the usefulness for our brain to save us from annoyance by making us stick to the dominant thought, it’s much more comfortable, and that’s fine because we have a natural algorithm that makes us hormonally programmed to that.
Emotion, enemy of common sense.
What about common sense? The common sense that inhabits us all, whether we are powerful or miserable, whether we have studied for a long time, or whether life has taught us from its experiences, or whether we are strong of the wisdom of our elders, this ability to relativize and stepping back from emotional situations is the only thing that can save our intelligence, our dignity, and, I daresay, our humanity. It’s simply the only hope to save our intellectual integrity.
Do not live in a hurry in binary mode as soon as a crisis is narrated on the radio, as soon as a crisis appears on TV, and anxiety rises from reading a newspaper headline. Remain calm, serene, analyze the situation with common sense. You don’t need to be a great intellectual to know that there isn’t a good guy and a bad guy in an armed conflict, for example, but two versions and interests on both sides. Just like when a couple of friends of yours break up, there’s not the good guy and the bitch, or the pervert and the saint girl. There are two versions, two narratives, two visions biased by their emotions, ego, interests, and resentments. The good camp and the evil camp do not exist simply because there is no god nor devil on Earth, at least for the moment lol, and we are only simple human beings, with our faults and our human qualities.
The truth being as complex to find as a needle in a haystack, to untangle a bag of knots, or to find the Holy Grail, starting from this postulate, it is preferable to weigh the pros and cons, to take a step back before to get carried away in an emotional delirium which will only add to the current hysterical mood and increase our own emotional imbalance.
While remembering what Plato said: “No one is more hated than the one who speaks the truth;” it is also being wise to listen to those who disagree with us because there is nothing more contrary to the truth, more fertile with stupidity than remaining between people who think the same. The truth has to be earned, it has to be conquered, it has to be confronted, it must constantly be questioned, and if that bothers, it’s because you’re dealing with a version, but in no case with the truth.
That’s all, folks. I hope I got the message across. Often I hear that intelligence is establishing links, connections, or having the ability to connect such and such facts; that’s correct. But intelligence also means listening to all the narratives, hearing all the opinions to check if our thoughts hold water, and thinking of everything well before deciding. And even once decided, it is always possible to think about it and change your mind.
Thus, the essential thing is not so much whether the person telling the official story is aware or not that he is giving only one version of it, but rather that the person receiving the said version is not fooled.
A word to the wise.
* Source : The “rat city” experiment.