If You Try the Best You Can, the Best You Can is Good Enough
Before my career as a mediocre opinion writer comes to a close, I’d like to offer one last piece of advice: tear this paper up. There’s nothing at all of value in these pages -- not the opinions, not the news, certainly not the weather. Okay, maybe the comics are worth a look. But with the exception of the sports section, there is no truth to be found in this or any other publication. There is no truth on TV, on the radio, or in the press -- their objective is not to keep you informed, but to sell you to their advertisers. There is no honesty in government or in the White House -- the dog has been wagged so much, its tail disengaged long ago. Spin has become scripture; objectivity is propaganda; a sustainable planet is an oxymoron; government accountability is a crime think. Trust no one, Mr. Mulder. Everyone has a truth they want to sell you. Everyone.
Let’s take for example all of the resistance to globalization that has occurred recently. The people involved in that movement -- some of whom are the most caring, most compassionate, and most aware people I have ever met -- incidentally have become little more than hooligans in the eyes of the mainstream media; people written off as quickly and conveniently as possible because they don’t fit the MTV demographic to whom advertisers can pitch their shit, or because the broadcasters are frightened of the threat posed by those they can’t control with corporate news. These people are demonized when not dismissed altogether.
Likewise, the eco-terrorists and the environmentalists who attempt to protect forests from the logging companies are special interest groups bent on destruction according to the media and Congress. The correlative assumption is that destruction of forests and the profits that follow are not only in the general public’s interest but are also not eco-terrorism in its true sense. A little closer to home we have the idea of the “Femi-Nazi” being applied to people who will not tolerate objectification of half the population. The reasoning behind this term (I suppose) is that, like the Nazis, or in a manner one would liken to presumed notions of Nazi behavior, Femi-Nazis have restricted somewhat the right of one gender to dehumanize the other. For its part in the debate, the media seems satisfied with showing women in their underwear as much as possible.
We turn now to the World Bank -- you know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like that said on the TV news. They just don’t talk about it, do they? The only time I heard about the Bank in the mainstream was when the protests in D.C. pushed it into the spotlight. If that’s true, I think it’s very telling about its value as an institution. Wouldn’t there be constant praise in the media about the World Bank if the work they were doing had net positive results? But you never really hear any concrete example of World Bank loans actually working -- just country after country defaulting on loan payments. The Bank defends itself with the general platitude that it’s trying to raise the standard of living of the world’s poor. But after fifty years, all the World Bank has to show for its efforts are 1.1 billion people living in poverty and a small group of happy investors.
What to do when what’s reported seems opposite to reality? You could ignore everything I’ve just said; it could all just be a lie. But since you haven’t recycled the paper yet, let me offer another option. Find the truth inside yourself. Get as much information as you can from everything you read and hear. Trust in yourself to determine what seems rational and what seems irrational propaganda. Rely on your friends and family for support. Let honesty and love guide everything you do.
Defend Humanity. Destroy the Bank.