I write in response to the world around me. When I can no longer contain the conversation going on inside my head, I liberate it; publicly, here. Here where it may be read by the few people who happen to stumble upon it or elsewhere into my journal when the rising dialogue falls into the realm of too personal for anyone’s eyes ever. It, whatever it is—my fixation, issue, observation—once it takes up residence in me, it roils and agitates until eventually it must exit. A fleshing out as I seek to understand, then a flushing out and words pour forth. This is how I process the world around me. I write about it.
I get in trouble for the words I write (and the feelings that give rise to them). There are consequences for putting my thoughts and ideas out there. Real world consequences, like loss of economic opportunity, loss of respect, loss of relationship. Ever have there been consequences for free speech. I understand this, have had to come to terms with this, and have made the decision to keep on writing.
Censorship, threats, unwarranted repercussions put a chill on the free-flow of communication causing fewer ideas or thoughts to be shared. I am one tiny voice experiencing this on a micro level, weighing the cause and effect of my words each and every time I publish.
On the macro level, it gets far more serious. Unfolding right now in these United States, the siege on journalism is unprecedented. Daily, from the highest pulpit in the land news outlets are viciously and speciously attacked. That #45 would respond to critique by inciting distrust and outright lying is troubling indeed. When threats and defamation spew from the mouth of the President, when we capitulate to alternative facts, when any voice is silenced, it must be met with resistance. One thing’s for sure, as repulsive as I find his attacks on the media, his scrutiny got me thinking.
What of us, the consumers? We take our truth as we are. It is hard work discerning content, getting the whole story, identifying unbiased sources. It is harder still to come to terms with our own biases, which of course color every single thing. We choose from infinite sources of information. “News” is available everywhere in every kind of format and configuration, “news” far right and far left of truth, served up for you any way you want it. And since we don’t like to consume that which does not agree with us, we go with what makes us comfortable, or worse, we choose something not good for us. More than ever we should reevaluate our media diet for surely our daily feast of insalubrious content is making us unhealthy indeed. At the intersection of cyberspace, consumerism, liberty and self-indulgence we have a choice.
The whole media shakedown has rattled the journalist in me. I wish more people would find distortion and falsehood unworthy of us. I wish more people would make heroes of the analytical, thoughtful, impartial, and courageous journalists who show up, who go boldly into our dark night, who face down the tyrant President who would silence them. When in my own corner of the world there are repercussions for the things I write, I’ll think of them. I am so grateful for them, for writing in response to the world we share.