Fake News Isn’t Fake, and It Isn’t News

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What is news? Well, the dictionary definition (courtesy of Merriam Webster) is: News (n.) A report of a recent events.

What is fake? Fake (n.) One that is not what it purports to be.

These two words seem to be antonyms. If it’s news, it can’t be fake. If it’s fake, it can’t be news. So how did we end up with this “Fake news?”

Well, the words placed together themselves have as much to do with the intellectual laziness of both reporters and readers as anything. Why? Well, because the words “Purposefully, factually improper reporting from dubious and facetious sources with the intent of misleading the public.” is not exactly considered concise enough for twitter and the other terse forms of media where grabbing attention is more important than getting across your information accurately. Although there is a shorter, ten letter word that these people are forgetting about that fits the term even better than my long-winded though clearly accurate term.

I’ll get to it later.

How did the phenomena come to be? Simple. News, aka reality, did not go the way several groups of people wanted it to. There were people telling stories that others didn’t like, so they decided to create their own version of reality to fit their own needs.

Note I said several groups. Which groups? Right wing. Left wing. Single issue voters, like anti-vaxxers, Pro-life groups, pro-abortions rights groups. I do not know where it began, but it has existed since long before I was born. Probably before your grandparents were born, and each generation has found a way to make it happen, to create their own news. This thing that has taken over our newswires is nothing new. The new wrinkle that exists now is that it has left the fringe and has gone mainstream. It is no longer just the hallmark of conspiracy theorists and nutjobs, though they are still the greatest fomenters of this type of crap.

Just to make the point, here are a few stories from the past twelve months, with stories that were fabricated:

Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders in March, from a site that spoofed the New York Times, all the way down to fonts and reporter byline. Fake as hell. She endorsed Hillary, but endorsed no one until June.

Megan Kelly fired by Fox after Endorsing Hillary Clinton, was a story that surfaced in late August. Megyn is still there, and she did not actually endorse Hillary Clinton, or anyone to my knowledge, but that did not stop endingthefed.com from getting one of the larger fake news stories of the year out there and planted all over Facebook in late August.

Donald Trump won the popular vote: Nope. Hillary won by over three million votes, yet there are stories that are still circulating that the Donald actually won. And a side note here, The stories that abounded of millions of illegal votes being counted for Hillary are just as fake, no matter (Ahem, Mister Trump) who made the claim. The only voter fraud out there is the stuff floating around the heads of conspiracy theorists, aka people who can’t handle the truth of the world that exists around them.

The truth though, is out there to be had, if only you look, America.

Find out. Life is information, how you take it in dictates who you are. Hearing about anything from anyone is just something to whet the appetite, it isn’t the be all end all. Just hearing something from someone is never enough. We need to dig, to find out, to go past that initial level of knowledge and get to the actual story. Often times you will find the initial headline and the real story are often at odds with reality.

Wait… What? Oh, what’s that ten letter word I mentioned before that is even more accurate than fake news?

Propaganda.

We as a nation have lost our ability to realize what we are really looking at. We’ve been had, and our propensity to find cute terms to fit the world we want to live in, rather than using words that fit the world we do live in is making us dumber and weaker. Not just as a society, or as a culture, or even as a nation. Since this is not just an American phenomena, it is making us dumber and weaker as a species.

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Quote of the day: We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false. ~ William Casey, CIA Director at his first meeting as head of the organization, 1981.

Back to It

In this installment: Where the hell has the Rhino been? What’s the new plan? Is Donald Trump that big of an evil dumbass? (Short answers: Over there, doing shit; Agitate and make war on evil; and Is that even a fucking question?)

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Asshole-Elect

Bless me father for I have sinned.  It has been years since my last posting here. (Boy are you people in for it.)

It has been years for a variety of reasons, none of them very good, but all of them rationales, if not actual reasons. Work has been busy, first with one part-time job and a furious search for more work, then with two, three and at one time four different part time jobs. Then when I landed the full-time gig, after a search that seemed to last a lifetime, I was suddenly even busier than the busy that I had been.

On top of that I had been writing fiction, heaps and heaps of it. Never made a damn dime off of it. Didn’t mind. I write for me. Fuck money (If I ever bitch about funds, remind me I said that shit) But even that went by the wayside as busy become super busy became maddeningly, intensely, stupefyingly, beautifully, bellicosely busy. (I promise, no more shitty strings of adverbs after this… I hope.) So writing went by the wayside. I tried to keep up with it in any way possible. A testament to it is the fact that I have about twenty notebooks with short stories and plans for novels strewn about Rhino Hacienda in what can only be called a deliberately haphazard (That is today’s oxymoron of the day, btw) fashion.

That’s cute and all, but I hear you ask what’s up now and what’s with all the Latin up top?

Glad you asked! Kinda…

Life’d be better if I didn’t feel like I had to be here. After all, a bunch of you assholes voted for the orange haired devil, and now the rest of us adults with priorities and intellects that haven’t been skewed by evil, racism, and ravenous needy greedy bullshit masked as the capitalist urge are left to clean up the mess, and he hasn’t even begun to make it in earnest yet.

Donald Trump, one of the worst humans to disgrace the face of the Earth before he entered politics, is now the leader of the (Buy everything, get nothing) free world. I am going to, starting with my next post go over in exquisite detail every policy position of his, and tear it to pieces like Oliver Stone going over the Zabruder film (Back… and to the left.  Back… and to the left.) I may take a stab at his twitter ranting bullshit, which should go away after the inauguration, but if it doesn’t, keep your eyes here. But all things Politics are back on the table, and it should be…well…

…Trump’s presidency is going to be an exciting ride.

If by exciting you mean like riding an unsafe amusement park ride,

After the site has been condemned,

Closed for five years and allowed to rust,

Aaaaaaaand recently hit by a massive earthquake.

But we’re in this together, so strap in, and get ready for a screamfest!

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This ride will rip your face off…literally.

Oh, and the House and Senate are as stacked with fun every bit as interesting and wicked as the White house, and his Cabinet is crazier than Arkham asylum on LSD so stay tuned for all the fun.

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Quote of the day:  People want me to [run for president] all the time … I don’t like it. Can you imagine how controversial I’d be? You think about [Bill Clinton] and the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine? ~ Donald Trump, from an interview in the New York Post,  July 12th, 1999

Long Time Gone / Changes

Pic of the day:  William Turner; Fishermen at Sea (1796)

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How can I tell that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?

Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the end of the Universe

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It felt kind of odd at first.  The first day I didn’t write just felt kind of … off.  The second day was less odd, as things were a fair bit busier and I really did not have all that much of a chance to write.  But the longer I went the easier it was to not write.  But it felt wrong to not write, so I started writing, rather furtively in a notebook that I carry with me, just in case.  Just in case I am hit with an idea that I think is worth writing down.

The first writing I did was autobiographical, basically me bitching about being poor.  That is not new territory for me by any stretch of the imagination.  But the old territory was fertile ground for writing.  Pounded out 3 pages worth of writing in about 20 minutes.  I gotta tell you that felt good.  Writing is something that comes easy to me.  Good writing?  That I can’t speak to.  But it also pointed to something that bothered me.

My writing here.  I’d been ignoring it.  And a reason to stop story writing here, to stop the short story writing I had been doing here, popped into my head and would not go away.  I have another wordpress site, one that I have not used for nearly 2 years. I started that one with my wife as an avenue for the two of us to write together.  She immediately became extremely busy, and I focused all my writing energies here and the thing went by the wayside.

So my story writing days here are finished.  The story writing will continue, just not here.

I think its time to take that one back up and begin using it again.  This page, when  first started writing here thousands of years ago, way back in 2007 was as an avenue for news writing and political commentary.  The page name may be “mikeytherhino.wordpress.com“, but the initial title was “Mike The Rhino’s Great American Rantfest”  and it was meant initially to vent my spleen about all things political.  And I want to get back to that, because I did some of my most beautifully vitriolic and impassioned writing while railing against the system.  It was only later that I even attempted to become anything of a serious story writer.

Years later.

Things change, and I am not saying I regret any of the writing I’ve done here.  I just think that it is time to separate the two.  I’m going to start doing my short story writing on the other site, over at writeisland.wordpress.com.   I haven’t written there since june of 2011.  I’ll be starting up some fresh stories there soon.

And with that I am calling it a night here.  I am going to go work on character development for future stories for stuff on write island, but before I do that I am going to re-boot this page, change things up a great deal here.

Hope you like the new page and the new focus.

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

Maybe, Just Maybe

Pic of the day:  Views of Kyoto – #5. Cherry-Blossom at Arashiyama, by Hiroshige Utagawa

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As rivers flow into the ocean but cannot make the vast ocean overflow, so flow the streams of the sense-world into the sea of peace that is the sage.

Far better to live your own path imperfectly than to live another’s perfectly

Bhagavad Gita

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I have been seeking inspiration, or something not entirely unlike that over the last few days for my writing.  I have been watching a lot more movies than usual.  I watched Citizen Kane from back to front for the first time ever.  I had heard it was a great movie but was frankly not moved to watch it before I saw it for the first time a few days ago.   I watched Kon-Tiki.  I watched Gonzo, again.  I watched Matter of Heart, a 1986 documentary about the life and work of Carl Jung.

I’ve been going through ancient Mesopotamian history, specifically an audio-book whose written counterpart was written 98 years ago, in particular the myths of Assyria, Babylon and the Akkadians, with side references to most major cultures around the world.

Maybe it isn’t really a search for inspiration though, or not just a search for inspiration.  Because recharging my batteries might and might not equal a search for inspiration.  And that is what have been doing, recharging.  I could write but I simply haven’t been.  I’ve wanted to, but have been busy doing one thing or another and simply have not done it.

And maybe, just maybe, it is a search not for inspiration per se, but ideas, real ideas that can be regurgitated and retold into stories that I could write, and it looks just by gazing at the particular entries that I am subconsciously looking for something big, something deeper and mythic.  Perhaps because the story I was writing a few months ago, the New York cop/torture/terror story was missing something, something bigger, something deeper, mythic.

I’m really getting the itch to do this!

I’ve got my eyes on a few other movies and books.  One flew over the cuckoos nest (the Ken Kesey book not the movie) and Haxan (a movie from 1922 about the occult and witchcraft) are first on my list.

I’ve got my notebook ready.  I think it’s nearly time to start creating characters, but a little more inspiration/recharging/assimilating  and compiling information about the most ancient and well known of stories is in order, and if a book is going to come out of this a little more inspiration is definitely a good idea.

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That’s it from here, America  G’night.

The Moon and Kepler

Pic of the day:  The Moon from Apollo 12,

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We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens. The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.

Johannes Kepler

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That’s it from here, America  G’night.

Looking

Pic of the day:  Martin Luther King, Jr. showing his medallion received from Mayor Wagner (1964)

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Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.

Martin Luther King Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (1958)

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You read Martin Luther King Jr’s words, both the ones above and a thousand just like them, the message and the thoughts they both express and represent and you have to wonder how far have we come as a people, as a nation?

Looking at things like last years Trayvon Martin case and myriad others like it, I see a nation that still has a major problem with racism.

Looking at the Newtown tragedy and the myriad others like it, I see a nation that still has a problem with guns.

Looking at district attorneys hunting kids who download files like they robbed a bank and hounding them to the point that they commit suicide while letting employees at banks that defrauded their customers and stole billions from them walk without a day of jail time, I see a nation that has a real problem with justice.

Looking at the NDAA, government actions against Occupy and the like, I see a nation that still wants to hold its people down.

So when we look at our world and wonder what has changed, you can truthfully answer “Not much.”

For all he did, all he tried to do, all the good that he spread with his message, you can truthfully answer “Not much.”

But we keep trying.  We’ll make it better eventually.  It’ll happen.

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Looking for work.

Went on an interview yesterday.

It went well.

But it will take time before they call me.

So I sit at home, waiting for a phone call.

And I keep looking for work.

And there is not really that much.

At least not in the fields that I am looking in.

But I keep trying.

Looked for a bit today.

Nothing.

Dammit.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

A Little Light Entertainment

Pic of the day:  Fruit by Alfons Mucha

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The charm dissolves apace,
And as the morning steals upon the night,
Melting the darkness, so their rising senses
Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle
Their clearer reason.

William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, scene i

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Nothing but a little light entertainment tonight.   I had an interview today. During that interview I mentioned that I really enjoyed working with art nouveau works.  Hence the Mucha piece above. I did a fair bit of running around besides, so I was busy most of the day.  That felt good, much like reading Shakespeare. So you get Shakespeare.  So I am relaxing a bit, watching Citizen Kane at the end of my day, hence the video clip from Citizen Kane.

More weighty matters tomorrow, perhaps.

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Viddy of the day:   Citizen Kane: Rosebud

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.