The mushroom effect

To be mushroomed is to he kept in the dark and fed shit. I am continually impressed with the American news and entertainment media. Despite our ability now to travel the world and get information and news from a host of English-speaking sources, most Americans passively absorb news from American sources. They are mushroomed.

I see it everywhere. Most recently there was an interesting exchange at 4&20 involving Turner, a nice fella doing his best, but he repeated the current propaganda meme that Vladimir Putin is a monster bent on destroying civilization. It takes but a quick spin around the globe, to French, Iranian, even British, Canadian and Indian sources, for example, to see that Putin is widely respected. He is in a class by himself these days, perhaps the most able and articulate world leader on the stage.

I’ve been watching the monologues on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with David Letterman since our return from South America. Each of them, unknowingly of course, is repeating the US propaganda line that Putin (not Russia) invaded Eastern Ukraine (false), and stole Crimea (false). A caricature of Putin is a recurring Jimmy Fallon character.

This works, as most Americans absorb their opinions from entertainment sources rather than academics or straight “news.” Whatever the reality of Putin’s and Russia’s current activities, Americans are drawn into the caricature and form their opinions on that more than on any credible source.

The US is demanding now that Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine. Russia naturally responds (not reported here) that they don’t have any troops in Ukraine. The US insists, nonetheless, that they be withdrawn. If Americans don’t go outside US media for at least some news, our lying leadership gets away with such nonsense. Outside this loony bin the lies don’t have legs.

But the lessons stands: If you sit passively and wait for “news” to come to you from American sources, entertainment and otherwise, you’ll be mushroomed. It is up to you as a vigilant citizen to actively seek out information from many sources, and then use your brain to assemble it in a coherent package. It is not easy. It takes an effort.

2 thoughts on “The mushroom effect

  1. I probably spend too much time using the Chrome browser to do translations on foreign language sites (go to any foreign language site in Chrome, and it will give you the option to translate). Machine translations are better than none, but I wish I had learned 3 or 4 different languages when I was young…

    My SO speaks english as a second language, and fluently speaks several other languages in addition to her native german, so that helps when translations get murky. But the days of accurate browser-based universal translators are not far off, and will do amazing things for people looking for information from diverse sources!


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