Slightly Off Center

Slightly Off Center: Media Magic

By Dennis Hinkamp

There has been a lot of media about the media in the media lately. It is sort of like thinking about your brain: It’s an endless loop of logical labyrinth poop. If you can’t believe the media, what exactly can you believe? More important: How do you know what you know?

It is probably a liberal made-up media word but epistemology is the term for the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion. You, the media consumer, have to decide what is real.

The term “the media” is being thrown around like the name of an evil overlord, but just about everything you claim to know comes from the media. Few of us  know anything about Syria other than what we see, hear and read in the media. I never met, talked to or had dinner with any of the presidential candidates, but I was able to form a pretty solid opinion, as were most of Americans who cared enough to vote.

Most people admit that they get nearly all their information from the media in the form of print or web versions of print; and  radio or internet streaming of radio and television or whatever that term even means now.

A miniscule nanoparticle of our knowledge comes from divine inspiration, substance abuse hallucinations and alien mind melds. So how can we the Face-slapped and Tweet-assaulted losers handle the media better in 2017?

Here’s how to get out of your silo.

Listen to country western music at least a little; if you had, you would have seen this coming. Sure there are billionaire country western singers, but the music came up from the rural working class.

Listen to Rush Limbaugh at least a little; it will make you scream, but that’s not a bad thing. As long as you don’t go on a house wrecking rampage it is okay to get angry at people you disagree with. You can’t debate him if you don’t listen to him.

Read the alt-right website Breitbart at least a little; you have to dig really deep to find the crazy white supremacist stuff. Most of it just reads like the dark mirror image of The Daily Show.

Listen to BBC, CBB and Aljazeera news regularly. It’s just a slight, but different perspective. Through the miracle of the Internet we can get news from anywhere in the world at any time. You’d be surprised, or not, that media in other countries report about events in the U.S. differently than media in the U.S. Some of them don’t even care about the NFL playoffs or Britney Spears’ comeback.

Pay for some media. I know this is a tough one because the Internet was supposed to be the promise of free loaves and fishes, music, photos, art, porn, etc. Wake up and smell the taxes. This week, for the first time you will have to pay sales tax on all that junk you buy on Amazon because you were too cheap to go down to Walmart. I can’t believe I just endorsed Walmart, but paying local taxes is the right thing to do; local taxes support schools, roads and stuff.

Try the New York Times, Washington Post, the Atlantic or The Economist and don’t use the excuse that “I already used up my 10 free articles.” They are not the liberal elite; they are accurate, fact-checked media. “Getting it free on the Internet” encourages fake news.

Support your local media. Neither the New York Times nor Huffington Post is going to cover last night’s City Council meeting or the Utes women’s volleyball team.

Dennis Hinkamp would like to thank you for reading his media. He did not know Catalyst publisher, Greta deJong’s nephew plays on the Utes womens (practice squad) volleyball team when he wrote this.

This article was originally published on January 31, 2017.