Hunter S Thompson once said that “The only ones left with any confidence at all are the New Dumb. It is the beginning of the end of our world as we knew it. Doom is the operative ethic.”
It’s a quote that has always resonated with me and so launches a new site by yours truly. I know, I know, I’m breaking the rule I made a year or more ago. That being that I’d put myself under editorial control with everything I wrote. However, I think it’s time to suspend that rule for the time being with at least this column.
So you get to be my editor in this case, and we’ll see how it goes. It’s a big responsibility, but I am sure you are up to it.
This is also about me moving to write about things that don’t quite fit into my other outlets. You’ll still find me a little more under control at What is IT Wellington, the National Business Review, and Wellington’s Scoop.
Why the New Dumb?
Because of a few things, and I suspect this site will only be around a year. First, Trump. Or rather what the US Government is doing to the truth with Trump at the helm. The disinformation, the horror of the undoing of decades of progress, the violent response by the President, are all things we should be concerned about.
Second, New Zealand Election Year, the craziness has already started, and we are starting to see some similar tactics being rolled out here. Gareth Morgan and Winston Peters, in particular, have begun an election game that is poor. When you’re coming from behind then manipulating a media that is focussed on click bait soundbites is easy, for sure, but also bad form.
The last thing that is the truth is that we don’t know where to go for news sources that are truthful. “Alternative Facts” do not just belong to Trump, they belong to the world. The problem with lying in a democracy is that it destroys the democratic process.
Democracy can only survive where there is transparency. This means that government is truthful about their operations and people can then react as they see fit, in line with their values. When we see government both national, and more often, locally, spinning the truth, creating alternate facts, and hiding what they do deliberately, then democracy is starved of its oxygen.
Hunter S Thompson was ultimately weak. I can say this because he was a hero of mine and I have been most disappointed that he did not continue his work to expose the influence of primarily American Politics on not only her people but the entire world. He chose to shoot himself in the ultimate opt-out rather than fighting the good fight.
Having said that, he left a wealth of information and ideas that the new resistance can utilise. He left a legacy when you read between the lines and understand what he was trying to tell people in his own way.
It is no surprise that as I write this the novel 1984 by George Orwell is back at the top of the best-selling charts as the world tries to figure out just WTF is actually going on.
“War is peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
No more so than right now.
Categories: Alternate Facts