One scant week ago, a much too long absent, non-flesh and blood kindred spirit arrived at my front door to resume our regular visits. At first glance, a double take was in order; mainly because I hadn’t seen this otherworldly friend since the pandemic had shuttered our world; well over a year ago.
Suddenly, upon factoring in my (typically) restless / sleepless condition, I had to wonder if I had nodded off? Wandered off into Dreamland? Or, was something else playing out; oh, say, along the lines of a supernatural themed TV series-come-true? Might I be blasting off from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone launch pad?
However (brushing all reader attention grabbing hyperbole aside), as everything actually turned out, ‘twas not unnerving in the least. Quite the contrary!
What we’re actually discussing is my unexpected reconnection to a newsprint and ink publication; namely, a weekly newspaper (featuring state and local goings-on, human interest stories, recipes, op-eds and obits; not to mention the brain challenging Sudoku and crossword puzzles. All in all, food for thought!
Now, I do know (long sigh) that newspapers don’t mean all that much to the general public anymore; especially folks who’ve never known anything other than our (regrettably) Internet dominated and dependent world.
And usage of “regrettably” is not an exaggeration; especially considering how easily we could all become disconnected; be that issue related to tech gremlins / www dead zones, consumer cost-cutting or something far, Far, FAR more wicked and UNNERVING!
With regards to that last listed item, at present, we’re discovering too damned many nations on the brink of ideological collapse; inclusive of the United States (in spite of President Joe Biden’s efforts to thwart his immediate predecessor’s ongoing treachery). Problem is that fascistic leaders are far, Far, FAR too proficient at manipulating the misguided masses into committing what is tantamount to ritualistic, socioeconomic suicide.
Freedom does die wherever / whenever the cultish rabble get fired up by (smarmily) charismatic firebrands; otherwise known as a-hole autocrats to us wise, reality based, critical thinkers.
To take a brief spin thru that rogues gallery let’s “try on for size” the ideologically and psychotically supersized Vladimir Putin (Russia), Xi Jinping (China), Kim Jong Un (North Korea), Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (Egypt), Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey), Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines) and, saving the worst for last, the duly deposed in 2020 (and presumed 2024 chomping at the bit wannable Donald J. Trump.
Uh, on second thought (re that try on session), let’s not.
More to the point, ever since tyrannical Trump made “FAKE NEWS” his catchphrase that pays / got that reverberating in the echo chamber, brain-dead heads-of-state, worldwide, have been overusing and abusing such vernacular, ofttimes verbatim, whenever genuine article journalists spot on expose them as societal parasites.
Even more to the point, most autocrats keep their grubby little paws poised over the Internet Kill Switch. After all, in the end (THE END) when it comes down to trampling human rights, their first order of biz is to sever all lines of communication, especially online reportage. It’d not be hyperbolic to say that, in the wrong hands, such a “circuit breaker” could eventually unravel the Internet and kill the truth.
My above concerns are the very reasons why I deem all reputable, hard copy newspapers akin to:
A Non-Flesh ’n’ Blood Kindred Spirit of mine; hopefully yours too.
Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!