Being Told What I Need to Know (Feb 23, 2011)

The internet is a wide open expanse of a place where one can research to his heart’s content anything from methods of heart-bypass surgery to the industrial revolution to ways of increasing the length of your penis. Unfortunately most people, like myself, limit themselves to a handful of their “favorite” pages. For news, maybe they only read CNN or (lets hope not) Fox. Same can be said for television; The weak-minded of us watch Fox News for the shiny graphics and silly exaggerated “facts” that stream along the bottom of the screen. A lot of us take in this so-called information and take it as gospel; it must be true because it’s staring at us in the face.

Remember back in the day when people used to use the library to do their research? It wasn’t easy..what with navigating through the dewey-decimal system-based drawers full of cards, telling us which floor out of 12 our material on “the history of religion in southeastern Peru” would be.
Now we’re left with brief 20 second video clips or 2 paragraph articles. Lindsey Lohan is going back to jail, but she’s wearing this STUNNING outfit! Alyssa Milano is pregnant! Justin Bieber cut his hair! And oh yeah, this thing is Libya is out of control but we’ll listen to these four analysts debate back and forth, constantly interrupting each other, about the best way to proceed about doing absolutely nothing about it. We’re not led to think on our own, we’re told what must be important. Everything has become black or white, with us or against us.
Not to say that EVERYONE is falling into this trap. I do see people meandering about in the library here in town; I’m sure they’re not all looking for the latest Twilight series book or inane romance novel. I’m sure some of them are trying to better themselves; learning to think for themselves after taking in multiple sources of information with varying opinions.
If you take the easy way out, you’ll hear from 6 different channels that Lindsey Lohan wore this or that and that some 12 year old girl wants to marry Justin Bieber. But without pain-staking research, you would never know that both of them enjoy studying particle physics and attend weekly mensa meetings.
Well, probably not. I made that up. Did you believe me?
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