I am one of those people who watch television news obsessively to witness how truth is erased, twisted, spun, and replaced by paid-for news stories delivered by well-coiffed men and women who appear to simply be innocently "reading the news".
(By the way, is it necessary to smile while presenting clips of global bloodbaths and reporting weather catastrophes? Just wondering).
I am hooked on watching people lie in the public media where millions of people tune in for their daily "news".
The Trump and Clinton tours are similarly dispiriting. Clinton and Trump are in solid company with bending truths and reaching away from the real to grab the popular. They are so brazen in their desperate messaging that it is an irresistible showcase to easily view where we are in this country.
Note the now normalized use of the term, "misspoke", as another way of saying, "I lied". Listen for it.
The practice of watching corporate-sponsored, well-paid news network liars lie, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call in the psychology biz, "masochistic".
By that I mean I am consistently alarmed, outraged, even extremely disheartened. And yet I persist.
What am I hoping to see?
What I am not hoping to see is a massive replayed film clip of someone picking up a chair at a campaign event and having the story told that chairs were "thrown".
This is exactly what the news this week has centered on.
Presumably, these "chair throwers" were Bernie Sanders acolytes at a Trump rally.
Doesn't matter at all that every true witness on the ground that evening never saw a thrown chair.
News reporters from all networks, including cable channels left and right, appeared at the venue to tell the chair-throwing lie, while live footage of angry, loud protesters conveniently was used as evidence of the false allegation. There's nothing like anger to promote the illusion of violence. Point scored for the "home" team.
While serving as the current example of a naked media lie, what a grand opportunity to promote the protester as violent and insane.
Of course, there are insane and violent people in any group. Protesting, however, is not synonymous with violence, and is not an insane activity. Protesting is actually the essence of sanity in an insane world. There is not nearly enough thoughtful protest in this country.
Protesting is our freedom.
Brilliant public relations to smear the act of protest and protesters, but brilliant on behalf of what? For whom does this demonizing of the protester serve?
Surely, the protesting of false information is a terrible threat to those who peddle it.
It is outrageous to have to accept that our country's biggest media today, both print and televised, presents biased fictional news about world events and our lives, along with celebrity "breaking news" stories considered to be news, and that this whole mess is taking the place of what once was called, "journalism"!
Many Americans don't have a clue that there could be real news somewhere, or that it's not being delivered. Those who are aware are too overwhelmed to dwell upon it, and are resigned to "the way it is".
There are many of us in this latter camp. We talk amongst ourselves about the media lies du jour, a shared, fundamental sigh infusing our sad words.
I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: America is a depressed nation. Is it any wonder that Americans are individually so depressed?
The worst truth is that we are in such a depth of depressed anger and denial that many will regard this essay as "negative".
We are so overwhelmed and flummoxed by the swift overtaking of public truth that we fail to feel, let alone protest.
Psychology explains the danger in avoiding unattractive truth.
The reason psychotherapy has a prayer of being successful is that unless you identify and acknowledge the existence of a problem, there is zero possibility to change it.
So we are asleep and America is depressed. If you don't believe me, look around. Look up from your life-replacing hand-held device. Look into the empty eyes of people all around you.
Voila. It's not pretty, but it has been achieved to the point where "news" and other dangerously false promotions are not questioned by many people.
We are too exaggeratedly engaged by computer living.
As a strategy for distracting people, how utterly brilliant and successful.
I'm not talking conspiracy. I'm talking money, power, politics.
And if we become considered violent crazies because we protest, all the better.
"Children should be seen and not heard" was a familiar refrain in the ice ages of my childhood.
The American people are the new "children" in this age.
Seen and not heard.
"Protester" is the new dirty word.
Nobody threw a chair this week.
What will next week's fiction be?