Painting the National Mood: Seeing Through

"Palm Tree"
“Palm Tree”

While painting “Palm Tree” I kept thinking this painting was about “seeing through;” seeing the light through the branches of the tree. There is an obstacle between the light and the viewer, but the obstacle cannot block out the light-light is leaking through.

Light is a metaphor for truth and “seeing the light” means seeing through illusions and confusions to the truth. In America, more and more citizens believe their traditional source of information; “the news” is spouting illusions, according to Pew Research.

“Since 2002, every news outlet’s believability rating has suffered a double digit drop, except for local daily newspapers and local TV news.”

I study propaganda as a hobby* and whenever a big story breaks, I flit between news sources to see who is on the ball. After any major tragedy such as the Colorado theatre shootings, for example, some news outlets will instantly speculate that the perpetrator was linked to their favorite political enemy-Islamists, Leftists, the Right Wing or a black person. Almost immediately you will find the little echo chamber news outlets, reprinting the original wrong story. American news is particularly bad about reprinting each other’s stories without fact-checking.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can now read foreign newspapers with the click of a mouse. Several foreign papers will pick up U.S. breaking stories very quickly and will present their own slant, such as “Those gun-obsessed Americans are mass-murdering each other again.”

The truth is, of course, when a big story breaks, it will be days before very much is known. An honest news source will admit as much, using words such as “alleged” and “unconfirmed.” The pervasive U.S. habit of quoting an un-named “state department official, etc” as authoritative is not used as often in the foreign press, perhaps because it is bad journalism.

Always question un-named official statements. If it’s true, tell us your name. Ironically, trust in the credibility of official pronouncements is way down in America, too, yet notice how often un-named sources are quoted as evidence in news stories. “You don’t trust us but listen to this anonymous quote from this other person you don’t trust.” Incredibly this ploy works!

Reporting errors are inevitable in breaking stories. This is not proof of a plot or a conspiracy and the mistakes are usually corrected eventually. Americans are so suspicious these days that they generally go into default conspiracy mode, fitting the news story into their worldview. The perp was mind-controlled by chemtrails, it was a false flag to push gun control, it was a false flag to institute martial law or the perp was  linked to al-Quaeda (see this video of him buying a Coke from a Pakistani store owner)…whatever.

The reason Americans do this is 1) They have been lied to in the past. 2) The CIA has carried our false flag operations 3) Something bad has happened and somebody must be responsible. Sensing the public’s distrust of news, some news outlets, especially Fox and some alternative sites, play on it. “You can’t trust those others. Watch only OUR news –lest you become a mindless zombie.”

Unless you want to become THEIR mindless zombie, reject that self-serving advice and read many news sources. If you don’t have time for that, at least check any story with the Christian Science Monitor, which is the closest thing to fair and balanced journalism available in America today. For breaking stories, The Guardian does the best job of any news source in the world. I don’t know why exactly-but they have updates every few minutes and are careful to admit it when something is a rumor or unconfirmed.

Tips to Seeing Through

  1. “The news” is usually-at best- half-true.
  2. The more sources you read (including foreign) the more puzzle pieces you have.
  3. Check with the Christian Science Monitor.
  4. Switch to The Guardian to get information on breaking news.

*Why study propaganda? C’mon- how fascinating is it that a bunch of STORIES can change the course of history and motivate people to all sorts of deeds? Propaganda is stories, legends-with heroes and villains and quests. Wars are presented to the public as either a defense of our loved ones or a selfless rescue of far-off folks oppressed by a devil. Otherwise, we would never consent to war, because we really do not enjoy killing other human beings.

My art gallery



    1. I watch RT, read Al-jazeera (biased in favor of Qatar of course) Turkish Hurriyet, Moscow Time, Pravda, etc. All very interesting.

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