Ever been in a crowded room and had someone yell “FIRE!” at the top of their lungs while you’re standing right where they say there’s a fire so you know there’s no fire, but everyone’s already running and screaming so your cries of “There’s no fire!” can’t actually be heard?
Yeah. March 2019 has been exactly like that.
I’m warning you now: this blog post is not going to be pretty or well thought-out. There’s no outline, no plan. Just me translating jumbled thoughts and pent up frustrations into things that’d somehow resemble words.
It’s been two years since I started this blog; a year since I became a full-time freelance writer. When people ask me about what I do, I always tell them that I just write. That I write about what I watch, what I hear, what I experience. How it relates or connects to the way we see ourselves, see others or see the world. To put it simply (or condescendingly), I take a cultural topic and make a ‘deep’ or ‘profound’ argument out of it.
It’s supposed to be intelligent. And creative and innovative and all that crap. The blueprint is already there online for me to follow: all these ‘woke’ and ‘verified’ mainstream critics, journalists and writers who’d always seemed to approach films, TV shows, news stories and pop culture with nuance and righteous defiance. I poured over their tweets, admiring their sense of humour, their wit. I studied their think-pieces and the way they string words together like I was back in university and these were essay assignments. I wanted to be them. I wanted to be one of them — to write for their publications and have that kind of influence.
But now? Now…after this month of madness… what a stupid, naive thing to wish for!
I’m not going to go into detail about what this thing that’s happened is; that’s for another time. But what it has done, however, is opened my eyes to what I’ve known all along but somehow have never taken the time to fully comprehend: the mainstream media that I longed to be a part of is not one neutral, truthful collective. Instead it is made up of people. People who may come with information, yes, but also with misinformation. With their own agendas and biases.
You hear a lie often enough it becomes true. You are ignorant about something long enough, you no longer realise you’ve become prejudiced. Facts can be ignored as long as you already have a story you want to tell.
I haven’t written or published an article in a while. I should probably get back to it. But right now this shit is HEAVY. Like…weighing-down-my-soul kind of heavy. Yes, it might sound overly dramatic, but unfortunately this is where I am.
I wanted to write to shine a light on things, to become part of a group of bright, bold, take-no-shit people who call injustice out when they see it. But perhaps I’ve become just like them: too comfortable in following the masses and swallowing spoon-fed stories and ‘values’ without being open-minded enough to hear counter-arguments. Too sure in my assumptions to the point that I’m not even interested in entertaining the possibility that I might be wrong.
Perhaps sometimes we — myself included — only see what we want to see or what we’re being told to see. Just smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors. Nothing more.
I don’t know. This blog post probably makes no sense. And I have no idea if getting this out will help with anything or if anyone out there is even reading this. Maybe I’m too angry to write. Maybe this is all just word vomit…
All I know for sure, however, is that all of us are all about speaking truth to power until the truth goes against our narrative, and that’s not good enough. We need to do better.
Just something that’s on my heart right now. Thank you for listening.
Follow me on Twitter: @PimKaprao