Ex Post Facto

We are told that we live in a “post-fact” world. If you grew up in a print-based culture like I did (and you actually still use books to round out your understanding of the world), then this is alarming.

After months of brutal electioneering, a candidate has been chosen. He might be the perfect choice for a world where fact and science has been swapped for tweets and relying on his “gut” or something other than his brain for decision-making.

If it was merely our reality TV president relying on something other than fact-checking and data, then jokes and innuendo might be the end of it. However, it’s each and every single one of us “googling” on our smartphones that is driving dismissal of fact. Facebook then amplifies it ten-fold.

Like most nearly every aspect of life in America these days—the problem of ____________ (fill-in the blank) is someone else’s fault. Actually, most of the issues staring us directly in the face could be rectified with a little backbone and character. Like so-called fake news. If we didn’t consume so much of this fucking dreck, then there wouldn’t be a market for assholes like this guy, making shit up in his basement, and laughing all the way to the bank. Isn’t capitalism grand?

Fake news-free, at Curtis Memorial Library

Fake news-free, at Curtis Memorial Library

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The News Biz

It’s nearly impossible to find unfiltered news coming from the driveby sources. The New York Times runs a story on Hillary Clinton’s emails, then the Old Gray Lady furiously backpedals from it. The Washington Post tells us that the reason that Donald Trump is surging in the polls is due to stupid, white people. So much for our vaunted “fourth estate” and its objectivity.

News isn't what it used to be.

News isn’t what it used to be.

There’s a reason why many conservatives don’t trust the media, citing its liberal bias. That suspicion of mainstream news isn’t limited entirely to those on the right, either. Continue reading

Small Town Newspapers

I spent an afternoon this week at the Lisbon Historical Society, reading through newspaper accounts about the town. I’m trying to nail down some events from the 1970s and 1980s. Reading back through the clips, I noticed a place that was considerably different than most of what I remembered at the time, when I was coming up.

Back in 2007, the year before writing Moxietown, my initial plan was to write an extensive nonfiction treatment on my hometown of Lisbon Falls. I just found the original outline of the proposed chapters. Some of that book ended up being folded into my first book of history about Moxie, which then led to a second one. There are no plans for a third. Continue reading