This is a new series I'm starting because, thanks to a 21 day lockdown in India, I have some time and I can't stand the stupidity anymore.
The world is staying indoors because we're under attack from an enemy we cannot see and cannot negotiate with. People are increasingly mistrustful of each other, being manipulated and enthralled by peddlers of hate and violence. Instead of looking for truth, we settle for confirmation bias. Instead of seeking harmony, we revel in winning petty arguments. We sacrifice basic human principles like compassion, kindness and forgiveness at the altars of ego, greed and revenge.
We're scared, we're clueless and we're looking anywhere for hope and reassurance. And when everywhere you look there's so much hysteria, doomsaying, misinformation, ignorance and superstition, it can be hard to stay sane. Yet staying sane is perhaps the most critical thing every one of us needs to do - because only sane people can provide the sane response these situations need.
It's a measure of how crazy the world has become that 'Fake News' is, today, a very real threat - a malevolent machine that constantly spews out dangerous lies aimed at the heart of all that is good, innocent and pure. It wasn't always like this. 'Fake News', as pioneered by The Onion and imitated by hundreds of others, including this blog, was once meant to make us see the truth, by holding up a 'funny mirror' to the world. We wrote absurd and ridiculous jokes that, by laying bare all our foolishness, tried to get a few laughs and provoke a few thoughts.
I think it's time to reclaim 'Fake News' so that people who spread rumours, falsehoods and misrepresentations can no longer hide behind the term, and we can go back to calling these what they really are - 'lies'.