It’s “Immigrant”, not “Migrant”, You Fools. Why Puppies are Better than the “News”.

Every time I’ve seen a news article about something I have first-hand knowledge of, it is almost impossible to tease out even a thin thread of something resembling reality, buried in the miasma of misunderstanding, misinformation, and fantasy.

It’s not a question of getting a few facts wrong.

Every news article I’ve read about something I have first-hand knowledge of always utterly misses whatever point there might be, and while no facts are exactly right, most are completely fantastic. A few nuggets might have a diffuse and tangential relation to something that actually happened – but you can only perceive that by squinting your eyes hard while holding your breath long enough to kill a sufficient number of brain cells that…

I’m out of breath, sorry.

* * *

It’s not just me who says it.

I’ve got a high-powered international lawyer for a relative, who has first-hand knowledge of a lot more “news” events than I do. 

He says the same thing.

The general overview is inevitably wrong, he tells me.  Most “facts” reported are utterly absurd, he says. A few might be tangentially related to an obscure misunderstanding of a mis-heard observation of something rumoured to have happened – which, inevitably, didn’t happen, at least not that way.

* * *

What makes this especially pernicious for each of us is the hive-like mind of the news media, coupled with its profound amorality (when not immorality). It’s not like just one news report is wrong.

They all are.

Because it’s all the same report, in different words.

The hive-mind.

* * *

No one on earth, as far as I know, ever referred to a refugee or immigrant as a “migrant’ until this summer. I’d never heard that particular malapropism, at least.

“Migrant” has a very specific meaning, as anyone with a decent third-grade education knows, as in “migrant farm worker”. That’s a well known phrase I’ve heard my whole life, mostly coming out of California. A "migrant" as in “migrant farm worker”,  is someone who is transitory, “just passing through”. "Migrant" is an antonym, almost, of "immigrant", which is, of course, someone who, by definition – by definition! – has come to stay.

Migrant has a shiftless quality, a blowing-in-the-wind quality.

Immigrants have an intention. Migrants are just passing through.

"Refugees", to give ourselves a third choice, the word we’re really looking for here, are people fleeing from someplace, because something horrible has happened in the place they’re coming from. ("The place from which they're coming"? Hmmph, Mr Grammarian. Well...)

* * *

Yet suddenly, this summer, I started seeing a countless flurry of news reports about what I presume are real refugees. Yet by the end of the summer virtually every one I see refers to these people, who are probably refugees and surely immigrants, as “migrants”, the one of our three choices they clearly are not.

The news guys  just pick it up off each other. It’s a hive-mind.

That’s why it’s safe to Ignore it. The "news". All of it. 

That’s why you should ignore it. If they can’t even get their words right, why would you dream of accepting their “facts”, much less their analysis?

* * *

Where is the truth?

I’d say, look around you. Go outside, and feel warm air on your face. Take a walk in the woods. Go surfing. Climb a mountain. Play some Bach on the piano.

The only time most of the “news” affects you is when making investment decisions, travel plans, or voting. I’m sure I missed a few. But, y’know?

It is bad for your soul, spirit, and mind to allow these mostly uneducated, mostly cultureless, and always small-minded losers, to constantly infect your mind with their fantastic, clueless narratives.

If you analyse the news, you'll see a large part of it is stock characters, stock plots, just like any third-rate B-movie studio in the 1930s. They simply put different victims, culled from obscurity, into their stock character cavalcade, and repeat the same eleven plots, over and over again.

The rest of the time it's just mis-reporting.

* * *

Look at your puppy playing. That’s more real than everything the “news” has to tell you. It really is.

I think it is certainly possible to get a clue about the world, as well as issues tangentially referred to in the “news”, in long form, carefully drafted analyses, which must come after the so-called “facts” have happened. These are never written by so-called “reporters”. Ever. Most of the facts in these will be wrong, too, but the overall sense might be closer to the truth.

(The BBC has a radio show in which  reporters tell their own stories of their own experiences. I tend to believe that, mostly. But “objective” reporting is a fantasy, anyway, so all the rest of it would be for the birds even if the “facts” in it were right, which they never are. Ever. Trust me on that one.)

So, if you learn today about something that happened, today, you learned nothing but a hive-mind misperception of a rumor. Listen to a book in your car, instead. (Like mine :D

Or just dream. Your dreams are more real than their malapropisms, misunderstandings, and just plain foolishness...

Austin Washington is the author of The Education of George Washington, among other feats of mental and quasi-spiritual prestidigitation