Saturday, August 27, 2016

My New Fling with Journalism

"If he studies the news in the papers.
     "While you are preparing the tea,
"If he talks of the damps or the vapors,
      "While moonlight lies soft o'er the sea,
"If he's sleepy while you are capricious,
       "If he hasn't a musical O,
"If he doesn't think Werther delicious,
       "My own Araminta, say no!"

                                               from A Letter of Advice, by Winthrop Mackworth Praed.

I have always despised the press. And by the press, I don't mean Benjamin Franklin or any other small owner of the press. I think what I mean is what they call the mainstream media today -- MSM -- but I was born long ago and far away, and it all started with the news on the radio in Israel.  My grandparents all listened, some of them many times a day. Or they kept the radio on all day long, and it kept repeating the same dry phrases over and over again. There was more than one channel, but the news seemed to be the same, no matter which channel you were on, and it was not just that the events described were the same. The words they used were exactly the same, It was monotonous and boring,

"Why do you keep listening to that? It's so boring."

"Because we want to know what's going on in the world."

There must be a better way to find out what is going on in the world than this! I thought. My parents watched the news on TV when I was little. I had to be very quiet. I did not like it, not because it was the news, but because it used dry language that seemed to imply it was the absolute truth they were telling us, and there was no bias. It wasn't that I suspected they were lying. It's just that I wanted there to be a bias! Without a point of view, dry facts are so boring. I needed them to tell a story. Stories always have a point of view.

An Excerpt from Ping & the Snirkelly People
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That's why when I grew up, and people knew I liked to write, I rejected out of hand the possibility of being a journalist that they suggested. I wanted to be an advocate, not a reporter. I wanted to actually say something that might make a difference. That's what I thought I was doing with my fiction, but I ran into that whole problem of genre.

Unless the reader is actually open to the possibility that a book is not going to just repeat what he already knows and expects to hear, you are never going to get through to them.  It's as if the average reader has been programmed by MSM to know what is good, what is right and what is possible, and so has a completely closed mind to any alternative possibilities. They will read fantasy or romance or adventure, but they won't reconsider anything they have already internalized about good and evil. The unbiased journalism with the unspoken, between-the-lines message about right and wrong might be exactly the thing that makes it so. And only those of us too bored by the indoctrination to actually read, listen to or watch that stuff may be immune to the propaganda.

This year, after the Libertarian National Convention, I threw myself into the Libertarian Press. I am writing for two online publications.


Do I have a  bias there? Definitely. The reason I enjoy writing for the Libertarian Press is that I am allowed to be right up front with my point of view. I don't have to be cagey and try to hide my opinions -- they are as evident as the facts that I share. What I am saying is, if you beieve X, then Y which is happening, is bad (or good), depending on what it is.

Some people have accused me of going after Gary Johnson, but nothing could be further from the truth. When Gary Johnson takes a pro-liberty stance, such as wanting to do away with Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, I am right there, reporting on this and cheering him on! When on the other hand, Gary Johnson wants to make something mandatory -- going against individual choice -- then I point out that this departs from libertarian principles.

The last time I pointed that out, Gary Johnson actually changed his position  and the Libertarian Party Chair, Nicholas Sarwark,  came out with a statement against mandating personal choice. For the first time in a long time, I feel as if my writing is having an effect.

Let's face it. We all have a bias. It's just that some people are hiding theirs and calling their opinions "facts" or "science". What I hope will happen for the future of our Republic is that more and more people will learn to read through the bias to get to the facts and decide for themselves.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A New, Bilingual Version of "In Case There's a Fox"

In Case There's a Fox is a children's book in verse. Nevertheless, I think it should be part of the canon of my more serious works, for reasons that are explained in the link below.

This week, the work was reissued in a new bilingual, full color bleed edition. 

The bilingual version of In Case There's a Fox
Order it on Amazon
A video trailer is available for the Hebrew portion of the book.

This is the second book I have published this year, the first one being  Our Lady of Kaifeng: Courtyard of the Happy Way. 

For a list of all my books, you can check out my Amazon Profile.