The Era of Alternative Facts
I imagine you’re whizzing through some hyperloop now while reading this. Or maybe you’re just on your egesta-compactor-bio-convertor.
Whatever the case, today I want to tell you about a golden time in my life.
A time that was scary, yet exciting.
A time when it rained in the Dry season.
A time when a new reality was created, called Alternative Facts.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
Ghana, my country, had just chosen a president who promised 1-District-1-Factory and 1-village-1-dam to replace the president who once referred to himself as a “dead goat” to the protests and criticisms of the people.
The United Kingdom was rather embroiled in the aftermath of the Brexit mess.
Syria was utterly destroyed by the war.
The Gambia had finally gotten a new leader in an interesting democratic election, where the old president who had ruled for 22yrs conceded defeat, then rejected the results, then called for new elections in 3months, then conceded after international pressure, then flew into exile, virtually emptying the country’s coffers.
And the world’s greatest superpower, the United States, was everything but united…
Indeed, nobody had ever seen anything like that in their lifetime.
An entire group of adults in power lying over something as trivial, but as clear as this:
And this was just one of many episodes of the Alternative Facts Era…
And so, those who were aware of how abnormal everything was kept getting alarmed, enraged, overwhelmed… while the POTUS (President of the United States)’ supporters acted like everything was just peachy — I believe the documentary film-maker Adam Curtis explained the phenomenon best through his stellar documentary, HyperNormalisation.
The world was getting so inundated with the most incredible, sensational, senseless (and sometimes fake) news every minute, that some brains jammed and refused to filter through the information anymore. (Like, how do people ever recover from hearing a man running for POTUS boast some years before about how he can “grab [women] by the pussy”??)
The result was a vegetative acceptance of the status quo as normal, even in the shiny face of evidence that said otherwise — a teleportation to the universe of Alternative Facts.
Alternative Facts like how the former president of The Gambia handed over without incident after the winner was declared. 😆
So what happened after all this, you may ask?
Well, we can talk about it another day. But I’ll tell you what could happen in this era…
The people in the universe of Alternative Facts could do a number of things:
-take a deep breath, and a break from highly partisan news outlets
-expand their regular sources of information to include credible, neutral, international media like Al Jazeera, DW, Reuters (and get educated on the rest of the world - they could learn a thing or two, like how Ghana or The Gambia stopped “hypernormalizing” bad governance)…
-take the time to do more research on important issues and reports
-call a lie a lie, and demand accountability — never stop putting pressure on the authorities to do the right thing (like compelling the president to release his tax returns, as all other presidents before him rightly did)…
Me, I’m practicing what I preach — trying not to lose my head in the constant flurry of news and fake news; facts and alternative facts… learning more about the universe in which I exist… reading extensively from a wide variety of sources… owning my voice… being a responsible citizen of the world.
I hope you’re doing the same. Or better.