KNOWLEDGE is power, but only if someone else believes what you’re saying.
The trouble today is that any deluded person can access the internet and find a wealth of information that validates their belief.
You may believe that the world is flat and made of gorgonzola cheese. Do a Google search and you’re guaranteed to find a society devoted to that belief.
Working in a newspaper you meet a lot of unusual people. I say the word ‘unusual’ with a wry smile on my face. In days gone past they would have been called ‘nutters’, ‘crazies’, ‘lunatics’, and so on and so forth. But as we now live in a politically correct world we don’t use these terms. Nutters, crazies and lunatics are part of the mainstream and should not be regarded as anything but normal.
So anyway, we get a lot of ‘unusual’ people at the Star, people who get stuck on an issue and can’t move on. Like those ghosts in Poltergeist (the old Stephen Spielberg film with the creepy little blonde girl) who can’t leave this world, and refuses to move into the light.
They sacrifice their lives for a cause that is as fruitless as dodging potholes on the South Gippsland Highway. They’re up against it from the start, because they have generally upset politicians, police officers and council CEO’s in droves. No one wants to speak to them.
Trouble is, sometimes they actually do have something to say. Sometimes the knowledge they want to impart is genuine knowledge, free of that most potent of anti-truth poison – political spin. But they may as well be speaking into a bucket for all the feedback they get.
Rallied against them are the forces of government and officialdom. But the words and opinions of those with money and power are valid because they’re well scripted. They’re easy to swallow, even if they leave a bitter aftertaste.
‘Unusual’ people rant and rave, while politicians give well researched responses (even if they sometimes avoid certain facts).
They’re beyond reproach because they wear suits and hold positions of power. They don’t speak into buckets. They speak on the nightly news.
An ‘unusual’ person could devote his life to uncovering a scandal. But would anyone believe him? Perhaps not. No one except a desperate reporter from a regional newspaper who’s having a slow news week. So have no fear ‘unusual’ people, we’re waiting for you, ready to believe.
You say the world’s flat and made of gorgonzola cheese? OK, I believe. Have no fear. Walk toward the light. We need you.