Date: Feb 9th, 2017
Motion: THB that we have entered the Age of Post Truth
Role: Rep. (opp.)
As a or the representative of the opposition, I’d like to reject the motion of the government. Whereas my colleagues who stand by myself right now, focused more on the aspects of ”post” and ”truth”, I’d like to bring the discussion to a head in offering my own synthesis of the heart of the matter.
”Post-Truth”…. is a word that is in line with the earlier coinages that have the similar post-prefix before them. We’re reminded of such words as ”post-modern”, ”post-punk”, ”post-drama theatre”, ”post-September 11th” and ”post-debate”. Some of these expressions are temporal in nature, while the others evoke some kind of a synthesis or a reformulation of the word that follows the prefix. What is post-truth about?
Post-truth is about the fact that one cannot trust news(sites) anymore. Or that politicians are lying in our faces, without consequences. But you should trust me, when I say that it has happened before. Remember the early days of the internet? Spam began to get through, after the first cordial messages had been sent. These days, I may receive a msg from, say, ”Instagram”, which announces that I will get a ”special prize” for being the millionth ”customer”. When I look at the sender’s address, it may be <email@example.com>. (Instagram won’t allow anyone to mess with their address proper.) When I encounter something like this, I routinely toss it out as trash. Post-truth is not dangerous, if we can practise criticism of sources in that way. We’re being lied to from other quarters than fake media and dubious politicians. So, we’re not helpless in front of this kind of wrongdoing. And the sifting is not that hard, either. Common sense does not require a University degree.
Established media outlets are worried that we can not navigate our way through news and fake news any more. This, however, was in the cards anyway. Namely, it all began with the arrival of social media. Now we may discuss items of news with like-minded people from all over the world. It used to be that we could discuss something at our school or in the workplace with the people who happened by coincidence to be part of that social setting. Traditional media is worried because in the past it had the monopoly on a) facts and b) their interpretation. Now we receive only the facts from the media but we interpret those facts on our own. We don’t need their help anymore, and that’s why they are pissed off. Still, we receive more facts than ever. We notice every deceased entertainment figure. We know of exits, divorces and separations, engagements, crushes and sealed deals. Information is not thin on the ground.
Media representatives have not either stayed where they used to be. As it has been pointed out, media folks now form a kind of Opposition of their own instead of opposition politicians. The press used to be called the ”Fourth Estate”. Now, instead of being that, it has become a or the counterforce to the government. There was a time, when newspapers announced that they were unaffiliated, unbiased or independent of politics. That was when the amount of ambient populism was at its nadir in public. There was no need for Guardianship of any kind. Now, as that has passed, the press feels it is obligated to react to the events (of the world), since members of the print industry would not otherwise have a clear conscience. As if they otherwise gave their blessing to a World Gone Mad. That is why every conservative government in the world has the liberal press on its back instead of the country’s sometimes non-existent opposition forces. The degree varies, but it’s the same whether we are talking about Russia, Turkey, Great Britain, Finland or the United States. We should remember, however, that the world has been described and regarded as mad ever since the mid-Sixties during any decade. If you don’t believe me, try to recall the words to the Barry McGuire song Eve of Destruction. It has the lines
My blood’s so Mad, feels like coagulating / I’m sitting here just contemplatin’. / . . . / This whole crazy World is just too frustratin’.
The song was released as early as 1965…
In consequence, I’d like to consider it proven that the talk about a or the post-truth world has been introduced merely because the press has redefined its relation to both its readers and to itself. We have not entered an Era of Post Truth. We remain topical and truthful.
Arvio: Toimiva puhe, jonka hyviä ominaisuuksia ovat sopiva pituus ja rakenne sekä se, että laulun tullessa kohdalle siihen voi suorastaan puhjeta omista taidoista ja presenssistä riippuen.