Because I initially forgot to include links to this week’s News over at the Blogger site, I’m going to go ahead and do the links right now before I forget anything. Tuesday was all about aliens, either in games (yes, another XCOM: Chimera Squad plug) or visitors from another planet. I went off on a rant about the gun situation in this country Thursday, and why the binary choice that we’re given is, as much as anything, the reason we can make no headway with it. And Saturday? Well, that was just me trying to reach word count. Rough day. Anyhow.
An exchange I had on Twitter today got to thinking that maybe I should explain something, if I already haven’t. I am a cynic. In both the philosophical sense and the everyday connotation, it’s the path I generally take, though I like to think I lean more towards the former than the latter. In a nutshell, I trust everyone to be what they are, no more no less. I have certain prejudices – inherited wealth, for example – but I try to make sure it doesn’t cloud my thinking too much.
That being said, I feel a lot of folks from all walks have pissed away the benefit of the doubt, for me anyway, and if I’m supposed to give them a cookie just for existing, I’d be hard pressed. Now, do I consider this the way to be, the life philosophy that conquers all? Nope, not in the slightest, and if anyone does tell you they have that, cover your wallet and run. This is just what works for me, gets me through the day and let’s me sleep at night. I try to give everyone a fair shake and so long as you’re not asking for money or that I believe the impossible, I’ll pretty much believe everything you say until shown otherwise.
I do think a little healthy cynicism about what the world – politicians, media, society, anyone basically that tries to tell you how to think – tells us is a very good thing. We live in a world of illusion and even people with the purest of motives will give you a line of bullshit they nevertheless sincerely believe. Beyond that, there’s enough people trying to put the shuck on you that a robust skeptical outlook keeps the bills paid. Like W.C. Fields said, “You can’t cheat an honest man.”
That being said, we also live in a chaotic, tumultuous universe that is under no restrictions to make any sense whatsoever. Every hard-and-fast rule of human behavior, be it Marxism or Hobbsian, is flawed by the very solid fact that no two humans are guaranteed to react to the same phenomenon the same way. Induction is limited and generally it’s only after the fact can we make any assumptions as to why.
Okay, well, supper finished up and I’ve completely lost my train of thought. Here’s an interesting opinion piece by Bobby Harrison in Mississippi Today about why Tate Reeves doesn’t have much swing with legislative Republicans in Jackson. Also, here’s a link to an editorial by the publisher of the North Mississippi Daily Journal basically saying they’re cutting down to a five-day-a-week paper, not publishing on Mondays or Saturdays. Earlier in the year, their finances got so bad they had to stop home delivery and with the economic strain caused by COVID-19, well, let’s just say it’s not promising.
This is not a good thing at all. For one there aren’t a whole lot of voices that care anything about Mississippi north of Starkville. The people that own the Journal own most of the weeklies in the area, such as the one I cut my teeth on. Full disclosure, then; I worked for The Itawamba County Times for almost five years as a young lad and did occasional freelancing for the Journal. It’s not the best newspaper I’ve ever seen, but it does it’s job and provides all the things a good paper provides to a mostly rural area, from straight news and high school sports to farm reports and classified ads.
The paper’s website, The Digital Journal will still provide news for those two days the print doesn’t hit the street, and apparently some 20,000 people are subscribed to it. All well and good, but this is North Mississippi. Not all of us are wired in or can afford to be. Even if we are, the internet is very much spotty outside of the few towns of any size. Tombigbee Power And Electric is supposed to be wiring us all up with fiber-optic digital broadband via an agreement with Conexon, a major supplier of online and cable products geared towards rural areas. That was scheduled to be started by the end of the year before COVID-19 hocked a loogie into everyone’s bowl of cereal, so who knows now.
The television networks are a mess and radio news is basically non-existent. There’s a talk radio station but it’s basically a dumping ground for D-List wingnut radio ding dongs when it’s not talking primarily about sports. Newspapers are the lifeblood of rural areas, especially here in North Mississippi. We might get the occasional look from Jackson’s Clarion Ledger or Memphis’ Commercial Appeal, but for the most part no one cares about us. Sad and sorry fact is, most of the news that affects the state happens in Central and Southern Mississippi, from Jackson down. With our main source of information dying, it’s not going to get any better any time soon.
On that cherry note, I do believe that’s enough. I don’t know how much right now but I will have some Actual Paying Work next week. While I’m here, I am available for any freelancing, content creation or editing you might need done, and will be cheaper than anyone else you find.
Take it easy.