Fear & Loathing In Our Own Heads

The world is going to hell in a handbasket or so it would seem. Terrorism. Unstable economies. Climate change. Political divisiveness. Racism.  Sexism. Corporate & media manipulation. Take your pick.

Our perception of all of this has a lot to do with the fact that the 24 hours news cycle is pumping this crap out at an overwhelming rate, analyzing it 6 ways from Sunday and then shoving it down our throats all day and all night long.

But that’s not the real problem.

The real problem lies in the fact that many of us have become hopelessly addicted to the news.

And this addiction is one of the most significant ways that our capitalist economy is fed.   Here are a few examples of how it works:

The news makes us paranoid. This worry causes physical ailments, so the drug industry and the medical professions benefit.

The news makes us fearful, so we seek comfort in food, and the junk food industry benefits.

The news makes us long for escape so the entertainment industry and booze industry benefit.

The news makes us feel isolated so we make lots of friends on social media, which is one of the main news-carrying entities. So social media benefits.

The news makes us overly cautious so the security industry benefits.

The news distracts us and makes us gullible, which, in turn, allows us to be more easily manipulated by the advertising industry and politicians.

So a whole lot of industries benefit from the fact that a war of one kind or another, is just around the corner.  Today, fear and paranoia are the main economic drivers in our society. But what’s worse is the paradox that many of us recognize this, but keep feeding our addiction all the same.

Many of us have allowed ourselves to become screwed up in this way and the more screwed up we become the better it is for the economy. So that is screwed up too, and certainly not the way we would want it to be if we had even a modicum of control.  Now not everybody is hopelessly addicted, but I would estimate that the vast majority of us are at least mildly hooked.

The solution to all this starts with us.

Because it’s our addiction. And nobody out there really wants us to kick it. It’s not in their best interest.

But it is in ours. So start dialing back. Watch less news, watch more flowers grow. Spend less time with your friends on social media and more time with your 3-D friends and family. Read fewer propaganda-laden ‘political thrillers’ and more intelligent political commentary.

If you’re gonna binge, binge on carrots and celery. And for goodness sake work harder to filter out the bullshit from everything you hear from a politician or marketer or talking head media type. It’s not hard, cause it’s mostly bullshit anyway.

Learn to listen to your own heart.

Talk to God if you’re so inclined. But understand that most of what’s coming at you is all is engineered to make you pliant and easy to influence. It’s all subliminal, but you can bring it to the surface and blow it out of the water. You have that power.

All you have to do is make up your mind that you don’t want to live like that.

I did this a few months ago, and I am happier than I have ever been. I’m not out of touch but I am extremely selective about where I get my information. It’s not that hard to do. And the difference in your life that reducing the internal chaos imposed by external influences can make will be significant and best of all, positive.


Jim Murray
Jim Murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. Early on in my writing career, I discovered advertising. While the other media have drifted in and out, communications writing and art direction have been the constant through a 20-year career senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource to direct clients, design companies, marketing consultants and boutique agencies. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and opened MurMarketing which is a freelance strategic development/copywriting/art direction service for businesses working to make a positive difference in the world. I currently write long format blogs in 4 different streams, encompassing, entertainment, marketing, and communications, life in general, and the renewable energy and recycling industries. These are currently published on I have, over the years, created more than 1500 blog posts. I live with my wife Heather in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life. I am currently recovering from spinal surgery and learning to walk again.

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