2 min read
THE WAY FORWARD
Ads were a necessary evil that powered important work.
That’s been the relationship to date, as we understand it, between fiction and non.
For a while, we thought ads were an elaborate, if necessary, bait-and-switch. They kept the lights on in the background so truth-warriors and reporters could do their important work — keeping the stakeholders of a democracy informed.
That’s one way of seeing it. Today, we’re learning more problems with that explanation.
For example: can two diametrically opposed philosophies coexist?
Reporters regularly uncover truths in direct conflict with advertisers’ interests and advertisers regularly convince reporters to take business-friendly angles.
It’s kind of like spying on the neighbor, only to learn they’re spying on you.
This brings us back to the fight-or-flight response. And let’s not forget the third option we penciled in: dance. That means we turn the problem into the solution.
What’s that mean? To put it another way, that means instead of hiding behind the curtain to create the Wizard of Oz we think it’d be infinitely more interesting to tell the real story: what kind of madman would attempt such a thing?
If you let it be, the real truth is a lot richer, more important and more fascinating than the Disney-fied version.
The solution? Admit it’s performance art. More often than not, your reader needs to hear the opposition's best argument in order to begin trusting yours, so don't do yourself the disservice of making it hard to find.
Like we talked about earlier: problems can be their own solutions.
Words aren't special (neither are you, by the way) and language alone isn't capable of the divine. Words are a randomly evolved series of grunt-noises made in a specific order to reference physical things in the actual world.
Not a single word ever written was more meaningful than the thing to which it referred. So, pay attention to who's speaking and instead of scouring the world for The Global Truth, average all the truths together and you might just find yours.
Add each perspective, toss the outliers, divide by the sample size, and voila! Now you know which way the wind is blowing before entering a pissing contest.
Think of the truth as contributing to an average rather than portraying an absolute.
Time to hand the microphone to the person who’s actually talking.
Time to stop hiring middlemen to mix oil and water and instead, bottle yours straight from the source. Sure, people will still drink oily water if they're thirsty enough. But one taste of pure springwater corrects that behavior in a heartbeat.
Because at the end of the day, only one question really matters: what’s the catch?
Could be you.