The truth is out there.

We may find that in the current day, we circle a maelstrom, aboard our little computer rafts as the swell of the ‘mainstream’ media vortex swirls and grows as it infinitely consumes and distributes of information . It’s an odd fact that despite our ‘woke’ minds; our conspiracy laden tin hat wearing brains, we still believe in the mainstream media enough for it to manipulate the truth and thus our perceptions of the truth.

Even stranger, we live in a post-truth world.

Who would have thought? After 9/11, there was a surge of memorable, believable and outright crude conspiracy theories. Most notably ‘LOOSE CHANGE’ and ‘ZEITGEIST’.  Regardless of whether you or I think it was an inside job or not, we can thank the internet and the mainstream media’s considerably long and eventful history of deceptions, foul play and out right lying for catalysing a means for greater awareness.

Now everything is viewed under the powerful magnascope that is the World Wide Web. Any reported, captured or hypothesised eventuality can come under the critical scrutiny of anyone with a computer. And so everyone conspired, to unravel the conspiracies. And once all the truths had been examined and processed, a wash of strange stances and conclusions appear from truths bound not in logic, and reason. But Alternative facts, truths, clad in emotion and feeling. The post-truth reaction; is perhaps the most divisive of all sources for those who seek truth in conspiracy.

Conspiracies are very addictive and powerful. Not only do they dissect and surgically, construct a mathematical formula eventually leading to their equations conclusion using logic and ‘facts’ shall we say. But they also appeal to emotion.

If you completely disagree to a conspiracy you’re most likely in a frustrated, angry, ‘how could anyone believe this?’ mentality.

If you agree then you’re also likely to be in a frustrated, angry, ’how could anyone do this?’ mentality.

There are of course varying degrees for either response. But if you are like me, you find yourself taking every minutiae of information, with fists full of salt; even those that provide you with that gooey feeling of superiority when confirmation bias reassures you that you are indeed right.

Yes, ‘confirmation bias’.

A term I learned recently from Scott Adams, creator of the syndicated comic strip Dilbert who also happens to be a professional speaker, trained hypnotist amongst other brilliantly stacked traits. ‘Confirmation bias’ is the compulsion or tendency to search out and recall information that supports, defends and backs up our pre-existing beliefs.

Which news channel do you tune in to, which do you watch the most? And which channel do you not tune in to?  When you hear a breaking story on your go to channel, head to the one you hate the most. What you’ll see is a stark difference in reporting of the truth and the flow of the debate.

One says everything you think you already know and it confirms your bias.

“Well of course Obama didn’t found ISIS, he’s been bombing them and leading the war against them, that wouldn’t make any sense. It’s just radical propagandist people who spout such beliefs”.

For another person it can go differently.

“Of course Obama founded ISIS, he’s a Kenyan born Muslim who is seeking to destroy America from the inside. It’s just radical brainwashed idiots who can’t see the truth”.

For myself and others, it’s more a complicated inconclusive mess like this.

“Well Obama is fighting them and is acting against them as they are considered a threat, on the other hand there are his questionable drone strikes and aggressive military action that he and his predecessor, George Bush, conducted and successfully continued to screw the Middle East into dust. The problem is we’ll probably never know the truth and by the time we do, it won’t matter”.

The above statements are just examples so try not to take it personally if any of these sound like you or whatever; try to remember not to engage emotion as much as possible when digesting information, it get completely in the way of rational thought, a key to making up your own mind.

So you’ll watch those channels that contribute positively to your confirmation bias and pursue the narrative they provide as your own.  Well it’s time to stop as clearly, supposedly, there are no truths left to be found in the world.

And that is not meant as in, there is no truth. It’s that the truth is next to impossible to find and even if it were found, and shown to every single person on this planet, there would still be the naysayers and deniers, who will actively seek a counter argument, usually based off of something they’ve already seen or heard.

It’s an odd condition of the present era. With so much information available, so many sources and such touchy matters being at the forefront of social and political discourse; it’s no wonder everyone feels so tense, or they are too afraid to just speak their mind honestly. Since 9/11 there has been an undeniable build in social awareness; political deviance and the monstrous evolution of how information is used, abused and convulsed through its dissemination has created a society that even questions the truth.

We have all bore witness to the truth, we have all seen how much it can hurt, but it’s also a means to progress and lift ourselves upward.

Honesty, as things stand, is now such a highly sought trait, that men like Trump (love him or hate him) have been able to go so far off script and speak from the heart in order to achieve the highest available seat in the Western world. And now after his off the cuff and raw campaign, he can create and mould his own truths.

Alternative-facts, the perfect supplement for the post truth world.

He isn’t the first or last man to do it, but it’s evidence enough that things are going a little further sideways then they should be no?

There may be a solution to this all. To stop the infighting amongst us mere civilians and stop those at the top of the social food chain from taking advantage.

Those at the top would be:

  • Hollywood, the most self-righteous, pat-self-on-back community of all.
  • The 24 hour news networks, the lazy, lying, bias ridden streams of fear.
  • The politicians, who, whilst in it for themselves, have to ruin societies before they can achieve their goals.
  • And the internet / social media.  The loudest, most obnoxious and arrogant source of them all, where the conversation is taken too seriously, too lightly and never ends.

There are enemies to truth, whether they have reported the truth or not. They are all responsible for lying and twisting some truth somewhere to provoke your emotions. That emotional response is the ultimate fuel for their fire. All they need to do is enrage enough people in to protest, in to saying something crazy online and breed a new scandal or story, regurgitating narratives and talking points in order to keep that cycle of doom and gloom revolving.

See if for yourselves, look at this all through the cynical lenses of scrutiny and disbelief, rely on your logic not your emotions to look for the truth.

It’s not your fault that the honest voice has been buried so deep beneath hateful and emotional agendas. If you find yourself unable to make any sense of it, and the truth is nowhere to be found, unless it is your job or worth it, then leave it alone. You’ll only anger yourself and perhaps even distort the truth yourself just to make sense of this ridiculous world.

 

 

 

SLUMPED – New Year resolution(s)

1: Spend 90% less time on Facebook (including facebook chat)

We all know that Facebook is time consuming, annoying, upsetting, misery laden and full of cunts we don’t like for whatever reason. Nothing really super productive ever goes down on this website other than self-publicity, over-reactions, memes and organising birthdays.
Whilst we will still maintain a presence on Facebook, myself and Alex both agree that going facebook neutral, at least for a while, is good. It’s very good actually. I deleted mine for two weeks and it was pretty bloody relieving. A weight off my mind.
I returned to promote SLUMPED and now I’m back stuck in the fucking thing. So, through power of will, I will attempt to have a Facebook profile whilst simultaneously pretending I don’t.

That blue cancer can fuck off.

2: Put out more content – Laziness is bliss, but so is working on this

Yes we know, this post shouldn’t even be considered as content. It is a filler; it’s lazy and it has only come to me as I sit on my sofa, polishing off a tube of Pringles. Since our Launch at the end of October, we had a received a warm reception and even in our posting absence, we still do. What happened was classic SLUMPED. We fucked it all off for the winter goodness and set aside our love for the craft (of talking shit) to indulge in the craft of Christmas time (Eating, drinking, watching TV).

So, after a month of barely anything – we promise, to ourselves that there will be regular content, more attention paid to the site and to your privates.
‘It’s early days’ you know? There are plenty of other sayings to justify this laziness, but this one will have to do for now. Until it’s later days – By then there’ll far more shame weighing in on top of another guilt-ridden post.

3: Get better at Podcasting – It’s not hard; it’s just not easy.

Podcasting requires a little more organisation than you think. Regularly meeting, recording and putting out the Podcast may seem easy. But for two guys (remember two-guys?) on completely separate and inconsistent schedules, it’s not been the easiest thing. We also ran out of SoundCloud minutes so a bit of funding is due. But we are considering moving to Podbean; but again, we will see.

New Layout – Same Slumped

So with the lack of content and giving a fuck.
I did some tinkering with the website and its layout using one of the many free themes and then customising it to whatever degree I could manage to do so.

So as you can see, everything changed pretty much. I think it is a more sexy but the colours demand revisiting. It also doesn’t list the blog posts on the main portion of the page as I would like them to, perhaps a grid section would be good.
If anyone knows how to do this please, let me know. either @slumpedmag @thispleb or slumpeddie@gmail.com

All help is appreciated!

The next goal would obviously be to make this a far more palatable for
the vast majority of you who will probably be reading this on your smart devices.
I think an App is the solution in all honesty, but that could be a little while away as something like that would be multi-purpose, something functional for those bigger ideas.

Well, you know, it’s all dreams and plans.
Content coming soon, no Podcast this week by the looks of things too.

We’re terrible, we know.

Lots of love,

Eddie of SLUMPED : @thispleb

TV Party: Part Two

On Monday, Alex took you into the world of a TV Party. Here’s how it all ended.

3. South Park Episode 20 Season 7 – ‘Oh Jeez’

I could see out the corner of my eye, just as we were about to begin watching the most recent South Park episode, the lip movements of a guest in what appeared to be the beginnings of a whispered form of defiance. I had been clear from the start – this was a TV party. The object of the evening was simply to watch TV, laugh together in front of the screen and drink some beer. Why then, with all this in mind, was Channel motioning towards the Xbox and, it seemed, encouraging Receiver to suggest we play some GTA?

Betrayal is not something I take to kindly. Who did Channel think that he was? The new emperor of TV Party? Had he misread my instructions? Had he forgotten? Was he intentionally trying to set me off? Regardless of what it was, I felt I had to make a point. TV Party was sacred, a brand new tradition that would transcend us all. Our children, in their old age, would still be gather together on a Friday night in memory of their parents to watch TV, smoke cigarettes and drink beer. It had to be established that this night was to be respected.

Once I had finished navigating my way towards kisscartoon, and set the show up, I turned to Channel, pulled from pocket a loose AAA battery and proceeded to drive it up his nose, the way a builder might slip a wall-plug into a recently drilled hole. Channel fell to the ground, writhing, shaking, squirming. I don’t remember what I was shouting, with my face by his head, but the rest of the guests sat rooted in their chairs, staring at this messy scene as it unfolded before their eyes.

I pushed Channel into the corner of the room, and left him there to think about what he had done, before turning back to the television and hitting play.

The new season of South Park has been an absolute joy to watch. The switch from stand-alone episodes to larger narrative arcs has been impeccable, and each twenty minute excerpt stands well on its own, so that even those watching for the first time can follow along with its jokes without feeling like they’ve missed out.

They have missed out, I mean, if you haven’t seen the first six then Randy’s ten second memberberry puking fit probably didn’t make much sense. But then, what am I to do? The TV Party schedule has no time to consider continutity – it is there only to guide the attendees and is created by the leader of TV Party for the benefit of his subjects.

I was a bit disappointed that my fellow guests stayed silent through most of the episode, even when that guy came over the Fort Collins wall screaming about how his wife was ‘so pissed’, before eventually being shot and falling to the ground. I had to ask Channel to quit gasping for air so noticeably from his position beneath the window, and I beat him with a copy of the Private Eye after he finally managed to dislodge the battery, sending slithering tendrils of reddened snot all over the carpet. At this point, he passed out, and if I can speak honestly, I was far happier knowing he wouldn’t be talking over the next few hours.

4. YouTube Intermission – Play Your Favourite YouTube Videos

YouTube Intermission wasn’t my suggestion. It came at the suggestion of Cathode, who felt that the night needed a change of tone, owing to the heaviness of the programming up until that point.

5. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

For Cathode and myself, this was what we had been waiting for. It was 23:30. I was about to open my final can of lager, a 1664 Kronenbourg. About a month prior, we had gathered together, along with the absent dish, to watch A New Hope. It had been everything I hoped it would be, having not seen a single Star Wars movie up until that point. I was fairly well versed in the culture. It’s impossible to get to the age of 24 and know nothing of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Their importance as cultural figures mean that you are never too far from a Star Wars reference in any popular form of entertainment. Episode IV was a visual masterpiece from start to finish and I had been waiting, patiently, for an opportunity to continue my progress through the series with Cathode.

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Episode V could play on repeat, for eternity, and still blow minds and entertain. Each moment captivates and enchants, whether it be Luke’s desire to conquer the Force, or Han’s witty one-liners in his attempts to woo the Princess. Iconic scenes do not grow old. They still fill us with the same excitement they did the first time, or at least that’s what they say. Despite my lack of prior experience, I knew the ‘twist’ was coming. Did I feel cheated? Not at all. Instead, I tried to put myself in the mindset of the original viewer, the young American off to see it on the day of release. What would they have thought after the great reveal? Would they have shouted aloud, in mock anger? Would they have wept, like Skywalker? I cannot know the answers to these questions, but I can ponder.

The rest of the TV Party attendees sat watching with what I can only describe as faux-interest. I did not let them clock my realisations. I could not force anyone to like anything. All I could do was set a program, and ensure that it was stuck to, for the benefit of the evening itself. As the final five minutes approached, I saw that all, save for Cathode, were asleep. As the credits rolled, I realised, with great sorrow, that TV Party was over. We had completed what we had come together to do. To watch TV is to watch one’s own dreams reflected back at you. Why you would need to talk over this, I may never know. I feel somewhat guilty for depriving Channel of any future ability to breath easily through his nose, yet at the same time, I feel my actions were justified. TV Party is not a joke. TV Party is a way of life.

Any resemblance to real life is intentional because most of this nonsense actually happened.