Tuesday, March 18, 2014

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

     Do we want the truth? Do we really want to know what's happening? Do we want The Bachelor " reality TV" or the FOX News "reality TV"? The brutal truth of the world we inhabit can be raw, disturbing, and painful. Only through the scope of a camera lens or a video news story are we able to remotely comprehend the overwhelming injustice inflicted upon a gay Russian teenager, a Mexican sex slave or an innocent Syrian refugee, otherwise hopelessly forgotten. Can you imagine living every single day of your life in fear?  Unveiling the truth means no longer averting your eyes, denying facts or feeling superior to other cultures, religions or countries. True understanding and compassion comes only when you meet another human being on the same level. Behind our masks we are equals. If we're unable to start there we're prevented from aligning with true empathy. But it all starts with knowing a story. What story needs to be told?

        VICE,  and VICE Media is the brainchild of chief executive and correspondent, Shane Smith. Smith is an Emmy nominated, Canadian-American journalist who is poised for global media domination. The VICE News video clip shown above is a tame preview compared to the healthy dose of  Holy Shit the World Sucks full length journalism segments you will see on HBO. Previous seasons episodes of VICE News have been uploaded to YouTube channel for free.
      After you've been exposed to a controversial topic or watched VICE News for more than a few hours you will either choose to further investigate a subject or you'll want your mommy to hold you tight and tell you everything will be okay. More likely you'll want to temporarily search and view kinder, gentler viral videos of strangers kissing or adorable puppies and kittens licking each others whiskers, because for a moment you may want to remind yourself that beauty still exists.
      Daily, we balance ourselves on a high wire between darkness and light. Without balance, despair can hang over our heads like a broken umbrella leaving us shivering and soaked to the bone. So I commend VICE News for punching me in the face with reality, I just prefer my gut jabs to be more Vanguardian (Vanguard, the international news series created on the now defunct Current TV) with award winning, extraordinarily intelligent and thoughtful journalists, Laura Ling, Kaj Larsen, Adam Yamaguchi, Marianna van Zeller and Christof Putzel. International journalists and North American correspondents deliver first hand accounts of intense events we usually feel we have little or no power to control. Even with a perception of considerable distance, globally we are more connected than ever before.  No matter the preference or source we discern from those who investigate, report and film the news putting their own lives in extreme danger to keep us informed. We have a choice. We can turn our eyes away or we can place the focus on our own education and understanding.     

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” 
― Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29