Who Cares? Headline Debates are Wasting Your Time
By Joe Jarvis - September 27, 2017

NFL players are kneeling, standing, sitting maybe, and probably laying down at times. Perhaps they are protesting police killings, or maybe they hate America, and some of them are very patriotic and do or do not support Donald Trump. I don’t know. Who cares?

How many headlines has this stupid manufactured controversy taken up? How many arguments and fights have ensued? Do people even know what they are arguing over?

North Korea is shooting missiles, and Trump is calling Kim Jung Un Rocket Man. Okay, this one seems a little more relevant to my life. I don’t want to be blown up. But is there anything I can do to stop Kim Jung Un or Trump from doing what they are doing? Is my worry going to solve anything?

Those are the big ones in the news right now, but there is still the usual cocktail of crime, death, and fear. And don’t get me wrong, it is great to stay up to date with what is going on. Knowing what crazy actions the Federal Reserve is going to take can help you protect your finances. Being aware of government abuses can help you steer clear of becoming a victim. Understanding what laws and regulations coming down the pipe can allow you to make a decision about how to structure your life to avoid the brunt of it.

But the big headlines, the “news” that is shoved down our throats doesn’t actually have to do with real life. It is all distraction. The news is just full of memes meant to elicit an emotional response and corral our behavior into one of a few pre-determined pens.

If you want the best dissection of cultural memes, watch South Park. Last season, in one episode the NFL announcers told fans and players to stand for the national anthem–or sit, or kneel–in order to show their support. Problem solved.

This season has shown the President taunting North Korea with tweets. Parodying distracted driving, the show urges, “if you are suddenly elected president, please put down your phone.”

Over the course of 20 years, almost 300 episodes of the crude politically incorrect cartoon have torn apart the mainstream popular culture. Almost invariably when I am discussing some popular issue, a scene from South Park comes to mind.

The creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, are particularly adept at calling out when people are being preoccupied with things that don’t really matter at all.

In an old episode where medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado, Randy Marsh purposely gives himself cancer in order to get a permit to smoke weed. “Can we just skip all this and legalize it?” he asks towards the end of the episode.

In another, the people of South Park are powerless to resist a WalMart that has come to town. They conclude that WalMart must possess some otherworldly power of manipulation. The only solution is to burn it down–rather than simply stop shopping there.

The point is, most of the things happening in politics and the media are basically theater. It is a soap opera or a reality tv show. What isn’t outright fake is highly stylized and organized into a performance. It is meant to distract, to keep you preoccupied. Instead of identifying and solving real problems in your own life, you are supposed to become overwhelmed, hopeless, scared, and take no meaningful action.

Powerlessness becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They say there is nothing poor people can do to move up in the world. People get so discouraged that they don’t even try. They spend countless hours spouting off about injustices when they could have been learning and creating.

The media tells you are powerless to affect your own life, and you need to argue, campaign, and protest in order to live the life you want to live. But it is all a waste of time that you could be spending actually improving your own life.

Is North Korea really a threat? Probably. Is it something that we need to think about every day? Probably not. Is it something any one of us has control over? No.

We are much more likely to be murdered by a local thug than bombed by a third world dictator. You can move to a new neighborhood, or buy some personal protection. Real problem solved, fake problem ignored.

How likely is it that an Electro Magnetic Pulse from a nuke exploded in the atmosphere takes out all electronics? I honestly have no idea how likely that scenario is, but I know I can’t stop it.

I do, however, have a pretty good idea of the risk of natural disasters taking out the electric grid. That real scenario has affected many people recently. So what can I do?

I can make sure I have extra water, an alternative means of obtaining it, or a gravity fed filtration and rain collection system. I can make sure I have a generator and plenty of gasoline, or solar panels, or a windmill, or plenty of equipment that doesn’t need electricity.

Oh and look at that, by responding to a real threat, I mitigated some of the problems the maybe-threat could have posed.

Is some football player kneeling ruining the moral fabric of America? What exactly is the moral fabric of America? Do I actually have anything in common with these 320 million other people anyway? Am I forced to watch football?

Look at that, I guess it doesn’t really affect me, and I can’t really affect it. But you can dissociate from people who drag you back into the mainstream debates. You have that power.

So we can sit here and dissect memes, and get angry about them. But another solution is to turn off the news and stop paying attention to that drama. Go do something that makes you happy. Do something productive. Learn skills that give you options. Spend time researching investments, or better places to live.

These people–the NFL, Donald Trump, Kim Jun Il–are not truly in our lives. They enter our lives through the television and computer screen. It is that easy to cut them out.

I don’t want to waste my time trying to control something that is out of my hands.

Time is the most precious of human resources, and morbidly limited. The media is robbing you, they are stealing your time. But unlike the actions of football players and Presidents, you can control your own time. Spend it wisely.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

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  • I live in a little place where I go up around 7.00 a.m. every morning and stroll down to the kiosk to buy my daily newspaper. It takes five minutes. There I have a choice of many different news papers but I only buy one. I can also buy a coffee. Nearby is a bakery, where I can buy fresh bread, and a grocery where you can buy plenty things. The weather is mostly dry. It is quite nice. Then I go home, read the newspaper about Tower Trump and his opponent Rocket Kim Man and have a second coffee. Then I go and play tennis and after that I go swimming, etc, etc. No stress by me! Trump and Kim are just playing their game – http://heiwaco.com/bomb.htm

    • Alan777

      Be very glad you don’t live in N Korea.

      • I know plenty people that lived 40 years in East Germany and longer in the USSR. N Korea is similar so do not exaggerate.

  • A summary of your excellent article was written about 1934 as a prayer and is quoted by Ayn Rand at the beginning of her 1973 article, The Metaphysical Versus The Man-Made .

    “Grant me 
    the Serenity to accept things I cannot change,
    the Courage to change things I can, and
    the Wisdom to know the difference.”

    • Joe Jarvis

      That is a perfect summary, thanks!

  • autonomous

    “Time is the most precious of human resources, and morbidly limited. The
    media is robbing you, they are stealing your time. But unlike the
    actions of football players and Presidents, you can control your own
    time. Spend it wisely.”
    Good advice! No more Daily Bell.

    • Joe Jarvis

      We’ll miss you

  • Samarami

    Been “TV Free” for, best as I can recollect, nearly 50 years. Long before I subscribed to “libertarianism” (I no longer need quotation marks when I introduce myself as a libertarian) I came to see TV as gigantic exercise in social engineering.

    “Is North Korea really a threat?”

    No! “North Korea” doesn’t exist. People exist.

    To say, “The U.S. has threatened to destroy North Korea” is part of the ongoing manipulation of gillions of brains (“propaganda”) — to get you and me thinking of brainless abstractions (“North Korea”, “The US of America”) as though they were living, breathing entities. That’s how psychopaths who hide behind those fraudulent illusions escape from blame for their murderous taking of their “citizens” into endless wars from beginning of history.
    To make the horrendous crimes more virulent, those criminals end up with their pictures emblazoned upon the almost equal crime(s) of “fiat currencies” — different topic for another thread.

    The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam

    • TomTomko

      Very good response. I too have pulled the plug about ten years ago. Since then I feel like my soul has been released from the grip of Satan. People who continue to drug themselves with hour upon hour of sports and other trivia are slowly becoming enslaved to the devil and his legions. Most people of course will disagree with us, but the fact is that they have become enslaved and brainwashed with so-called fake news and other detritus.

    • Praetor

      Agree, Sam. ‘The enormity of the truth is incredible,’ agree again. But, the lies are so heinous and insidious, a good number of the population live the lies. Truth is rejected.!!!

    • Joe Jarvis

      Great point, I will be sure to take that into account in the future. Speaking for groups is a form of misdirection.

  • marlene.langert

    Of course we can make a difference and we already are. Millions of football fans will no longer watch or attend any NFL game. If you think that is nothing and will have no effect, you better think again. MY son, a middle aged man who has been a football fan for most of his life is typical of those who are really giving up something they enjoy. I am hearing the same from people all over the place. This time you ar wrong, Mr. Jarvis.

    • Praetor

      It’s called Internet Reformation. If not for the ability of the everyday person having excess to information on the Net and the ability to read how others think and feel about almost everything, the delusion would continue. The red pill is more and more being chosen. The Globalists got arrogant.!!!

    • Joe Jarvis

      I’m sorry, I didn’t make myself clear on that. By all means, turn off the game and stop watching the NFL, I think that is a great option. And it can absolutely make a difference when everyone turns it off. My only point is that all you can control is turning off your own TV. But engaging in the endless debate about who is right or wrong still seems like a waste of time to me. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Bischoff

    I think that the real purpose of the “take a knee” at NFL games is missed. These millionaire players are used for political purposes only. The commissioner of the NFL is particularly in the hands of the ruling elite which through their media puppets has controlled the minds and sentiments of the American people.
    Here comes Donald Trump and tells the American people that they have been duped for the last several decades by these elites. The reaction of the elites is to get their media lap dogs to cause controversy in American life in order to have them choose sides. You are either with this “crazy”, “out of control” lunatic, Donald Trump or you are a “racist”, “neo-Nazi” dangerous individual.
    Let’s see how successful the elite’s ploy is…….but you better know what “taking a knee” is all about. Are you with us the “elite”, or are you with that “crazy loon”, Donald Trump…….that is the question in this whole controversy.

  • Alan777

    The media and our government for several decades is promoting a kind of racist cultural marxism. We don’t live in a society where everyone is equal under the law. Our government has institutionalized this, so, I believe these are important issues that need to be resolved lest we end up in another civil war.

  • turn out the lights

    The only issue is that the US is splintered amongst racial lines, wealth and opportunity lines with the political system fighting for control of the mechanism of change of US society.

    The melting pot is over. People, – whether citizens or not, are looking to re-segregate, to become wards of the state, driven by numerical numbers of voters who only see the US through their own particular view. E Pluribus Unum has been destroyed since the mid 1960’s by forces that people cannot see, non understand.

    As a country we are one major human catastrophy away from the destruction of the Republic.

  • nathenism

    is the US a threat? absolutely…is north korea a threat? almost certainly not…there is no reason to think north korea will launch a preemptive attack…no more reason to believe this lie than there was to believe all the other lies told to start wars