Humanities – National Endowment for the Humanities – Google Books

From A Skeptic’s Guide to Believing the News – by Thomas Griffith

Who wants the truth and nothing but the truth?  A steady diet of truth would sear the stomach lining; falsity is essential to our wellbeing and permeates our lives.

 

Businessmen tell the hard truths about their doings only to the extent required by law.  Governments lie.  Politicians dissemble.  Trial lawyers, when they can’t challenge the facts, plant doubts.  Whole industries live on pretense, by flattering your self-importance in exchange for your money, by rearranging reality.

 

The stewardess’s smile, the salesman’s heartiness, the test kitchen’s unnatural neatness, the headwaiter’s solicitude, the athlete – after the mayhem stops – giving locker-room interviews full of modesty and benevolence, the doctor’s tempered reassurances, the separate stratagems of aging actresses.  The false fronts of buildings, and the false fronts of self: girdles, hair coloring, suntans.

 

There is also the falsity that is kindness; comfort given to buck up others, wounding truths unspoken; feelings concealed, spared or feigned.  The useful falsity of office mateyness, exchanges without genuine feeling; the borrowed sentiments of greeting cards.

 

There is the falsity that is self-indulgence, since most people want no clear-cut verdicts on themselves and devise social strategies to avoid them.  When reality is too unbearable, they drink to avoid it, travel to escape it, fantasize to deny it.

 

Friendship is often a mutually agreed upon assurance, sometimes against the evidence, of the meaning and importance of each other’s lives.  Whole industries exist to provide solace, appearances, illusions.  One must be able to eat the steak without thinking of the abattoir.  Even in small matters people resist reality: they take pictures to remember how something was, but first tidy up the room, and neaten their clothes.

 

They want newspapers to print the truth, but as concerns themselves, only that part of the truth that puts them in a favorable light. Into all this comes the journalist, demanding on behalf of others to know the truth and to disseminate it.

 

Source: Humanities – National Endowment for the Humanities – Google Books

Watch the full “Axios on HBO” interview with President Trump – Axios

This is a lesson in interviewing for journalists everywhere. You thought the interview with Donald Trump by Chris Wallace was something. Watch this. Johnathon Swan, the National Correspondent for Axios News holds Trump accountable but without at any time getting confrontational.

Trump delivers a stream of consciousness that runs the gamut from complaints about mail-in voting, accusing the Portland protesters of being terrorists led by Antifa, news media staging things to make him look bad, complaining about John Lewis not coming to his inauguration, that he did more for blacks than Lyndon Johnson and the passage of the civil rights act, is a better president than Obama, what a great guy Putin is — and of course, the usual… “nobody… nobody…” has done as much as he has.

When Trump makes one of his many outlandish statements, Swan jumps in to correct the record, but he backs off after he’s made his point and when Trump starts getting more and more over-wrought. The one disclaimer about it being a lesson in interviewing techniques is that at several points it gets so ridiculous that Swan starts laughing and clearly he is laughing at him. Ooopppss.

 

Source: Watch the full “Axios on HBO” interview with President Trump – Axios

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.