|English | Español||June 28, 2016 | Issue #40|
Hey Man! There’s Only One Way to Learn the Truth. You Gotta Keep Trying
A Letter from Oaxaca, Mexico
By George Salzman
March 30, 2006
Hey man! There’s only one way to learn the truth.
Keep an open mind (but as Betrand Russell said, not so open that your brains fall out), search for honest people who are well-informed, listen to (and/or read) what they think, and try to evaluate it critically. No one “knows it all”, but some people know an awful lot. Just do your best to understand, and keep at it. None of us is born stupid, but we’re all born ignorant. It’s an uphill struggle from then on — the struggle to become a fully human human being that starts at birth.
There’s a host of my “truth-teller heroes,” as I call them — Joe Bageant, Robert Fisk, Amy Goodman, Mark Bruzonsky, James Herod, William Blum, Judy Norsigian, Alberto Giordano, Howard Zinn, Walter Davis, Rigoberta Menchu, Bill Templer, Harold Pinter, John Pilger, Alan Nairn, Uri Avnery, Noam Chomsky, Hannah Arendt, George Wald, Subcomandante Marcos, Peter Kropotkin, Kurt Weill, Albert Einstein, John Perkins, Upton Sinclair, Anuradha Roy, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Immanuel Wallerstein, Ignacio Chapela — an incomplete list of course and in no particular order, just pulled together rummaging through my website and memory for a few minutes.
It’s so damn hard to know the truth because we’re inundated with the unending streams of lies that governments put out (if you know an exception, tell me) and the near-total control of media by corporate interests, which unendingly toot the ideology of big money and publish all the governments’ lies. That’s why truly authentic media are essential.
Now, when you find a “truth-teller hero” who fires up your blood and adrenaline with hope and enthusiasm, and does the same for many many people, there’s an unmatchable combination of qualities. Authentic journalist and guitarist Alberto M. Giordano is such a person. The Narco News website, which he founded and which first hit the internet newsstand on April 18, 2000, is everything a grassroots authentic news source ought to be. Of course I’m jealous of him. While I laboriously struggle to complete yet another ponderous essay, trying to size up what made Hitler and the Third Reich tick, there’s Al with his acquired gang of young (and some not so young) fired-up investigative reporters and joyous musicians shining the light of truth in the darkest corners of the U.S.-led so-called “drug war.” They’re covering the Zapatista’s “Other Campaign” and, over-extended, also reporting from many other parts of América Latina. A truly promethian effort for a not-very-large group of authentic journalists, dedicatedly not-for-sale. The truth never is.
So today, when I got the e-mail from Al saying they need bucks, I thought “Oh shit! Not again. I already sent in my $1,000 pledge for this year.” But, instead of hitting the delete key, I read on, and was inspired to send another kilobuck to help keep them on the road. What the hell. What can I do with the money after I die? Check out Al’s message, and then do what you can for the world your great-grandchildren will inherit, if there still is a biosphere then that humans can live in.
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