Tag Archives: society

Is this Love?

So here I am–in high school 1998. North Surrey.  Wow, I feel like chanting “Let’s Go Spartans!”

As I approached graduation I was at a loss as what I should do with my life.  I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted.

I went to school.  That is what I did.  I was a student.  That’s what I was.  I had classmates that I called friends.  I had a car and people liked that.  McDonald’s wasn’t across the street back then.

And it was all coming to an end…

Now I had to choose the rest of my life.  What would I do.  Who would I be?  Wait… If I’m not going to be a student in a bit, then I am not really a student now…then who am I?…

Oh shit.

To many, we are our jobs.  If you’re a doctor, you’re no longer a Mr. or Ms. or Mrs.–you’re Dr. Somebody.  Well I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t like school other than it was entertaining.  I didn’t do homework very often–or classwork.  I did very well on tests and usually managed to stay on the Honor Roll without much effort so university was technically an option–eventually.  But for what?  I was lost.  The last thing I needed to do was dart off at full speed in a random direction like Forrest fucking Gump.

I didn’t have a single friend at graduation.  I didn’t go to grad with anybody.  I didn’t meet up with my friends and take a limo.  Graduation solidified groups.  I was an outsider.  I was never really part of any group–ever.  I drifted.  I wasn’t cool.  I wasn’t ‘alternative” or grunge, or in the school band.  I didn’t dress any way.  It was pre-emo.

I ended up getting a job at a sawmill.  No they don’t make saws.  They cut wood.  It made good money–almost $40,000 in my first year.  I bought a black Mustang.  I had money in the bank.  RRSPs.  Great credit.  I wasn’t a loser.  I found a private college that taught custom audio and video and went to school for $200 an hour.

Since I was a child I have used music as an escape.  I remember sitting on the floor with a set of huge headphones on blasting Michael Jackson.  Before long, boredom and curiosity led me to take apart my speakers and modify them.  Now I could get paid to do it.

I sort of invented a new way to chop light wood faster–way faster–like adding one more guy to a three man crew.  It was tough but we cut lots and made lots of CHA CHING!.  I got injured from overwork–tendonitis.  Instead of compo they put me on modified duties.

The barcode gun weighed ten pounds and holding it up in the air with the same uninjured hand all day, every day, meant now I had tendonitis in my wrist too.  So I was fired.  It was illegal but I didn’t fight it cause I had just graduated from my college and was ready to take on the world.

The world was more than up for the challenge.

I couldn’t find a job for months.  The best I could find was $10 an hour using my own vehicle going from Langley to Vancouver.  And the company I worked for as going to bill me out at $110 an hour.  No thanks.

So I went into sales, instead.  My second month I was top in the store.  One day a woman and her daughter came in to buy a TV.  I sold them the warranty.  At the till, she caught that I didn’t tell her all the fine print about the warranty.  I gave her a bigger discount.  I was never a good “salesman” after that.  I started telling people all the details.  I started serving them instead of trying to empty their wallet or bury them in debt.  My numbers began to suck.

Just then I found a job doing custom work for $32,000 a year starting salary.  Diploma, started on my career, upgrading at BCIT, nice car–not bad for a 21 year old.  I was ecstatic–for two weeks, when I found out…

My boss was an idiot.  A monotone slow-talker.  He began as a subcontractor and then was hired as a jack-of-all-trades type to takeover the integration side of the business full time.  Now he had a whole team of real sales people behind him and he was way over his head within weeks with no management or organizational skills.  I’m a perfectionist–he’s the opposite.  We butted heads.  He had huge gaps in his knowledge.  I had gaps in mine.  We couldn’t work it out because he refused to believe he had gaps and refused to help fill mine.

The department did horrible.  He hired his friend to work with me but it was clear from early on that he was above me.  As an ex-alarm installer, he knew more about cutting holes and running wires.  I knew more about audio, video, sales, programming–the difficult stuff–cause I went to school for it, so of course I did all the brainless work, while the new guy got training to do things I already knew how to do, but wasn’t allowed to do.

Then another guy was hired above me, but at least he was brilliant–a true professional from Bombardier.  It didn’t last long, though.  When our parent company, that claimed to be 10 times bigger than any competitor, was found to be cooking the books and the stock dropped from $75.00 to $0.01, of course it was he who was laid off–not the idiot or his friend.

I quit and went back to my last job but with a promotion.  Now 21, I was a sales/assistant Manager at an electronics retailers new Vancouver Store, with a staff of 11.  Now I could teach others, increase professionalism and I wouldn’t have to hose anybody.

Between the time I took the job, an started the job, the advertising budget was slashed in favor of other markets (Alberta).  Sales are ad driven.  It hurt.  The 11 page Boxing Day flyer shrunk to one page.  My boss argued it back up to four.

My boss quit.  The new guy brought in his own new guys.  I was demoted.  I quit.

I applied at a high end retailer that also did service and custom work.  They didn’t have a job for me in custom, but they liked me so much they gave me a great salary and put me in another department until a position in custom opened up just to keep me away from the competition.  I felt great.  Even though I had bad luck, I felt valued.

After six months or so, business tanked.  Ever since I entered the workforce the industry was in decline.  Guys in white vans were slashing rates and quality standards, the internet or a big box stores would always sell it cheaper.  Twenty five people were laid off.  Since I wasn’t even in the right department I was one of them.

wtf?  Why does this keep happening to me?…

I went to another high end retailer where I could sell and essentially start my own integration/custom department.  It was a shaky start, business for them was down as well.  But I made a few real big sales in a short period–including one to a large international construction company : ) over that premier company that offered me $10 an hour a few years ago : D  I was on CBC radio as an industry expert on a show about how product quality is getting shittier and shittier in the rush to make everything cheaper.  I made it.  There was a tough patch but I fucking made it.   For a few weeks…

The installer I had–a subcontractor–was awful.  Incompetent and insubordinate.  Beyond tardy.  I sold a system to a few local actors that were a couple.  The installer missed the install day twice.  Just never showed up.  He was also trying to take my customers from me.

I wasn’t allowed to fire him or use anyone else.  I found a better guy that went to the same college as me but he wasn’t hired.  My boss blamed me for the jobs not going well.  He thought that if the installer could put in a few speaker for him, then he should be able to handle an integrated $40,000 public use theatre system and three others like it simultaneously.  It was too much work for a competent team, let alone that useless jackass.  I was told to do the installs myself–for free.

I think I fucked up here.  I should have quit and started my own business with my buddy I tried to have hired.  I didn’t have the money though and I would need to shell out a bunch of cash for tools, a van, advertising, product, etc.  I didn’t have the money because I couldn’t get anything to work for long enough to save and had a fiance that didn’t like working but loved spending money.

I went to work at the company my Dad worked for instead, selling document solutions.  I was hired over people with 2 year marketing certificates.  He told me I would get the support there that I wasn’t getting at my current job…

I got engaged.  I was 24 now and we had lived together for three years.  We had been waiting and would continue to wait to get married… because of money.

On my forth day at my new job, my Manager was fired.  He wasn’t replaced.

I barely knew how to work a fax machine and now I had to learn everything about networks, industrial duplicators, and a bunch of shit I never learned enough about to tell you what it did–on my own.  Without any product training I sold almost nothing.  After almost three months I went to the President and asked for a manager to train me.   He fired me for “wasting (his) time”.

I’d had it.  Fucking had it.  Sick of working shit jobs for shit people, with only a few exceptions.

This just didn’t make sense to me.  What more did I need to do?  Why is this happening to me?  Why am I not allowed to succeed?  Why?  What purpose does this serve?  WTF?

I was depressed I guess, I don’t remember much.  I started smoking more pot.  I went on disability for depression.  I went on every medication in the world.  Some how the pills didn’t change my life or my outlook on it.

There is no purpose.  None at all.  Its just chaos.

There can’t be any purpose because if there was, then I would need to come up with a reason for the bullshit I went through–from birth.  Maybe this is hell?  Purgatory?  Maybe I am meant to do something other than sell stereos?

I started writing.  It was therapeutic.  It gave me something to do.

After a while, I began to feel better.  But I was still totally fucked.  I hadn’t worked in years now and that’s like putting a swastika on your resume.  People told me to lie.  I don’t want to live in a world where I have to lie.

My relationship ended.  We didn’t have enough money to get married.  Though she only made $10 an hour, she saw it as I didn’t have enough money.

I needed a miracle.  One came eventually.  I got my Teamster membership doing security.  I worked my ass off.  I carved out a niche.  I paid off debt.  I got a nice place.  I bought new clothes.  I had a nice vehicle.  This was just a few months ago.  I was finally able to date seriously.  I could show I had the basics and could provide well.  I had a future.  I could afford a wife.  I wasn’t a loser.  Still totally emotionally messed up–but not poor.  It took years to get there.  It lasted for two months…

Then I got a letter in the mail telling me I can’t work because of a bullshit discriminatory interpretation of a old ruling told me I didn’t get in the union soon enough, and now I have to wait and be one of the last hired.  Read: huge pay cut.  The goal I’ve been working on for a decade–a normal life–gone… again.

I am no different than before the letter, but once it was written I became a loser.   But how can that be if I didn’t change?  What did change?

People’s perception of me changes with my economic status.  I should have made $60,000 this year.  I’ll make $30,000 now and I don’t have the resume to expect more.  My net worth is zero.  Fun things cost money.  We all want to have a good time.

“When at first you don’t succeed, Try and try again!”

How many times?

“Get back on the horse!”

Do all horses breathe fire?

“YOU CAN DO IT!!”

Fuck off

“I just want to meet a nice (rich) guy”

… I know…

I should have gone to university, but I didn’t want the debt.  I guess I’ll go now.  I am at least five years from getting back to the point I can date seriously again.  Five years.  Its like a prison sentence.  But what did I do wrong?

It would be easier to struggle if I wasn’t struggling alone.  I feel like a marathon runner that has been running for 30 years, that’s getting laughed at by people in their cars for being too slow.

I’d like to see how well you’d run in my shoes.

I’m sick of being judged by people.  I’m sorry for not being born rich.  I’m sorry my parents couldn’t give me the tools to thrive in this world.  I’m sorry school costs so much.  I’m sorry there are no deer to hunt, Honey, but don’t take it out on me.  Stand by me.  Hunt with me.  Show me you are willing to sacrifice for our children.  If you’re just going to sit there on your knees with your mouth open…

Every retard in the country has an entire team of government support workers.  People in comas have teams of people looking after them and they haven’t had brain activity in years.  Who supports me?  I don’t need to be carried for life–I just need a start…or a teammate.

Almost everyone believes in love.  No one believes in loving.

“Suck it up princess!”

Yeah thanks.  So I get that this is all a game without rules.  Fuck everybody. I realize it’s about what you take.  I get it.  Lie, cheat, steal, murder, die with more toys.  You made your point. Me or them, right?  Me or you?  Is that what you want?

“Get busy livin’ or get busy dying” (The Shawshank Redemption)

Okay that’s a good one.  But there’s more…

We all write our own stories with our choices.  I want to live a love story.  That’s my ambition, that’s my goal.  So how do I get from here to there? as a poor guy in Surrey without much of a social network?

When I look back at all the dates I have gone on they fall into two categories: Polite conversations between friends that go nowhere, and drunken naked gong shows that go nowhere.

I don’t like to touch people.  Well at the start at least.  I need to get drunk–like really drunk.  I can’t do it otherwise.  Experience requires me to have poor judgement for a bit.  It’s the only way I can connect.  Dating is about forming a bond–even if it is temporary.  I avoid bonds.  I need to get slammed.  And I hate drinking… And people that drink…

I wasn’t really looking forward to dating a bunch of drunk bar bitches… but I should be more sympathetic since this society has fucked them over too.  I guess it’s my turn, right?  That’s who you want me to be?

Do I sound pathetic?  Well that’s strange cause everyone I know goes through times where they feel just as lost as I do.  Where everything sucks. I know you have doubts about life and G_d and him and her.  I know you cry sometimes.  Usually its just a phase and it isn’t all that bad, and I can remind you of that when you come to me for help.  You’re allowed an occasional freak out.  I’m not?  Who are you to call me weak?

But were supposed to fake it.  Pretend we’re happy and confident and loyal and honest… Why?  So that we can go on being part of the social order.  An order of corruption and chaos, pain and suffering, waste and death.  So we can get ours.

The last few months I have been fighting the idea.  I’ve been mourning.  I was in denial.  I thought love was real.  I was angry.  I thought I deserved love.  I’m finally accepting it.  Love is a warm fuzzy feeling–a temporary high.  I’m going to struggle financially for years to come.  I’ll have a shitty job.  I’ll drive a shitty car.   I’ll be judged for it.  I’ll be dismissed.  I’ll be exploited.  I’ll be alone.  Pardon me if I’m not enthusiastic about it.

But then there’s this video…

What made that dog risk its life?  It pulled the other dog inch by inch while under mortal threat because every inch was an inch closer to life.

Is this ignorance? Did the dog just fail to see the danger?

Is it insanity?  A cognitive malfunction caused by a stress or trauma?

Is this weakness?

Is this love?

The video also makes me sad.  You see, I’m the dog that got hit.  I’ve been on that freeway for 30 years and I love dogs because I know no human would risk anything to save me.  Is that dog pathetic?  Both of them?  Would you rather be in a relationship with the people who sit and watch as the poor dog gets hit over and over again?  Why?

A handful have come to the side of the road and asked me what I could do for them if they saved me.  Everyone wishes me well.  They tell me they would help me but they “have to” go on an exotic vacation.  Some say they’ll help me tomorrow…  Some say they’ll help me once I’m at the curb.  When I get to the curb the push me back out into traffic.

The good thing about sitting here in the middle of the freeway is that I’m finally safe from the people on the curb that told me to cross the freeway.

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Why?

One out of the “W5”: Who, What, Where, When, Why; it is the last that first avoided me.  Since I was young, I have asked “Why? Why?Why?Why?” and never would an answer make sense.  It would at the start, but it would always come down to…
…because that’s the way it is…
Why? Fuck! You see?

Usually “the way” is a someone’s way. Our society is built on power structures that were built by neurotic people that have a need to control others for their own amusement or gain.  Our society fails because it was never designed to succeed–it is designed to cater to emotional needs of those in power.  The first to gain power were those most ready to use violence.  Not much has changed since prehistory.

I once heard at a business conference that to get to the root of any business problem you should ask “why?” five times.

Example:

“Why are we losing money?”
“Because we keep losing big clients.”

“Why are we losing clients?”
“Because they get frustrated by our shipping.”

“Why are we not shipping correctly?”
“Because the staff are drunk by lunch.”

“Why are they getting drunk at work?”
Because their pay is so low that they feel life is hopeless and and shitty is easier to ignore when intoxicated.”

“Why do I pay so little?”
“…”

I still ask “Why?” When it comes to people, you can ask “Why?” five thousand times and still be left wondering.  My last post was from Tony and if you had read it, you would have found the parts that speak of the inevitable end of civilization as we know it and even the theory that civilization itself is unsustainable.

The civilization we have today will indeed not continue, just as the civilization of the 1980’s no longer exists.  Change happens.  We adapt.

Many focus on altering society and our laws–to adapt society to people.  This left-wing idea can only be moderately successful and is entirely dependent on the values of the individuals in that society.

Another approach is to adapt individuals, and their values, to alter society.  This is the conservative approach and the one I favor as being the guiding force for civilization, family, peace, and even love.

Think of the abortion debate, which is a debate of polarized ideologies–an apple telling an orange it isn’t red enough.  One group tries to alter people’s values–to respect life more, while the other argues that the nature of people necessitates the need for legal abortions.

I have always found in my search for “Why?” that I prefer order.  My argument has been been, since childhood, that we can choose differently–we can choose peace, acceptance, love.  When I was at Harold Bishop Elementary School in Surrey at 7 years old, I won a contest where we had to design a recycling poster.  Mine read, “The choice is yours.”

There is no limitation whatsoever that can overcome human will.  A group of righteous people can absolutely create a near utopian society.  Any arguments against can be overcome with, “Righteous people will not make those choices.”

Can civilization be saved?  Can we be saved?  Why save either?  Let’s build something better.

Tony Isn’t Stupid

Here is a great post from Tonyisnt about philosophy, society, and life.  Enjoy!

http://tonyisnt.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/more-quotes-personal-philosophy-and-civilization/

(Please reserve comments for Tony’s blog)

Why Am I Still Single?

Here is a great post by dating editor Kristine Gasbarre for YourTango.com

I think it is right on the money

http://ca.dating.personals.yahoo.com/singles/datingtips/88451/dating-101-why-am-i-still-single/


Everything’s Amazing, Nobody’s Happy

What’s Wrong With Politics? Part 6: A “True” Solution

Many of our values and assumptions about our shared world are false. They are based of a web of delusion supported by deception.

We have no sense of our undeniable and inescapable responsibilities. We falsely believe that we are separate from each other and all living beings. We are not adversaries to the degree that our actions and attitudes indicate.

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War states: “Warfare is the Toa of deception”–the way of deception. It appears that the master of warfare knows that the truth will set us free.

Every crime, every social or environmental injustice, every war, and every failure of society, has lack of truth at its core. No policy, plan or procedure, idea, ideology or individual will fix our world as long as dishonesty and delusion continue to dominate our discussions and values.

Government is here to give that which we require but cannot achieve by voluntary participation. The greatest gift that we could give ourselves and our children is a world of truth. This will separate those who work for us from those work for clandestine interests.

It is time that the criminal code be amended to require all political entities to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in official, non-official, public and private communications on any issue directly related to policy, politics, or government business. We have always demanded that–but rarely received it.

Those bound by this law would include Members of Parliament, provincial legislative assemblies, city councils, candidates for political office, party officials, think-tanks, lobbyists–and the media–which has a stranglehold on our political system. In short, every citizen, if speaking on a political issue, would be required to be honest, bound by laws similar to those for perjury in a court of law.

The most sacred oath is the one we all take before G_d, each other, and all living things. I pledge to work on the side of truth.
Part 1: The Insanity of Our Society
Part 2: Egoism and Egotism
Part 3: The Erosion of Democracy
Part 4 :The Devil is a Partisan
Part 5: Mass (Media) Ignorance
Part 6: A “True” Solution

What’s Wrong With Politics? Part 5: Mass (Media) Ignorance

At no time in history has so much knowledge been so accessible to the people. The internet is a prime example with access the wikipedia, blogs and the Gutenberg Library which allows the user to download 27,000 classic public domain books–for free.

Ignorance is the source of contradictions and our society has plenty of both. We can harness the power of the sun in a thermal-nuclear bomb but many still believe we cannot possibly be effecting the climate of the earth. With all our knowledge, we think happiness is measured by our wealth, food comes from stores, and meat from packages. We think our G_d is not their G_d. I wonder if many people think at all.

The systems we have set up to inform, guide and teach have been corrupted by the zeitgeist–the spirit of the dime. Money is our means and end. Material wealth is what is now worshiped. It is the sum of our knowledge.

Our education system no longer teaches us to understand our place in the world. It teaches us how to make money. Our media does not inform us of what we need to know. Media informs us of what we “need”. Our parents are too busy making money to buy us the material life they never had–nor needed.

I find it curious that the news is on at the very time when most family’s are reunited after their workday. Instead of communicating with each other, they sit and numb their minds with tales of vicious sex crimes on the other side of the world, and somehow we feel disconnected from one another. And the void only grows larger during the commercial break.

If media portrays itself as truthful, then they have a duty to do more than sell advertising while entertaining us. With so much of our culture in their hands, we must ensure that those hands are clean and free from undue influence of groups with a vested interest in our ignorance. The egoism of corporations cannot be allowed to become the dominant value system of our culture and generation.

The media has the mentality of an abuser and we have the mentality of the abused. We know that mass media is not accurate, truthful or beneficial. We know that politicians are liars. We know corporations will steal, murder and rape our earth yet we continue to turn back to them for what we think need. It is time to break the cycle of dependence to willful ignorance for our mental health. It is time to take back our world. On Monday, I’ll tell you how.

Part 1: The Insanity of Our Society
Part 2: Egoism and Egotism
Part 3: The Erosion of Democracy
Part 4: The Devil is a Partisan
Part 5: Mass (Media) Ignorance
Part 6: A “True” Solution

What is Wrong With Politics? Part 3: The Erosion of Democracy

Democracy is more than voting. It a system of values, synonymous with social equality and justice. We vote knowing that our vote counts as much as the votes of any others. Injustice cannot survive in a true democracy.

Democracies are measured by the balance of freedom and responsibility. In the ideal democracy, the freedom of any individual never exceeds the responsibility of that individual, for if it did, another’s freedom may suffer.

Democracy is not popularity. In 1930’s Germany, and all around the world, hatred of Jews was popular. That does not make it democratic or justified.

Democracy is not when a majority dominates over a minority. That is the mentality of a mob. Just as we want others to uphold our rights when we are weak, we must uphold the rights of all when we are strong. There are no factions in the ideal democracy–only peaceful disagreements on the best course of action for all.

“Popularity” and “majority” must be considered beyond the confines of time. Political trends come and go, and we should remember that we will be judged by future generations that will have the values of our youth, who will live with the consequences of the decisions we make today.

The bill of our failures must be paid, and it is our duty, as people that have been blessed with relative privilege and comfort, to ensure that we do not leave the next generation with a debt they cannot possibly afford to bear.

If we error on the side of caution, and do more than what is necessary to protect the democratic, social, and living systems that sustain us, our grandchildren will thank us. If we and do less than what our children required of us, our grandchildren may not survive to curse our greed, apathy, and indecision.

The last great human rights struggle has just begun to secure the rights of generations to come. Runaway global warming is the single greatest threat to human civilization–even more so than nuclear weapons–since we launched the destructive force of greenhouse gases long ago. If we do not take immediate action to prevent the further erosion of the democratic values that protect us from popular short-term self-interest, civilization, as we define it, may not survive to see the 22nd century.

We are the keepers of our democracy. We are the mothers and fathers of the world our children will inherit. Let us not raise a society of orphans.

Part 1: The Insanity of Our Society
Part 2: Egoism and Egotism
Part 3: The Erosion of Democracy
Part 4: The Devil is a Partisan
Part 5: Mass (Media) Ignorance
Part 6: A “True” Solution

What’s Wrong With Politics? Part 1: The Insanity of Our Society

One definition for insanity, attributed to several people, including Albert Einstein is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This certainly applies to how our society continues to empower politicians that make the same promises to fix the same problems, decade after decade.

The corporate definition of mental illness is a non-physical condition that a company can still get paid to treat with a patented chemical with a 2000% profit margin.

Wikipedia describes mental illness as “a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture.” So if everyone is doing it, then nothing is wrong… hmmm…

We can also evaluate the symptoms used to diagnose chronic mental health conditions, and compare them to the reality, and direction, of our society:

Sense of entitlement: Our culture believes if we can extract it, capture it, or kill it–then we have a divine right to own it.

Delusions of grandeur: We think that we are proper stewards of the earth, when we in fact treat our environment as an obstacle to the success of our species.

Disregard for the rights of others: Prohibition, racism, sexism, discrimination, and war continue unabated.

Reduced ability to feel empathy for other people: The poorest country in the world, Burma, after decades under a brutal dictatorship, suffers through mass executions in response to a revolution led by Buddhist Monks and is hit by cyclone Nargis within a six month period. The government sells the international aid in the cities and leaves people in remote areas to starve or die of disease. One million die. The world is too busy to notice or help.

Deceitfulness for personal profit: The systematic, organized denial of climate change will be regarded as the worst crime in history.

Fantasies involving unlimited success or power: We naively believe that our population growth, predatory economic growth, energy usage, resource extraction, environmental contamination, species extinction and climate destruction can continue forever.

Failure to consider consequences of behaviors: We may cause the living systems we depend on for food, air, water and life to collapse to a point where only a very limited human population could be supported on the planet. The worst case scenario is that we turn the planets surface into a Venus like environment incapable of supporting any complex life-forms.

Catatonia: Our society may be a few generations from eliminating its own existence, yet our behavior seems to indicate that no major changes to our cultural and political systems are necessary. There is no greater indication of the insanity of our society than how we continue on a path to destruction, led by the most powerful amongst the terminally mentally ill.

With the symptoms of the insanity of our society established, we now examine in greater detail the problems that have paralyzed our political system during the greatest crisis in history, in Part 2 of What’s Wrong With Politics? Egoism and Egotism.

Part 1: The Insanity of Our Society
Part 2: Egoism and Egotism
Part 3: The Erosion of Democracy
Part 4: The Devil is a Partisan
Part 5: Mass (Media) Ignorance
Part 6: A “True” Solution