Noticeably absent from my coverage at beenawake.con is the war in Ukraine.
In recent appearances I’ve discussed part of my method, that is to say what makes this newsletter better than 90% of content creators, whether they have a show on Fox News or a makeshift studio in their garage.
While humans have the capacity for reason, we are also instinctual & emotional creatures. There are millions of years of evolution behind the way we feel and perceive the world.
Powerful institutions understand this very well. Whether it’s a University recruiting students, a News outlet looking for clicks, or a government waging war; your feelings mean far more than what your “think” about a situation.
There is no “end” there are only new beginnings. While we are finite creatures who have an expiration date - the world will keep spinning after we stop “being.” When the human consciousness is faced with this conflicting information it creates the conditions for an “existential crisis.” Given that we are social creatures, it is natural for us to turn to other humans to make sense of our experience.
Translation? When you hear about a conflict halfway around the world that could literally go nuclear, you turn on the news.
To explain the multiple threads that make up the tapestry of a conflict like what is happening in Ukraine takes longer than the format established by cable news outlets. Their primary mission therefore is not to help you understand the reasons for war, but to herd you towards a particular emotional reaction about the war.
For most of humanity, war is hell. It displaces, destroys, separates, maims, and kills. There is a minority however for whom war is an opportunity to build power and acquire wealth. From the situation room in the White House, to the board rooms of defense contractors, war is a game they can play to win big. If what I’m saying sounds callous, it’s only because the popular media figures choose not to tell you the story correctly.
Let’s return to your emotions. When I started writing this piece, I was celebrating a close friend’s birthday. In addition to my group, there were countless people celebrating all weekend. When I would check my twitter - I would see the fear porn. If all you had to view the world was a twitter timeline, you might think we were always on the brink of collapse. It makes me wonder what good words like genocide and war crimes are if people are going to tweet them out anytime there is a major world conflict?
You have no power when it comes to world events. While the perception crafted by corporate press outlets may lead you to believe otherwise - there really isn’t anything the average person can do to make a difference in resolving the conflict. The question then becomes what one should do in the face of such information.
“If you have the choice between the end of the world and mimosas? You choose mimosas.”
This isn’t to say you don’t keep yourself informed, but it is to say that constantly exposing yourself to the fear porn of major news outlets is not good for your health. Moreover, given that they don’t have an incentive to be accurate or truthful in their reporting, there is a high likelihood you will end up misinformed about the conflict if you obsess over the coverage.
The reason I chose mimosas? Well I was drinking one at the time, but it’s not really about drinking champagne and orange juice at 10am on a Saturday (though I would recommend the indulgence every now and then). Your work, your relationships, and anything you care about will suffer if you’re not careful about when and how you expose yourself to the awfulness in the world.
As someone who has spent the majority of his adult life as a “news junkie” I can attest to this very well. It’s not like the conflict in Ukraine is some new development - in fact it follows a very clear pattern of engagement that has been playing out over the course of my lifetime. To reiterate a point made above, the major press outlets do a poor job of framing this for you because they don’t want you informed - they want you feeling upset.
Let’s pretend for the sake of argument that the world really was going to end tomorrow: if you have no power to stop it, what good is your obsessing over it?
It’s a natural part of our human condition to fear death and fear things like war that bring death. However, this feeling is capitalized upon by those who choose to profit on death and destruction.
Are you really going to let them win?