Old media traditions want for the first day of the year the editorial – of any kind of magazine – to be dedicated to hope and optimism with tens of wishes and the usual resolutions about healthy life and more family time for the necessary personal touch. I’ve read tones of those though my time in magazines and newspapers and I even wrote some myself. I actually wrote ones for a magazine specializing in …crosswords.
And here we are, 2018!
In Greece there is an old popular saying. Not a new one and not due to the economic situation; much older. The saying paraphrased – not word by word translated – goes as follows: every last-year …a better year. Which literally means that every today is worst than yesterday. A very pessimistic saying I’m afraid but when you “look” around you, 2016 was much-much better than 2017 and 2015 was definitely better than 2016. And 2018? To be honest? Terrifies me.
I don’t know what the historian of the future will find interesting in the second decade of the 21st century but there is one thing I’m sure it will mark our time: Donald Trump. The fact that Donald DID changed history. For the best or for the worst we don’t know yet, sadly it has become a matter of opinion and not a fact nowadays, BUT he has changed history.
In fact, the fact that we doubt facts is the best proof on how much history has changed nowadays because of him, the founder of this twisted doubt and …despite the irony of the above sentence per se. The fact that this moment there is an organized and well funded group of people all around the world who actually believe that the earth is flat or another that believes that the Earth is …hollow is a sign of the …Trump times.
And fake news is not anymore something that …intentionally misleads in favour of one or another political figure (name Trump), nowadays fake news is part of our lives, part of our information and communication so disoriented that you don’t know where the truth is anymore. Fake news has entered all sides of the ideological spectrum and all sides of our social life making them …the new semantics. A small example on how they have worked from the media world. When a prominent and “serious” newspaper with international audience apologizes to its readership for misinforming them with a lie about on an issue involving the US President, the very same President who has often accused them of misinforming the public about him, then …we are in deep trouble. It is not anymore a serious media house honestly apologizing for an unintentional and stupid mistake, it is the admission of ….fake news.
The reason I write about fake news it is not just the “familiarity” I feel working in the media world it is also because I feel that it is the peak of the iceberg, the projection of what’s happening this minute all around us and the insecurity tomorrow brings. Another example. You read about Trump’s anger over the Iranian government who want to shut freedom of speech and every opposition and you think of the way this very same president expresses his thoughts about anybody who doubts or opposes him and you wonder if his “disgust” is a result of loath or envy! The man has shown all the signs of somebody who – if he had the chance – would have been the American Kim Jong-un. Don Ald-Trump. He hasn’t had the chance but with the way he is and the people who are around him who know if he want create the right situation that will help him become the North American Don Ald-Trump? Actually this something not many wrote about but one way or another we all thought about. Thankfully no major terror attack has happened in USA, or that would give him the chance for a whole new world. And of course this leads to another thought, what if it does happen and it is staged just to create the right situation? You see, this is the new world Donald Trump has pushed all of us in.
And here we are, 2018!
When Ronald Reagan was elected president of the USA most of us thought that the end of the world is here. An anti-Russian, anti-communist, homophobe, racist, war hawk with a brain the size of a bean (that was the joke from the British comic series “spiting image”) was becoming leader of the …free world, lets get ready for raining nuclear bombs. Amazingly what really happened was the …fall of the Berlin Wall. Are we exaggerating Trump’s abilities to destroy life on earth? Then again everybody thought that the things said about Adolph Hitler in 1939, even from Jews that had barely escaped consecration camps were …exaggerations. Actually it was the Americans who didn’t believe them …officially and send them back when they appeared in a boat in New York trying to escape from the monster in Germany. By 1945 we all new that even the exaggerations couldn’t describe the inhuman reality of the Nazism. But …in year 2017 Nazi flags and proud supporters of Hitler and Donald Trump paraded in Charlottesville Va.
And while I’m writing about Donald Trump the Trump effect is not limited in USA without having anything to do with Trump per se but with the semantics of his appearance this minute in history. Brexit was something expected for anybody familiar with the British society and it has nothing to do with Trump or populism, at least not the contemporary populism. Its roots are in Thatcher’s era and her populism. However, eventually Brexit has been connected with nationalism and – even worst – with xenophobia, racism ….fascism misleading even the ones who voted for it. The new situation is UK? If you don’t want to be marked as a racist Nazi, love EU even though you voted for Brexit! Schizophrenia at its peak. And that the same time a Nazi is partnering in a coalition government in Austria, Hungary lives the reality of a …democratic elected dictator with no freedom of speech, no freedom of press, no freedom at all. A Poland in the edge of fascism, Nazis in the Greek parliament and racist supremacists the Finnish government. The Trump effect.
The every yesterday that was better than tomorrow.
And then …came 2018!
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