Reality Bites by James A. Norton


To dream the impossible dream.


It’s been a relatively short time-frame since President Trump took office – since then, the mainstream news cycle has shrunk from a 24 hour period to 5-6 hours at most. The reason for this is that every single mainstream news/media headline now, several times a day, has to distract you from remembering that they typically provide skewed, slanted and sometimes completely fabricated information for your displeasure in the first place. Fads come and go, but the idea/notion that the very NEXT thing you read or hear about is absolute truth and you should let your 200 friends on Facebook know immediately is starting to get old.


So are the lies each side in the ongoing clash of the ideologies has brought about. Lies, fake news and alternative information are all nice, politically correct ways of putting nothing but bullshit out there for all to weigh in on. Like we are all political experts, financial wizards and titans of industry. Come on.


What kills me is the ease in which some people take a story, or a small shred of information, and without any kind of verification, start to disseminate said information to the masses through social media. A good recent example of this was the flicker of fake news that raced across Facebook on Sunday night and then retreated almost as quickly as it materialized – the completely fabricated story of “Former President George HW Bush’s death” – which took a grand total of 15 seconds to verify as being false through Google. But you know, some people reposted it right away – God bless them for sharing this information to those who hadn’t heard.


In this age were there are very personal lines drawn in the sand on a daily basis on hot topics like immigration, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what is made up. Take being a Sanctuary City for example – those of us who have been involved heavily in the community for the last 35-40 years remember the whole turmoil involved with whether it was a good idea, whether it was legal, what would happen, so on and so on. The Board of Aldermen pushed it through, Mayor Brune signed it – and those that weren’t supportive of it sat back and waited for the other shoe to drop. It never did. Turns out that it didn’t have quite the negative impact on the community that some people expected. Flash forward 30 years and while it seems to be a hot topic right now in Somerville, that’s only because it’s being made to be a big issue. We really don’t need to wave a flag and say “hey look at us – we protect people” because there’s no reason to paint a big bullseye on our municipal backs, figuratively speaking.


But we do, for whatever reason. We need to shout it out from the rooftops. We need to have big rallies were thousands of citizens/residents show up (ignoring the fact that there were hundreds and hundreds of people being bused/brought into the city to “act” like concerned actual residents) to lend support for something so essential/vital to the community that we all need to collectively toss common sense in the trash. Makes no sense whatsoever, but then again, so does not even knowing for sure if we are a Sanctuary City. Some people will pass this off as improbable – it’s not like people haven’t talked about it before over the years – the last deflection which I can remember was the old news article in Bill’s column this week that referenced then Alderman Buonomo saying that Somerville had become a “Safe City” – can someone even explain what the Hell does that even mean, anyways? Don’t we all want a safe city?


I think that in the rush to be the standard bearers for a narrowly defined sense of decency and what is supposedly right for all races and economic backgrounds (sounds a bit Globalist to me, but that’s another topic for another day), we lose sight of reality. People who laughed and said that Trump would never be elected President, are the same geniuses who think he’s going to be impeached any day now, because he isn’t their President. Listen, if you’re a citizen or a legal resident of this country, then he’s your President – you need to move on. If you think that’s going to change anytime in the next four years, you are warped, so accepting it is a lot better than residing in the Land of Delusion. Oh snap, I have seen that place before, and I just dated myself. I’m not sorry if you don’t get the joke or the reference, because I assure you that right people get it. And they chuckled.


So whether you live in a bubble of nonsense, or actually have a rational bone or two in your body, know this – not everything is as it seems, not everything is going to collapse tomorrow and not everything you read/hear in the latest news cycle is the absolute truth. Ask questions, don’t jump to conclusions, stop making assumptions, and most of all – take a minute or two to verify information before you sign on to be a self-proclaimed preacher for ridiculously false information on social media.


It really is that simple. Now go forth, take my advice and be better for it. Or don’t – I really don’t care – however, might I suggest that we find out for suresies whether Somerville is actually a Sanctuary City before the next rally for absolutely no reason whatsoever. That’d be great, thanks. #GMK #GTBTP



One thought on “Reality Bites by James A. Norton”

  1. “ignoring the fact that there were hundreds and hundreds of people being bused/brought into the city to “act” like concerned actual residents”

    What “facts” are you referring to here? And by “bussed” I can only assume you mean the MBTA. It also seems as though you miss the point of such gatherings: support and solidarity and community (building). Something your “critiques” tend to consistently be resentful of. I’m sure you sit back and enjoy click-baiting all the hipsters but that doesn’t give high ground. Nope. Seems it puts you right in that steaming pile of media readily available for comment in the world. How proud you must be.

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