2014-02-11

The Lines Blur Further

According to a site called News Ledge, the validity of which I cannot vouch for since I've never actually seen it before (but hey, there is a corroborating story at The Washington Times, so what are the odds that everyone is just making stuff up... oh wait...), the State of Illinois plans to spend $150,000 on heavilly discounted advertising at the website of The Onion, that satirical news site.

There is a reason people read The Onion beyond the mere fact that "it's funny." The reason is to basically escape the news. People read The Onion because real-world news is so depressing and preposterous that we need a dose of healthy humor to keep ourselves grounded. It's funny to read something that sounds real, but which is still obviously funny because, well, it's nice to know that there are people out there who find the world as ridiculous as we do ourselves.

But politically motivated advertising at The Onion changes things quite a bit. Now The Onion is no longer an escape from reality, but a brief dose of entertainment while the government hunts you down through your web browser and propagandizes you.

There is something very sad about this. The idea that the only respite you can ever hope to get from the government's "messaging" is to turn off all electronic devices and go off the grid. How sad is it that the only way to make sure the government's propaganda can't get to you is to make sure that no one can get to you at all?

This isn't the kind of life we all want to lead, is it? Don't we want the ability to pursue an apolitical experience at some point during the course of our daily lives?