The mind of the average Earthling is a bit of a paradox. It is simple in that it cannot readily process information that goes against its preconceived worldview, yet complex enough to construct an entirely alternate reality in order to protect that same preconceived worldview from new and damning information.
This simple complexity leads humanity to one of its most glaring flaws — they have a real propensity to “shoot the messenger” or blame the bearer slightly unfavorable news for bringing it to their attention that their worldview isn’t all that hunky dory and should be rethought, completely changed, or at least tweaked in some mild way.
Often times, the messenger being shot at is a group humans like to call “the media.” No one really knows what exactly humans mean by “the media,” because it is such a vague reference that can be applied to anyone from your local newspaper to a national television news network and can also be applied to mean any blog with a large number of followers on Facebook. To complicate this further, the people who often complain so loudly about “the media” are actually part of “the media” themselves.
Regardless of who “the media” may be on the given day, it is generally accepted that a news organization delivering news will be the target of this shooting of the messenger. For delivering the news of the day, news organizations can expect to be called “fake news,” “elite” and the “enemy of the public.”
However, it isn’t just the press that serves as a messenger to be shot. Say a doctor or medical professional warned years ago of a pandemic that could cost people their lives and livelihoods because hospital beds are scarce. Rather than trusting that professional as a source of information who knows his or her field, a person who shoots the messenger will just assume that they were “in on it.”
“In on it” means they led a massive conspiracy that involved all the members of “the media,” every world government, all business owners, all healthcare workers and, all of the people who claim there is no giant conspiracy.
The reason for this massive conspiracy is never given and any logical thought process that would lead one to the conclusion that legitimate sources should be trusted are thrown out. Messenger shooting is a much simpler sport for much simpler minds and that is the way those simple minds like it.
A common place where one sees this shooting of the messenger is in the comments section of websites, social media and YouTube. The shooter is almost always a lower life form known as a troll. Though many would argue that these aren’t actually life forms at all, but rather bots created for the sole purpose of causing division.
Ironically, people have for ages been warning themselves about this habit, and even prefix bad news with “Don’t shoot the messenger, but…” Despite the fact that humankind knows it shoots messengers, it still happens and may, in fact have gotten worse. It is after all the common person now who can shoot messengers and not just the divine right of Kings as in the olden days.
Shooting the messenger is not limited to big news events or pandemics though, human beings will shoot the messenger even for the most minor of offenses.
Spouses will frequently get into spats over one’s assertion that the other is frequently lazy or forgot to unload the dishwasher and rather than take the criticism to heart, the offending party will go off on a tirade about their partner’s shortcomings.
Even a simple shopping trip can end with shooting the messenger when an entitled woman named Karen decides to berate a store clerk 20 years her junior simply because the clerk dared to inform Karen that her coupon expired two years ago. This tirade usually ends in a manager being called in to inform Karen that while she is stupid, she does outrank the store clerk and the coupon will be honored “just this once” until, of course, it happens the next time.
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