Writing prompt: A houseplant with no reason to live. 

 

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War and media: The two great harbingers of hypocrisy. 

CdcudRJW4AAb20VThroughout life we as humans have a tendency to handle situations we encounter differently, depending on who’s involved. But this should never be the case.

One such example is when we go to war with Country X because they are engaged in atrocities and war crimes, while the same atrocities and war crimes are being committed in Country Y, yet there’s no international intervention. But it’s easy to see why: in Country X there is something to gain (e.g. natural resources), while Country Y has nothing to offer. So, humanitarian intervention is frequently just an excuse to justify invasion and plundering. If we really cared about people, then we’d see an equal application of intervention. But we do not.

Another example of how situations are handled differently depending on who’s involved is when it comes to something as benign as the media’s reporting of major events. (Although any student of propaganda techniques and its application throughout history will know the use of media is oftentimes anything but benign.)

When it comes to the media, lives lost to terrorism in places like Africa are woefully underreported because making a big deal about those tragedies serves no purpose to whatever the media’s agenda du jour is. After all, we don’t want to distract Americans with bloodshed in locales that possess minimal resources when there’s bloodshed in other countries that have oil.

If progressives (a self-ascribed title) weren’t in charge of the media, they’d be the first to yell racism and classism to whatever group was running the media. But since they can’t recognize their own morally selective indignation toward injustice, their disparaging underreporting of terrorist attacks in unimportant nations–nations that don’t provide an immediate benefit to us–will continue.

Case in point is the following eyeopener of the past year’s reporting (or lack thereof) on terrorist attacks chronicled by Counter Current News in this article. While some people are deemed important enough by the media to receive around-the-clock headlines when disaster befalls them, others . . . not so much. All of these events involve fellow humans suffering at the hands of terrorists (foreign and domestic), but the coverage of their plight in the press is vastly different depending on where the event happened. See if you notice a pattern.

– March 20, 2015, Yemen, 137 killed – no headline

– April 18, 2015, Afghanistan, 33 killed – no headline

– June 26, 2015, Tunisia, 38 killed – no headline

– June 29, 2015, Yemen, 35 killed – no headline

– October 10, 2015, Ankara, Turkey, 97 killed – no headline

– October 31, 2015, Russian plane, 224 killed – HEADLINE NEWS

– November 13, 2015, Paris, 130 killed – HEADLINE NEWS

– November 21, 2015, Beirut, 43 killed – no headline

– December 2, 2015, San Bernardino, 14 killed – HEADLINE NEWS

– January 8, 2016 Libya, 50 killed – no headline

– March 6, 2016, Baghdad, 47 killed – no headline

– March 13, 2016, Grand-Bassam, 22 killed on the beach – no headline

– March 15, 2016, Ankara, Turkey, 35 killed – no headline

– March 22, 2016, Brussels, 34 killed – HEADLINE NEWS

160317115940-01-ivory-coast-attack-0317-super-169The loss of loved ones due to terrorism and war is equally devastating no matter your color, country, or economic status.

Let us never forget that although the media determines what is and isn’t news, they do not ultimately decide truth and reality. It is up to us, individually, to educate ourselves about what’s going on in the world.

We must stop forming our opinions from spin doctors and talking heads with carefully crafted soundbites, and start asking ourselves why our governments and media feel some lives lost are worth reporting on and going to war over, and others are not.


The top 10 books people lie about reading.

People lie.

And believe it or not, people lie about the books they’ve read.

Curious to see what those books are? Ben Domenech of The Federalist has compiled a list of the top ten books people lie about reading.
http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/16/the-top-ten-books-people-lie-about-reading/

 

“Pattison’s ability to craft a story like this in just 7000 words is astounding, captivating, and essentially everything you could ever want in a full novel, just shorter.”

imageThis is week two of my new weekly series spotlighting a selected reader review in order to better acquaint you with my debut short story, The Visitor.

This week’s featured review of The Visitor comes from Olivia Emily who writes from the United Kingdom on her blog LibroLiv. Olivia was one of the first to review The Visitor where she gave it five stars on her blog and on Amazon.com. Here is her review:

Yesterday, I was e-approached by the wonderful author, J.L Pattison, of this short story. He is an independent author, who has spent the last 15 months working to publish his very first story, The Visitor. I am honoured to be approached by such a fantastic writer, and also very happy to know that he is a fellow blogger, also. I highly recommend you follow his blog here for more from him!

I have always been very interested in novels relating to time travel, especially those regarding historical aspects, too. However, I have never been very encouraged to pick up a novel of this genre, in fear it may not interest me as much as I’d hoped. Pattison’s ability to craft a story like this in just 7000 words is astounding, captivating, and essentially everything you could ever want in a full novel, just shorter. This was perfect for me, because it is a short story, and thus supplies the premise and content of a lengthy time-travel book, without being too long, or boring at any moment. I read this is half an hour – half an hour well spent – and was completely engrossed in the storyline, that when I saw “The End.” at the bottom of the page, my heart dropped, for I was truly sad the story had finished.

Generally, I love what Pattison has achieved through this short story; in just 30 pages, Pattison made me question society and it’s ultimate naivety, as well as exemplifying the ever-present predatory nature of humanity. In basing this story around past events, he uses dramatic irony to display how dewy-eyed many people have been in the past, and will continue to be in the future. All characters do not believe the worst could happen, which is so baffling to us as the reader, for it already has.

I could lie and say 7000 words wasn’t enough, yet, frankly, it was. This book is a short burst, a quick snippet into the lives of 3 people, almost like a behind-the-scenes video clip on past historical events. This book was the perfect length, for it succeeded in everything it set out to: it interested me, captivated me, and concluded on a cliff-hanger so as to ensure you leave with questions. Don’t get me wrong here – it’s good that I’ve left with questions. They are not questions about the book, or the character’s fates, but are instead inner questions about my personal morals, and outer questions about the overall morals of society. I have no questions for the fates of the characters, for I don’t care for them, nor do I think I should; this is less a short story crafted to invest you in the characters, and more a social calling for change, so as to prevent Pattison’s predictions coming true.

I really enjoyed this book, and highly suggest you pick it up, for it is available for only 99p! And if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited, this book is available for free, just as it is if you’re a member of Amazon Prime’s Kindle Lending Library. Click here to check it out. It’s only 99p – what are you waiting for?! And you’ll be supporting an independent author – there’s no going wrong!

As always, you can also find this novel on Goodreads by clicking here.

I hope you enjoyed this review, and a big thank you again to J.L Pattison for introducing me to his work.