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By the end of the year, everyone feels only too knackered. At the same time, there's something in the air that makes us excited... Did I say 'something'? It’s not something but some definite things. These are hopes for a better year, wishes to change yourself, pleasure to give and to receive gifts and a welcome rest for a few days in a row.
New Year's not special for me as I don’t live by the calendar. I want nothing serious about myself to change. Gifts – yeah, that's always awesome. As for the rest, I try not to get tired. Short breaks are enough for me. After three days of chilling out with my head blank like a white sheet, I begin to think that... Full stop. Just 'I begin to think'. Then I start getting itchy fingers to do something – anything – productive. If there's a laptop at hand, I use both of them – hands – to make up a new story about English words.
Do I hope for a better year? Definitely, not. First, judging by what I see around, things are going South. Those in power are doing their best in this direction. Those under that power are accumulating hate. Society is cracking. The people are not a people but separate individuals, who find themselves living close to each other. Shall we say, a stone's throw away. That stone is a heavy one, and it seems like it’s going to be cast before long.
Second, I've got into the habit of hoping for the worst. One shouldn't get their hopes up. Prepared for a let-down beforehand, you don’t get so much hurt when sh...t does happen. On the other hand, if things get better, you feel satisfied as you’ve managed to man the boat in a proper way. All your efforts haven't gone down the drain. H…l, this is super encouraging!
Third, hoping without trying is not worth a tinker's damn. Just like words mean nothing without actions to back them up. That's why I give the new a go.
As you will have already understood, today's issue is going to be in English. Devoted goodyphils are used to having their grammar and lexis explained in Russian. However, this time grammar rules and lexical items you've been learning for a year will turn into a means of expressing ideas. Put simply, I've got thoughts for you to take into consideration – not about English but in it.
I've already started. I'll continue, if you please.
News is something new. Do we really need it?
In the 21-st century, the speed of information dissemination has increased enormously. Once an event has taken place – everyone who knows how to use the Internet is already aware of it.
News can be useful and entertaining. The first type concerns your life directly. It helps you make the right decisions. Accordingly, such news influences us, like it or lump it. It depends on you if the new knowledge will turn into real steps.
Entertaining news has nothing to do with practical use. Its purpose is mostly to distract the mind. A rest for the brain, if you like. And like any other kind of rest it shouldn't last for a long time.
Contemporary news is an endless muddy flood with a few nuggets of information you need and a whole lot of stuff you don't. Even if you've found a pearl, you're barely able to sort out the truth from the lies. Though, it is possible, take it from me. At the same time, note the time and energy that you took to succeed. You have any of these? I envy you.
News makes money. That's the reason why there appears so much of it around. The scheme works as follows.
A celebrity gets divorced. Mass media get filled with the news in no time. Crowds of people are eager to learn the circumstances. They browse the Internet and read articles, watch videos, listen to podcasts on the news. Meanwhile, ads catch your eye and ear – the well-paid ads.
That's common knowledge. Now, let's have a look at the matter from another angle.
You don't have a news source. You sell matches. No one wants matches – everyone wants hot news. You're smart enough to make space for news on your site. You hire a student to write something like "Celebrities split up assets down to the matches". This is it. You paid peanuts for an effective ad.
The truth is, nobody knows the truth. A copywriter just copies other people’s writing on the news. Some add in their personal view. Are you interested in it? So many people, so many minds, they say. Sometimes I doubt it, for people often think they have their own opinion while it's not wholly theirs. Give me your reasons why you believe you're right!
There's no having a sound point on everything. I'm not all that well up in politics. Dragging me into an argument is quite difficult. Why should I worry about not having a view? An opinion is not the truth at the end of the day.
The news as such loses its initial meaning. It became a tool for manipulating masses. The masses seem to like it.
I've got one good example. Everyone hates "Ibiza" by Kirkorov and Baskov. For all that, it has over 20 mln views. "The excuse" got 22 mln. Is it a failure or success? The authors consider it the latter. Are the two videos bad or good? There're no such criteria. There's a profit, instead. The irony is, those who haven't seen the gross videos are googling them now.
We're addicted to news. It gives us a false feeling of being involved in brand-new trends. However, trends change all the time. They are created artificially in order to get money and power. Youngsters don't see it and are milked for that shamelessly.
The better part of teenagers never grow up. Loads of unnecessary information ruin critical thinking or block its development. I'd hate it to be a trend. No news is good news – now that is a good one.
You may well ask what to do? Always listen to reason. Do not put stock in each piece of news. Get to grips with anything you consider essential for you. Enlighten yourself. Nobody will do it for you. I do believe everyone has a knack for analysis to a greater or lesser degree.
I don't give answers. What I really do is get you asking yourself questions.
Merry X-mas and a fruitful New Year!
Ilya Manyshin.Заключительная третья часть "AweSomeIlya, Three Billboards, vol. 3"
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