Fake News Stories

from by Michael Forrest

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I wrote this on the day I released it:

"This was really tough to produce - I want to rage about the recent effects of our information-age bubbles and the catastrophic effects of our irresponsible media whilst continuing to challenge myself musically as well as create the lyric video. It's quite intense compared to the last one and you won't have heard me shouting like this on a track before. It took me longer than I hoped so forgive me for bringing up "last week's news" again.

Making the video has been painful. I have been mired in the cesspool that constitutes right-wing political commentary for a few days and I'm becoming painfully aware of the schizophrenic attitudes being adopted by so many people - conspiracy theories and juicy made-up news stories - trapped by logical fallacies and arguments that are impossible to refute. They'd even prefer to say "Snopes has a left wing agenda and can't be trusted" than simply investigate the sources cited in Snopes' analyses (which often lead back to explicit declarations by fake news sites that their stories are to be taken as satire!).

I wrote this song for those of us who want to find solutions and learn everything we can about what's gone wrong and how we can fix it but I have been panicking that this work could itself be twisted into an anthem for the right-wing press who think everything on TV is 'liberal propaganda'. It's hard to keep a piece of music protected from such interpretation without things being even more on-the-nose so I've tried to make my stance as unambiguous as possible through the video.

I've always hated engaging in political discussion. I have always found technology more interesting. Tragically now we're seeing a new wave of technology being exploited for destructive propaganda and it's impossible to ignore the role of humanity's darker instincts in our drive to progress. I hope I can bring a novel perspective to bear on these matters but I also feel shamefully ignorant of the complexities of the political world. I don't feel that any understanding is possible from the mainstream media - I can only listen to Radio 4 in the morning for 10 minutes before turning it off in disgust. Even the BBC have normalised hateful rhetoric, pursuing emotional responses and entertaining stories just as callously as the internet trolls who try to make up the most shocking stories they think they can get people to believe.

I really don't see a way out of this. We're up against types of reasoning that cannot be rationally argued against. Will these people connect their bad choices with the bad things that will happen to them in future as a consequence or will they chalk it up to further conspiracies? I can draw some hope from the fact that millions of people can't ACTUALLY be schizophrenic so they should have the capacity to snap out of it, given the right arguments. I suppose we can only try to do this one person at a time, taking their "you lost, stop whining" rhetoric on the chin while we try to get them to see sense. I don't know though - I feel bad enough without having to have those infuriating conversations." -- 22nd November 2016

lyrics

When you wrote this thing you must’ve been smoking
It’s not funny enough for you to be joking
Now my horrible friends have become outspoken
Now the thing we all lean on seems to be broken

Far too much to read on my Facebook feed
Now I don’t know what I can believe
Far right facts masquerading as balance
These fallacies overpower our defences

Whatever you want can find what you’re looking for
However you feel you can find a way to feel it more
So many lies, I didn't realise

Far to much to read on my Facebook feed
Now I don't know what I can believe
The truth is at war with the Internet trolls
Doesn't take a lot for a lie to be sold

Everywhere I look fake news is coming up
No one seems to mind that the story's all made up
When I see a headline I check it on Snopes.com
Try to fight back fake facts get 'em out

Whatever you want can find what you’re looking for
However you feel you can find a way to feel it more

credits

from 2016 EP, released January 20, 2017

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Michael Forrest London, UK

Michael Forrest is a multi-instrumentalist producer based in London.

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