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Just Read a Book Instead!

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It’s World Book Day on March 5th. A celebration of my favourite media. Reading books is a great way to promote a healthy brain and is shown to have really positive effects on mental health and wellbeing. Whether its for fiction, reference purposes or even just re-discovering the past, nothing beats a good book.

Other media like newspapers, news websites and news networks have almost drowned out books with noise and information overload. The way these forms of media now operate by replicating what your favourite television dramas do. They leave you on a cliff hanger in the middle of a crisis so that you have to find out what happens next. Then, when they have you hooked keeping you regularly up to date with tiny bits of information, and when the story dies down, they do the same thing with another one and repeat the process. It doesn’t really look like the noble quest of discovery or truth anymore. Now these forms of media try to paint a picture of the world that will get you react in a desirable way, particularly when it comes to politics. Politics exists in ficion of course, but is instead used with artistic licence, but the reader is very aware of this and is in on the joke. Even if they disagree, they can still appreciate the artist’s ability. When you do that with an article which is meant to be informative and factual, its nothing more than propaganda. So I’ve written a poem. A plea for you to ditch the daily newspaper and clickbait articles and to pick up a book instead.

Read a Book Instead

The world going to end, again, everything will hit the fan tomorrow.
It’s all over the news, in the papers, it’s trending now, didn’t you hear?
It’s our responsibility to stay informed, and their own to feed your sorrow.
A new threat ashore. Let the march of the news feed grip you with fear

Do you not remember the nuclear winter of several winters past?
Or when the shadow of disease did fall and vanquish all held dear?
Or the storms that destroyed us all, the mile high waves so vast?
Or how a distant enemy destroyed our freedom, again, yesteryear?

Nor Do I. Fond memories I find, a different destiny we all have paced.
How confusing is it really? How far-fetched? Is it easily put to bed?
To think what was once championed as a chalice of truth is now laced,
A venom under guise of veritas. At least I’d knows if I read a book instead.

Once celebrating discovery, now lobbying the lie that scientists conspired,
Shunned climate expertise for a layman’s glance at aeons of history,
 Though changing their tune if the headline can bring the attention desired.
 Facts mean little or nothing to the bedfellows of drama and controversy.

Since when was what is considered gospel determined by the highest bidders?
Does the crave for our attention demand repurposing opinion as fact?
Coincidental it is, how our opinions mirror the snake which most closely slithers.
But why kneel to them when, quite plainly, in our interests they do not act?

They claim to shine the light of journalism into the shadows of corporate greed,
Revealing the horrors of sweatshops, stories of corruption fill my head,
While crying scandal and injustice, on their advertising money they still feed,
How can they comment on right and wrong. I think I’ll read a book instead.

The enemy is within our gates and they’ve marched us all into a civil war,
But their ammunition is misinformation, soundbites and lies in gloss,
The battlefield is inconspicuous, hidden behind a polling station door,
You don’t need know what you’re fighting for, just where to put the cross.

So transparently upon their influence on Westminster are they endlessly fixated.
They get their way through you not by vicious force, by small nudges we are led,
Blinded by illusions of free thought, though we all repeat arguments dictated.
Ironic from champions of free expression. I really should read a book instead.

Take back what is yours. Most precious to you is your mind and your free will,
Don’t click, don’t buy, don’t comment, don’t read words from merchants of fear.
Wither away or change, make the media work for us again. A long struggle uphill,
Journalism and creativity are not dead, they’re just staying well and truly clear.

If all that fails, and all seems lost, fear not. There is another path you may desire,
For wisdom and wonder can travel between times and worlds to fill your head.
A medium where untruths are known but embraced, as words are used to inspire,
Don’t read the headlines anymore. Sit yourself down comfortably. Read a book instead.

When I'm not reading books, I am busy finding psychiatric / mental health nurses (as well as other related roles) so if you are looking to recruit or looking for a job, please get in touch.
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