by Jon Rappoport
July 13, 2022
(To join our email list, click here.)
(This article is Part-4 in a series. For Part-3, click here.)
Speaking from my own 40 years of journalism work and my preferences on the subject, yes, of course I have a bias, but it’s not narrow. It’s wide open, and it lets anyone in, as long as they think about FACT and IMAGINATION together.
Some would call what I’m talking about here STYLE, but it’s more than that. It’s how a writer decides to present information with twists and turns and flashes and cloudbursts and attacks…
What can you make facts DO?
They’re the raw material.
You could wake up one very good day and realize you’re writing satire. Comedy. Even poetry.
You’re also, in the process, exploding the mind of the reader, because it needs to be exploded and rescued from the sober drear of “here are the data, goodbye.” I mean, really. That has to go. Away.
As a writer, do you want a fact to be a martial arts instructor toiling away at a small gym teaching the same moves over and over, or do you want a fact to be a Bruce Lee, who invented new moves from his core and imagination every day to fit the situation he was facing?
If you know you want to use a fact to make a point, you’re on the right track. How do you make the point? There are an infinity of ways, and you invent them. Mostly, as you go along.
You teach yourself to be a chef with no recipe book. Your book is DESIRE. The desire to overturn official reality. So OVERTURN IT. Don’t be shy.
Read what bad journalists write. See what they’re doing. I’m not just talking about lies. I’m talking about how they tell them. Drained of juice and color. These people should be pumping gas and collecting tumbleweed in Death Valley.
As a writer, fear is not your friend. You can tell the truth and never move the needle, because you’re timid. (If you’re irretrievably timid, you’ve already stopped reading this.)
Listen. There are millions and millions of readers out there who are unsure about what they’re supposed to do. They’re in strait jackets. They don’t know whether to shit or go blind. They read a line you write and they start to smile and then they stop.
They ask themselves, “Am I supposed to laugh? That line was pretty funny. But the subject he’s writing about is serious. I’m confused. He just took that fact and used it like a hammer and banged my head. If I laugh, am I committing some kind of code violation? Is a patrol car going to show up? Will I turn into a person my friends won’t understand? Suppose I miss the meaning of a joke and laugh in the wrong place? I’d look stupid.”
The solution here is: keep pounding away. Sooner or later, people are going to catch on to what you’re doing. And here’s the capper. They’ll find the buried place in themselves where they’re doing it, too.
That’s what you want. You want THEM to see THEY intend to upset apple carts, too. That intent has been trained out of them. By all sorts of people. Dead people who still manage to walk and talk.
It’s the deadness you want to overcome.
Facts are weapons you deploy to achieve that. You don’t want gray readers digesting facts you present as gray corpses…because in that case, nothing really happens.
Yes, I’ve read Hunter Thompson. I’ve read PJ O’Rourke. And Jonathan Swift and Lewis Carroll. And Thomas Paine, who was a journalist and an essayist and caller to action and a poet all at the same time. They knew how to use facts to their own advantage. You can learn from them, and then cook up your own dishes.
Beware of ideological humor. These are dud jokes the writers THINK are funny. They’re sadly mistaken. The jokes rely heavily on the prior ideology, and only rubes and yokels enjoy them. “Ha-ha, he [writer] proved God is wonderful.” No he didn’t. He wrote something lame, and God shook his head, swore, turned away, and went off to play 18 holes at George Carlin’s miniature golf course on the corner of Paradise and Cackle.
Suppose God Himself wants you to laugh your way out of a strait jacket? Suppose He knows how to turn the screw with any fact in the book? Suppose He can make a fact into a sword and wave it and drive you screaming into the night—where you recover your sanity.
Why can’t you as a writer do that, too?
Because He’s the Only One? You really think His ego is that large?
Doesn’t your experience tell you it’s the most isolated, indifferent, cold sons of bitches who have the biggest egos?
— Jon Rappoport
(To read about Jon’s collection, Power Outside The Matrix, click here.)
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.