What happens when we chose to be lied to?

Ren's RantsSeptember 5th & 15th, 2007

There's an storm brewing out in the open seas of The Internet... it's called "Yellow Journalism" and we've faced it before in other medias... There are some people who think this storm has come and gone, but I'm telling you that it's only been building, just touching the coast line of reality with deadly consequences before heading out back into the Cyberspace ocean for warmer water and hot air to build and gain strength.

It's also an epidemic that's caused when you confuse or cross breed entertainment with news and treat news as entertainment. Could that spread from "Fan boy Controversy" on some of our favorite Retro-Forums and into the world stage of politics and public opinion? Who says it hasn't already in some other strain? (Ask those who died during the Spanish-American War in Cuba... if you can.)

What started me on this was the issue about there being a lot of fake news about this new movie (Indiana Jones And The Relics Of The Lost Sequel) that's being made. I'm not saying that it's all fake, but most of it is when it's not real news that's being printed over and over and over again by news organizations who need some light fare to fill out their news papers and web sites. I'm writing about news that's made-up by fans to impress others, doing so for a whole host of reasons. (This is the other end of the spectrum from studios leaking information just to keep a project alive and in the public's mind...)

I'm frustrated at some of these sites that claim to have "Insider Information," especially one site in particular that has a habit of making up lies and stretching the truth about it's "sources." Even after they/he has been busted by other sites, idiots (who I'll actually name if asked to...) keep going back over and over again.

It's as if there are those who WANT to be fooled and lied to! What does it say about us when we cling to the hope that EVERYTHING has to be about Indiana Jones And The Relics Of The Lost Sequel, even when we're told by a reliable source that the pictures they are looking at have nothing to do with "Jones?"

Perfect example is the case of "The Back Lot" photos which were posted by an anonymous poster on another forum  who says  that his pictures are SUPPOSED to be for "Indy4" but turn out to be most likely for another knock-off like "The Mummy 3," or "National Treasure 2,"  they've been debunked on yet another forum (IndyGear) by "Patterson." - "Patterson" is a REAL reliable source actually works for one of the studios involved... and this is someone I've known for years who has never lied to me... I have no reason to doubt that what Patterson says is true while fans are out there continuing to believe in something that's probably fake... I think there's a very small minority who wish that Indy Fans would start to take on the obsessive nature of idiot Trekkies for reasons I can't even fathom.

I'm starting to wonder if this movie is a mixed blessing if not an out-right curse to this hobby and community. There a sentiment that if you don't believe the "Back Lot" photos are real... or if you don't want them to be real... then you can't be a "Real Fan." (Taken right of the the nut-case Tim Brazeal "Trek United" Smear Campaign handbook!) Is there a sentiment that you have to take sides between what you want to be true and what's actually "The Truth?"

And in case you're wondering, I'm sticking up for a guy I've known off-and-on for more then five years when it comes to debunking the recent "spoiler" pictures from someone called "Back Lot." I won't bore you (more then I already have) with the details, but "Patterson" is someone who I knew since before the most popular forums that exist now started, I know of him going back as far as IndyFan. I haven't always agreed with him, but I don't think that he's intentionally lied to the folks on these various forums. There was a controversy a few years back, and some folks accused me of riding the fence because I wanted to be fair and hear both sides of an issue Patterson was involved in. I stood up for Patterson in circles out side of COW when it wasn't popular to do so, I would like to think that I'm doing so again because standing up for truth is the right thing to do...

I'm going to side with someone who has worked at trying to get us new vendors and products and made an effort to get folks outside this hobby to treat us with a little bit of respect over a web site that's disrespected this group and our vendors for years now, ok?

I'm going to side with Patterson over the folks who like to make up news to keep their site/sites "relevant."

"Back Lot" could be a guy  posting pictures he took during a day off during his trip to Los Angeles and saw the construction of a new ride at The Universal Theme Park (or anywhere else) and automatically thinks that his is for a movie he's waited a few years to see. Or he KNOWS that it's not for "Relics Of The Lost Sequel" but he so desperately wants to be an "insider" or a "News Source" for the fan sides that he's willing to put news out there that he knows isn't true. (I'm not saying that's what's really going on... I'm saying it's a possibility...)

"Back Lot" is an anonymous poster who could be anybody but he gets credit that he/she might not deserve because people WANT what he's saying to be true, too many folks what this to be "really" about Indiana Jones... even after someone who does know the truth and called it what it is.

Don't tell me the facts after my mind is made up!

To me, there's an element of frustration because there's a lot of reckless, irresponsibility going on with a lot of these sites just to get attention from other fans. What's to keep me from going out into my back yard, taking a few really good photographs and saying "Look! Pictures taken on Location!" What's keeping me from firing up LightWave3D and PhotoShop and making bogus images and passing off as news? I know that's pretty minor, but then that leads to the question... what keeps Fox or CNN from doing the same thing? And since nobody cares because just as we're treating this item like it's real news, people are seeing real news as entertainment, are the news organizations OBLIGATED to make the news more fun to watch?

There's a problem with society today, we believe news... not because it's based in fact or the truth, but because we're being told what we want to believe... and we'll chose the news organizations that will tell us what we want to hear with the right political slant that suits our personalities, and skimp on what we need to hear. What does that say for our society? Where are we going as a civilization when we choose to be lied to. How much longer can this society last?

Yes, I know that this rant started because of some news about a movie... but if you're willing to be lied to about something that's just for fun, who's to say you won't want to be lied to when the truth hurts and facts are just too painful? Or real news is just too boring?

By the way... this reminds me of back in 2002! Soon after the birth of my first son, my wife and her mom wanted to be alone with the baby. So my father-in-law and I went fishing. We went to Jaffrey (a town close by...) and wouldn't you know it... MARTIAL LAW was declared and they shut down the town! They were patrolling the skies with what ever they could find... good thing there was a World War II Air show near by! What would we have done with out that pair of Mustangs!

I'm so glad that he was able to take that picture right at that very moment. Wow! What are the chances?

I think that was the same weekend my father-in-law told me about the night when he was a kid, and Martians landed near his home town of New Jersey! Back in October of 1938, or some time around then... Some Wells character reported the news, I think he told me.

There was also something he told me about the loss of The S.S. Maine and how some Hurst character exaggerated what happened cause he needed a war to sell more papers. I can't believe someone would do that, though... that's too much to bear.

The Fedora Chronicles: "Relics Of The Lost Sequel Location News" We guarantee that the only thing on that page that isn't fake is our commentary on what's supposed to be "Movie News..." We know some of it's made up... we swear! I want to believe what I wrote in speculating on "Back Lot's" identity and that this is just a promotional scheme... or do I?

The Harrison Ford Web: The Back Lot Posts...

Indy Gear/Club Obi-Wan "New Indy IV Universal Set Photo's(Big Spoilers)"

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More articles from Ren can be found here: The Rant Archive