There was a time when the news was referred to as just “the news.” People would say things like, “The news says…” or “What’s on the news?” or “According to the news…” There was some idea that it was objective, and even though that idea was a pipe dream, the pipes were built solidly enough to buy it. Now we refer to it as “the media.” We watch it for entertainment, to get off, be outraged. There’s 24 hour media cycles, media spin, media doctors. It’s a news cafeteria, feeding you what you want 24/7, a regular Vegas style buffet. The fantasy that it’s objective is gone, never to return. Why should it? There’s too much money in stretching the elastic spectrum of ideology, stretching it till the tension’s felt all in the middle, starting to split…
Ideology is the Enemy
It is the addiction, the 12 step program to get you off whatever smack you used to be on and into the zealot’s seat.
There’s an old joke scientists apparently favor. It begins with a drunk looking for his keys under a streetlight when a cop approaches. The cop helps him look for a couple minutes, then finally asks, “You sure you lost them here?” “No,” the drunk says, “I lost them over there.” He points to the dark bushes nearby. “Hell are we looking over here for?” the cop asks. The drunk answers, “Cause this is where the light is.”
Ideology’s not even a streetlight, it’s a VR set. It renders the world artificially but so crystal clear you get lost, and worse yet you enjoy it. Everything’s so easy after you accept the fake world rather than trying to face the real one. It promises to have all the answers. It’s the got the linguistic tool set for dummies to let you sit in on any argument and pretend like you know what you’re talking about. You get to be passionate. You get to seem smart. You don’t have to think anymore or be your own person. You’re on a team now, and your team is always right. They have to be, or what are you doing?
What is the Candiru?
It’s a fish that swims up people’s urethras, along with other uncomfortable anatomical locales. That’s literally what it is. It follows the swimmer’s urine stream right up into their business. The candiru doesn’t care about your feelings. It doesn’t care if you like it. All it knows is how to swim in the dirty water and follow the heat from some hapless dilettante’s effluvia and make them wish they’d picked a different pool.
Here, we aspire to follow the example of the ignoble candiru. The Dreaded Candiru begins from the position that no one knows anything, least of all yourself. The only proper approach then is complete skepticism. There are no sacred cows, there are no sides built outside of the world of ideas. There’s evidence, and there’s approaches on what the evidence means or what to do about it. That’s it. Not giving a fuck is the only way to approach being objective. Acidic honesty is the only weapon against diseased thought.
What is the Candiru’s Mission?
The media is now a Venn diagram of mutually exclusive echo chambers, colonies of incestuous thought that regurgitate the same filtered stories down a sordid game of telephone. The Dreaded Candiru hopes to converge these so-far non-overlapping magesteria, to condense the echo chamber and open up a conversation, even (maybe especially) a hostile one. If you subscribe to the belief that democracy is built on dialectic, that argument is the best means to discovering truth, or if you just like messing with people, we hope to facilitate.
To this end, “news” from the most extreme offenders online will be aggregated here for our feasting pleasure. Comment as you like. Columns will also be written on a regular weekly basis focusing at first on politics and philosophy.
Everyone here can express whatever opinion they like. There is only one rule: don’t be boring. If you’re a troll, you’d better keep it interesting. Fallacious arguments and those who make them will be punished if they don’t change their ways, especially people given to ad hominem attacks. So calling someone a racist when they’re clearly not, or actually being a racist, will be considered the same kind of boring bullshit and be vented for that reason.
A final note: if you think I’m wrong in any article I write here, I want you to come at me with everything that you have. Because I don’t give a fuck. And if you want to write for The Dreaded Candiru, feel free to email. For those brave souls willing to join yet another mailing list, there’s also one of those.
The Candiru is the splitting middle biting back. That’s what makes it Dreaded.
Also published on Medium.