Tell me what is real

Is anyone else unsure what to believe when scrolling through their newsfeed?

After one particular frustrating session of reading various news stories – and noting the inconsistencies between them, as well as the comments accompanying them – it occurred to me how much processing the news has changed in the past few decades. When I was younger, it you would read the news in the morning paper or watch the evening news on TV and accepted the reports as fact, for better or for worse. The next morning, office conversations (sometimes known as “water cooler” conversations) would resolve around some of the bigger stories and people would occasionally share their opinions or personal experiences about the topic.

Now news comes from a variety of sources with different angles and conflicting information. When posted on social media, these “news” stories also include a long string of comments – many that people probably wouldn’t say in a real-life conversation with their co-workers. Can you even imagine what those comments would look like in a real-time, in-person setting, with people hurling insults at each other in the office breakroom? It would probably lead to food fights and the water cooler being knocked over, flooding the office. Or worse.

When I get into this “When I was younger, things were different” mode, I realize I’m showing my age, but us Gen-Xers really experienced two different worlds and although I appreciate much of what today’s technology brings, I also miss those simpler times when you felt you could trust people in leadership roles, including those who reported on the day’s news.

Without going off on too much of a tangent, I’ll stop here and share a song I’ve been working on the past couple of weeks, “Tell Me What is Real.”

I don’t know what to believe
Stories keep flying at me
They’re all saying different things
Can somebody help me please?

And now a throwback to the idea of trusting the media, with a nod to “the most trusted man in America,” who is the namesake of Arizona State University’s journalism school. Some of the biggest stories he reported on were JFK’s assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination, the Vietnam War, the moon landing and the Watergate scandal and the death of John Lennon.

Tell me what is real, tell me what is true
Tell me why I should believe you
I don’t want opinions, I just want the facts
I want a legend like Walter Cronkite back

And now we move from the news of the past to the current popular mode of receiving news: social media.

Everyone thinks they’re so wise
Deciphering truth from lies
Refusing to compromise
There’s no winner, there’s no prize

Walter Cronkite’s send-off after reporting the news was “That’s the way it is” so I paid tribute to that in the bridge. (I read somewhere that he only used that send off when it was a news report and not if it was a commentary, which I thought was cool.)

I guess that’s the way it is
It’s no longer what it was
When searching for the truth
It helps to know who to trust

Tell me what is real, tell me what is true
Tell me why I should believe you
I don’t want opinions, I just want the facts
I want a legend like Walter Cronkite back.

Songwriting notes: I wrote the song in Logic, using the Logic drummer and they MIDI keyboard for the electric guitar and other instruments. I also added some echo to one of the background vocal tracks to see how that sounded. It’s all an experiment…

3 Comments

  1. Another amazing song. You always speak to what’s true and important that people don’t think about until they’re reminded … by you. I think people are quietly yearning for the basic truth, and if they don’t know Mr. Cronkite, they’ll get it in context.

    Liked by 1 person

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