The “why”, not the “what”.

I was thinking about writing something related with Christmas, since it is only one week away. Several ideas crossed my mind, but they seemed so over-explored that I didn’t want to be another person that writes about it. I also though about addressing the “Mayan apocalypse” and, again, it was so over-posted that I refused the idea. Then, I though about why I wanted to write about these two subjects and I realized: because of the quantity of information there was written about them. So I figured, why not join both? I want to address the “why” not the “what”.

Since many of my friends are leaving for their hometowns this week, I tried to meet them before they go. As a joke, I kept saying to my friends “Merry Christmas or happy end of the world, depending on the case”. Of course, they all knew what I was talking about: the 21st of December. Then, it crossed my mind: they all knew because of the media.

I ended up thinking about the influence of media on our life. The media plays a major part on the formation of our opinion, and it’s up to us to choose what is true/right or false/wrong. In the past few weeks, we either heard about the “end of the world” or Christmas. The sites about the two subjects are numerous, the TV programs are filled with stories about them and other sources of media are also referring them.

So, is it good or bad to have access to these huge amounts of information? Well, both. It depends of what you do with it. Being a non-believer of the end of the world on 21st December, pretty much everything that defends the “prophesy” passes me by without doing any harm. Sure, I talk about it, but it will be a day like any other. But, for some people, the amount of information can be overwhelming and can bring consequences. For example, it is believed that more or less 3 million of people (“preppers”) are preparing for the end of the world. And, of course, there is a TV show about it.

Well, and about Christmas… Every year is the same thing. The commercials start in November and the Christmas shopping follows. I’m a major fan of Christmas, but I consider that consumerism is over the top. In the past few years, the Christmas commercials stopped being only for kids and slowly started to introduce several products for adults. Again, even if not on purpose, people tend to more quickly buy a product if they already saw it on the advertisements.

So, Media. Yes, they do influence us. It is up to us to choose not to go down that path.

To finish, I would like to invite you to visit two very interesting blogs: and



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51 responses to “The “why”, not the “what”.

  1. I appreciate your appreciation Tania, as well as your sensible thoughts here. You may have noticed my cross-post on the Mayans (, and what I’m writing refers in passing to prophecy. (If interested in that topic you may like ?)

  2. Hello Tânia. You “liked” one of my posts on revealing yourself to your Silly Santa with a poem, so I came by to see what you write about.

    What an unusual blog post for me to stumble across! The end of the world (according to the Mayans) and Christmas. What a combo! I’m glad nobody’s connecting MY birthday to the end of the world…. LOL! My birthday’s during lent though, so none of my Catholic friends were allowed to come to my birthday parties–too much cake and ice cream. It was a major bummer when I was a kid, but oh well. At least they weren’t complaining about the end of the world.

    Poor Jesus! He’s had it rough since the very beginning. Born in a manger. No room at the inn. Called him blasphemous. Hung him on a cross to die. Oh, and by the way, in another two thousand years, the world’s going to end right before your birthday. Sorry! It sucks to be you! 😉

  3. After this end of the world crap. We’ll see a new one pop up. I think people have bets when its really going to happen. Too funny

  4. ujhelps

    Thank you. I think you worded the end of the world a bit different. You gave more facts about this than I did, and thank you for linking my blog. Please anyone who hasn’t check it out.

  5. Totally agree! With the amount of information available today through internet, tv, and the like, it’s a good idea to be intentional about how we respond.

  6. I find the question of ‘how much information is too much’ fascinating. We have access to so much information now, but we aren’t very good at filtering out bad information.

  7. I appreciate your thoughtful commentary on the effects of the media on our thinking. I am a person who by choice has disengaged from the media. Sometimes I think this has drawbacks, because I have become out of touch with the popular culture and current events, but that is the price I must pay for maintaining my sense of balance and proportion about my world. I used to be a social and political news junkie and had a strong opinions on many topics. I decided several years ago that it was not a good thing to be upset all the time about things over which I had very little control and I began to tune out. I do feel much happier not being under the constant pressure of the media propaganda machine. I focus now on the things in my world that are important to me… creating beauty and trying to bring happiness to others whom I encounter in my everyday life.

  8. C.

    That’a an interesting line of thought you have there 🙂
    Feliz Natal 🙂

  9. I don’t know. I believe world won’t go out in a fast flame of light. It will be slow and painful. Unless a giant meteor is coming? I will pay next month rent. I like your thoughts. A interesting blog.

  10. For anyone whose interested, I’ve done a few posts on media manipulation in UK – latest at

  11. You have totally changed my mind about how I think about Christmas and the upcoming Mayan Apocalypse…oh wait, wasn’t the whole point of this piece that I shouldn’t let the media influence me? Darn! I’m not good at this… 😉

  12. ujhelps

    I mean regularly link and suggest each others blogs.

  13. Xyalon

    I wholeheartedly agree with what you say about the press. I think a large issue is that too many people take what they read/hear in the media as fact without going out and doing their own research. As a result, sometimes a poorly worded report can lead to confusion and a lot of people believing something that is completely false; and of course certain organisations have a tendency to be deliberately misleading in order to achieve just that.

    What I wonder is just what is causing this drop in desire to find out things for oneself; perhaps the ease of access to information and the high volume with which we are presented on a daily basis is causing some sort of blasé attitude towards it all. As a result there’s a whole load of people going around with their reliable sources being “a friend of mine who saw it on TV”.

    Sorry, got a bit carried away. Just popped by to say obrigado for the visit. I’m just starting out, both blogging and literary work, and that sort of encouragement is always wonderful to get.

  14. it was the church that first commercialised christmas. the birth of the christ wasn’t even around winter solstice. It isn’t even mentioned in the Bible when he was born. the only clues historians have to go by is that it was a time during a census and also the “star” in the sky. using those clues, they guesstimated him to be born around august or september.
    12 days before what we know as Christmas Day, the ancient Romans practiced what is known as Saturnalia. it was celebrated in a few different ways: in some roman precincts, people were allowed to live 12 days of debauchery. On the 25th, one person was drawn from a lottery and sacrificed to the gods by injesting mistletoe.
    an early pope pled with the ceasar of that time to change saturnalia. Romans were allowed their debauchery for 12 days, but they had to keep the 25th holy. it was a comprimise.
    an anti semitic pope later on had changed it so that a jew, was picked out of each precinct, and was allowed 12 days of debauchery and then was sacrificed on the 25th. some precints picked out a rabbi, who was then dressed in ridiculous clothes and paraded down the street on the 25th and then he was killed by stoning.
    eventually the church absorbed other pagan practices such as bringing the evergreen tree into the home instead of letting those wiccans dance naked in the woods,

  15. Well done! Quite agree, quite enjoyed.

  16. I couldn’t agree more. Taking in everything the media throws at us is a dangerous path, especially for those of us who have not had the background and education to make sensible choices. Wishing you a blissful 2012!

  17. I’m with Kerry above. Time to tune out the media hype. It’s counter-productive, most is trash, it’s hard on the ears (doesn’t anyone let anyone finish a sentence anymore?), and it’s the same ol’ song without a different beat. So, good commentary, Tania. Thanks much for the nod on one of my recent photo posts, “Watering Hole”. Life should be that simple.

  18. i’m flattered by your kind words, thanks for sharing this info with your readers! lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

  19. I like your thinking. It’s always up to us to decide what we accept or reject from the media. People lose sight of that.

  20. The mainstream media’s job is simply to distract and mislead. The more people that realize that, the better. Thanks for working the issue of today’s mainstream media into your already interesting blend of topics. 🙂 Happy New Year to you! Dara

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