The Audacious Reign of the Fox (News)

One of the more amusing things that happens when you deep dive into religion, spirituality and mythology is that you run across things that just scream “If you’d only paid attention!!!”

Young girl in a red cloak wanders into a forest. Runs across talking wolf. Wolf asks what she’s up to and where’s she going and she answers. What the hell, Red? Did you want Grandma to get eaten? Why didn’t you just lie to the talking wolf?

Case in point, in a lot of cultures, Fox is portrayed mostly a trickster. Sometimes a folk hero; often, flat-out malicious. Pretty much a trickster, though.

So could someone tell me why, oh why, are people putting their faith in a ‘news’ source called Fox News?

I mean, come on. I’m not the only person who reads these stories. They were pretty much the fun little story books we all read when we were growing up. Somebody has to have picked up on this.

And yet, STILL, people go out of their way to to tell me Fox News is the only station that presents the unvarnished truth.

Dear gods… what is wrong with them?

Why follow the fox?

First go-to argument for folks who hate Fox News is that anyone who watches it is an idiot. That’s blatantly and obviously wrong, but it’s comforting to people who think they would never fall for a trickster.

Plenty of evidence that it’s often the smart ones who fall for it; they’re the ones who are looking for connections and when presented with convincing ones, they’re often the last to back out if it’s wrong.

And then the smart ones take the lead and, yeah, do the others follow.

Fox News works by playing on emotional archetypes rather than factual ones. It presents a slow drip of fear, wrapped up in a message that this fear will never be resolved unless…

That “unless…” never comes.

Contrast that to the standard (pre-24 hours a day) news in the past. The old adage about it was “If it bleeds, it leads”. This played on the human emotional response to stress. We immediately pay more attention.

Then the story would wrap up, if not then, then usually by the next news broadcast. Relief would be felt and be palpable. People would be pleased. And because news was going world-wide, there was often enough “bleeding” stories to maintain the desire to watch the next news cycle.

When CNN pioneered the 24-hour news cycle, they found that there just wasn’t quite enough “bleeding” stories. The network needed to shape stories to be entertaining and repeated at various times to bring in new viewers. It was a bit of a mess.

Fox took that mess and ran with it. It was no longer shaping stories; it was creating whole narratives. And that was the trick. People watch it and they get upset but they are given no relief. This makes them vulnerable to leaders and pundits who point them in directions and then let nature take its course.

Emotion, like the raging river, seeks a place to flow free.

Start with something like the Deep State, the evil Democrats, the horrors of terrorism. Then present a call to action that is non-specific. “What can the god-fearing citizens do”?

The Fox-worshiping citizens will then lash out. And it will make them feel a little better. Every. Single. Time.

How do you skin the fox?

Fox speaks to the male toxic ideal. Mainstream culture basically teaches men to suppress any normal emotional response, except sexuality and violence. This is a great way to keep them relatively childish and support a system in a brute force fashion. It creates soldiers.

If you want to fight it, you have to adapt to a more feminine model, one that projects strength but also allows for a full emotional range. Basically, in order to skin the fox, we need a Mama Bear.

We need a Mama Bear network that creates its own narratives, like Fox, but, instead of just letting people vent, it also invents actionables AND reports on the resolutions. It needs to present a wide range of emotional responses AND proudly proclaim that this is right. That people expressing their feelings is a way to change their lives and the lives of the people around them.

California is based around the Bear. A lot of cultures actively held the bear in the same kind of respect that archetypes like the fox had. The Bear was not a trickster but often a teacher, a protector. In the form of a constellation, Bear watched over us from the sky.

So, what I’m proposing is that California starts up the Sky Bear Network. That it fights back against the fox in the only meaningful realm — that of stories. And in the oldest of stories, when the trickster tries to face down against the wise elder? He always loses.

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