Everything is True … Until It’s Not

I can’t tell you how many times a day people walk up to me and ask, “OB, what the hell’s wrong with the news?”

My stock response is this: “There are two things wrong: (1) In the slanted, hyperbolic tripe it’s peddling, the news industry took its motto from W.C. Fields: ‘Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.’ (2) As long as we don’t smarten up, they’ll keep peddling. And we never smarten up.”

Exhibit A: “The slow, secret death of the electric guitar“. I read this hysteria-stoking piece of short-sighted knee-jerking early one morning. It ruined my appetite for breakfast and cemented by anti-news bias. Here’s the Myopic’s Digest version:

In the past decade, electric guitar sales have plummeted, from about 1.5 million sold annually to just over 1 million … 46 years ago, everyone wanted to be a guitar god, inspired by the men who roamed the concert stage, including [Eric] Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and Jimmy Page. Now those boomers are retiring, downsizing and adjusting to fixed incomes. They’re looking to shed, not add to, their collections, and the younger generation isn’t stepping in to replace them.

Get Real

Guess what. Before electric guitar sales were at 1.5 million annually, they were at zero. Then they were somewhere in between. Then they were at 1.5 million. Now they’re lower. And they’ll change again … and again. The two factors that influence those numbers most are life and the market. Both are cyclical. Welcome to reality.

According to two comparable pieces of wall-eyed garbage I’ve read in the last several years:

  • It’s only a matter of time until golf courses occupy all of the land previously used for farming, parking, commercial and residential construction, forestry, roadways, national parks, and airports — and until sales in the golf equipment and apparel industries outpace sales of bread, milk, underwear, razor blades, and beer combined — because golf is so popular … unless it’s not.
  • It’s only a matter of time until the world runs out of rubber, spandex, Chamois Butt’r, spokes, razor blades (because male cyclists have to shave their legs, too), walking trails, motorways, CO2 cartridges (to inflate replacement tubes after blowouts), carbon fiber, titanium, handlebar tape, multi-tools, tire levers, and chain grease because cycling is so popular … unless it’s not.

Keep the Change

If you worry because you miss the news, don’t. You can catch it tomorrow. Everything will be different by then anyway.

Nothing is static. The news won’t tell you that. It’ll never give you an even break. And everything is true until it’s not.

Johnny Winter, Getty Images