How to Verify the Truth of Things

We’ve all received those e-mails from our ex-sister-in-law-twice-removed, citing President Obama as a radical Muslim who refuses to recite the pledge of allegiance; or little Tammy Lynn from Edmonton, Kentucky who was abducted by a Canadian in a pink Miata (Quebec license plate # 72B381) and was last seen speeding towards the Mexican border.

What about the popular Gasoline Boycott Day that rears it’s putrid head every time gas prices rise more than 2¢ a week?  “Don’t buy gas on September 1st!  Don’t buy gas on March 31st!  Don’t buy gas on May 15th!”  Do you remember the last time that worked and gas dropped to 99¢ a gallon?  Neither do I.

Provided here, is a simple 3-step guide to verify the truth of all things.  All that’s required is a change of clothes into comfortable Yoga-type stretch pants and a loose fitting t-shirt.  Turn off all radios, CD players, iPods, smart phones, telephones, and don’t forget to unplug the rotary phone.  Three slow “in” breaths and three rapid and forced exhalations will expel the negative Ju-Ju in your body, and you are ready to discover the truth of all things.

1. Open your laptop and connect to the internet that Al Gore invented.  Point your web browser to http://www.google.com or a similar search engine.

2. Type in a few keywords pertaining to the news you just found out about Charlie Sheen’s heart attack or the raccoon that found and returned your neighbor’s cat.

For example, if you’ve recently received an e-mail claiming Obama as a devout Muslim who refuses to recite the pledge of allegiance, type “Obama muslim pledge of allegiance.”

If all your Facebook friends are ripping their hair out about the new Amber Alert and the tiny tyke from Edmonton, Kentucky who was abducted by a Canadian with the license plate #72B381, type in “Amber Alert Kentucky Canada license.”

If you’re wondering whether or not those gasoline boycott days really work, type in “gas boycott days,” and Snopes, MSNBC and other sources will get you in on “the know.”

3. Start clicking on results!  Search results will reveal themselves from factcheck.org, snopes.com, urbanlegends.about.com, Wikipedia and many more.  Find out what most sources are saying, and draw your own conclusions.  Google Magic will reveal new truths to you that you never thought possible.  This is why Al Gore invented the internet.

If you’re still uncertain, you can always go directly to the source with a few more clicks and keywords.  Though it may take a few more minutes, you can get a more definitive answer for your nagging ex-sister-in-law-twice-removed.  You might even find out if there’s a real Active Amber Alert or what President Obama really said.

So before you make a fool of yourself by shouting “No thank you! I do not want that Muslim stamp on my letters!” at the post office; before you throw flour on a curling iron burn; before you dial #77 in an emergency, spend a moment with Google.  It usually takes less than a minute to get to the bottom of things, and your friends and family will be grateful you didn’t waste their time with insatiable nonsense.  At the very least, you won’t be known at the family reunions as the gullible Godmother who always “FWD:FW:FWD:FW:FWD!%#@*&$%!”

Feel free to respond to gullible Godmothers with a link to this article.

All photographic and written materials © 2011 by C.L. Quigley

4 thoughts on “How to Verify the Truth of Things

  1. Chuckling!! Very nice – wish everyone would research a little more before sending panic emails. You are a great writer, Christina.

  2. Great essay! I wish I’d had this during elections when my ex-sister-in-law was bombarding me with Obama is the anti-Christ emails!

  3. It is true that doing “extra” research to inform one’s own “opinion” usually takes less time and effort than anybody could or would project. However, I believe that the simple truth of the matter is that the majority of human beings would prefer to have thoughts and opinions pre-packaged in a nice box wrapped with someone else’s conviction so they can save themselves the time and “trouble” of doing it themselves. The truth is that human beings are by nature, a very lazy animal.

  4. Hey…I admit it…I am gullible at times, I need my “delete” button. To further be of help to myself, I no longer have TV cuz news used to be news (for the most part), and not inflammatory filler…Yes, even People magazine was informative at one time in a galaxy far, far away.
    Thank you, Christina, for reiterating that we choose in our ignorance to be held captive by the media….thanks for chastening us with your great wit!!

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