We went down to the river today because usually, the brightest colors of the season are along the water. You can often tell where the water is from a distance. Look for the scarlet and orange maple trees. This time, though, there was far more color on our own non-river street than along the river. Of course the river is always beautiful and I had an interesting discussion with a man with whom I absolutely disagreed about pretty much everything. But sometimes, a civilized discussion with someone you don’t agree with can be interesting. He was definitely more Trumpian than Bidanesque, though I’m not sure he was wedded to either of them. Nonetheless, he was civil and interested in my camera which is always a way to my heart.

It’s his theory that because our government (such as it is) is giving $20,000 for everyone who dies of COVID in a hospital, everyone who dies is dying of COVID. Insurance companies are incredibly corrupt. Not counting the pharmaceutical companies who are a close second but I’ll go with the insurance companies. They are the classic “take your money and give you nothing in return” corporations. If you have ever read your home insurance policy, you will discover that short of your entire house burning to the ground or being crushed by a falling tree, everything else is YOUR problem. I start to grind my teeth just thinking about it.

So it was an interesting conversation until Garry reminded me that we needed to get home. Dog to feed. Dinner to cook. All that stuff. Besides, I was talking to a man “in the wild” and Garry still has that weird jealous thing which is pretty cute at our ages.

Our house in the autumn of the year

But it was an interesting conversation and while I don’t believe that the media — all of it — are all lying. It’s hard to believe that when your husband and all his friends are or were part of the media and all of them are absurdly honest to a fault. Sometimes enough to make you crazy. On the other hand, I have no trouble believing that the desperately poor hospitals and permanently hungry insurance companies wouldn’t up the numbers of COVID dead because they really need the money. It could be true.

It could be false, too. The problem is, at a time when we urgently need the truth, where is the truth? Who knows the truth? Someone knows it, but I’m pretty sure I’m not one of them.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all plus a big helping of cynicism.


  1. It is appalling that it is so hard to know what is the truth any more. I basically disbelieve anything put out by the Murdoch media unless other more reliable sources are carrying it as well. I also look at the RMIT University fact checker from time to time.
    It’s good that you were able to have a civil conversation with a Trumpian. It used to be that way once that you could have intelligent discussion with people of different political persuasion. It’s a lot more difficult to do that now and in many cases there is real hatred of those who have different opinions. I cringe every time I hear someone say “Greenies” in a particular tone of voice.


    1. I ignore Murdoch media, but it’s hard to find anything like “neutral” news. The Washington Post — owned by Jeff Bezos (of Amazon infamy) owns it and while his reporters do brilliant work on climate change and other things, it’s hard to trust the “news.” I always get the feeling that he is telling me what he thinks I want to hear. This is also true of The New Yorker and to some degree, The New York Times.

      And because there is SO much news every day — and they are giving reporters the same amount of time they have always gotten — they don’t really have time to tell the story. It’s all headlines with nothing behind it. It’s not that they are lying. It’s that they have no time to tell a complete story and I’m not sure they really could anyway, There’s a huge amount of complexity to these stories and even reading (rather than viewing) them, by the time they are done introducing the subject it’s time to move on.

      As the Wicked Witch said in “The Wizard of Oz,” — “What a world, what a world.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get most of my news from Australia’s ABC website. I read articles from The Guardian and sometimes the Sydney Morning Herald. For overseas news I often follow links that bloggers I trust post. I know I’m not on top of every issue but I can’t spend my whole life reading the news. I seem to spend a lot more time reading news items now I don’t watch the news on TV.


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