I read an Edgar Allan Poe story today entitled The Angel of the Odd.
It’s a fun, fast, Kafka-meets-Twain, easy to forget kind of read.
But what is most memorable to me about the story is that it is entirely set up around the protagonists drunken dismay over what we would call the “fake news” of the day…
Upon seeing this [fake news story] I fell into a great rage, without exactly knowing why. “This thing,” I exclaimed, “is a contemptible falsehood–a poor hoax–the lees of the invention of some pitiable penny-a-liner, of some wretched concocter of accidents in Cocaigne. These fellows knowing the extravagant gullibility of the age set their wits to work in the imagination of improbable possibilities, of odd accidents as they term them, but to a reflecting intellect (like mine, I added, in parenthesis, putting my forefinger unconsciously to the side of my
nose), to a contemplative understanding such as I myself possess, it seems evident at once that the marvelous increase of late in these ‘odd accidents’ is by far the oddest accident of all. For my own part, I intend to believe nothing henceforward that has anything of the ‘singular’ about it.”
Which is exactly my feelings and reaction (except the whole finger-to-the-nose thing) whenever I mistakenly happen upon, or when I’m trapped within some godforsaken waiting room and am forced to have to hear (because I refuse to voluntarily watch) the
Fox Fake News channel.