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Our Downward Spiral


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Why is the media full of savage attacks? How do I disentangle myself from the hysteria? Jacob Hollabaugh has the answers.


Got FOX News or MSNBC going 24/7? Slavishly follow Rush Limbaugh, Rachel Maddow, or Sean Hannity? Absolutely certain you’re right and the other side is loony? Do you despair of the craziness? Does your blood pressure skyrocket everytime you turn on the TV, or check the news or see the headlines on your cellphone? Are you so outraged at this state of affairs that you can hardly speak? Have gatherings of friends and family begun to resemble a modern day verision of the Hatfields and the McCoys? Have you started to ‘unfriend’ people on Facebook?

If you see yourself in any of these descriptions you need to read, “Our Downward Spiral” by Jacob Hollobaugh. He has a plausible theory about what is really happening. Where the hatred comes from. Why fringe characters seem to be controlling the narrative. Why being a victim is a growth industry. Why we are addicted to malignant messages.

After convincingly diagramming the origins of this savage state of affairs he focuses on who’s responsible for this mess. Brace yourself. It’s us. Yup. We created this mess. We’re doing it to ourselves. You and me. We’re addicted to the rush of outrage. We’re hooked on the blathering, blowhards on biased TV, radio, blog or podcast that distort the view of the world that fuel our rage and self-perpetuating misery. The reward? The payoff? A sense of satisfying self-righteousness and superiority.

Politicians; TV networks; newspapers; blogs; shlock jocks are only giving you what you want. Social media, TV pundits, pseudo news shows, partisan blogs and advertisers are creating outrage to feed the addiction they helped create. We keep watching, reading, and listening to agents of anger spew hyped accusations, while they watch their ratings, their bank accounts and their fame go up, ensuring that we get more of the same. You can be assured that the malignant mouthpieces pretending to be doing a public service while creating mountains out of molehills, are not going to voluntarily stop the gravy train.

 “Our Downward Spiral” offers a couple of solutions. Stop providing eyeballs to sites that produce hate, sensationalism and outrage. If no one watched Hannity or Maddow; or stopped showing up at hatefests masquerading as political rallies; or discontinued clicking on outrageous stories with improbable headlines – what would happen – they would lose their high ratings, their multimillion dollar salaries, their celebrity status.  Ouch! Don’t only watch the network that caters to your biases, look at the others. The networks and advertisers follow where we lead because they want our money. Let’s demand real news presented in context, without generalizations and hyperbole, with real experts who actually know what they’re talking about who present their message in a calm, civil, manner where we can disagree without ‘going to the mattresses’.*

Hollobaugh has written a book that should be read by anyone who genuinely wants to stop the craziness.

As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us”.**

*Quote from ‘The Godfather’

**Walt Kelly cartoon character

Reviewed by

Book reviewer for the Lawrence Technological University library. Wayne State University 2009 HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) scholar concentrating on digital storytelling WWII oral historian for the Yankee Air Museum. Tour director and public speaker,


About the author

Jacob Hollabaugh is a self-published author of two books on wildly different topics. He resides in one of the handful of best cities in the world, Chicago, with his wonderful partner, Dorothy, and the world’s actual best cat, Jim. view profile

Published on July 06, 2020

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50000 words

Genre: Political Science & Current Affairs

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