Your opinion is invalid.

Your opinion is invalid.

I was listening to the Steve Cochran show in the car this morning. Dean Richards had the day off, so Andrea Darlas filled in on the entertainment report, most of which was just a rundown of new celebrity couples.

Everyone on the show had very strong opinions about the couples, especially the potential (not yet confirmed) pairing of Jake Gyllenhaal and Rooney Mara.

They all seemed to find this coupling distasteful, which, honestly, so do I. I was like, "Yeah, folks on the Cochran show, you're right! Jakey should not be with that drab set of Victorian Era lace curtains!"

But then the Cochran hive mind agreed that, while they like Rooney Mara, they do not like Jake Gyllenhaal. I nearly crashed into the nearest Dunkin' Donuts. Don't like Jake Gyllenhaal? Why don't they like Jake Gyllenhaal? I'm still not quite sure, but I think it may have something to do with the fact that none of them has any idea what Jakey's been up to the past few years. While Darlas was ready with a list of fairly recent Mara movies, she didn't mention a single thing Jake Gyllenhaal has done in the past few years.

No Southpaw. No Nightcrawler. No Prisoners.

No mention of how he is arguably the best young(ish) American actor working today. No mention of how in a Hollywood full of try-hards, Jake Gyllenhaal has stopped tap-dancing. He keeps his head down, makes his movies, and stays out of spotlight. To me (and to a lot of people who pay close attention to these kinds of things), Jake Gyllenhaal is in the top tier of celebrities. He's who other celebrities (*cough* Leo *cough*) would do well to emulate. For anyone to think otherwise feels unfathomable to me. For someone reporting on entertainment not to recognize that the collective hive mind of celebrity gossip hounds thinks Jake is playing the game exactly right seems insane to me.

But then I got to thinking, this is how it is now. We're all "experts" in our own fields, in our own minds. We all get our information from very different, disparate sources. In a vast digital world, we're clumping ourselves up with like-minded individuals, people who generally agree so heartily with our own biases that we never stop to think about the fact that they are, in fact, biases. Opinions. Validations of our own points of view.

We all have carefully curated "voices of reason" we turn to. I may think my sources are the best. I may be able to read my favorite websites or listen to my podcasts while still recognizing the inherent biases in their words, but I still buy into much of what they're saying. They're parroting my own heart, and that's why I choose to consume what they're feeding me.

A long, long time ago--in the early nineties--we didn't have as many options. People Magazine felt like actual journalism. There were only, like, sixty-five cable channels instead of four hundred trillion. We got our entertainment news from E! and our sports from ESPN. All the info was coming from the same places. We all watched the same shows and saw the same movies. We, at the very least, had some common ground.

But now, though we've been brought closer in many ways thanks to the internet, people of like minds are huddling together, separating themselves from folks on the other side. Strict lines have been drawn, and there's no room for compromise or conversation.

You either understand the magic of Jake Gyllenhaal or you don't. You either support the Democrats sitting in on the House floor or you don't. You either believe fully in the sanctity of the Second Amendment or you don't.

There is no middle ground. And we're all right, while everyone else is wrong.

I wrote a book! It's YA novel, THE SOUND OF US. You can find the details right here! Kirkus calls it "a winning story about a teenage voice student that hits all the right notes."

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