Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Sensational reporting is thievery of our time, attention span, and optimism

This includes catfishing and dragging it out instead of keeping it brief

Catfishing here means designing headlines to lure many people into reading, hearing, or watching something that would not interest most of them. The honest alternative is to write headlines and intros and use illustrations that honestly reflect the content of the article and quickly show what it’s about. That way the consumer has a fair choice.

There is also the addition of a promise of nudity and sex to the mix, like a baker adding sugar, salt, and caffeine to cookies to appeal to addictions.

A special disreputable mention for headlines that say nothing: “What did the police find at the crime scene?” “Is this threatening your survival too?” We should all boycott such headlines and vote them into oblivion.

Many outlets have advertisers. They are being charged in accordance with their readership. So, news providers have a vested interest in keeping you there. They steal our time when they drag out the subject and share many opinions that don’t add much above giving one or two opinions.

A special dishonorable mention for news outlets that refresh their pages every minute to pretend that more people read them than really did.

Last but not least, we are overburdened and often falsely alarmed by presentations of the news in a high-pitch tone and with dramatic words. The distractions are just ways to obscure the deeper ills of society and leave them unchallenged, things like the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, classism, structural racism, sexism, etc.

In general, the media do us a tremendous disservice by disseminating literal quotes from manipulators, liars, and con artists. As opposed to spreading the filth (He said that Jews are shrewd oppressors), they should just indicate the untruths (He recycled antisemitic stereotypes).

We need and deserve news presented calmly, clearly, factually, deeply, honestly, and optimistically. But that’s hard to find because the haves try to preoccupy and disempower the have-nots, and keep us worried, angry, powerless, and hopeless. Since journalists often depend on rich right-wing, self-serving owners, integrity gets scarcer the higher you get into the press- hierarchy. Beginning journalists are often still honest and idealistic.

We, the consumers must refuse to take in sensational pieces. We must prioritize written news (where we can skip ahead and have no one being dramatic in our ears or on our retinas) over the rest. Sadly, teenagers don’t read anymore. How can they still think for themselves? We must avoid looking at things that hurt our Souls (people dying), ‘personal interest’ items full of drama, and entertainment dressed up as news. We must seek out idealistic news sources, meaning to inform and empower us instead of keeping us busy, indoctrinating us, and making us addicted to junk news.

After eating junk ‘food,’ we can eat some nutritious food and brush our teeth to save our health. But after consuming junk ‘news,’ that robbed us of our time, energy, and optimism, it’s hard to return to our mental health. Going for a walk in nature would be a good mental toothbrush, but after being depleted of our strength, it’s hard for potatoes to get off the couch.

Choose wisely where to put your attention as long as there are people who try to keep us busy and lead us astray.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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