The Men of Iron Minute

by Chad Zueck | Director of Content Creation

Hucksters and Carnies

Growing up in rural Illinois, there wasn’t a lot to do. Football Friday nights and drinking coffee with the older men at Rene’s Drug Store. That’s about the pinnacle, except for when the carnival came to town. Those were great days. People were milling around, spending their money, and making bad decisions in the beer tent. I was just a kid, so I didn’t indulge in all that revelry, but the sights and sounds are as fresh in my mind as the cotton candy was to my taste buds.

I had the inside track with the carnies too. The same company had brought the carnival to town for a few years in a row. I recognized a couple of carnies and tried to persuade them to give me extra rides and tickets. It didn’t work, but you can’t blame me for trying. The carnies had the same blank-faced, shady, and faded tattoo look to them. I remember thinking, “Where do they get these guys? They’re clones!” I would eventually find the answer. PRISONS. The naivete and sugar rush somehow led me to miss that key detail. The carnies were slick. They could dupe kids (like me) to spend every bit of money on impossible games in a matter of minutes. They were always selling! I get it now. That was their job. I was their mark.

We moved from Illinois a lifetime ago (or so it seems). Curiously, I still see the “carnie” hucksters all the time. A huckster is “anyone who sells something or serves biased interests, using pushy or showy tactics.” (Thanks Wikipedia) So who are these hucksters? It’s the modern-day media sources! Whatever your political persuasion, there is a huckster for you. They sell outrage and turmoil, and good men like you and I eat it up like an unattended kid scarfs down cotton candy. Yesterday I looked at the news on my phone, and yet again, I saw a smorgasbord of huckster clickbait. In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius’ said, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” I would not say that this is an absolute truth, but it is absolutely true of modern-day media.

The modern-day media wants you to tribe up and prepare for a battle that you will never fight. What’s left behind is a man with seething anger and media addiction. We become the mark, and the media sources are always selling. Be informed as you can be, and live transformed as you should be. Like Paul, I offer this encouragement, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2, ESV


What we dwell upon is what we build our lives upon.

“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” // Proverbs 23:7, NASB:95


You become what you consume!


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