June 4 – Something You Have Seen
aka. Post 4 of Those 30 Posts in June Blog-Every-Day Posts
I admit, I tend to avoid being too controversial on this blog.
I don’t have the energy to fight off trolls and beat down haters who are climbing over the walls to rattle their ideological spears in my virtual face if I was. Instead, I read & watch. And I do often shake my fist at the screens in my life, and like everyone else I’ll seethe with frustrated anger at the irrationality of a stupid or a contrary opinion, but I’ve usually found enough reserve energy in my little battery of restraint to keep myself from jumping into the fray, and in particular, writing blathering crap on this blog that I might someday regret.
my apathy is just letting the other guys win
Yet, regret is a two way street: for example, I do regret my wallflower-like position on occasion. After all, there is that old adage (attributed online to Edmund Burke) that says: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Put another way I think it’s saying that yes, disagreeing and fighting against ideas that are [insert adjective here] is uncomfortable, but my apathy is just letting the other guys win.
The saddest thing I see about the modern world is that we’ve made this all so binary: winners and losers. Right versus left. Urban versus rural. Rich versus poor. Us versus them. Ideology has amplified it all into a sport-like system where you are assigned to a team, a shirted-up rookie, even if you like it or not, and then you are slotted into a type, a character, who is rigidly defined by some blocky, single-axis definition. There is no fuzziness. We are not individuals. We are just the city-folk, middle-class, leftie, yuppies. We are truck-driving, right-winger, gun-toting, evangelicals. We are dippers. We are red necks. Whatever. We are so eager to define each other that we don’t realize we are just categorizing ourselves.
rigidly defined by some blocky, single-axis definition
This seems like no big deal. This seems like some sort of Pollyanna rant, a-can’t-we-all-just-get-along bit of blathering. Life is tough, you say. Fight for your rights, you say. Take what you can get. Fuck you all, I’m looking after myself, you say. Well, you say that, maybe until you realize that when all you’ve succeeded in doing is to divide the world into two big contrarian camps. And if we’re playing a big us versus them game here, there is by definition no way we can all win. So, sadly, rather than all of us working together to elevate, well… all of us… more and more it seems like most of us are working to elevate our side while we stomp down the other.
And we entrench.
Both sides, we hold the line we’ve collectively decided to hold.
We dig into our opinions, no matter how stupid or irrational or unnecessarily binary. And I’d like to suggest we are all sticking our heads in the metaphorical sand, like they say ostriches do, to avoid the reality of the world around us. But I think it’s the opposite of that. Our heads are the only thing that are not buried. We see and hear everything, but we’ve stuck ourselves to our necks in the metaphorical sand, made each other unable to move or react or adapt to a new position without a monumental effort of will and energy. And sure, no one is going to move us from where we’re standing buried there five feet into that beach-head, but when something, somewhere, someday comes washing up –and eventually it will, life the universe, or some unstoppable evil– like the tide rolling in, we’re all going to be in big trouble.