From waking until sleepy time from my home office I am bombarded by a school-yard mentality of adults hopelessly stuck with fingers pointing at some other person or thing. Conservative, liberal, moderate, Christian, atheist, indifferent, none are immune. The goal of each waking day is to point out the weaknesses of someone else through every media and technology we possess. We relish failures and scandals, and we bathe in the fall of anyone around us. There is no quicker way to squash a politician than to expose them as sexual human beings, for better or worse, and no better way to scrub a celebrity from the lime light than to showcase a single moment of words that offend our helplessly virgin ears.
You can’t have a bad day anymore, and everyone is lying to everyone else pretending that they throw on a halo with their pants. Every single person reading this post thinks some pretty racist and hateful stuff once in a awhile throughout the week – especially in the car or at the grocery store. Our mind lashes out when we are angry at the weakest and easiest to locate fissure in public defenses. We find time and again that stereotypes prove themselves when we are angry, and we let these emotional outbursts all be a-ok by being quicker to point out someone more offensive than us. And that’s really the truth about outrage over the odd racist comment or public breakdown – we simply must be outraged lest someone suspect we are racist/sexist too. And most of the times, we are.
Why we do this? The same reason we are obsessed as a nation with reality television showcasing human train wrecks and love to post photos of idiots on Facebook – because we are insecure as all hell. Not a single damn thing has changed since grade school antics with any of us as adults, no matter what we tell our children. We bully, gang up, and throw anyone we can find under the bus to avoid the mob from turning back on us.
Facebook/Twitter at times only really even exist as a medium to bitch about people and talk about everyone else that is stupider/uglier/different than you. The television exists for a majority of persons based on ratings data to laugh at those less educated, less fortunate, or desperately throwing away all remaining dignity for a chance at a payday to improve their conditions. Technology has vastly expanded the locker room and sandbox to a global scale.
This nation needs to find a way to grow up, and let shit be. The real reason it takes so long to accept anything new is because we are afraid. Anyone and anything not like us, be it gays, blacks, Muslims, someone with a different coat on…causes our own insecurities to burst forth like a beacon. Those insecurities we believe magically disappear with adulthood.
Every news article that gains any traction has to be slamming someone on the other side and be coupled with a picture of them making stupid face. The idea that any credible news article should be paired with the absolute worst picture you can find of someone provides proof of our state of national insecurity like no other. Someone has to be “crazy” rather than wrong, or an idiot rather than corrupt or naive. No political side wins in this, liberals and conservatives and just as bad as one another, and in the end there is no difference between some of the airings on selected conservative news outlets than liberal ones. There is always someone out there making an ass of themselves and bullying someone in the name of modern journalistic credibility.
Journalists are to provide facts and deliver little daily bits of reality to the people, and yet the only thing you will find with any viewership is coupled with an aggressive, over-blown, and biased headlines. To historians, this era will look like it was filled with the most idiotic race of child people to have ever been gathered in one continent because of what we publish.
If you really want (insert politician or public figure here) to go away, then ignore them. Sarah Palin may be seen as the dumbest public official to have ever graced a national stage, and yet her popularity, fueled by liberal hate more than anything else – made her a star. She has made untold millions selling books and touring around, hyping up her silly cartoonish persona to make a buck. Who’s the idiot now?
Hooray to the spine of the internet, for being willing to say anything behind a comfy wall of anonymity or distance. Yet left and right, most people see the real crimes occurring out their front doors and do nothing. We can post something for a pat on the back online, and yet we cannot even stand up for a gay waiter being bullied at a restaurant in front of us. Or stand beside a woman being harassed on the street by a huffy group of assholes. Or stand up to our families.
Why? Because standing your ground is scary, and risky. Anytime that it is not, means you are simply riding a wave of public opinion and standing up for nothing.
There is a man and his wife in my neighborhood. They pull around little radio-flyer wagons beneath their long and dirty hair and baseball caps. The walk around with antique radios belting scratchy tunes, wearing signs that say small phrases such as “BE POSITIVE.” They ask for no money, and they harass no one. They walk around and wave, trying to spread a little hope in the world. One night I saw them walking by own of our favorite little outdoor restaurants in Old Colorado City, and next to us a family of tourists quickly fell over themselves to see who could make fun of them first. Trash. Psychos. Homeless whack-jobs.
Who is crazy in this world of ours? Those pulling around a wagon and trying to spread peace with a wave, or those spending an hour comparing the size of their boats and houses?
If you really want to change, stop pointing the finger and start pointing towards the issues at hand. You are your worst digital enemy have a lot more in common than you think. For one, your planet is on fire, running out of space, and running out of food.
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