I've been thinking about this post for a few days now.
Even as I type I am not sure if I will hit the "publish post" button at the lower left.
I've written many times before about how tough it is to see the world as it is and *know* that it is meant for something better. Greater than the shyte we seem to always find ourselves in.
I have a confession: I have never read 1984.
Yes, I just got my doctorate in English (but with my primary area in Rhetoric and Composition) and I have never read this book or seen the movie.
I'll wait while you gasp......
Here's what I've been thinking about (and I promise I didn't just throw that confession in for drama) and I know I am not the first person to think about this or write about it.
It seems we are given only so much sunlight in our days (figuratively speaking). Everywhere I look I see people hurting each other. Reports of neighbors killing neighbors. Mothers killing children. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.
I even recently read an article (I'll have to look for it in the mound of papers on my desk) arguing that studies are beginning to show the people distrust *kind* people. They want something... they're trying to fool me... they think this or this about me.
Seriously? Kind people?
Even the "entertainment" we see is so fraught with violent images that the lack of light is inescapable even there. Case in point; we saw the new X-Men movie a few weeks ago and I tried to count the number of times someone died, how many times the camera shows a close up of a firing weapon or just a weapon-- you get the gist. I lost count at 65; and that was within just the first 10 minutes of the movie.
Did you know that six (6) companies control 90% of the world's media? This small clan of companies (who also have their tentacles deeply entwined with food production, pharmaceuticals, and advertising) controls 90% of what movies get made. What music gets produced and promoted. What we see on TV, listen to on the radio, read in newspapers and magazines.
Those same companies pretty much dictate what kinds of *good* things get promoted, too. Usually to a disproportionately lesser degree. Want to feel better? See this movie. Read this here book. Take this pill. Want to get laid? Drink this beer. Use this hair product.
It seems like every part of our emotions are somehow plugged into this machine (okay, I am not talking Matrix here either).
I started to think about the basic messages these types of "input" tell us about ourselves and each other, and again, I realize this is nothing new or earth-shattering:
A) You are not good enough as you are. You smell wrong. You're too fat. You need the right car. The right clothes. The right [insert pretty much everything here].
B) You are not to trust anyone who is unlike you. Our media constantly focuses on the evil of others, on the barbarity of cultures different from ours.
C) You are not smart enough to make your own decisions about things because I know this, this and this about it and you're *wrong*.
I am not naive. I understand that bad news and dark stuff sells.
I am not going to go into the psychology of it either. But humans have sublimated the notion that we *need* these distinctions in order to be *better than*...
It's an old argument.
When I was talking to Tom about this on Monday, he said: "Oh, that's right. You've never read 1984."
Apparently I don't need to.
So back to the whole sunlight thing.
To a large extent, wherever we live, no matter how hard we may try, there are a small group of people who decide how much light we get to see.
Is it any wonder that people are scared?
Yeah, frightened people are easy to control, right?
This isn't about buying stuff. This isn't about not supporting certain political agendas.
It's about you. And me. And every other human and living thing on this planet.
We were born into a world where a filter was placed over everything we see, think, and hear from the moment we could see, think, and hear.
That filter prevents a lot of the light from getting through.
This here internety thingamabobber is stripping away some of the power of that filter.
We are talking to and seeing and hearing each other.
Right from the source.
Pure as the driven snow.
This is me. I want peace. I want a world where trust is the norm. I want you to have the kind of life *you* want to live. And I don't want us to destroy ourselves [insert chosen doomsday scenario here] because we aren't allowed to know the truth about the world.
Take away every person on the planet.
Where is evil?
Remember, no people.
If you answered nowhere, you get a gold star.
It's manufactured by us like everything else, whether it's people committing atrocities or people who are not moral.
The thing that's really been frustrating me though is that the same can be said about good.
Maybe, just maybe, neither one of these things are "real."
The world is what it is. A world. Among millions of billions of others flying around other stars, in other galaxies, in parts of the vastness of space that we can't even see. Not even when we squint or use the latest, greatest, newest, improved telescope from whatever company makes them.
The world is so filled with information and noise that the truth is kept silent.
Anyone who seeks to expose it is fruity, conspiratorial, coo-coo.
If you never return to this blog, I understand. But I am convinced that we (you and me) can scrape off that grime that clutters our senses and thoughts. Because our problems aren't about *things* they are about how we treat each other.
It all starts with one person. We even have derogatory terms for positive people: tree-hugger, bleeding heart, Pollyanna. And I am not going to believe I can change the world.
Just how I see it. And see you. And see the bigger picture. And the amount of time I keep my eyes trained on the sunshine and not the clouds.
That's it. I'm done.
Not sure how to end this other than to say, "Light up the darkness."
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I've been thinking about this post for a few days now.